Adding Karo syrup, or dark corn syrup, to infant formula may help relieve constipation, a condition that occurs when too much water is removed from the stool inside the colon, making the stool dry and hard. Bottle-fed babies are more prone to constipation than breast-fed babies, according to Dr. Jeffrey W. Hull. Constipation is also more likely after switching from breast milk to formula, from formula to cow's milk and when introducing solid foods. Karo syrup helps by increasing the baby's sugar intake. This extra sugar passes through the colon and causes water retention, making stools softer, looser and easier to pass.
Prepare your baby's formula in a clean, sterile container per the package instructions. Adding Karo syrup directly to your baby's bottle may make it more difficult to mix properly.
Add approximately one teaspoon of Karo syrup for every four ounces of prepared formula. Use less or more depending on your baby's degree of constipation.
Heat the formula before adding it to your baby's bottle. Karo syrup may heat at a different rate than formula and increase your baby's risk of being burned. Check the mixture carefully for hot spots.
Fill your baby's bottle with the normal amount of formula he consumes at one feeding. Gently shake or mix the formula again before feeding to your baby.
Increase the amount of Karo Syrup if no improvement is seen within 24 hours. Dr. Jeffrey W. Hull recommends 2 tsp. per bottle.
Consult your baby's pediatrician if he does not respond to increased fluid intake and the addition of Karo syrup to his formula. Several medical conditions can cause or contribute to infant constipation, and a doctor must rule out these underlying disorders.
Things You'll Need
Sterile bowl or other container
The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that fewer than three bowel movements per week and/or stools that are large, hard, dry or difficult to pass are symptoms of constipation in infants. Dr. Alan Greene states that going as infrequently as every eight days may be normal for an infant, provided the stools are soft, the infant shows no signs of discomfort, and there are no other abdominal symptoms present.
According to 2010 information from MayoClinic.com, Karo syrup may no longer be a good remedy for infant constipation, as changes in the chemical structure of dark corn syrup may now make it ineffective at drawing fluid into the intestines.