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.
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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.