Constipation is tough on anyone suffering from it, whether adult or baby and many parents wonder if Karo Syrup is a solution. Some parents feel like they have tried everything to cure their baby from constipation.
To relieve their baby’s stomach pains (and their headache), some parents turn to this olden remedy, but this is not recommended.
Back in the day, women used to add 1 tsp. of Karo syrup to 4 oz. of water (or formula or breast milk) and feed it to their babies to cure constipation.
Once a common home remedy for child constipation, Karo (corn) syrup may not contain the right chemical structure to soften your child’s stool, making it ineffective.
Can I Give My Baby Karo Syrup? Answer: Not Effective
Honey and corn syrup may also contain spores of bacteria that cause botulism, a potentially fatal disease. Your baby’s intestines do not develop the defense mechanism our bodies have to fight these bacteria until after the age of one.
This is not the case for corn syrup in all foods. The corn syrup found in some foods and formulas is safe because it has been heated and cooked at the right temperature to kill any bacteria.
There are numerous treatments and products available to help relieve a child’s constipation.
If your baby is having trouble pooping, try putting them in a warm bath. That should relax their anus and surrounding muscles enough to help them go. You can also try to massage his or her tummy, or move their legs as if they are riding a bicycle. Try pushing their legs up to their chest as if they’re in a squatting position. This motion may help get things moving. If necessary, a glycerin suppository can be inserted into your baby’s rectum.
Constipation refers to the compactness of the stools and a delay or difficulty in defecation (pooping), not the frequency of the bowel movement. The consistency and frequency of stools varies from age to age and baby to baby. Newborns have several loose seed-like stools per day, especially if breastfed. Formula-fed babies tend to have darker and firmer stools.
Why it Happens
Once solid foods enter a baby’s diet, stools become more formed and less frequent. While one stool per day is preferable, some babies can go days without having one. Constipation is hardly a problem for children who have yet to start solid foods and particularly rare for breastfed babies; however, it can happen.
Newborn constipation occurs when your baby passes hard and dry stools. Signs of constipation include firm stools less than once per day; strain or difficulty passing stools; hard, pebble-like stools; grunting and turning red-faced while passing; streaks of blood on the outside of the stool; and abdominal discomfort.
Constipation occurs when too little water or poor muscle movement is present to help food digest, and nothing in Karo syrup will help turn this situation around. Normally, water and nutrients are absorbed, leaving the waste material to become stools. Enough water must remain to help soften the stool, and the lower intestinal and rectal muscles must contract and relax to move the stool along. When there is too little water or a disruption in the muscles, constipation occurs.
While babies should have one bowel movement a day, the main concern for constipation is the consistency. There should be no worry for constipation as long as your child’s stool is soft. In babies, it is the texture of the poop that is important, not the frequency. For toddlers, not having a bowel movement at least once during the period of a week would be constipation.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
New foods or milk can set off constipation. If your baby has started new foods, switched from breast milk to formula, switched from one formula to another, or switched from formula to milk, this could be the reason they are constipated. The cause of constipation can also be emotional. If your child is upset, their intestinal system can become upset, resulting in either diarrhea or constipation.
Be sure that your child is also getting enough water and/or fluids. Not drinking enough fluids is a subtle contributor to problems with constipation, especially in the very young.
Remember that it is the consistency of your baby’s bowel movements that is cause for concern, not the frequency. If you believe your child may be constipated, consult his or her pediatrician, and avoid using Karo syrup.