I'm so sorry, but this is going to be about constipated babies. If you would really rather not talk about it---and who could blame you?---perhaps you could give me some advice on handheld vacuum cleaners instead. Or maybe you'd like to just click out of here completely and pretend this never happened. I'd understand. I mean, constipated babies or handheld vacuums? What kind of choice is THAT?
A certain baby whose first initial is H and whose second initial is Enry is the first of my babies to have trouble with constipation, as, unbelievably, I have discussed on another occasion. I'm not keen to discuss the particulars of how I know he's constipated and not just straining the way babies often do, and so you are just going to have to take a look at my resume (babysitter, daycare infant-room teacher, mother of five) and believe that I know what I'm talking about and am not a newbie wringing my hands over an imagined problem. Um, like you'd insist on hearing the particulars anyway.
I have now brought the problem up TWO TIMES at the doctor's office, once at his 9-month check-up and once at his 12-month check-up. And clearly I should be more firm and less of a chicken, but I keep thinking they are going to take into account (1) my experience and (2) the way I don't bring things up if they're not problems, and that then they will think, "Hm, we should deal with this."
But no. They tell me to reduce bananas and cooked carrots, to increase prunes and white grape juice, to make sure he gets plenty of fluids, and to give him plenty of fiber. They say, "Does he seem to be uncomfortable?" and I say "He wakes up in the night screaming," and they say, "Hm." Then they say, "Well, try prune juice. Prune juice will clear him right up." And this is where I should say, "I once gave him nothing all day except stewed prunes and prune juice and I noticed NO EFFECT, so I think it's time to move from dietary changes to This is a Real Problem," but instead I lose hope and flop gently to the floor, defeated.
NEXT TIME, I swear I'm going to press the issue, and in fact I'm thinking I'll call and make him an appointment for what the nurse once referred to as "a constipation work-up." But in the meantime, if you know things that work, please do share. Milk of Magnesia? Cod liver oil? Flax seed oil? (I've given him flax seed meal.) Creamed corn? Extra vitamin C? I tried him with glycerin suppositories (I can really see why people fear parenthood, can't you?), but the nurse said not to use them too often or the baby starts to need them every time.
I'm looking for both kinds of assists: things that will help PREVENT the problem, and also things that will help clear the problem up once it has occurred. (And although I seemed to be scoffing at dietary changes two paragraphs ago, I do definitely want to hear those as well.) I promise not to be reckless and use ideas blindly, but we have a Nurse Line we can call, and I find it works a lot better if I'm saying "Can I give the baby ____?" (nurse says yes or no and tells me the dosage) than if I'm saying, "What can I give the baby?" (nurse says I'd have to ask the doctor).
[Follow-up: What worked for us was:
2. pineapple chunks
3. flax seed oil (I cut open a capsule each day and squeezed the oil into yogurt or whatever
4. but mostly the grapes and the pineapple chunks
5. oh, and oranges]
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