Karo Syrup For Baby Constipation?

Posted on Jul 9 2009 - 1:11pm by Christine

Jen from Iowa in the United States wrote to us yesterday to ask if she could give her son Tyler (aged 6 1/2 months) Karo® to relieve his constipation.

This isn’t the first time we’ve been asked about Karo® as a remedy for baby constipation and we’ve had a few messages in the past asking why we don’t include it on our Baby Constipation page.

Well, despite the fact that Karo® syrup is widely recommended on the net as a solution for infant constipation  – even by some of the most reputable online pediatric sites – we really balk at the idea of offering this sugary syrup to our little ones, particularly when there are so many (healthier) options available!

Note: In areas where Karo® syrup isn’t readily available, Golden Syrup or brown sugar dissolved in water are often suggested instead, because they also stimulate movement in the intestines.

Perhaps there is a place for Karo® in younger infants who are exclusively breastfed or formula fed, but once babies have started solids, then you have the option of including stool-loosening foods in baby’s diet.

In Tyler’s case, the constipation may be caused by the combination of rice and banana, both of which can be quite binding. Another important factor to take into consideration when dealing with a constipated baby is the air temperature… these are the summer months for many of us and our babies may need to breastfeed more frequently. Formula fed babies who have started solids may, by the same token, require a little extra water to keep them properly hydrated and their stools soft (do remember, though, that you should always discuss concerns about your baby’s constipation with your doctor).

We suggested that Jen try offering Tyler one of the helpful foods listed on our constipation page – namely pears, peaches (or nectarines), apricots, plums or peas.

We are actually going through a similar situation at the moment with our youngest child, Joe, who is just starting solids. His great passion for banana has firmed up his stools beyond the usual ‘solidifying’ that we’d expect to see as his digestive system learns to cope with more than just breast milk. The problem has likely been compounded by our soaring summer temperatures, so he is now nursing more often and – for the past few days – has been enjoying pureed nectarine stirred into his mashed banana! This has really done the trick and he is pooping much more comfortably!

So – whilst some sources may suggest the use of Karo® – we’re sticking to our guns and still recommend that you help your little one by offering the appropriate fruits and veggies, which do not just solve the problem – but taste great, too!

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