I have dealt with a lot of poopy issues as a parent of five children. My oldest and my youngest children were and are constipated babies. As a baby, my oldest child, who was exclusively breast-fed the first 6 months of his life was very constipated. He would have a bowel movement once a week. A big blow-out at that. I had a few friends who said that some babies “just don’t go as often”. My family care MD said that breast-milk was a laxative and he couldn’t figure out why the baby was constipated.
When we first started giving our oldest solid food at 6 months, he became very very constipated. It was so bad, that one time he didn’t poop for 2 weeks. And when that bowel movement came, it was hard like rabbit poop and very painful. I knew something had to be done. So I started giving him water. I was told by several people, including lactation consultants that breast-fed babies don’t need water and that if they get water too soon, it can damage their kidneys. There is some truth to excessive water intake at an early age can weaken the Kidney system. But I learned that a blanket statement, such as “breast-fed babies don’t need water” does not apply to every baby!
Once I started offering my son water (an ounce or two at a time), his bowel movements occured once or twice a week and they weren’t as hard. I came to a conclusion that my baby was just dehydrated. In fact, I was too. By increasing my water intake, it also helped my baby get re hydrated. Another thing we did to help move his bowels more is we switched his diet. He was only 6 or 7 months old, but we switched to only feeding him Fruit-Eze. Fruit-Eze is a puree of dates, raisins, and prunes (see fruiteze.com). We started feeding him it thinned out with water at least twice a day. Within a week, his bowels were moving daily.
Once he was having a bowel movement every day, I noticed some positive changes in him. He wasn’t as fussy at bed time. My son was never ‘colicky’. But at night he would be fussy and pull his legs to his chest, etc. That quit! His eczema had also cleared up, and his allergies were better. We were doing a few other things at this time, like using natural laundry soap and no fabric softener; eating more organic foods; using natural cleaning products; and giving 1/8tsp of vinegar (pickle juice) to my son daily *I’ll be writing a post on how Apple Cider Vinegar healed my son’s allergies and asthma soon.
The concept is simple. When elimination happens, healing can happen. When your body is full of crap (literaly) and thus toxins, illness will surface. Whether that is eczema, food and environmental allergies, reoccurring colds/flus, runny noses, ear infections….I could go on, but this is a Good Feeling Place and I want to continue feeling good.
Anyways…my youngest child is still a baby at the writing of this post. He is almost an identical copy to my oldest son. He too is frequently constipated and only has a poopy diaper about every 5 days. He also is exclusively breast-fed and is currently not interested in food at 6 months old. I do offer him a bottle of water through out the day. More if we are out side. He seems interested in taking the water. But it doesn’t have the same immediate effect as it did with my oldest. So I assume that my baby is not as dehydrated as my first child was.
One time when we were on vacation, my baby hadn’t pooped in about 6 days, so I knew he would be going soon. I switched his regular filtered water out with a product called Smart Water (you can find it at grocery stores, Walmart, Sam’s Club). Smart Water is basically vapor distilled water with added Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium, and Potassium (3 basic minerals everyone needs). After my baby drank about 1/2 oz of Smart Water, he pooped instantly. About every 2 oz of Smart Water I gave him, he’d poop. We had his bowels moving daily for a week straight. I was amazed at how much he could actually poop! And then I thought, I can’t believe he wasn’t going every day!
Minerals work for constipation because they heavy in nature. Its heaviness sort of pulled everything down and out of my son–if you want to think of it that way. That is also why those 3 minerals are important if you have leg cramps. Its heaviness pulls the nutrients and energy down to the legs and into the muscles to nourish them. The daily bowel movements went off and on for about 3 weeks. Then we were back to being constipated.
I am not sure how I heard of this [editor’s note: see home remedies book below], but I tried the ol’ warm salt water technique. You heat up in a pan on the stove as much water as you want to put in a bottle. Then you sprinkle salt (preferable rock salt-think minerals) into the pan and stir. You will want to season to taste. The water needs to be salty enough that it will make you pucker or gag, but not too salty that you feel you need to drink clean water get the taste out of your mouth. Once you got the right taste, give the warm salt water to your baby. Preferably do this first thing in the morning before feeding if possible. I am not certain how much each child will have to drink. The first time I tried this on my baby, he drank 4-5 swallows and then he had a poop. Another time, he drank 3oz and then pooped later that afternoon.
The salt water works because the salty taste drains downward. Just like the minerals do. The salty taste also increases fluids in the body, specifically the Intestines. For instance, Salted Lime Water will rehydrate you if you have sun stroke (or are out in the sun too long); also Epsom salt is a good laxative for adults.
Our baby still has issues with constipation. He is still strictly breast-fed and I am trying to eliminate foods from my diet to help him, but that is a challenge for me. The herbals I am giving him are helping to increase his digestive ability long term, along with the probiotics. Right now, the warm salt water bottle is our fix for acute constipation. Hope all of this helps some of you.
Peace and Blessings