My Baby Is Not Pooping, What to Do?

image001If your baby is not pooping as easily as they should, you may be one of the many parents who are anxious about watching their newborn suffering from constipation. This can leave you feeling helpless, but unfortunately, you just have to let nature take its course. However, there are a few things that can help your baby go through it or avoid experiencing difficulty in passing stools in the future.

Baby Not Pooping---Is It Constipation?

Babies move their bowels in different patterns – there is no such thing as a normal schedule or number of bowel movements for all babies. This means that what is normal for other babies may not be the same as your baby's bowel habits. Some babies pass stools after feeding, while others may move their bowels the next day. Different factors may affect the frequency of her bowel movements, such as the kind of food and drinks she takes, the amount of activity she does, and the rate she digests food and eliminates it. You will be able to tell what is the normal pattern of your baby as time passes and you get more practice as a parent.

You can tell if your baby is constipated if she passes stools less frequently than usual and is uncomfortable when she tries to move her bowels. She may have difficulty passing dry, hard stools when she is constipated. However, having watery stools is sometimes a sign of constipation when the fluid in the upper portion of the intestine slips past the hard stools blocking the large intestine.

How Often Should a Breastfed Baby Poop and What the Poop Looks Like?

A newborn baby usually passes out stools after every feeding during its first few weeks. The frequency and type of bowel movements may indicate if she is getting sufficient feedings.

A few days after her birth (meconium phase), your baby passes out dark green stools, about four to five times within three days. These tarry stools are normal, but as the baby receives more mature milk, she will be able to move her bowels two to five times a day for six weeks. It is normal to see some stools in the diaper every time it is changed during this period.

After the sixth week, some babies move their bowels less frequently. Do not worry if your child moves his bowels only once in a week. If her stools are not dry and hard she is not constipated. She may produce loose stools with the consistency of pea soup and curds like cottage cheese, and this just means that she is getting the right amount of foremilk (thin and watery milk with less fat) and hindmilk (richer in fat). Do not be concerned when her diaper overflows!

Click here to learn more about breastfed baby's poop. 

How Often Should a Formula-fed Baby Poop and What the Poop Looks Like?

The consistency of the stool of a baby that is formula-fed is firmer than that of a breast-fed baby, being similar to that of peanut butter. Consult your pediatrician if the baby's poop is much harder than this, because she could be constipated.

For babies younger than four months, avoid feeding them anything but breast milk or formula milk. Giving them water, electrolytes solution or juice at this age may deprive them of essential nutrients.

Remember that babies who are one to two months old may have several bowel movements per day, but sometimes they may also move their bowels less frequently. This is usually normal and you must not be too concerned unless her stools are hard and dry. Click here to learn more about formula-fed baby's poop. 

Note: Once your child begins eating solid foods between the sixth and eighth months, her stools will become firmer with a characteristic odor.

Baby Not Pooping---How to Treat It

Your baby may be constipated if she has difficulty passing out poop and if they are dry and hard. However, if your baby is not colicky, bloated or straining to move her bowels, less frequent bowel movements may mean that it is just her normal pattern. If several days pass and your baby is not pooping, start tracking her feeding patterns and take the following measures to encourage bowel movements:

1. Offer Her Extra Water

Formula-fed babies may need to take extra water daily because they may lack fluids, which is a common cause of constipation. If your baby is not drinking enough water, the water in her colon goes to the body and the stools become dry and hard. However, breastfed babies do not usually need extra water.

2. Consider Changing Her Formula

Ask your pediatrician about trying a different formula to help your child have softer stools every two or three days. At the age of three months, most babies have bowel movements daily or at least every other day.

3. Delay Solid Foods

Switching to solid foods can cause some babies to become constipated. Delaying solid foods will allow maturation of your baby's digestive system. When starting to introduce solid foods, it is best to choose foods that can help soften stools, such as pureed pears peaches, prunes and plums. Barley is also preferable to rice cereals.

4. Ease Stool Passage

Insert a glycerin suppository into the baby's rectum, then hold her buttocks together until dissolved. Alternatively, squirt some liquid glycerin using a dropper into her rectum if she is straining. These can be done once a day until her stools soften with diet. Liquid glycerin also helps heal rectal tears caused by straining, which causes fresh blood to appear in the diaper.

5. Consider Using Natural Laxatives

Aside from giving extra water to babies who are at least four months old, try giving prune juice diluted in water. Other natural laxatives include flax oil, which contains omega-3 fatty acids. Add a teaspoon of flax oil to just one bottle of milk once daily. Use one tablespoon daily for toddlers.

Watch a video for more remedies for baby not pooping:

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