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newborn constipation

Rebecca - posted on 01/20/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 6 weeks old and has been conspitated for 7 days. My baby has been breastfed since she was born without substitutes. this is very uncommon! I have tried everything from Karo syrup and water, to mineral oil and water and nothing has worked for her. We have been to the doctor several times and to them this is normal. But, I think that a breastfed baby should go poop at least 1-2 times a day. NOT every two wks.

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Jaime - posted on 01/22/2010

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First, constipation is labeled based on the consistency of the poop. If when she passes a stool, it's hard, then she was constipated. If it's soft, she was not constipated.

It's very normal to go days, even more than a week between poops. Their poops and schedules change as they get older. Most breastfed babies will go days without pooping because breastmilk is very nutrient rich and gets absorbed and there is not much left over to poop out. Formula fed babies also can go days. Her fussiness is just due to the fact that her intestines are not mature yet. Just like how she can't control any of her movements, it's hard for her intestines and it's hard for her to control her anus to allow gas to pass and such. As long as she is eating normally and not spitting up large amounts, she is fine. It's not wise to give babies juices as their little immature intestines can't handle it and it could just make it worse.

There are other theories behind newborn fussiness, too, though. "The Happiest Baby on the Block" by Dr. Karp is a great book and the techniques given to help quiet baby has helped my family immensly. I was thinking my 6 week old was colicky; my mom kept insisting she was constipated. I put the techniques to work and she was "cured" (I was able to quiet her during her fussy periods). And after nearly a week, she finally pooped a soft stool which proved she was not constipated.

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I had this issue with my third child, although it was from formula with iron as opposed to breastmilk. He ended up straining so hard even when I pushed his legs back for him and everything that he screamed so hard it made me cry and he developed an infection in a gland on his bum. I had to take him to the doctor for an antibiotic cream--very expensive. He didn't stop having these problems until I gave him some watered down juice when I thought he had gone too long without pooping.
Now I have a one month old--my fourth--and when he went for a couple days without pooping I gave him some watered down juice and he went just fine. I only had to do that a couple times and he started going regularly on his own again....he hasn't had a problem since. The doctor doesn't always know best...use your own judgment as long as it's not something that's really gonna hurt your child. A little juice every now and then will not hurt.

Jaime - posted on 01/22/2010

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And you shouldn't give baby water. Too much could mess with the pH levels of their blood.

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Amanda - posted on 03/23/2016

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I have relieved my baby from constipation by putting him on babies magic tea. This cure is natural and contains no preservatives in it.

Chelsea - posted on 01/31/2010

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My daughter was breastfed for the first 5 weeks with no substitutes and she never had a problem with constipation. Have you changed anything in your diet? The reason I ask is because the milk is coming directly from you so if you changed something then that could affect your baby.

Amanda - posted on 01/29/2010

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I had to get help from a friend who is one of my professor's for my newborn about his constipation. She exclusively breastfeeds too and had to deal with constipation. Anything more than four days you need to pay your doctor a visit. I've been having some problems with my newborn as well, but we give him one bottle of formula a night so I can pump, the rest of the time he nurses. Please don't do water or juice at such a young age. It's really not healthy for her and can cause problems. You can try a dot, like a teaspoon of Karo syrup in a bottle, try formula first so you don't waste pumped milk in case she doesn't like it. My son will not touch the stuff. He's 8 weeks and we tried a bottle and he spit it all up immediately. Also, look at what you're eating. The pediatrician gave me some tips on what foods to avoid so he's not gassy and making him constipated.

Rebecca - posted on 01/28/2010

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As several previous posters noted, constipation has to do with the consistency not the frequency of their movements. As long as the poop is soft when it shows up, there's nothing to worry about. Breast milk babies can go as long as 14 days between poops if they have an efficient gut. My son habitually went 7-12 days between pooping before we started him on solids at 6 months. I worried a lot until I did some research and found out it was totally normal. Every baby is different and some are just really efficient in processing the nutrients in your milk. The grunting and straining is also normal and is not related to the pooping. As long as the poop is soft, your baby is ok (if it's hard, like little rabbit pellets, that's constipation) Count yourself as lucky - less poopy diapers to change!

Maggie - posted on 01/28/2010

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i asked my sons nurse today about this and she said it is normal for a breastfed only baby to go 5-6 days with a poo as long as they have plenty of wet nappies

Melissa - posted on 01/27/2010

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one thing that helps my son with taking his temperature with a rectal thermometer...I know it sounds funny but it does work...

Maria - posted on 01/27/2010

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My daughter is 7 weeks old and she's going through the same thing. She's also been breastfed since day one and the doctor's also told me this is normal. Personally... I don't agree but what do you do? We've done the karo syrup and we eneded up having to give her Glycerin Suppository laxative from Wal-mart. We've given this to her everyday and its the only thing that will make her poop. It's defiantly frustrating and makes me wonder if something is wrong with her. If you hear of anything else that works let me know!

Laura Renae - posted on 01/27/2010

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Hello Rebecca!

My son is also breastfed and he is also 6 weeks old. I have 3 other children, and it is okay for your baby not to poop all the time. Breastmilk is different than formula and babies bodies react a lot better to breastmilk. I have breastfed all 4 children so far. Although with the first 3 I had to stop for one reason or another. Anyway my friends mom used to give my oldest daughter karo syrup but not until she was a few months old. An ounce of water usually worked just fine. But that is only if the baby is actually constipated. Babies grunt and make noises all the time. It does not always indicate that they need to poop or are having trouble pooping. It could just be gas as well. My son doesn't poop all the time either, and his doctor says that it is fine because of the fact that I am breastfeeding. What you eat does affect the baby, remember that! Hope this is helpful.

Cara - posted on 01/26/2010

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My now 7 week old had problems with pooping when she was 2-3 weeks old. We gave her sugar water. That worked but only when we gave her sugar water. The Dr suggest Soy formula. It didn't make that much of a difference so he said to give her a little water. I've always given my kids some water, especially the two who were born during the summer. I see it as babies are humans too and we drink water...so its up to you. I just started her on whole wheat rice cereal to keep her going. Some evenings I'll give her some baby prunes. She's going like a champ now!

Jennifer - posted on 01/26/2010

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My 7 week old son was pooing up to 4 times a day now he goes only once but he is constantly straining and grunting and groaning. I have tried gripe water and regular water. When he does poop it isn't hard, it is soft, kind of like clay. Is this normal? He seems so uncomforatble.

Stevie - posted on 01/25/2010

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My daughter went 20 hours without a poop. I know nothing to worry about in healthy babies but our daughter had 20 inches of her intestines removed when she was a day old. Our doctor used a cotton swab with vaseline in her rectum to get her to poop. However, he did suggest glycerin suppository if she does get backed up again. Its not a Rx but is behind the counter at our Target Pharmacy. Also, prune juice or a to use the thermometer or a cotton swab. Good Luck. I hope your little one poops!

Amanda - posted on 01/24/2010

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p.s with the thermometer you have to do it until they poop it took about 3 mins for him to poop but it helps and they wont be so fussy

Amanda - posted on 01/24/2010

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i agree babies should be pooping atleast 1-2 times a day my son had the same issue wen he was 2 weeks old we gave him prune juice and watered it down a bit, only give an ounce of juice and 2 once of water, another thing that WILL make her poop wtthout a question is if u stick a thermometer in her butt, it stimulates it helpling them to poop, u move it it circular motions, just the tip, until they poop and it does work my mom showed me how and he pooped alot so if nothing else is working the thermometer with Vaseline is the only way to go i promise : ) good luck

Kylie - posted on 01/23/2010

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my 6 wk old is breastfed and she wasnt constipated but she did suffer a lot from wind, i asked family and friends and they told me to get Brauer colic relief, after tryin this she has no trouble gettin her wind out and she has even started #2s on a daily basis, i was concerned bout using the colic relief but the ingredients r natural and it really did help. G/L, i hope this works out for u shortly

Noo - posted on 01/23/2010

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my midwife says an exclusively breastfed baby can't get constipated. sme babies poop all day, some one a week or 2 weeks. i know how you feel though - it freaks me out too. have some papaya - that worked for us!

Jamie - posted on 01/22/2010

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I am breast feeding as well and my doctor said to call her if he ever goes 3 days without pooping.

Katy - posted on 01/21/2010

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My sister breastfed her son and once he got to the seventh day her doctor suggested an infant suposutory (S/P) that always worked for him not the most ideal but better than giving him juice so young.

Nikki - posted on 01/21/2010

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Hi my daughter is 5 weeks old and is also suffering with constipation, she tends to go every 2 days but she can be very irritable and strains quite a lot! I was also worried but the health visitor told me to take her nappy off when she strains and to push her legs up to her chest and rotate to help her, also rub a bit of vaseline over her anus this really helped! I will keep my fingers crossed!!

Kristen - posted on 01/21/2010

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I don't see how the dr finds that normal... I just had my third child and am breastfeeding again with her.... She poops usually after ever feeding so many times a day.... You are right to be concerned about this... If I was you I would go to a different dr and have them check her over. Constipation is not something to play around with cuz it can cause problems or be a sign of a big problem... That is one thing that i watch closely with my kids because pyloric stenosis is common in my family. My dad and my cousin (who is a girl) had it. Pyloric stenosis is narrowing of the outlet of the stomach as a result of which food cannot pass from the stomach to the intestines normally. This leads to bloating, repeated vomiting and loss of acid from the body, failure to gain weight. It is seen in newborns and is common in boys. I don't want you to freak out but just make sure you get another opinion. I hope that nothing this serious is wrong with your little girl...

Jessica - posted on 01/21/2010

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My friends doctor had her try warm water up the bottom to loosen it up. also try the gerber apple juice. it works for my son.

Heather - posted on 01/20/2010

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What else have you tried? Changing your diet, prune juice, infant massage, gripe water. My son is on formula and only poops when I give him an oz. of prune juice. I just tried sugar water and it worked. Is she fussy? Mine is fussy so I'm willing to try anything. My doctor was also not that concerned.

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