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How do I know how long to wait before taking my daughter to hospital due to no bowel movement?

My daughter who is 11 weeks old and breastfed only, keeps going 7, 10, 12+ days without having bowel movement and then she will have one big one. I have already contacted her pediatrician and have tried baths, karo syrup, juice, the thermometer, and formula bottles. NOTHING WORKS. I went through this with my first daughter and nothing worked for her either, she just eventually grew out of it. My main concern is, how am I supposed to know if this is normal for her OR if she is constipated??? She doesn't seemed bothered by it to much. Every once in a while she might seem like she is straining though. Or, do you have any suggestions on something that might help her have a BM? Thanks

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Asked by babygirls92 at 7:43 PM on Mar. 20, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (11)
  • It is totally normal, I wouldn't force the issue anymore. As long as her poop is soft when it does come out then there is nothing wrong with it.
    Breastmilk has so little waste that there isn't a whole lot to digest. FF babies poop more because there is more filler in formula.
    You rally shouldn't worry about it. She will poop when she is ready.
    All three of my kids did the same thing. When I started introducing cereal at 6 months they had poops more often.

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 7:50 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Our little guy was like that. We had to use suppositories for him.


    Answer by BlooBird at 7:59 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Being constipated means hard, pellet-like poops, not no poop. Like SleepingBeautee said, breastmilk has very little waste. My breastfed daughter poops only once or twice a week. She's fine. I would leave it alone & stop giving the syrup and sticking things up her behind.

    Answer by Wheepingchree at 8:00 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Both of my children were breastfed and both went thru this....tho it was not constipation. Sometimes breastfed babies have very little waste left from the mother's milk. They use every bit of it, and that's a good thing. Please don't take her to the hospital for a non emergency issue. This only clogs ER's and makes a longer wait for people with real emergencies.


    Answer by Anonymous at 8:00 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Normal for an EBF baby, as long as when she DOES go, it's not dry, hard or pellet like. I believe the record in the Breastfeeding Moms group is 20 days. My son was every 8 or 9 days. DO NOTHING as long as the stool is soft. No juice, no suppositories, no Karo (eveh their website states NOT to use it for infants, as it carries a slight risk of botulism poisioning, similar to honey in infants), especially no formula, because the iron can actually cause constipation, and upset her system as she is not used to it. Rest easy mama, this is normal, and less yucky diapers for you.  If her stool is NOT soft, and is indeed dry, hard pellets, THEN it's cause for concern.  If that is the case, let me know, and I can try to steer you in the direction of good advice.


    Answer by Krysta622 at 8:48 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Your baby is normal! Breastmilk has very little waste, so breastfed babies often go more than a week without a bowel movement (then there is the big explosion!).

    Answer by rkoloms at 9:23 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • The worst thing you can do to try to make her poop is give her formula - breastmilk is a natural laxative, formula has a tendency to constipate. One thing that helped me if my babies were "constipated" - I ate extra foods that helped ME poop, which in turn went to them through my milk. It always worked the best! Cut back on foods that constipate you and up foods that help you go - more fiber, fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc, less salt, sugar, simple carbs, etc.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:33 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • if she is still eating, then she is fine. i wouldn't do any more karo syrup, juice or formula. just keep on breastfeeding. iron added to formula can constipate a baby. eat well yourself and pass on the good food she was meant to receive :)

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 10:30 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • From Is my breastfed baby constipated?

    "It is also normal for a breastfed baby older than six weeks to have only one bowel movement every few days. Some healthy babies will have only one bowel movement a week. When bowel movements are less frequent, they should be more profuse in volume. As long as the baby is gaining well, wetting sufficiently, and is happy and content there is no cause to be alarmed by infrequent bowel movements, and it is not necessary to give the baby a laxative, fruit juice, or any other "helpers." In fact, attempting to force bowel movements can have harmful consequences to your baby."


    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 10:40 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Don't give her anything other than breastmilk. It's a natural laxative. Not pooping is not the same as constipation for a breastfed baby. This is completely normal, since breastmilk has little waste. Make sure the poop is soft, not hard pellets, and that's it.

    Answer by asaffell at 10:49 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

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