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Is he constipated?

Posted by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 12:39 PM
  • 6 Replies

My little guy is 3 months old and he is EBF. He hasn't pooped in 3 days and keeps trying to push. His toots smell really bad too. Lots of pee diapers but no poops.

Is this normal for a breastfed baby or is this constipation? If it is constipation, what can I do about it? 

by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 12:39 PM
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Replies (1-6):
Honeybun09
by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 12:43 PM

It's not true constipation unless it comes out in hard little pebbles.


~Honeybun09: Babies Mod~Have a baby? Come join the Babies group today!

sissychristi
by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Is it normal for them to go 3 days between poops then? He keeps pushing until he is red in the face and nothing happens.

Quoting Honeybun09:

It's not true constipation unless it comes out in hard little pebbles.


Honeybun09
by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 12:49 PM

I've heard BF babies can go up to a week without a BM. My daughter went two weeks without a BM. They said it was normal but because it had been so long, we needed to give her suppositories to get her to go otherwise to the ER to get it manually removed since there was a lot of impact LOL.

Quoting sissychristi:

Is it normal for them to go 3 days between poops then? He keeps pushing until he is red in the face and nothing happens.

Quoting Honeybun09:

It's not true constipation unless it comes out in hard little pebbles.




~Honeybun09: Babies Mod~Have a baby? Come join the Babies group today!

KYLIEAARONMOMMY
by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 12:49 PM

 

Is my breastfed baby constipated? Does he need a laxative? He is three months old and has bowel movements only every three days.

While the amount and frequency of a breastfed baby's wet diapers and bowel movements can be a valuable indicator of his well-being, there is a wide range of normal in infant stooling patterns.

The First Few Days of Life

In the first two or three days of life, it would be typical for a baby to wet only one or two diapers per day. As the mother's milk increases, his urine output will increase markedly. Newborns in the first few days after birth will pass dark, tarry stools called meconium, the substance he has stored since before birth. As the baby receives milk, it clears the meconium out of the intestinal tract, so that within a few days the stools will become softer and much lighter in color. The stools are normally yellow, yellow-green or tan. It's not abnormal for an occasional stool to be green. The odor should be mild, and not particularly unpleasant. The consistency may be described as being similar to scrambled eggs, custard, pea soup, or even prepared mustard. There are often small, seedy-looking solid particles in the stool.

The First Six Weeks

Most babies, after the first few days, have two to five bowel movements every 24 hours, until they are about six weeks old. The stools should be as large as a US quarter to "count" in this number. Some babies will have more frequent bowel movements, and it is possible for a healthy baby to have fewer bowel movements. If a baby younger than six weeks has fewer than two bowel movements a day, that can still be a variation of normal provided that the baby has an adequate number of wet diapers, is known to be gaining weight at an adequate rate, and the stools produced are substantial in volume.

After the first few days, a breastfed baby should have at least six to eight wet cloth diapers, or five to six disposables, in 24 hours. To gauge the wetness, pour 2-4 tablespoons (30-60 ml) of water on a dry diaper. This is how the normally wet diaper of a young baby feels. It is easier to judge wetness in cloth diapers. If you are using disposables, know that there is a wide variation in brands and types. One brand may not "feel wet" while another may feel soaked with the same amount of fluid. It may be helpful to place a facial tissue inside the diaper to help judge wetness.

After Six Weeks

It is normal for the bowel movements of a breastfed to decrease in frequency when the colostrum, which has laxative properties, is completely gone from the mother's milk after about six weeks of age. A baby this age may continue to have bowel movements as frequently as five times a day, sometimes even after every nursing. 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.

After the baby is about six weeks old, he may wet only five to six cloth diapers per day, but if so these diapers will be much wetter. As the baby's bladder grows, he can produce and hold more urine at a time. To judge wetness of a diaper for an older baby, pour 8 tablespoons (120 ml) onto a dry diaper. That would be considered a normally wet diaper.

After Solid Foods

Once solid foods or other liquids are introduced to your breastfed baby, there will be many changes in his elimination patterns. The stools will have a stronger odor and different color and consistency. It is normal to find bits of vegetables in the diaper, as even cooked vegetables are harder to digest than many other foods. Now it is indeed possible for your baby to experience constipation and even diarrhea, which are good clues that he is not tolerating a new food or juice.

sissychristi
by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Oh good. I was concerned because he has been straining and pushing for 2 days now and nothing happens. Plus his toots smell horrible so I know there is poop in there. 

KYLIEAARONMOMMY
by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 12:58 PM

 

Symptoms of Constipated Baby

An infant is likely constipated when he has all three symptoms listed below (1):

  1. Hard, dry or pebbly stool
  2. Straining and crying at defecating. Straining alone is not a symptom of constipation.
  3. No stools for 2-3 days in formula fed and no stools in a week for breastfed babies. Until the stool is soft, having only one bowel movement a week does not automatically mean he is constipated.

Additional symptoms may include poor appetite, not gaining weight and bleeding from the anus.

Some infants may strain and scream for up to 20 minutes before passing fairly normal stools; the problem is in uncoordinated defecating muscles and usually resolves in a few weeks. The condition is called infant dyschezia (Greek dys = abnormal; chezo = defecate) (1).

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