As parents, we do a lot of guessing and assuming in caring for our babies until they learn to communicate reasonably well. Often it is by trial and error or by diagnosis through elimination that we treat our babies’ symptoms. We need to pay attention to small details in our baby’s routine to figure out if a certain inconsistency is causing some discomfort. Constipation is one problem that presents itself often in babies and can cause major uneasiness. The trick is to be able to catch the cause early because constipation in babies can be easily remedied.
We introduce prune juice for babies as a natural laxative that can help relieve constipation in infants.
What is Prune Juice
Juice extracted from dried plum is known as prune juice. It contains many complex sugars that cannot be effectively absorbed by our body. They remain in our small intestine and extract water from the lining of the intestinal wall. This combination of water and sugars then moves to the large intestine and softens the toughened stool, making it easy for the body to excrete.
Health Benefits of Prune Juice for Infants
Not only is it recommended by pediatricians for baby, but prune juice is also food with numerous health benefits for growing children. Prune juice contains trace minerals like iron, manganese, and potassium. It is also a rich source of dietary fibers and carbohydrates. Vitamins like B6, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin K, and vitamin C are also abundantly found in prunes. Being such a powerhouse of nutrients, prunes can aid in the following ways:
- Natural Laxative: The complex sugars in prune juice make it an ideal laxative for babies.
- Fights Cancer: As it is high in antioxidants, prune juice prevents the damage caused by free radicals from an early age, thereby helping the body to fight cancer cell growth.
- Blood Sugar Regulation: Prune juice can delay the onset of type 2 diabetes because the complex sugars in prunes prevent blood sugar from spiking easily. This helps babies and children regulate their blood sugar from an early age.
- Heart health: High levels of potassium in prune juice can help to stabilize blood pressure. This ensures heart health through your baby’s growing years.
- Prevention of Anemia: Iron is an essential mineral for healthy growth of babies. Prune juice is high in iron content and aids in the prevention of anemia. Deficiency of iron in babies leads to interrupted growth, listlessness, and fatigue in infants.
- Cholesterol regulation: Chlorogenic acids in prune juice can aid in regulating body cholesterol. This component helps in absorption of fat from food and reducing LDL levels in the body.
- Lustrous hair: Vitamins and minerals in prune juice help in blood circulation and maintenance of hair follicles, leading to shiny and healthy hair.
- Muscular Strength: Muscle and bone strength can be improved because of the presence of boron in prune juice.
- Elimination of Toxins: High fiber content of prunes assist in the production of more bile. This supports the elimination of toxins from the baby’s body.
Can Babies have Prune Juice for Constipation
Prune juice as a laxative for adults works like magic because of our well-developed digestive systems, and our ability to break down complex food. But can you give a baby prune juice? The answer is that babies can be given prune juice as a fix for constipation. It is judicious to consult with a pediatrician to understand the dosage and the frequency before actually proceeding to give your infant the juice.
At What Age Can Babies Have Prune Juice
Infants below the age of 6 months should not be given anything other than breast milk. All the nutrition required for a healthy infant is present in breast milk, and your infant will most likely not suffer from constipation at this age. Constipation in infants begins with the switch from breast milk to solids. Prune juice for infant constipation is recommended for babies over the age of 6 months. The sorbitol in prunes act as a bowel irritant and help relieve symptoms of constipation.
How Much Prune Juice Can Baby Have?
Be aware of how much prune juice to give for baby constipation. Doctors recommend no more than one ounce of undiluted and pure prune juice to infants. As babies grow older, they should consume nothing greater than 4 to 6 ounces of juice per day until constipation clears. Doctors endorse prune juice for infants at even one month of age only in case of severe constipation. Babies over 4 months of age can be given pureed prunes as a laxative. If your baby has begun solids, you can even give them small pieces of cut up prunes to eat.
It is prudent to give your baby whole and undiluted prune juice only until their symptoms ease out. Consuming excess of any juice can lead to diarrhea. Because of the complex sugars in prune that draw water, an excess of this juice can make your baby’s stool watery. If you choose to give your baby juice as regular food, make sure that it is well diluted or mixed with other juices. Feed your baby juice from a cup so that the liquid doesn’t pool in their mouth causing early dental problems.
Making Prune Juice At Home
You can make prune juice at home by soaking the prunes overnight and blending them with water or other juices. Another method is to boil before blending. Alternatively, you can buy organic prune juice for babies from the market to avoid using concentrates with high levels of preservatives.
Depending on the severity of constipation in your infant, prune juice may take time to relieve your child’s symptoms. Nevertheless, continue to give the baby the juice as advocated by your doctor until you see a difference. If you see no change in your baby’s condition, then take them to a doctor. Make sure to pick juices that are made from 100% natural prunes with no additives, preservatives, or added sugar. Prunes also make wonderful finger foods once your infant is used to solid food. Prunes taste great, and you can be sure your baby will enjoy them as much as adults do.