How do you help a baby with extremely hard poop?

Kassie - posted on 01/18/2010 ( 207 moms have responded )

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My friends baby can't poop and is in a lot of pain when she tries to because of how hard the actual poop is

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Jennifer - posted on 01/18/2010

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My two year old showed signs of constipation as early as two weeks old. She was completely breast fed and so it wasn't a dietary thing per say. My nurse at my pediatrician's office suggested using a piece of soap about the same size as my pinkie to help lubricate her to help her pass. I am telling you, I have had to do things to help her pass her bowels that are disturbing-it reminds me a lot of giving birth when she gets really blocked up. When she was very young I would lay her on her back and rub her belly from the top left to the right and down, this mimics the direction your bowels relieve themselves. Then when she got to the point that she was pushing, I would hold her legs against her belly so she could bare down, if the poop would stick out from her anus and she couldn't get it further I would use olive oil or lube and rub it around the hole. as I did this I would gently push back the skin to force the poop to come out further and further. Then when she would get a big enough chunk I would see if I could pull on it at all. (I told you, disturbing). Usually if I could pull slowly and gently so I didn't break it off, I could help her pass it. If I couldn't I'd continue pushing lighty on the skin to make it move more and more out of her.
The entire time we'd be doing this she would be red faced and crying and baring down.
She's two and still has problems. The docter has her on Miralax every morning. If we go off of this she goes back to having problems with blockage and leakage. (Leakage is where there is an internal blockage and poop actually leaks out around the sides of it and comes out like dihairia.)
I've tried juices, and fenugreek and several other home remedies and found that she would have what I thought was really loose stools only to find out from the doctor later that she was actually having periods of leakage. By the time she would pass those blockages they'd be charcoal black and smell horrible because they sat in her bowels so long.
I hope your friends' baby isn't as bad as my daughter is. Try the juice or karo syrup, but if it continues tell her to see her doctor. (and don't make my mistake in thinking that after a constipation period that the loose stools that followed meant she was ok).

Yvette - posted on 01/24/2010

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1/2 a cap of miralax mixed well in water (depending on how old this baby is). I mix it in my sons morning glass of milk. Good Luck.

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Kate CP - posted on 01/24/2010

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I'm closing this thread because I believe the OP has gotten a fount of wonderful information already. Thank you ladies for all your help!



Kate Capehart

CoM Moderator

[deleted account]

Hi Kassie one reason that maybe happing is not all babies can with stand the full number of scopes of formula or the liqued pre-mixed. Tell her to use less scopes or add some water to formula and she will see a change.

Hayley - posted on 01/24/2010

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hi

i have a son who suffers from ibs witch is a bowl problum and he always has hard and painfull poo's there is a way of helpin them tht is recomended by doctors



rub there tummy in a half moon way clock wise and tht helps then pass it without alot of pain also now and then give ur baby a tee spoon of fresh orange juice that help



xx

Kelly - posted on 01/24/2010

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She can call the pediatrician to get a prescription for lactolose or miralax (stool softeners). In the meantime, glycerin suppositories (even for infants) is over the counter. She can also try to stimulate the poop shoot by taking her baby's temperature and circling the tip of the thermometer around the inside of the poop shoot. This helps the baby expand the poop shoot to pass larger, harder stools.

Molissa - posted on 01/24/2010

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i would use child size glycerine suppositories. Take about half of it and insert. Leave for as long as the baby will let you. Then diaper back up and wait. The glycerine will make the instestine slippery, and let it come out easier. My son had a really hard plug once and this was the only thing that helped. This was what my son's pediatrician recommended. Good luck.

Saffron - posted on 01/24/2010

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A tiny amount of brown sugar on the handle end of a spoon, about half the size of a pea, mixed into a bottle of 180 m of warm water will do the trick in 45 mins........

Anne - posted on 01/24/2010

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Hello Kassi, you can put some karo syrup about 1/2 tsp in juice or its milk and it should help it out.

Jessica - posted on 01/24/2010

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My son is having some digestive problems right now also. I would talk to your doctor before doing any home remedies. Our doctor said that hard stool can potentially be a sign of other problems or it can just be diet.

Jessica - posted on 01/24/2010

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My 3 year old has the same problem. Since he was weeks old he's had this. I've had to put gloves on and help him out, just like Jennifer N. was saying. Iv'e had the same stories with my son. It's really heart breaking when you see you kids go through something like that and you don't know why or how to help!! Anyways the doctor has him on a powder laxative that I mix in his drink at night. This past year he actually has been doing much better. Iv'e been giving him natural juices( they have less sugar too). Iv'e tried to change his diet too, the Dr. he goes to is trying to take the lax away a little at a time so his body won't get used to it. That way his body starts going on its own and it's been working!! Try more natural foods less preservatives and no hormones try different milk maybe lactose, I've noticed even on myself that juices with berries in it works really good (organic berry juice). Changing our diets to natural foods helped us out alot, even me cuz I had the same problem too.

Lynnette - posted on 01/24/2010

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Babies under 3 months need their physician to recommend help with this problem. Older babies can be helped by adding a teaspoon of DARK Karo syrup to each 4 ounces of formula. Formula-fed babies are more likely to have constipation than breastfed babies.

Having experienced this problem with my children, I found that using the dark Karo syrup, as recommended by their pediatrician, until their stools are soft, and then continuing it in one or two bottles per day, is a great GENTLE remedy for constipation. Guage when to back off on the dark Karo syrup by the consistency of the stools. When they become too loose, it's time to back off for a while. REMEMBER it's the SUGAR in the syrup that pulls fluid from the body into the bowels, that helps with the consistency of the stools.

Lauren - posted on 01/24/2010

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my health visitor recommended 1 teaspoon of prune juice to 3 ounces cooled boiled water once a day it worked really well

Jessica - posted on 01/23/2010

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apple juice if possible baby juice if regular dilute wit water

if baby is on baby food feed peas

you can use dark karo syrup but only a small amount

Lisa - posted on 01/23/2010

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My daughter was constipated for almost 18months due to heart surgery, We tried prune juice, pears the whole lot and nothing worked. We were put onto a laxitive but we not recommended to keep her on it for more than a few weeks. As this went on for so long we were eventually put onto coloxyl oral drops which is a stool softener as opposed to a laxitive. A laxitive relaxes the musles around the bowel to allow the stool to pass through (which over a period of time an cause the muscles to remain that way)where as coloxyl being a stool softener obsorbs extra water from the body and adds it to the poo. She was able to be on this product for a very long time with no ongoing problems, although I recommend ensuring the child drink lots of water - something my daughter now loves over most other drinks. We always kept her health nurse, her GP and her cardiologist informed and they were happy with her progress. It is a great product for around $10 a bottle only requiring a few drops added per bottle/drink 3 times a day. But I would recommend that you always check with your GP as not all products work the same for every person. She is now going on 4yrs old and we haven't used the product in over 12months ( although I still have one in the cupboard just in case). I do understand your friends heartache at feeling completely helpless, it isn't nice sitting there for hours on end with a crying child rubbing their back and tummy. Good luck.

Rebecca - posted on 01/23/2010

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too much iorn? my baby gets constipated when she gets too much Iorn and not enough vitamin c. you need c to use the iorn and if it is not balanced you can get constipation

Heidy - posted on 01/23/2010

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If you give him/her two teaspoons of virgen olive oil.. s/he will poop soft next time they go poop!!! I did it for my son. He got super constipated when he got off the breast last month..

Cristina - posted on 01/23/2010

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My son had the similar situation. We did try the Karo Syrup. He was too young to use the prune juice. I would have to use a rectal thermometer & vaseline. Of course this was the last resort. The baby could also be getting too much iron in his fromula. I would consult the pediatrician before changing to a low iron one. Also if there is a history with mom ,dad or grandparents & Lactose intolorance can be passed down to baby. We had to change to Lactose Free Fromula by Enfamil.

Hayley - posted on 01/23/2010

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you can give the baby coloxyl drops, purchased easily from the chemist.

otherwise if baby is old enough, buy Kiwicrush from the supermarket

Jennifer - posted on 01/23/2010

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Hey just for anyone who's child still has constipation problems, my son is 4 almost 5 and has been having problems since he was a couple weeks old. He would scream and cry, I felt soo bad. He even had times of blood in his stool. I tried everything and most of them didn't make a difference at all. He went to the doctor many times and after trying lots of different things, they put him on miralax. I was not comfortable giving him that everyday. I was concerned that he would become too reliant on it. Like I said, he is now 4, still has the issue but it's definately not as bad. It is getting better! He doesn't cry anymore at all. I think the issue I'm dealing with now is that he just holds it because of the pain that use to be associated with it. But, if I give him a half of a fiber one bar everyday or so, he goes with no problem at all. I really recommend them. They have 9 grams of fiber in them, they taste good and you can get many different kinds. I hope that is of some help to someone out there! They have sure helped my son.

Jennifer - posted on 01/23/2010

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My daughter used to have the same issue. I now give her 2 or 3 oz of prune juice everyday and it seems to regulate her.

Jennifer - posted on 01/23/2010

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My daughter used to have the same issue. I now give her 2 or 3 oz of prune juice everyday and it seems to regulate her.

Heather - posted on 01/23/2010

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My oldest son was a very constipated baby. The doc told us to get Qtips and Vaseline. swab the Qtip with vaseline and insert the Qtip into the Anus no more than in inch in. and gently swab it. It not only will lubricate as the baby passes the poop but it also will stimulate a bowel movement. I would be careful in giving juice on a daily basis. When you give a baby juice, they won't drink water when they get older. If you give juice make sure you water it down substantaily.

Kayla - posted on 01/23/2010

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i had the same problem with my baby girl when she first started on solids, i tried alot of things suggested by the doctor but what worked best for her was an extra serving of fruit a day, not sure if it will work for your lil one but good luck

Naomi - posted on 01/23/2010

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Hi Kassie,

My son hadd the same problem when he was younger. His pediatrician recommended that I give him Lactolose...it is a concentrated form of cornsyrup that really helped...the recommended dosage is based on age and weight. Any pharmacist can give it to you it si an over the counter remedy. It was also quite cheap compared to alot of other remedies out there, around $10.50 CDN. Hope this helps

Alyce - posted on 01/23/2010

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Also you can lie them on their back and bring their little legs up to their tummy.

Alyce - posted on 01/23/2010

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Have you tried giving the baby more juice? Or also putting Carico syrup in their bottle?

Linda - posted on 01/23/2010

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A old home remedy my grandmother taught me was put 2 tablespoons of Karo dark syrup in the baby's bottle. Works like a charm. if this is a chronic issue, your friend might just want to start putting 1Tblsp in each bottle of formula.

Karen - posted on 01/23/2010

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Hi Kassie, Whenever my little one is noticeably straining I massage her tail bone in a down ward motion firmly but not rough. It calms her down and helps the process. I also found that if I do the same to her tummy under her belly button it helps too, but not as hard as the back and in circles.

Maria - posted on 01/23/2010

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I suggest increasing her fluids quite a bit and adding a little prune juice to her bottle. A little goes a long way. Also massaging her tummy in a circular motion (clockwise) helps to keep things moving along. Good luck!

Jenell - posted on 01/23/2010

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Is your baby drinking cow's milk? If so its best to get the baby off of it. Our wonderful creator created us and the animals. He knew that cow's milk was made for their babies and not ours. Mother's milk or soy milk is the best for our babies. My daughter had stool so hard as a brick that I had to get an instrument and pick her bowels just to loosen them so she could pass the hard stool. Animal milk was never intended for human beings. If we were to give a calf human milk that calf would not develop and eventually die. Neither can we give a cat cows milk that kitten would not develop and possibly die. If breast milk is not available try the soy milk and a little karo syrup will surely help your baby.

Kimberly - posted on 01/23/2010

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My daughter has the same problem on occasions. The doctor told me to give her prune juice and lots of water. It works wonders and relieves the pain.

Jeni - posted on 01/23/2010

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a teaspoon of brown sugar in 20 mils of water acts will relieve the constipation straight away. It will give her a very runny poo just once. My Dr told me to do this and it works every time.

Keisha - posted on 01/23/2010

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Hello Kassie i would say castor oil or lots of water thats what i gave my baby when she was getting trouble to poop.

Tonge - posted on 01/23/2010

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try giving him lots of water, if you can, or any kind of juice, try giving him warm water and maybe try a warm bath with some lavendar in it, it could relax him and might help if all the other suggestions below don't work. Make sure you take a note of when he last went to no.2 as you may need to bring him to the doc, if things get backed up down there he could get a sore tummy

Heather - posted on 01/23/2010

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My 2 youngest children had the same problem and they were getting too much iron. I was also told that you can try kyro syrup to help loosen things up.

Marie - posted on 01/23/2010

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My friend has a baby that had the same problem, we found out that any fruit that starts with the letter "P" is good for that, also try giving her a bottle/cup of molassas milk everyday, about 4-6 oz. Another thing that's good for constipation is graham crackers. So I hope this was helpful, good luck!

Kristiana - posted on 01/23/2010

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She needs to offer water to her baby during food feedings. It'll help with the constipation.

Wendy - posted on 01/23/2010

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Stay away from Orange Veggies, French Fries, white bread or pasta,Cheese, Bananas and Rice Cereal (I did oatmeal or muesli)

Good things: Prunes--you just can't have too many! :)Pear juice instead of apple juice Also apricots, peaches, pears, peas and beans and whole wheat..

Add more liquids--an extra bottle of water or diluted juice each day

**Karo syrup can cause infant botulism--it is NOT recommended for infants**

Apply a small amount of water-based lubricant to your baby's anus to ease stool passage.

Do not rely on enemas--my little guy didn't have a BM on his own for a LONG time after our doctor recommended these--it's like his body forgot how and became dependant on them---bad bad bad!

***Soy products for boys--I would also avoid....

Exercise--bicycle motion w/ their legs...get them moving! :)

Hope this helps...

~Wendy

Lena - posted on 01/23/2010

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My son had this problem when he was young, so I started to feed him prunes from the baby food jars. Works like a charm.

Theresa - posted on 01/23/2010

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My oldest son had a problem with regular formula when he was a baby, but no one told me about Soy Formula, so he eventually grew out of it. However, when my next son was born, I started him on Soy Formula and he had no problems whatsoever. Talk to you pediatrician.

Lisa - posted on 01/23/2010

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My daughter's pediatrician gave me prescription MIRALAX. It is a powder with no flavor so you can mix it in anuthing the baby eats or drinks. They sell it over the counter as well. And you mix 8.5 grams into whatever your giving the baby once a day for 10-14 days then as needed.

Caroline - posted on 01/23/2010

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Sometimes formula can make the poop hard. When my girls were babies, I was told to give them prune juice. Works like a charm to soften it up. Not fun to clean when it is in the spit up, however.

Mandy - posted on 01/23/2010

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My oldest daughter was born with a dysfunctional bowel. She is 13 now, and still has problems, but is able to express the pain/discomfort. When she was 6 months old, we had her into specialists and doctors, thinking she had Cystic Fibrosis, amongst other things!

What we ended up having to do, was, give her Milk of Magnesia, 1tbsp in her bottle, morning and night. Castor oil, although great for lubricating the intestinal wall, will not soften the fecal matter, but will help with evacuation. Prune juice that is diluted, as suggested earlier, also may work well for the little one, but, it can be upsetting to the GI tract, depending on the age. Absolutely increase the amount of water the child is taking in, and use filtered or bottled water, if at all possible, as the quality of tap water varies in each area, and the less the intestinal tract has to deal with, the better.

How old is the child? I would definitely make a call to the pediatrician to see what they recommend, but this is a common problem with infants, due to the amount of iron and other minerals that are in formula and other foods. Mom will need to talk with doc about the length of time this has been going on, the size and texture of the fecal matter, the food and drink intake, and if there is rectal bleeding or tearing with evacuation. This is a common issue and can be resolved easily and quickly, if handled appropriately....and, it may take a combination of remedies before it corrects itself. But, as a nurse, I highly recommend that you be very wary of anything that is a harsh laxative or chemical-laden, and as a mother, I feel the pain and just wanted those blood-curdling screams to end!

Good luck!

Julie - posted on 01/23/2010

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My doctor reccommended Karo syrup. I can't remember how much you put in the bottle but you mix it with warm water and it really does help. Any time my son was constipated or had hard poop we'd just give him that and it would get the bowels moving.

Gabrielle - posted on 01/23/2010

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hi Kassie, I had same problem with my daughter as a baby and orange juice along with a warm bath worked for me.

Joan - posted on 01/23/2010

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To add to what Jennifer said...my daughter (who is 26 now) had the same problem and yes, I had to do the same disgusting things (poor babies). But I want you to know that our daughter has had problems her whole life...often even misdiagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, and such. She most recently had to have surgery to seal a fissure in her rectum. The specialist things it occurred long ago and had been suffering with stomach aches and bleeding from the rectum after bowel movements.

For those of you who have children who have this issue as an infant, don't let it continue on...get help and don't settle for just a doctor telling you to use suppositories over and over.

Emily - posted on 01/23/2010

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My oldest had that same problem, turned out that it was the milk formula he was on. I tried different formulas, but none of them helped. I had to put him on cows milk and the problem lessened greatly. Prune juice also helped. He's now grown up, but has always had harder stools, even though he eats a lot of fuits and veggies.

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