My baby is clogged up (bowel movement)

Robin - posted on 01/09/2010 ( 40 moms have responded )

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My 5 month old son has problems with irregular bowel movements. He goes 3 or 4 days at a time without having a movement. I know that babies do not go off every day but i am concerned about 3 to 4 days. I usually give him a Glycerine suppository to stimulate his movement because without it he would not go off. Anyone's child going through this as well? Any tips?

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Glad the prunes are working. I'm a pediatric nurse and it is NORMAL for FORMULA fed babies to go up to 5 days without a BM. We usually recommend tummy massage, moving babies legs like he's riding a bicycle, and rectal stimulation. Lubricate the end of a thermometer and insert it into his rectum. This stimulates the muscles and helps him have a BM. Juices are ok but you don't want to give too much. Also Karo Syrup can be used a couple times a day like someone else mentioned. Be careful about how much water you give to infants. It can cause electrolytes to get off balance and eventually cause seizures.

Diane - posted on 01/12/2010

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If he's breastfed then it's nothing to worry about but if he's on formula then I would definitly call the doctor. My babies have all been breastfed and my daughter and now my twins all would go 4 - 5 days with nothing and then they would have a day where they pooped 6 or 7 times and it wasn't hard or anything there's just a wide range of normal if they're breastfed. Constipation is a common and dangerous problem for formula fed babies though and you definitly want to get under control. Have you tried giving him baby prune juice or baby food fruits?

Blair - posted on 01/09/2010

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my son is 5 months old also. Every once in a while he will get backed up for a few days so I will put a tsp. of Kero Syrup in with his formula (just once) and that is what works for me.

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Brooke - posted on 01/17/2010

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my daughter was going longer than that the doctor said its nothing to worry about, if the baby is being breastfed it is quite common and he told me they can upto 10 days without bowel movement. as long as there still getting wet nappies and is happy its ok. i found once i put my daughter on formula she was still the same. this was when i was giving her S-26 i have now changed her to Karicare and she is regular now.

Lisa - posted on 01/17/2010

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my firast son did this and my GP said they tend to not be concerned as long as he goes around every 5 days and it's not hard- if it's still soft it's not constipation. If he's still having problems i was told to give 1 part orange juice to 5 parts coolled boiled water(they don't need much at all) and it'll all come out in a few hours-!

CARI - posted on 01/17/2010

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My five month old had the same problem and Karo syrup wasn't helping. I have been using a little bit of Muralax in two of his bottles and he is more regular now. This was suggested by a doctor also.

Andrea - posted on 01/17/2010

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You could try watering down a little apple or orange juice. I've been told orange works better. Maybe 10 mls orange or apple to 50-60 mls water.

Karyn - posted on 01/17/2010

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I've been giving Caitlyn some (cooled) boiled water with her food and also giving her some apple for 'dessert'. This seems to help her with the bowel movements and prevent constipation. She always went like clockwork every two days, but since we started solids she's been 3-5 days and looks like she's straining to get it out. She also enjoys getting her belly massaged.

Robin - posted on 01/17/2010

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Thank you Elizabeth. Your advice has been very helpful. I didn't know that formula fed babies can go up till 5 days without a BM. I have taken my son to the baby clinic and to the doctor and they never told me that it is ok to go till 5 days, so i am glad to hear this. I live in the caribbean so i do give him water because of the heat here, but i do not give him too much water. Thanks again :)

Alison - posted on 01/16/2010

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i am having the same problem with my son right now! we are overseas, and i think it's the change of formula. it's been up to 5 days at a time, and the prune juice usually gets things going. however, we have bought come "coloxyl" (sp?) syrup just in case.

Robin - posted on 01/15/2010

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The prunes are working...he is starting to go off a little more regularly.....thanks for all the advice everyone...i really apreciate it...

Carrie - posted on 01/13/2010

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try giving 3oz water and 3oz white grape juice. My son had that same problem and the juice seems to help.

Heather - posted on 01/13/2010

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I do not use the suppository but when I am concerned I put a teaspoon of Karo dark corn syrup in with one of his bottles. It works just like the suppository would. Much easier to administer to the baby. I would definitely discuss with the doctor though I don't believe 3-4 days is supposed to be normal without a BM.

Claire - posted on 01/13/2010

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My son is breast fed but due to his size, 11lb 4oz, at birth, and solely breast fed until 16 weeks, we started him on baby rice early! He wouldn't and still won't take a bottle! When I was breast feeding him, the longest he went without going was 6 days!!! Now he is on solids, he goes 2-3 times a day. I put a tablespoon of fresh orange juice in his porridge every day and this seems to do the trick. I would say that you probably shouldn't be using glycerin supps without medical intervention. He is more likely going because of the anal stimulation than the actual suppository. If he is on solids, adjust his diet?

Jessica - posted on 01/13/2010

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I stopped giving my son rice cereal and switched to mixed grain, works wonders! I also find that holding him on the potty will help him sooo much. i think it is just a natural feeling to go when you sit on the potty.

Shauna - posted on 01/13/2010

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Isabella had the same issue. The pediatrician on staff (not her normal dr) said it was normal for her to go up to a week without a bowel movement. The poor thing would get so bloated and MISERABLE! So rather than going with suppositories or things of that nature I opted for something a little less harsh and introduce prune juice into her diet. I do 1- 1 1/2 oz of prune juice to 5- 5 1/2 oz of warm water (I'll do a full 2 oz of prune juice if shes gone a few days without going). I do this once to twice a day and it helps keep her extremely regular. Its got to taste better than Kero Syrup!

Mel - posted on 01/12/2010

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Is your son generally in good spirits? If he's happy, I'd leave things as they are and be grateful that you don't have to deal with too many dirty nappies - he'd let you know if he had a problem.

is your baby breast or bottle fed? If he's breast fed they can go days and days without pooing and it is not even remotely a problem (it just means that they are extracting lots of the nutrients from the breast milk). If he's formula fed I don't have any experience...

That said I find that if I cycle my son's legs when he's a bit irritable & hasn't pooed for a few days it seems to help get things moving.

I certainly wouldn't be thinking about interfering with my child with anything like a thermometer!

Sabrina - posted on 01/12/2010

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i did dark caro syrup in my sons formula and thaqt helpes, you could try a little prune juice or just prunes. but only a LITTLE! It goes a loooong way. i did carrot juice and pear juice and that helps my son too. all gas drops help tp move things along.

Robin - posted on 01/12/2010

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Thanks everyone for the advice. I have started giving him baby food prunes on a regular now ( he was getting a different fruit or veggie every other day, but now i make sure to give him prunes in the morning and another in the evening. He eats half of the 1st food) I will wait to see if this has any effect on him.

Joelle - posted on 01/12/2010

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If things do not seem too improve, I was recomended Gripe Water. It helps with hiccups, but also with the little tummies. I know if my Son has it, hes farting like crazy pretty quickly after, and that alone seems too make a big difference. (he is prone too hiccups...)

Helen - posted on 01/11/2010

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My 5 month old baby girl was going 4 times a day until about a month ago, and now she is going every 3 or 4 days. I was concerned about the same thing until I seen in a baby magazine that breast feed baby's can go up to 10 days without a bowel movement, and that was quiet common.

Prudence - posted on 01/11/2010

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I was told by a midwife to give my baby a little bit of boiled (cooled) water before their feed just to loosen things up a bit. It worked with my son, it took about two to three weeks for regular movement each day.

Elissa - posted on 01/11/2010

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My baby boy is 5 months old and very regular. Since he was 1 month old, I have given him probiotics (Culturelle for kids). You can purchase it at Walgreens or probably any other drug store. It helps restore and keep the good bacteria in the stomach.It is dairy free, helps the digestive system, and helps strengthen kids natural defense system. And get this, it is ALL NATURAL, odorless, and dairy free. I have lots of friends with lots of children and it has really helped us have content, non fussy babies from the stomach aches they babies get. I give my little Jr. 1 packet a day in one of his bottles. He is happy as can be. Also, one of my friends had a baby with severe colic. She was in tears not knowing what to do with her. We learned about the probiotics and it has been awesome!! It is a natural product, so it may take a few days to notice a difference, but it is so worth it in the end. I hope this helps. Let me know if you try it out!!

Jessica - posted on 01/11/2010

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Robin my son has the same problem and the doctor recommended prune juice every day for 2 months. its been a month now and he is doing awesome now.

Lexie - posted on 01/11/2010

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From what I have read and what my Dr has told me, it's normal for babies to go a few days without a bowel movement but you shouldn't be concerned with how often they go, just the consistency. My little one did have trouble going for a while, we would give him either Karo Syrup or about an oz of baby juice or water. You could also try prunes to help him.

Jessamine - posted on 01/11/2010

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Quoting Robin :

My baby is clogged up (bowel movement)

My 5 month old son has problems with irregular bowel movements. He goes 3 or 4 days at a time without having a movement. I know that babies do not go off every day but i am concerned about 3 to 4 days. I usually give him a Glycerine suppository to stimulate his movement because without it he would not go off. Anyone's child going through this as well? Any tips?



If baby is breastfed exclusively,  it can be normal for them to go up to a week without a BM.  My daughter is breastfed and usually only has one bowel movement a week.  I would be very careful with the suppositories, as they can become dependent on them to have BM.  I would talk to your baby's doctor about suggestions they may have.  I don't get worried unless it has been over one week.  Fewer bowel movements generally means they are using the milk more efficiently.  Unless he is upset or straining, I would not be too concerned.  A more natural remedy is to offer your little one some apple juice ( a few ounces) once a day.

Katie - posted on 01/11/2010

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my nephew had this same problem really bad and his pediatrican recommended giving him miralax..just a teaspoon in his milk..it was a godsend..and it worked excellent..i would recommend this to anyone!

Paula - posted on 01/11/2010

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my son is 4 months old and gets blocked sometimes. try giving your son 1-2 tsp of prunes. it my take up to 24 hrs to take effect, but it should get him having regular movements.

Robin - posted on 01/10/2010

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Thanks Emily. @ Emma: he is not breastfed. He is now using Similac Sensitive because he has a lactose allergy. I'll try waiting it out next time to see how it goes as long as he doesn't show any distress.

Ritika - posted on 01/10/2010

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another natural way is.. to wrap a wet cloth (towel maybe) around there stomach for about 15-20 mins. this helps a lot with bowel movement (constipation as well) and babies like it also in summers.
I wrap it around my 4 month old boy in summers everyday, it helps keep him cool as well.

Emma - posted on 01/10/2010

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Is he breastfed? Its considered 'normal' for breastfed babies to go anywhere from every 10 days to multiple times a day. My son goes every 2-3 days. A natural remedy you could try is a pinch of brown sugar in 20ml of cooled boiled water. That should help. But if the poo is soft and he doesn't seem distressed I wouldn't worry. Good luck

Emily - posted on 01/10/2010

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I don't think there's a need to worry. It's okay if babies don't poop every day. Some babies even go a week or more without pooping, and that is still okay. They just have way better metabolisms than us :)

Robin - posted on 01/10/2010

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Thanks for the advice everyone. @Emily, It is usually soft so i am not too worried that it is constipation, but i am worried that he is not going off. He would force and still nothing. You are right about the suppositories, i am worried that he gets too dependant on it. Thats why i am asking for advice :)

Jamie - posted on 01/10/2010

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my daughter had the same issue when she was younger, she would go 4 days then have a massive explosion! try putting a little karo syrup in his bottle, it helped my daughter a lot, it just loosens it up a little!

Emily - posted on 01/09/2010

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Is his poop soft, or hard little balls? If it's still soft, it's not really constipation, and I wouldn't worry about it. Be careful with using suppositories or laxatives.. if you use these too much, their bodies can become accustomed to it and then they can't poop without it. Try natural remedies like prune juice.

Chrissy - posted on 01/09/2010

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a helpful thing my parents told me about was to stick a thermometer in baby wash then stick it up the bum of your child and that really does make them poop

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