Constipation can be the most painful experience for a baby or young child – it is amazing how grumpy and unsettled a child can get when they are bunged up – and once they have finally passed a poo their mood can switch in a heartbeat and they can be back to their cheery happy self.
Up to about a third of children can get constipated at some time during their early years and around 40% develop symptoms during their first year of life which can persist for a long time. Paediatric wards have even had to open specialist constipation clinics to cope with the vast volumes of constipated kids. A vast £162 million was spent by NHS England on treating constipation in both adults and children in 2017-18, £91 million of which was spent on laxatives!
Some people say it’s ok for a breastfed baby not to poo very often, but over the years I have found that these babies are better settled once they are pooing every day. Ideally a baby would be having 1 to 3 dirty nappies a day.
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