Q: I switched my one-year-old son to homogenized milk from formula two weeks ago, and he has been constipated ever since. The first couple of days, his bowel movements were normal. The fourth day, though, it took ages for him to pass it. Two days later, he went through the pain and this time there was a little bit of blood. We have upped his fibre intake and are giving him more prunes, grapes and peaches. What should I do?
A: You are on the right track. The correct approach to constipation is first increasing dietary fibre. You can add bran, fibre cereals and wheat germ to your young guy’s cereals. High-fibre breads and fruits (pears, prunes) are also useful. And give him lots of water to help flush everything out. My concern is that he may have cut himself around the anus. This is called a fissure. Petroleum jelly, maybe even with some zinc ointment, may assist healing, as will the softer stools. Your doctor may prescribe a special cream if it persists. The concern is if your son has pain with each bowel movement due to the fissure, he may resist going, compounding the problem. So tend to the fissure. If his stools don’t loosen soon, you may need to take a step back. Reintroduce formula and then very gradually add homo to his formula over a few days. That should ease the transition to full milk.
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