What are the Benefits of Prune Juice For Babies?
Prune juice is made using dried plums or prunes and this juice also contains many beneficial nutrients for our body. Prune juice is also well known as a constipation remedy due to large part to its fiber content. If your baby is having hard time to poop, or passing hard stool, prune juice can be a helpful agent to let your baby poop easier.
It’s more difficult to treat constipation in a young baby, as they still cannot eat rich fiber foods that can help to ease this uncomfortable condition. Therefore, prune juice is one of the best remedies for baby that is having difficult time to pass motion. Read on and learn why prune juice is such a miracle remedy to cure baby’s constipation and what are the benefits of prune juice for babies.
Can I Give My Baby Prune Juice?
Many people wonder if prune juice for babies is safe, if you have an infant it is really important that you know the answer to this. It is safe and actually beneficial for your baby to drink prune juice but only from a certain age.
For the first 6 months, babies get everything that they need nutritionally from the milk that they drink. Once you reach that point and you feel like your little one is ready, it's absolutely fine to introduce juices like prune juice into his/her diet. Never serve prune juice to any baby below half a year old. Now, let’s see what are the nutritional value of prune juice can give to your baby beside being great at treating baby’s constipation.
Prune juice is good for your baby but never serve it to any baby below 6mths old though. #PruneJuiceGoodness
Nutritional Value of Prune Juice for Babies
There are many vitamins and minerals found in prune juice that makes it a healthy choice for adults and babies. The ingredients include Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Niacin, Riboflavin and Vitamin B6. It is also rich in Iron, Potassium and Manganese, which are all essential to the development of baby’s brain and overall body.
How to Prepare and Serve Prune Juice for Babies?
Preparing the prune juice right for your baby is really important for their health and also to ensure their enjoyment of the drink. You should always serve prune juice in a cup rather than a feeding bottle, to reduce the chances of tooth decay (this can happen even if the infant doesn't have teeth quite yet!).
Serving prune juice in a cup can be a bit of hassle as you will need to help your baby drink from this cup if they are really young but a sippy cup will also be suitable. You can serve prune juice cold or at room temperature, it's really up to you to decide what your baby would likely prefer.
Besides drinking prune juice, another great tip is make into a popsicle and give it to your baby to suck on to soothe their teething pain but remember to clean your baby’s gum afterward with a clothe so that no sugar left at the gum to cause oral complication to your baby.
Related: How long does teething pain last to learn more about babies teething pain.
Only Give the Right Dosage of Prune Juice
Prune juice for babies is great but one factor that you should consider is that you are feeding her the right amount of the liquid. The younger the infant, the less prune juice they should be drinking purely because of the size of their stomach.
Usually around 2-3oz of prune juice a day is sufficient for ALL babies but a little more can be given if they are older and request it. Don't forget to dilute the prune juice with water also!
Side Effects Of Prune Juice For Babies
It's really important that you follow the recommended dosage allowance for babies regarding prune juice because if you don't, there could be side effects.
The only reported side effect for baby drinking too much of it, is diarrhea. This is because of the ingredient "sorbitol" which causes loose stools in ingested in excess. Although prune juice is a well-known cure for constipation in baby but be aware to not give the little one too much.
Recognizing Constipation in a Baby
Before you reach out for prune juice to cure your baby constipation, learn to recognize the sign of baby constipation. Simply use of prune juice even for non-constipating situation will create a habit of over rely on this juice which is not very beneficial to your baby.
Let’s take a look at some of the symptoms of constipation so you will easily be able to recognize it.
- Baby is straining often.
- He/she seems really uncomfortable/more irritable than usual.
- Pulling up their legs towards their body often.
- Only making hard and small bowel movements, like pebbles in their appearance.
There are many reasons for a baby to be constipated but one of the main reasons of constipation in babies is due to their diet and especially their formula. If your baby is fed formula milk and you recently change to another brand for one reason or another, it’s very likely she will get constipation. This is due to simply their digestive system not being strong enough to handle the change.
However, you should not be too alarm as this should balance itself out but it's wise to stick with one brand of formula once you find one that your baby really enjoys, unless you can help it of course.
Tips To Try to Avoid constipation
While prune juice is great to treat baby’s constipation but like the old adage saying, “prevention is better than cure”. It’s better to prevent a baby from constipating by introducing constipation friendly diet than use cure when constipation strike. Here are a few tips you can try to ease an infant’s constipation.
- Try altering your feeding routine slightly, smaller but more regular feeds might be more suitable for your child and will help their digestive system.
- If you are breastfeeding - make sure that YOU are drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated. When you are in optimum health, your milk will be more fluid.
- Massage your baby to help them relax, some people find that this can make all the difference. Massaging your baby’s stomach in a small circular motion can really help them to pass that stool.
- Apply some lubricating gel to the baby’s anus to help the poo come out. Olive oil is also helpful but make sure it’s natural and no fragrance type of olive oil.
- A warm bath can really help baby relax which can help with constipation. Warm bath will help to relax the muscle around your baby body and hence easier for bowel movement.
- The cycling motion: Place your infant on his/her back and gently hold their feet. Move your baby’s legs up and down like they are paddling a bicycle. Do this exercise for a few minutes several times a day; it's great for easing constipation.
Here is a great video on how to handle baby constipation by Tammy Gold, a therapist and parenting expert.
Each child is different when it comes to bowel habits; therefore, it’s very possible when one of your babies is struggling with constipation while other does not experience such ordeal. While the benefits of prune juice for babies are great but it’s not a 100% guarantee success when come to treating constipation.
If your baby has been suffer from serious constipation (3 – 4 days in a roll), then prune juice will no longer a viable option. Visit a doctor if such situation should arise to resolve the constipation issue.
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