Babies are fragile little beings and their parents should always make sure not to introduce any sudden changes into their diet, which may come as a shock to their organism and result in the consequences, one of which is constipation. Constipation represents bowel movements which are not frequent enough and it’s basically the opposite of diarrhea. And while sometimes there really isn’t anything that the parents can do about the issue, it is important to get familiar with it as much as possible in order to be able to prevent anything that can be prevented.
How does one decide when to introduce solid food in the baby’s diet?
For the first half of the first year of their lives, babies are not allowed to eat solid food under no circumstances. Naturally, milk is the primary and the most important for the babies up to the age of six months. At the very beginning of their life it is the only choice, but gradually, the baby starts needing the nutrients that the milk is not capable of providing in sufficient quantity, such as iron for example. Then additional foods are introduced, but none of them is solid.
Besides the limit under which no child should try to eat solid food, there is no fixed date for the baby to switch to it. This is because every baby is different and there are other factors besides the age per se that need to be taken into consideration. The decisive factor probably lies in the fact whether the baby was breastfed or fed milk from the bottle up until that point. The babies that were breastfed had the more quality milk, therefore, after the first 6 months, they can go on eating semisolid and solid foods, while the babies that were fed bottled milk first need to go on a baby formula, which is the known substitute for breast milk, and some creamy smooth food kinds.
Why does constipation occur when switching the baby’s foods to solids?
When first introducing the baby to solid foods, the presence of constipation or similar bowel irregularities is almost inevitable for the baby. This is because their digestive system is not at all used to that kind of food and it takes a while to get there. Only when the constipation seems to persist for an unusually long time and the stool, instead of being soft, is in fact hard and causes the baby pain and discomfort, should parents consult a pediatrician for what to do in order to relieve these symptoms.