Need help asap

Amanda - posted on 01/19/2010 ( 299 moms have responded )

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My sister stopped breastfeeding her 3 week old baby, they put her on enfamil formula and she started having a hard time pooping. They've switched to Nestle Goodstart but her poop was still kind of thick. They took her to the doctor and were told to use PMS Lactulose. I need to know if anyone else has used these or anything like them. Is it safe to give an infant a laxitive, especially when they can poop.

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[deleted account]

I am a pediatric nurse, and it's normal to have different bowel patterns after switching from breast milk to formula. Formula fed babies don't poop nearly as much as breast fed babies, and the poop isn't as loose and seedy. On formula it will be a semi-formed or pasty consistency and she may only go twice a day or sometimes skip a day without a BM when she is a little older. As long as the baby IS pooping and not straining to get hard pellets out, she is not constipated. Thick poop is OK. She shouldn't give a 3 week old anything other than formula / breastmilk, so I don't recommend adding juice or karo to his bottle at this age. The pediatrician is your best route for advice and if she isn't comfortable with giving the laxative he suggested, then she needs to talk to him again about her concerns - or get a second opinion. I don't personally think that lactulose is appropriate for a 3 week old, perhaps a glycerine suppository if absolutely necessary and baby is in pain or straining to have a BM. Doesn't sound like the baby is constipated, just has to get used to firmer stools!

[deleted account]

It was possible the formula has too much iron in it, that causes constipation in adults as well. Also a baby that switches from breast milk to formula will be digesting the formula differently so the bowel movements can become less frequent. Ask the doctor if it maybe the iron is the problem, if so switch to a low iron formula. Only use the laxative when the doctor reccomends it or all else fails.

Naomi - posted on 01/19/2010

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Someone replied using karol syrup. I used the clear karol syrup on my son when he was 2 weeks old. All you do is dip your finger in the jar and rub it on the inside of the cheeks of her mouth and give it like an hour and it should start working. Hope it helps.

Robin - posted on 01/19/2010

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No, never give a baby laxative, this is coming from a nurse. This only needs to be done ONLY IF the Doctor tells you to. Babies bowel patterns will change after switching, but will even out over time. If the baby starts to get too fussy for bowel movements have stopped, then consult a physician.
Breastmilk is not as thick and will pass easier than formula, so the first few weeks will take time.

Amanda - posted on 01/19/2010

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That don't suprise me that it would be hard. Try putting about 1/2 tsp of white kayro syrup in the formula that worked with my girls

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Jodi - posted on 01/22/2010

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Ladies, thank you for your input. The OP has a lot of responses to consider, and should now have sufficient responses to help her with her issues. I am now locking this thread.



Thank you

Jodi Adams

CoM Moderator

Carolyn - posted on 01/22/2010

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Our daughter was a premy baby and we had a lot of trouble with constipation (so bad, many visits to the hospital) I didn't breast feed either so they put us on the lactulose and we had no trouble it was good. She would be screaming in pain when constipated so it was much better.

Angela - posted on 01/22/2010

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both of my grandaughters have this problem. try using similac sensitive. don't use a laxative, we were told to use laxatives for my oldest granddaughter and it only made matters worse. she is two now and still has problems going to the bath room, a specialist told my daughter laxatives only makes it worse cause she can already go, it's just hard and the laxative makes her need to go but she cant get it out right away because of the hardness, so the stool just piles up and makes going harder and more painful. try the sensative kind, it seems to be working for my three week old granddaughter. good luck!

Avril - posted on 01/22/2010

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i have never used anything like that and my little had a hard time pooping its only her syestem getting use to new formula try not to change the formula again and give it another week or so and see if the pooping gets any better

Avril - posted on 01/22/2010

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i have never used anything like that and my little had a hard time pooping its only her syestem getting use to new formula try not to change the formula again and give it another week or so and see if the pooping gets any better

[deleted account]

I used Carnation Good start with all of my children. The Similac they started them on after nursing was hard on their systems and always clogged them up. The Good Start made a big difference after a week or so, but I did have to use the suppositories, cut in half, for the first few days to clear out the system. My pediatrician told me it was okay and would not harm my baby, but I cut them in half just to be safe, and it worked perfectly. Hope that helps!

Frances - posted on 01/22/2010

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no do NOT give a baby a laxitive at all for no reason. it is not safe for babies i have 4 kids from 8-3 when ever my babies was little i gave them baby apple prune juice

Paula - posted on 01/22/2010

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I don't know if this will help because it seems so long ago now that mine were so young and I breast feed and never used inf. form.milk, I only used a little pre boiled water or some gripe water (don't know what age you can start giving gripe water - but helps if little one is suffering with a tummy full of wind) just a little in between feeds, never used anything else to help them go. I would still follow advise from your doctor as they know what they can and can not give children of all ages, then go back if it is not sorted.

Valerie - posted on 01/22/2010

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Put a teaspoon of the brown karo corn syrup in her formula. This will soften the stool and make it easy to pass. I did this for my daughter when she had the same problem. works like a charm.

Laurie - posted on 01/22/2010

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Not sure how old the baby is now but there should be a timeframe that the baby can process the food. Some formulas have lots of iron and that makes the poop hard. I would try a little bit of water in a bottle a couple of times a day - maybe in between feedings - you have to give the baby a chance to figure out what he can manage and maybe not switch formulas so much??

Emilianna - posted on 01/22/2010

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My daughter has had issues pooping since she was born. At first my pediatrician had me give her glycerin suppositories. That worked a little. After that he recommended I give her milk of magnesia (just a quarter of a teaspoon) in with her formula. That works wonders!!! I have been giving her that up until now (she is 5 months). SInce I started her on vegetables she had had no issues pooping. I never thought I would be so excited about poop! Lol the funny things that excite you when your a new mom! Ohhh and btw, expect there to be 'blow outs' with the milk of magnesia cuz it softens up the stool and it just ALL comes out. Good luck!

Ashley - posted on 01/22/2010

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I wouldn't do the whole laxative thing. My baby had a hard time pooping when I stopped breastfeeding about a month after she was born and the doctor put her on a soy based formula for sensitive tummies. Its worked wonders. She is now 15 months old and is on soy milk but I even it out now with a little 2% milk every once in a while. I would ask the doctor about soy based formulas.

[deleted account]

I never gave my son laxitives when he had this problem. I was told by an older neighbor of mine to put a little bit of Karo syrup (white corn syrup) in their bottle. It kind of works like a natural laxitive in a babies system because it doesn't really digest.

Monique - posted on 01/22/2010

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The reason for that is because she was switched too soo to formula. Yea she was probably was ilergic to the regular formula.

Monique - posted on 01/22/2010

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The reason for that is because she was switched too soo to formula. Yea she was probably was ilergic to the regular formula.

Brenda - posted on 01/22/2010

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I had that problem with my first child. I eventually switched to good start. It may take a couple of days to get things going. I was also told to put a little Karosyrup in the bottle. This did help the chld go but didn't really prevent problem. I wouldn't give a infant a laxative. Stopping breastfeeding cold turkey could cause difficulty in pooping. Just hang in there.

[deleted account]

something else that may work - this is what my doctor told me to do with our girl cause she was constantly constipated on her formula. Take your finger - make sure to have short nails or wear a glove, put some petroleum jelly on the tip and massage the opening of the anus. If that still did not, you can take a thermometer, put some pet. jelly on it, and then just insert into the anus - just remember not to insert too far. He always said that just as far as the "silver" tip on the thermometer. Generally the massage worked for my girl. Or else I just "threatened" her that I would have to use the thermometer and she would go! LOL

Lisa - posted on 01/22/2010

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hi i'm a mom of 8 and out of the 8 i had to bottle -feed 1 baby b/c i was already pregnant w/ the next child, so i could'nt breast feed her. that is 1 major problem w/the bottle feeding was constipation w/baby. the peditrician at that time told me that w/each bottle of formula to add 1 tsp. of kaero syrup. that would help baby w/bowl movements. and it worked!! so that is advice i give to moms that plan on bottle feeding babies.

please try it-no matter how many mos. baby is-as long baby is on bottle w/formula use that kaero syrup. you can find it in any grocery store in the pancake syrup section or the baking section..hope this is plenty of help-let me know how baby does-keep me posted..

Tracie - posted on 01/22/2010

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I had a similar issue with my 7 year old son when he was born...I stopped nursing and then he had a hard time pooping with Enfamil formula with iron. I switched him to soy, and we added 1 tablespoon of Karro syrup to each bottle for a week to help him go. It worked! (these were instructions given to us by our pediatrician)

Tammy - posted on 01/22/2010

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Tell her to look into Good Start formula, I did some research when my daughter had to stop breast feeding. She has used it for all 3 of her children it is supposed to be the closest to breast milk and doesn't smell and all of her children have always been very healthy. I highly reccomend it. One of the things that people say is that the children don't get constipated.

[deleted account]

When my youngest was little he was having a hard time with formula and also a hard time pooping. Its not that they can't poop its that they are backed-up, so to speak, its hard for them to push and to get the poop out. At 3 weeks poop should be a little soft. It may be thick for a little while until the babygets use to the formula. I bought glycerin suppositories for children and used those. I bought 2 different ones, 1 was the store brand and 1 was Fleet Pedia-Lax (liquid) both of them worked great. It does take a few minutes for it to start taking effect. I didn't use much of the liquid before he started and the other 1 was sort of capsule form and I jsut held it in for a minute or 2 before he started. I hope that this helps you and your sister.

Marla - posted on 01/22/2010

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I agree with September that you should try what the doctor recommended. However I will say if nothing else try formula's with low or no iron my daughter couldn't take the change because she could not process the iron level change.

Kelly - posted on 01/22/2010

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I have always given my daughter babylax & it works almost instantly! This relaxes the muscles & allows the poop to come out easier!

Eleanor - posted on 01/22/2010

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I have used a laxitive before when I was switching my daughter to goodstart, but I used "little tummies" you can find it in any drug store!! I think if yu just give them a little bit then it wont hurt them...

Catherine - posted on 01/22/2010

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I had problems after I took my daughter off of breast milk. I used Soy-based Similac. It worked great for us. I think the poop issue is dehydration. That is what my doctor told me.

Linda - posted on 01/22/2010

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Have the babies iron checked,it sounds like to much iron,not all babies need iron,but practily all formula have extra iron.we had this problem with one of my grandsons,took him off the iron and he did fine......Have the dr do a blood test.Goodluck

Diane - posted on 01/22/2010

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I would not put a baby on laxatives if she can still have bowel movement. Laxatives can lower the iron and minerals levels in the body. Low levels of iron are extremely bad in an infant. Infants need iron to develop properly. Add some prune juice in the formula. Also trying giving her some water time to time. This should help.

Lucia - posted on 01/22/2010

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I belive when this happened to my now 5 yr old. Doctor said had to do with to much iron. And recommended to give 2 ounces of water. I would read directions on that 1st and maybe talk to some one else to make her feel asured that it's safe. Other dr's may recommend some other soulution. Good luck to her..

Rebecca - posted on 01/22/2010

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I would do as the doctor recommends. If you want to try another way ,which is safe for infants, i gave my kids a teaspoon of olive oil with some salt. Than rub their belly clockwise. After that, you could even boil some prunes until it looks like a tea and put about 2 ounces in their bottle. You will see results about a few minutes or so after.



If the juice is not sweet enough you could even add a bit of brown sugar.

[deleted account]

Always listen to the doctor, however, as a grandmother - I remember iron being an issue with formula. Iron (in the formula) can cause poopage issues. Apple juice added to the formula was how I use to correct poopage issues.

Christy - posted on 01/22/2010

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I would not give an infant PMS Lactulose. My daughter was always constipated. The only things that were safe and worked were the infant suppositories, 1 tablespoon of clear cornsyrup in 2 ounces of water - given every other bottle (milk,syrup & water, milk, syrup & water...), warm baths & massages, as she got older I would give her diluted prune juice. She did just fine. God bless your sister's baby...I hope she finds what works for her.

Amanda - posted on 01/22/2010

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Thank you all for the information, it was very helpful. We ended up using one dose of the lactulose and baby is back to pooping normally.

Kernecia - posted on 01/22/2010

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I had that same problem with my son, someone told me it was because enfamil is enriched with iron. I am from the caribbean and we strongly believe in giving children water to drink, I just increased the amount of water I gave him and he was fine. Please let me know how everything worked out!!

Kimberly - posted on 01/22/2010

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I would have a hard time giving my baby a laxative. I think I would opt for water or juice. You can get all kinds of baby juice or you can just water down regular unsweetened juice. I have found that different kids respond to different fruits. Some that worked for my kids were white grape, apple, prune, and mango.

Leigh - posted on 01/22/2010

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my lil boy is allways constipated but i just put a few drops of infocol in his bottle ..that helps alot

Sharlien - posted on 01/22/2010

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I had the same problem that u are having with the constipation my best suggestions is don't go freaking out... Usually when they get thick poop is when they are not get ting enough fluid in there body... So my suggestion is do not give them juice cause all it does is put sugar in there body. What is not good and I say this seriously DON'T give them water... What i did i added a little extra water to his formula for example when he was eating 3 oz of formula I would give him a little more than 3 oz about 3 to 4 times a day. That should help make it not so dry.. Which the dryness comes from him not getting enough Water so his body is takeing it all out of his poop.. Hope it helps

Mishel - posted on 01/22/2010

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I had the same thing happen when I switced my daughter @ about 3 weeks old...I tried all the sugar water, prune, pear & apple juices, karo syrup...all dr recommendations! The omly thing that wrkd almost immediately was inserting a rectal thermometer...she'll squirm & may cry, but hold it in for a minute or so (& make sure you have a diaper under her). As my friend Donna told me...she'll get her release & love you 4ever!! lol

Angela - posted on 01/22/2010

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This happened with my son as well. My Dr told me to try giving apple juice. THat worked perfectly. They say a baby can drink 1 0z per month of age daily. My son was 3 weeks as well and this worked really good. I am not one to give medicine to my kids unless last resort so I did this first. Also, Karo syrup is GREAT too! Add some of that to the bottles and that really gets things going through the baby in no time! Well, for my kids it did

Sara - posted on 01/22/2010

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I would not give an infant a laxative. The pediatrician would have some good alternatives. If the baby ever gets constipated, it's okay to put on a latex or polyurethane glove (if latex sensitive), lubricate the pinky finger with vaseline or diaper ointment, and gently insert into the rectum and stimulate the walls of the rectum (this is also done for adults, especially those who are para or quadriplegic).

Judy - posted on 01/22/2010

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Did said sister not like breast feeding? Did someone say something bad to her about breastfeeding? Did the Dr tell her to stop? I stopped bf my #2 daughter when she was 6 months. But 3 wks? Someone or something must have stopped her. I don't know anything about the other formula's. Good luck!

Fiona - posted on 01/22/2010

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It is normal for a baby's poop to change consistency when they start formula instead of breastmilk. My daughter had exactly the same problem. My Mum suggested that we put half a teaspoon of brown sugar in her bottle - it got her pooping within a few hours! We put it in her bottle twice a day for a couple of weeks until her body adjusted to the formula.

If you or your sister are worried about giving the baby laxatives I would say to seek a second opinion. I certainly wouldn't give my 3 week old baby laxatives!

Good luck :)

Laura Jill - posted on 01/22/2010

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Hi there, I have three kids and my youngest was on Lactulose for almost a year. She was taking other meds that made her constipated =( Poor monkey ! She never had any side effects from the Lactulose and it made a huge difference for her in being able to have a bowel movement without pain or straining. When your sisters babe is older, another thing that works really well for getting things moving (so to speak) is peaches - much easier to convince kids to eat than prunes and just as effective ! =D Hang in there, and things will work out - promise !

Alicia - posted on 01/22/2010

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i dont want to nag or anything but to stop BF after only 3 wks can really upset a babies tummy. Its a jolt to the system. Breast milk is always best thats why we have boobs in the first place even tho society thinks they are only to jolly some perverted guy. Try naturl ways to to adjust the babies system and just give it some time. If nothing changes in a week go back to the doctor

Ashley - posted on 01/22/2010

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My son get constipated alot and the Dr recomended that we use pear juice or a couple tsp of light karo syrup in water its not as harsh as a laxative or prune juice but it works wonderful.

Cat - posted on 01/22/2010

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When I switched my daughter to formula she had the same problem. Her poops looked like little rabbit turds. My doctor told me this happens a lot with formula fed kids and to try to give her 3 parts water and part prune juice. Just mix it in a bottle and give it to her through out the day a few times. Like right before she feeds or something. It cleared up in no time. I would seek a second opinion before i gave er anything like laxitive.

ReBecca - posted on 01/22/2010

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hi-I wouldn't give a laxative..my 4 month old had a similar problem and there was too much iron in the enfamil..especially cause I'm still taking my pre-natals with alot of iron in them. Tell your sis to get less iron formula..it will help!

Cheryl - posted on 01/22/2010

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My daughter had the same problem so my doctor just told me to use Enfamil low iron formula. Usually it is too much iron that causes the "pooping" problem. Once we switched to the lower iron formula she did just fine. She should check with her doctor first before switching. And often babies don't poop if they are using everything up they are taking in. Did the baby act uncomfortable constipated or just not poop?

JILL - posted on 01/22/2010

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Is the formula Cow's milk. You could try a soy based formula. the doctor probably gave you that thinking it is a short term problem but if it is not you need to find out why and press the doctor for more than just a drug solution. In the mean time you don;t want the baby miserable either.

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