One of the worst things for us moms is seeing our kids sick or struggle, and when my seven-month-old starting getting cramps and constipation, it was frustrating and difficult.
Prior to Luke* battling with constipation, we never had any issues, and I thought I had ‘escaped’ all of those common infant ailments like reflux. The most he’d ever had was a bit of nappy rash and very mild eczema, which were both easily treated and healed.
We started solids at around five months, on the recommendation of our paed. I was happy to start then, and I could have even started earlier as Luke stopped sleeping through the night, and always wanted more milk – I was breastfeeding and giving formula at that point.
Our weaning process went smoothly, and Luke liked all flavours and textures – from baby marrow and pumpkin to apples and pears. Our little boy was regular, and had at least one “dirty nappy” a day.
“I later learnt that constipation is quite common when babies start eating solids.”
But then he stopped pooing every day, and went every second day, which I didn’t think much of. Then second became third, which became fourth, and soon Luke had about one dirty nappy every four to five days. What’s more, he struggled to poo, and was quite niggly too. I also noticed that he was quite bloated on the days that he didn’t poo. I later learnt that constipation is quite common when babies start eating solids.
I tried to add more apple and pears to his meals, and fed him more water, but it didn’t seem to ease his discomfort, or make him more regular. I even gave some prune juice with meals, which didn’t help things either. I even did baby massage, something I’d learnt when he was a few weeks old, and that didn’t help either.
I felt I had tried everything I could, so I took Luke to the paed as I was feeling a bit stuck. He recommended I switch formulas (something I hadn’t even thought of) to Novalac IT, a magnesium-rich formula that has been proven to ease constipation in infants. I remember Milk of Magnesium from when I was a child (who could forget that blue bottle?) and how my mom used it for me when I was little, so it made sense that a magnesium-rich formula could work.
I was nervous to switch – I worried that maybe Luke wouldn’t like the taste, or that there would be other side effects from the change, but everything went well and our little man drank like a champ, without noticing or showing any signs of “maladjustment”. It took about seven days before I saw a change in his bowel movements, and he became more regular – from every four days, to every three, and now we can expect at least one poo nappy a day! To say I’m relieved is an understatement, and it’s good to have our guy smiling and not experiencing any discomfort any more.
*Not his real name
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