It’s funny how interesting baby poop can become to parents in the UK (and the rest of the world) after a while. Though most mums and dads would rather avoid changing baby diapers, the truth is that observing baby bowel movements becomes second nature often from the moment that the baby enters the world. So, what happens when those poopy diapers suddenly stop being so poopy? How long is normal, what should you do and is it true that you can use orange juice for baby constipation? Let’s dig into the details.
Orange Juice For Baby Constipation
Is Orange Juice Good For Constipation?
Technically yes… but with a few caveats.
Because of the high fibre content of oranges, orange juice can be a suitable choice for individuals with constipation in general.
However, it is important to also note that MANY fruit juices are good for constipation in children and adults. The real concern here, however, is the age of your baby.
Can You Give a Baby Orange Juice?
In the case of a newborn, you should be very wary of giving your baby juice or solids of any kind, no matter how little the amount.
Because their digestive systems are too immature to handle these substances, their little tummies may not be able to take what they ingest yet. This is especially true in the case of orange juice since orange is very acidic, especially when given straight.
Even babies 6 months and older who can technically eat solids and can even nosh on an orange slice or two probably shouldn’t. That’s because the acid content in oranges and orange juice can be so high that it can cause rashes on your babies skin and around their mouth.
Orange Juice Toddler Constipation
So when can you give orange juice to a child for constipation in the UK?
Orange juice for toddler constipation may do the trick. Many pediatricians recommend you hold off on citrus until your baby is at least 12 months of age, which is about the same age that pediatricians also allow you to stop sterilising baby bottles.
The reasoning here is simple. At this age your baby’s immune system and digestive system is more capable of handling things like acid and potentially other bacteria. For more information about sterilising bottles to rid them of bacteria, check out our post on When to Safely Stop Sterilising Baby Bottles.
Once your baby is 12 months or beyond, then orange juice toddler constipation may be used, although it should be noted that less is more when it comes to little ones and orange juice. One strategy is to start off with a teaspoon of straight orange juice, wait an hour or two, and then move up from there.
Orange Juice For Babies
So, back to the original question. Is orange good for babies?
While you technically shouldn’t give orange to your baby and we don’t advise you to do so, if the constipation is really bad, you may need to speak with your paediatrician about giving diluted, or watered down orange juice to your baby.
Many women claim this to be an old wives tale that has worked for decades, however, you would certainly need to speak with a medical professional before doing so.
Watered Down Orange Juice Baby Intake
If your medical practitioner in the UK gives you the thumbs up or if you’d like to try orange juice for toddler constipation, try mixing a half ounce of orange juice with a half ounce of boiled (then cooled) water.
Whatever you do, never use this mixture to replace any of your baby or toddler’s food. you should only do this under the supervision and guidance of a medical professional. This method also works with other juices, including apple, pear and blueberry.
How Much Orange Juice Do You Give a Constipated Baby?
Exactly how much orange juice you give to your baby or toddler will depend on whether or not you are diluting it and how old your baby is.
What Age Can I Give My Baby Orange Juice?
Can a 1 Year Old Drink Orange Juice?
As previously mentioned, your 1 year old can technically tolerate orange juice but be careful. Even adults can often struggle with the acidic nature of oranges. And orange juice is a concentrated beverage of many oranges making it even higher in acid.
We recommend trying the half and half method, starting with one half ounce of orange juice and mixing it with one half ounce of water to begin. You can increase the amount of orange juice and water according to your child’s age and the advice of your medical practitioner.
Orange Juice For Babies 6 Months
Orange juice for babies 6 months and under should be done with caution in the UK.
Though orange juice for 6 month old baby for constipation may work, it may also cause heartburn or discomfort for your little one, especially when given straight.
Therefore, you may wish to hold off on orange juice for 6 month old baby constipation.
What Kind of Juice Can I Give my Baby For Constipation?
There are many kinds of juice that work well for constipation. By and large, the top most recommended juice for constipation is usually prune then pear, but honestly, these aren’t the only types of juices that work.
Some swear by apple juice, though apples can indeed make stools harder if you aren’t careful, and others love blueberry juice.
You’ll want to steer clear of juice made from pineapple and other citrusy fruits until your baby is ready to handle them at about 12 months, and even then, most practitioners recommend no more than 4 ounces of juice per day in addition to water and daily feeds.
For more ideas on other types of fruit juices are recommended to aid with constipation checkout Healthline’s “Which Juices Can Relieve Constipation”.
How Can I Stimulate My Baby to Poop?
Has your newborn, baby or toddler gone several days without pooping? Before you take drastic measures, stop and consider several things: their age, their diet and their wet diapers. If you see a sharp decrease in wet diapers, notice that your little one isn’t eating as often or notice your little one has a firm tummy, you’ll want to see a medical professional.
If your baby is over six weeks old, remember that it is common to see a sharp decline in the amount of dirty diapers your little one acquires. In fact, poopy diapers can dwindle down to as little as once a week, especially for breastfed babies. Newborns, however, have the propensity to poo after nearly every meal, making it imperative that you take age into consideration before trying to stimulate your baby to poop.
Now for the question, “How can I stimulate my baby to poop?” you may try bicycling your child’s legs as they lay on his or her back. You may also take your child’s temperature rectally as this sometimes can trigger a bowel movement. If you take on this method, use hand sanitiser or wash your hands beforehand and only use the mere tip of a RECTAL thermometer to take your baby’s temperature. NEVER stick it in far, and NEVER use a regular thermometer that is not designed to function for rectal use in your baby’s bottom.
How to Relieve Constipation in Babies Quickly
The following are other tips in addition to orange juice that can help relieve constipation in babies quickly:
- Increase the amount of peas, kiwis, blueberries and beans in your 6 month old or older child’s diet.
- Try a teaspoon or two of unsweetened yogurt for 6 months and older.
- Try oatmeal for 6 months and older. You can mix yogurt or raisins in the oatmeal for added fibre.
- Add more liquid, in the form of breastmilk or water, to your little one’s diet to help get things moving in the gut.
- For formula fed newborns, speak with a pediatrician about the type of formula you are using and whether or not it should be switched. See Vegan Baby Milk Alternatives for ideas on what other types of formula may be available as an alternative to cow’s milk.
- Breastfeed your baby whenever possible.
- Refrain from giving your baby adult medicines, like Metamucil, as there have been reports of adverse effects in little ones.
Remember that breastfed babies in the UK will tend to poop less often than formula fed babies as they have less “waste” to expel as they generally use all of the calories and nutrients from breast milk.
Talk to your paediatrician as to what should be considered the normal amount of poop for your little one based on their diet and age.
Is Orange Juice For Babies REALLY a Good Idea?
In short, we don’t recommend using orange juice for babies due to its acidic nature. For more information about whether or not adding orange juice to your baby’s diet is right for you, contact your local pediatrician in the UK. For further reading, check out the NCT’s article about baby constipation titled Constipation in Babies.