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My Ngala • View topic - Solids and Water (and Constipation)

Solids and Water (and Constipation)

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Solids and Water (and Constipation)

Postby Rosanna » Tue 02 Oct, 2012 8:50 pm

Hi. I have a 6 month old baby who is currently on solids and is constipated. I have been given conflicting information in regards to the amount of water I am allowed to give her. Some have said as much as I like and others have said no more than 40ml a day. Can you please let me know what is ok so, that I can help her as she seems so distressed when she needs to go to the toilet. Also, is there something else that may help her. Thank-you!
Rosanna
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue 02 Oct, 2012 8:44 pm

Re: Solids and Water

Postby NgalaOnline » Thu 04 Oct, 2012 11:46 pm

Hi Rosanna

Thank you for your post. Constipation can be quite a common issue for babies just beginning solids as their system gets used to handling the new foods they are being introduced to. Typically constipation does subside within a few weeks to months as the baby's digestive system matures, but in the meantime it definitely can be distressing for babies and their parents.

To assist your baby with her constipation, you may like to try to reduce or remove iron fortified cereals such as rice cereals from her diet for several weeks (before trialing her again) as the iron in these foods are often constipating for babies. Bananas can also be quite constipating for babies so it may be worth limiting them. Pears can be particularly helpful for assisting babies with constipation, particularly if you are able to blend some up with their skin still on. Sometimes babies will become constipated if they are introduced to large volumes of food quickly, so it may be worthwhile reducing the number of meals your baby is having back to one or two, or reducing the portions she is being offered for a few weeks to see if this helps. Diluted prune juice can be helpful for assisting with constipation, this can however be quite an irritant to a baby's gut and does also contain a lot of natural sugar so it is best to offer only a small volume diluted with at least double the amount of water. If the constipation becomes very severe and your baby is in distress trying to evacuate a very compacted bowel motion, it may be worthwhile discussing this with your pharmacist or General Practitioners. Some parents find that their baby's distress can be reduced by infant suppositories inserted in the baby's rectum to soften the stool, used with the guidance of a pharmacist or medical practitioner. If you baby is formula fed it is important to make sure that the formula tin guidelines are being strictly followed when making up the feeds, particularly making sure that the scoops are leveled off with a knife rather than patting or shaking the scoop, which reduces the air in the formula and results in a more concentrated amount of formula being given. It can be also useful to know that "Gold" formulas can be more constipating for some babies than standard formulas.

In terms of the amount of water to offer your baby, you are correct that there is not a lot of consensus on this issue and it is difficult to find clear guidelines. Babies do not require much water as breastmilk or formula should make up their main fluid intake. It is important that babies are not offered large amounts of water as this can displace the amount of breastmilk or formula they drink, which is essential for their nutrition. In rare cases, if a baby consumes a large amount of water this can result in something known as "water intoxification" or hyponatraemia, where the water dilutes the amount of sodium and other electrolytes in the baby's blood stream. This is a rare occurrence, more commonly occurring in newborns who are offered full bottles of water in the place of milk, but it is worth knowing about. Babies who are beginning solids can be offered small amounts of water in a sippy cup, as it is good for them to begin learning how to use a cup and how to accept the taste of water. This water can also assist the baby with constipation. It is best to offer this water in a sippy cup as the baby will naturally limit the amount of water she is taking this way, whereas babies easily consume larger volumes of fluid in a bottle due to the ease of sucking. If you let your baby self pace her intake from the cup it is likely that she will naturally limit her intake, but due to the issues listed above it is best to limit the amount of water offered to a moderate amount such as 40ml or 50 ml once or twice a day.

The following links may be helpful for you:

Water intoxification:

http://chemistry.about.com/cs/5/f/blwaterintox.htm

http://www.stlouischildrens.org/article ... in-infants

Constipation:

http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthT ... 04&id=1805

I hope that your baby's constipation comes to an end shortly. Please contact the Ngala helpline if you require further advice or support.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
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Re: Solids and Water

Postby Rosanna » Fri 05 Oct, 2012 8:45 am

Thank you for your response. :D
Rosanna
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue 02 Oct, 2012 8:44 pm

Re: Solids and Water

Postby NgalaOnline » Sat 06 Oct, 2012 10:51 pm

You are very welcome Rosanna. :)
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
User avatar
NgalaOnline
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Tue 07 Dec, 2010 8:42 am


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