(Kansas City MO)
My seven month old daughter is having very hard stools. It is also taking her all day to have a bowel movement. She will try several times through the day but without success. She does always have one bowel movement a day, but it takes great effort and seems bothersome to her.
What can I give her daily to help soften her stools?
Foods To Soften Baby’s Stools
Hard stools are very common among 7 months old babies, since many of them have just started with solid baby food, or the share of solids is increasing.
Most often, the hard stools are due to the baby’s digestive system not really coping with solids, and this will improve over the months to come.
What to do then?
Since your baby is so “old”, she can really benefit from all the different fruits that tend to soften the stools. Offer her prune, apple or pear juice or purées of the same fruits. (Don not give her apple sauce though, with actually hardens the stools.) Kiwis and apricots are also good.
Two vegetables that are healthy and easy on her tummy are avocado and sweet potato.
Also make sure to avoid bananas, carrots, blue berries, rice cereal and dairy products until the constipation is gone. And make sure she drinks a lot of breast milk or water (or formula if that does not make her constipated). Breast milk or formula will continue to be the most important part of her nutrition for several more months, so if she is formulafed, do not give her so much water that she drinks less formula.
If she has never tried these fruits before, start slowly, may be with one tea spoon to avoid any allergic reaction. Some babies need to have any of the above fruit purees or juices added with every meal to be able to digest solid foods without constipation.
And you can find baby food recipes here, if you want to make your own baby food.
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