Babies and Constipation

Dr. Greene, my 7-week-old son hasn’t pooped in three days. All he gets is breast milk. Is this normal? Is he constipated? I’ve heard both. If he is constipated, what should I do? Sometimes he acts like he’s about to poop, his face gets red and he strains, but nothing comes out. Otherwise he’s fine — including his nursing. Thanks in advance.

Babies and Constipation

Dr. Greene’s Answer:

As long as your son is in diapers, every single poop will be right there for you to see when the diaper is changed. During these years, the stools undergo several changes. The first poops are the thick, sticky, tarry meconium stools that consist partly of old skin cells that are shed and then swallowed while the baby is still inside you.

During the first week these give way, in breast-fed babies, to soft, yellow, breast-milk stools. These usually look like yellow mustard with little seeds.

How Often Should Babies Have a Dirty Diaper?

By the time a baby is one week old, he has an average of 8 to 10 of these pleasant (as stools go) stools each day.

You can imagine that if these were 8 to 10 stinky stools, or if even the pleasant (as stools go) stools kept up at this pace, changing diapers would get real old real fast.

For most breast-fed babies, the number drops to about 4 per day by 4 weeks old (although many kids have a different pattern).

Formula-fed babies usually stool less often at this age, and the stools do not change much with time until solid foods are introduced (because unlike breast milk, formula doesn’t change over time). Formula-fed stools are often tan or yellow at this stage, and a little firmer than breast-milk stools.

For any baby, tan, yellow, green, or brown stools can all be normal.

By 8 weeks old, the average drops to 1 per day. Most formula-fed babies will not go less often than daily, but many breast-fed kids will poop even less often than this. I know many babies who only go every three days.

If a happy formula-fed baby goes 4 days, or a breast-fed baby goes 7 days without a stool, I recommend that he or she be checked once by a pediatrician. If the child seems to be in pain, has vomiting, or has blood in the stool, he should be seen by the pediatrician immediately. Otherwise, it can be completely normal to go only once every eight days — as long as the stool is soft when it comes out. Breast milk is an amazing food that leaves very little in the way of waste.

Is Straining Normal for a Baby

Babies will strain from time to time to move the stool along through the intestines. If you want to do something when babies grunt, push, or strain, try picking them up to get gravity to help them in their efforts, or try holding the knees against the chest to help them “squat” — the natural poop position. Straining is usually normal. Crying while straining may be a sign of constipation.

Hard Stool: When to Contact Your Doctor

When a child is constipated, the stool in the intestines has backed up more than it should. What “more than it should” means varies depending on the age of the child and the diet. The longer stool sits in the colon, the more water is absorbed back into the body. When a child is constipated the stool tends to be hard, and passing it tends to be painful.

Stool that is hard (firmer than peanut butter) or foul smelling (you’ll know) in a child who has not yet had solid foods may represent something as simple as needing more to drink (especially during hot weather), but it may also be the sign of a disease. Contact your pediatrician to discuss the situation. If the baby is otherwise healthy, one teaspoon of pure maple syrup in 4 ounces of water will often get things back on track. Also, contact your pediatrician if the baby is less than a month old and hasn’t gone for 4 days. When kids begin to take baby food, the stools change once again. They may be either softer or firmer, but they will likely smell worse (kids also smile and laugh more at this age, more than making up for the unpleasantness). Most children’s intestines are very responsive to the foods they eat.

Babies and Constipation: Foods that Do, Foods that Don’t

Foods that tend to produce firmer stool:

  • Bananas
  • Rice cereal
  • Applesauce
  • Carrots and squash are constipating for some babies.

Foods that tend to produce softer stool:

  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Apricots
  • Peas
  • Prunes

By balancing the diet, you can often keep the stools comfortably mid-range. If the stools are still too firm, juice is the gentlest medicine to soften them up. Two ounces of apple juice twice a day is a good bet. If this doesn’t work, prune juice is even better. Also, when your son is straining you might want to put him in a tub of warm water. This will relax his muscles and make the stool easier to pass.

Babies and Constipation: When Diet Doesn’t Do the Trick

Glycerin suppositories can be very helpful if diet and juice don’t work, but constipation that is stubborn enough to make these optimal should be discussed with your pediatrician. The same holds true for baby laxatives (hint: if your pediatrician does recommend a laxative, unprocessed bran, 1/2 teaspoon mixed with food twice a day is much cheaper than Maltsupex, and about as effective).

For most breast-fed babies, a 3-day break from dirty diapers is a reason to celebrate, not a cause for alarm. It’s nature’s reminder that breast milk is the perfect food for babies — or more broadly, that giving of yourself is a perfect gift for your child. This normal poop-pause is also a little foretaste of what life will be like when there are no more dirty diapers!

 

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

  1. Laura

    I have a 4 month old. He is formula and breast fed. The reason for this is because I work; therfore, he is formula-fed during the day while at the babysitter and then breastfed when I get home from work. But where I’m getting is that he can go 4 days without a dirty diaper. Last time he has a dirty diaper his pooped was hard. Is that normal? What should I do? We did tried juice, but he had an allergic reaction so his pediatrician did no more juiced for him until further notice. And I don’t feel save using suppositories.

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  2. Sarah

    My son is 6 week old and hasn’t pooped since yesterday morning I tryed brown sugar and boiled water and not working he is doing his wet nappies and feeding he just can’t go stool and is trying his best I don’t know Wat else I can do I done d legs and rubbing on stomach still no joy

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  3. Bennie

    Breast Fed baby – Our daughter is 12 weeks old and over the last week we have seen her go from pooping 5 to 10 times a day to going a day or 2 between pooping. Her stool has also changed from a creamy to almost like soft peanut butter. Yesterday she started crying uncontrollable about 11am and did this off and on until 10pm last night. We have been giving gas drops and a probiotic since she was about 2 weeks old. Does not have colic. Does often have gas. We took her to the pediatrician today and they stimulated a bowel movement. My wife has not changed her diet or anything. The pediatrician recommended giving 3 oz of water a few times a day to help with the constipation. We also do the exercising the legs laying on the floor and rubbing the belly pretty frequently. It is just a little alarming because of the uncontrollable crying that started yesterday. She sleep fine like she normally does from 9pm to about 6 am, but my wife said she started the crying again this morning. Any suggestions?

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    • Bennie

      update – I called our regular pediatrician this morning and she recommended not giving water. The pediatrician we saw yesterday morning stimulated her and she had a stool. My wife gave her a pediatric glycerin suppository 1/2 dose and she went to the bathroom again yesterday afternoon. We thought this would provide some relief, but she was still fussy crying yesterday afternoon and crying uncontrollably last night. We put her in a warm bath and she didn’t cry, but after that she starting crying uncontrollably again until she nursed and then went to sleep. She slept fine during the night, but woke up this morning crying again.

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  4. Brittney

    My baby just turned 4 weeks old today and has gone anywhere between 6-9 days between poops. When we were in the hospital the first 2 days he pooped alot and it was the meconium stuff that you’d expect. Since bringing him home he has only pooped 3 times! Each time it has been the size of a dime or less and it’s red clay colored and the texture of play doh. The pediatrician finally took a look at him this week and insists that this is normal for an exclusive breast fed baby but is concerned because the baby has not gained any weight since his initial gaining back the birth weight the first week. We’ve been using gripe water for his gas but he has just gotten fussier and fussier and seems to be in pain and wanting to eat constantly. He has alot of wet diapers though which is why the pediatrician is saying the bowel movements are normal. What should I try to help my baby?

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  5. jen

    9 week old baby doing fine on formula but seems to get constipated sometimes. dr recommended 1 tsp karo syrup in bottle every 2-3. it seemed to be helping for awhile but last 2 days he is not very interested in feedings and isn’t eating as much as before. he used to suck down 4-6 oz now eats 3-4. after 2 oz he acts like he doesn’t want it. also been alittle more fussy. don’t know if it sounds like formula issue or what. confused and worried

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  6. dineo

    My baby is 8 weeks breastfeding and in the past weeks he have been bee and poop once or twice in a week but now he struggle a lot to poop. He is not cry but u can see him from his face. So what can I do to help him cause I feel lyk cryn on when I see him that way

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    • Dineo,

      Is your baby peeing a normal amount? I am not able to tell from your question. If he is not peeing, you need to see a doctor as he may be very dehydrated.

      At 8 weeks, some breastfed babies do not poop frequently. That can be okay, but it sounds like he is uncomfortable and may need help.

      Please respond with more details.

      I’m so sorry you are both going through this.

      @MsGreene

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  7. Charlie

    My baby is 1 month and 3 days old. She’s formula feed. Every night between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. she crying as if she is straining to fart or poop. She poops every 2-3 days but it is like clay. This has been happening since the first night in the hospital. Her Dr. says that is fine. Gave her Kayro syrup once and that was the best sleep she have had. How often can we give her Kayro syrup

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  8. Mrs Churchill

    My 2months old baby boy has always had a very healthy pooping since he was born,But I noticed that for the past one day he hadn’t pooped at all but he is eating really well and sleeping fine too..Am very worried and need some advice or help.

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  9. Yocheved24

    Hello, my baby is 8 weeks old and he didnt poop for 9 days already. He is breastfeeding, no fever, stomach is soft, no vomiting. He is ganing weight and pees very often. We tried everything: glycerin, gripe water, thermometer, prune juice -nothing helps. We have seen 3 pediatricians already who said that its fine, we just have to wait. However, all our relatives are very worried and pushing us to go to er and to do sanogram or xray. I am not excited to spend 9 hours in er with my baby, plus, bringing him under radiation… Please, advice me what to do. Should i really to be worried and run to er? Or should i wait few more days?

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    • Greetings,

      I can understand why your family would be concerned, but this can be perfectly fine. The important thing at this point is that he has been seen by a doctor. This on top of his gaining weight, feeding well, no fever, no vomiting, and a soft belly would not lead me to rush to the ER.

      Sounds to me like you’re doing the right thing and he has a very efficient digestive system.

      Best,
      @MsGreene
      Co-founder and Executive Producer, DrGreene.com (Note: I’m an experienced mom, but not a doctor.)

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  10. Danielle

    My son is 2 months old and is exclusively breastfeeding. Usually he has a bowel movement everyday about 2-3 times. The other night he had no poop, but then had a major one by 10 or 11. Last night the same thing, but all day no poop. He has been crying and clinging to me all day, I try to put him down and he just screams. The last couple feedings he ate but spit it back up almost immediately. What should I do?

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  11. Elissa

    My son is 8 months old and was also 6 weeks early. We started him on baby food at 6 months and he since then has only pooped every 4-5 days. 6 days being the longest stint. This concerns me because I don’t feel it is normal but at the same time he doesn’t seem to display any discomfort.

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    • Zenny

      We have the same problem with my daughter. I feel so worried. :(

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  12. Rachelle

    My 2 month old daughter hasn’t pooped for 2 days now. Is that normal or do I need to get her checked out???

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  13. lulu

    My daughter is one month old but at 3 weeks her pooping changed. She is a formula and breast-fed baby. She can go for like 3 to 4 days without pooping. I give her little water, but still no change and am kind of worried. Is there anything I can use?

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    • Shirley

      My son is formula and breastfed also and does the same thing. I’ve found that Mommys bliss helps him a lot when he goes a few days without pooping. By 5-6 hours after giving it to him he poops. It may work for your baby too

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  14. Anna

    My baby is 8 weeks old and she usually poops like twice a day but she started going once every 2 days and right now today is 3 days and she hasn’t poop yet. She is a breast fed baby and she doesn’t poop hard even after two days. But she cries a lot when she passes gas. Is this normal?

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  15. Eric

    My 9 month old daughter hasn’t gone pooping in 30 plus hours and when I feed her, she throws it up the past 12 hours, sometimes I mix the baby formula with some baby cereal. But, now she hasn’t pooped in hours can you help me

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  16. Tracy-Lee

    My son is 6 weeks old, he is breast and formula fed since birth. He has not pooped in 2 days, before he would poop daily. He is also throwing up every time he is fed formula now. Could he be constipated? Is there anything I can give him to get things going?
    Should I stop the formula feeding due to him throwing up a slimy substance of milk after feeding?
    Please help.

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  17. shiny

    My son is three months now I used to breast feed him all these days but for past 4 days in night I feed him with formula.before feeding him he pooped once in a day but after feeding him formula for past 3 days he dint pooped. Please suggest what to do

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  18. Anthony

    Earlier Saturday i read on your web site that a constipated baby i month old could be given 1teaspoonof 100% pure maple syrup in 4ounces of water would help relieve his pooping issues.today Sunday i cannot find your response to this matter of constipation.i told my son what you said and he wants to see your response himself and i can’t find it.thank you…… my grandson is one month old and is being breast fed and has a pooping problem ………… not pooping. help me out here my son thinks i made it up.

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  19. lisa

    my 9 week old baby girl was 6 week premature and is on sma formula bottle and can not poop on her own ive ried different milks held her legs up to belly pulled her check apart as was told by health visit but she simply do not poop on her own she can go 3-4 maybe 5 days without going till someone helps her

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    • morga jobe

      My daughter has been having the same problem and i have her on Similac sensitive… my pediatrician said its normal but she hasn’t pooped since Tuesday… have you figured something out to make your daughter poop? I’ve tried more water, prune juice, pear juice… nothing seems to help.

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    • buyie

      My one month premeture baby boy is on formula is not poop please help

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  20. Hosai

    My 2months old baby did not poop from 4 days. Does he constipated? I breastfeed him and also bottle, because i do not have enough milk supply, what can i do please reply.

    Thankd

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  21. Amanda Clark

    My 2 month old is breastfed and hasn’t pooped in 4 days. She is fussy and trys to strain I have put her legs to her chest but nothing comes out. I feel so bad for her please tell me what I can do to help her.

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    • olamide

      Try using cotton bud, dip the cottoned part fully inside petroleum jelly(vaseline). Insert the cottoned part into her anus, swipe it left and right, up and down to relax the muscles around the anus. Do it only when she is pressing to poo.

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  22. Pablo

    My baby is one month old and is constipated, she is very fussy and tries to push often but can’t get anything out. She is formula and breast fed as requested by our doctor two weeks ago. Is there anything we can do to help?

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  23. Lana Windham

    My son has been having problems with poop since he was about 4wks old. He had very regular poops and then they just stopped I took notice after the third day this went on for 2weeks I waited. Pediatrician told me to give him his temp three times that day. It was already going on 2wks and a few days.that did not work so I gave him about a 1\4 of some pedilax liquid suppository. That worked and a lot came out. Since then he switched to glycerine suppository. That was a little over a week later. He’s not a fussy baby but has very strong gas with all this going on. I’ve massaged his belly did the tub time massaged his butt and his feet. He strains but still nothing just smears that vary in size. I’m very worried and I’m not getting help!!!!

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  24. Sarah

    My 9 month old son is breastfed and also eats solids 2-3 times a day. He is very constipated and will go days without stooling then he will have a large hard stool stuck in his rectum. I am not sure what to do or how to help him. I feel so bad hearing him scream and struggle. He refuses all juice and water no matter the temperature or the combination. Ive been told to use Karo syrup but I am not sure if it is safe. Any suggestions?

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  25. I am

    From what I understand, there are these Iron supplements that can be avoided in favor of natural organic greens for Iron including avoiding junk food, especially processed food. What you eat is what you give to your baby. If baby is too young, you can basically eat the fruits for the baby. Karo syrup, prune juice diluted in water, fennel tea, gripe water also help.

    Tummy oil massages, leg pumping, tamarind dipped in oil or thermometer stimulation in bottom, including keep baby upright position to allow gravity to do the job.

    This is besides warm baths and mom eating healthy foods/fruits themselves help babies avoid constipation.

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    • What we eat is so important to our whole digestive system.

      When you say “You can basically eat the fruits for the baby”, we can assume you are referring only to breastfeeding moms.

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  26. Jamie

    My 5 month old recently transitioned from breast milk to formula about 2 weeks ago. The past two days she has been trying to poop. Each diaper change there is a small amount and when I lift her legs to wipe, she strains pushes and cries to try and get the rest out. Her stool is soft but formed since she now takes baby food too.. Any recommendations to help her pass her stool easier?

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  27. Tokunbo

    My baby is 1 month and 9 days old and she didn’t poop for 4 days now but she fart …which make me scared hope is normal

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    • C.M

      When my baby was 6 weeks old & 1 day he passed stool & 6 days passed (7 weeks now) & he didnt pass any stool so I was told by a friend to gove him gerber prune food. I gave him little & the same Thursday nite (7 weeks old) he passed a very big load of stool from Thursday night until now Sunday evening he doesnt pass any stool. I’m really worried. Hes both formula (2-3 times a day) & breast feed the rest of times of the day. I give him water sometimes after formula feed. What am I doing wrong & is something wrong with my baby? I gave him Nestle Good Start (GENTLE) because hes very gassy. Please to help me out

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  28. Tokunbo

    My baby is 1 month and 9 days and she hasn’t poop for 4 days now but she’s breastfeeding well but am scared is it normal

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  29. debra

    My .baby is 2 weeks old on Enfamil regulIne you seem to be straining inscriptions up like he’s in painpand has a lot of gas he does 1 0k poop that’s like peanut butter not allot and then it’s like little Splaters. he seems very uncomfortable then I need about 4 days the Cairo syrup in his bottles not working should I change his formula or what should I do he seems very uncomfortable and not sure if that’s normal for a little bit or how many days it would take for him to get used to the formula

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  30. Prisca mauricio

    My daughter is 7 weeks. She has not pooped for 4 days now, but passing smelly wind (farting). She is also breastfeeding her normal. Is dis a problem? She doesn’t look sick at all. Any help?

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  31. Paula

    My 13 month old has has constipation for almost a month now. We have went to the doctor twice and they just keep saying add more miralax to her drinks. She strains and her face turns red, her legs stiffen out and she lays on her stomach screaming and nothing comes out. When something does come out it is usually a small hard stool and her boots starts bleeding. I am at a lose on what to do. Her doctor just keeps saying add more miralax but she is getting 3 teaspoons a day.

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  32. maria

    My baby is 7 days old and has gone 2 days without pooping 😯 I am breastfeeding her and giving her formula. I’m really worried. She’s not bloated, but I would like her to poop.

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  33. InfaRED

    Mamil is more preferable because Enfagrow is more expensive than Mamil FM. My neighbor told me that she just switched FM brand to Mamil from it, her lo no longer constipate after drink Mamil. It is because Mamil ingredients help to prevent children with constipation. It also contains high level of DHA and no sucrose in all formulation.

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  34. Mrs. Superman

    Enfagrow pretty good! My boy seldom suffer in colic since consumed Enfagrow from S-24

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  35. Cherry

    We have found some brown sugar dissolved in water on the occasions when our son’s allergy issues have left him constipated. Would definitely push your GP for some allergy tests….

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  36. Chanell

    I will never let my kids rely on medication IMO. No matter adults or children, rely on medication in long term will cause health affected. When my children constipate, I will use natural remedy to heal him. Of course, normally I would let him eat more vegetables and fruits in order to be able to prevent constipation. However, as far as I know different brands of infant formula milk have different ingredients, children are quite sensitive with it. Is it your child is not fit to drink with the current formula milk brand?

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  37. Tabii

    My DD has always suffered from constipation since she was 2. She is now 4 1/2 and has terrible tummy aches and only passes a rock bowel movement once a week if lucky. I fed her food with high fiber and also lots of water and fruits. Still we have been having no luck. I took her to consult DOC and was told that she has a sensitive bowel and will probably always have trouble. He suggested to give her Laxettes. I am worried about this if long term use. Has anyone else had to use medication to treat constipation?

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  38. Jasmine

    My 2YO DD is diarrhea and constipated after start solid, any solution can help her to prevent this kind of issue?

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    • Claudia

      Try the food mentioned above. They works on my son.

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      • gayaputri

        i’ve also had that problem. my 3 years old daughter had fewer bowel movement. i guess it maybe cause of the travelling we did during our vacation which just messed up her routine and comfort zone. but i realize she felt hurt when she want to poo. she strained in toilet. so i gave her the food that mentioned above. but it just working for a short time. after a day, she felt hurt again when had bowel movement.

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  39. Gina

    Look into hemp milk, way better than any formula based milk for a one yr old

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    • nancyluu

      As what I understand that hemp milk is made from the seeds of the edible part of the same plant (Cannabis sativa L) used to make marijuana. that why, I always curious will it safe for my kids to consume?! Sound like making my kids taking drug.. I would rather take formula cow milk…

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      • serenemango

        No,that is not correct.Hemp ia a completely different plant. It is a cousin of marijuana, just like hops, but it contains practically no THC.There is no use for this plant as a drug but its seeds are high in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids making hemp milk nutritious.There are actually a bunch of great practical uses for this plant ranging from textiles to oils. But to answer your question, no, hemp milk would not hurt or dope up your baby!

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  40. azizah

    I am planning to stop bf my DS anymore. As now he is reaching 1 yo already.
    Anyway anyone can recommend any good milk powder that suitable for children at 1 yo?

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  41. Giva

    That’s really works. Thanks for sharing.

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  42. Same L0rrr

    great article

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  43. Mrs. Kwon

    thanks…

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  44. Tonq

    thanks!!!

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  45. Bita

    My 2 month old baby is exclusively breast fed, and she didn’t poop for 3 days. I gave her tummy oil massage, and with leg pumping but didn’t work. Finally with thermometer stimulation she passed poop.

    Again its three days and hasn’t passed poop. Any suggestions, many say fennel tea is good , or gripe water, I don’t want to give her anything other than breast milk.

    Should I be worried about this constant constipation. I’m very careful about what I eat and have increased vegetables and fruits ..
    there are Glycerin suppositories which I could use for her, but will she be dependent on them??

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  46. Mbali

    My baby gal she is 7month shes is suffering from constipation since shes been introduced to solids food,her stool is very hard and like d rock n she cry a lot when she passing it i have try all the remedy but non of them is working for her!please i need help.

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  47. sarita shrestha

    My daughter is 2 years old. She hasn’t done any poop for 2 days. She’s constipated.i dont know what to do to ease up her constipation. Should I be worried? What should I do?

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  48. Sumedha

    My son was constipated and my mom use to put tamarind dipped in oil in his bottom and hold his legs up. It helps us alot. Even now i put it Lil bit in his butt and make him sit on a potty seat. He tries and does it in potty seat now. He completed five months yesterday :) i hate to see my baby cry in pain all constipated. So i always keep him happy by making him sit on potty seat with tamarind. Also i give karo syrup sometimes. I tried prune juice diluted in water. All the best with your babies :)

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  49. Nicole

    My son is 4 month old and only breastfed. He has been going poop every 10 days or so and by the end of those days he screams and cries and is clearly in A LOT of pain. The doctors keep telling me he’s not constipated, but he isn’t pooping… He keeps going longer and longer without pooping and his fussiness gets worse and when he’s in pain he freaks out.

    We were told to start him on sweet potatoes and prunes and so we have the past week and he still hasn’t pooped! Its day 10 and he’s had 2 freak outs where he is basically inconsolable and I’m at my ends wit with the stress of not knowing if something is wrong or not. Like is this normal because I know my son better then anyone and this is NOT normal. He is NOT a fussy baby at all. So for him to scream in pain, like seriously scream, at the top if his little lungs till he passes out of exhaustion isn’t normal. I can’t even get him to latch and he NEVER refuses the boob, so it’s not normal. What should I do??…

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    • This must be so difficult.

      As a mom, if it were me, I’d take him to see a different doctor.

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    • Val

      My daughter is having a similar problem. Her pediatrician keeps telling me it’s normal that she goes between 3-6 days with out a bm. Have you found anything that helps?

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    • Mayra

      Hi. So sorry to hear the issue. Hope I’m not too late to help, but my LO had the same exact problem so I feel your pain. It’s so hard because all you want to do is help them. But my doctor said everything was fine. In my gut I knew that was not the case. My mother told me chamomile tea would help, so I fed him some warm tea with a medicine dropper, gave him a warm bath, some gas drops and wrapped my baby tight. 30 minutes later he popped. Felt much better for a week (no inconsolable crying, longer naps, less irritable) but still no poop after the one poop the week prior. Almost lost hope!

      Scheduled an appointment with the main doctor owner of the place (only there once a week for circumcision) and I explained everything with detail. He told me that my LO was having a different problem and the constipation was just a coincidence… I was close to screaming! But he got into more detail, he explained BF babies can easily go up to 6 days without bowel movements (which if normal will not affect baby) but my LOs problem was worse. ACID REFLUX…. I was feeding him every 2hrs, and sometimes soothing him with nursing him. My LO refuses any pacifier. He told me to cut caffeine, sodas and spicy food from my diet. As well as only feeding him every 3 hours. Now I tried the feeding schedule since the diet restrictions were already something I was doing, it was hard to be honest since my LO always wanted to nurse, but I tried everything to soothe him instead (walks, singing, baths and car rides)… I saw results instantly.

      I am sooooo thankful that I got a second opinion and listened to my gut. My baby no longer has this issue, acid reflux is under control due to a feeding schedule and the constipation is still there with poop only every 2-4 days, but no pain or discomfort. Now I understand all his symptoms, specially the one where he would refuse my breast or would grunt and pull away while nursing. He was having heartburn. Glad it’s all gone now, just wished I would of acted sooner. —-hope my story helps.

      Trust your gut, your mother senses never fail.

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    • Sheila

      Sounds like a case of purple crying. Purple crying is just a description of a time period when baby cries without any particular reason other than an important part of development. Most parents new to this term without knowledge think something could be wrong with baby, such as baby is colic or in pain. It can begin between 2-3 weeks, and last until 3-4 months.

      http://purplecrying.info/what-is-the-period-of-purple-crying.php

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  50. Terryterry

    Thanks for the info!

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  51. cindy

    Hi my son is one month old now. He’s only on formula. The name is similac advance and he sometimes poops and when he does, his poops is almost all the time green all type of green and sometime he doesn’t poop and when he doesn’t he cries. He won’t sleep. He does try to poop. He makes noise and sometimes gets all red by trying to forse himself to poop. I’m a new mom. I don’t know what to do need helps please.

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    • Heather

      As long as your baby’s stools remain a yellow or greenish color at this age, it’s perfectly normal. Maybe consult your doctor about things you can do to make passing the stools easier. Such as: rectal thermometer stimulation (can also use a q-tip with Vaseline of course, and don’t enter too far in), adding 1 tsp Karo syrup to formula bottle, adding Miralax to his diet (this would be the more recommended and safest brand to use I believe). Obviously don’t use all of the techniques. Good luck with baby ☺

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  52. mj

    My daughter is 1 month old. I breast feed her and formula feed. She hasn’t done any poop for 2 days. She’s constipated. Should I be worried? What should I do?

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  53. normalmalay

    My son also has the same issues.

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  54. Tebogo Mokoena

    My baby is a month old and had already started eating solids like Purity Maizeand (I am also brastfeesding) but has not passed stool in two days now. Should I be worried.

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    • Brit

      A one month old baby should not be consuming solids of any kind. Only breastmilk for formula is recommended by both the WHO and the AAP.

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    • maygun

      Uhm.. whut
      Your breastmilk is enough. Pumping is.definitely not a good way to measure how much you’re actually producing.

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  55. sam

    It so helpful the info provide about stools. Thank you doctor.

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  56. lesliemui8888

    fyi, a cheap milk formula will not do any good to your child because it may lack ingredients that will help in the growth of your child. It’s better to invest to find the right milk formula for your baby because a good one that suit your child might eliminate constipation problems.
    NEVER go for cheap milk formulas, but PROVEN ones.

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  57. Halley Leong

    Well there’s a lot you can find in the market now which contains Prebiotics. I used Mamil from Dumex myself for my LO. You can try it for your LO too because it really works in solving constipation problems in toddlers. IMO Mamil is a pretty good treatment for constipation in babies which you can see definite results in a week time. Hope it helps!

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  58. bunnyjerry

    I only know that milk formula will help kids to be smarter. Never heard of milk powder containing Prebiotics and could solve constipation. Heaty are the main reason why kids having constipation. Maintaining a healthy digestive system is very important to prevent child’s constipation problem. There are some common good habits that I train my kids by drinking lots of water, eat fruits frequently and avoid oily and fried foods.

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  59. joellerollokostor

    I have a son who is turning 2 this year, but recently he has been constipated off and on. At times I was so worried when he was constipated for 1 week straight he could be seen agitated, annoyed and lethargic. I sent him to the doc to check up. The doc just gave him a pill to make his stool softer. After that the problem came back. I went to my parents for a second opinion. What they told me could be the formula that he’s consuming that is making him constipated. They said get a formula that contains prebiotics. Are there any formulas that contain prebiotics around?

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  60. Goretty

    My baby is 4 months old. He’s on soy formula since his first month because intolerant to lactosa and that makes his stool a little hard. Can I introduce him to avocado instead of cereal?

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  61. Alex

    My 5 month old wakes up at night straining and crying. She won’t eat much if anything for couple days now and I can see the feces when I change her diaper, but can do nothing to help her. I feel so bad for my little dumb dumb head. What should I do?

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  62. Shannon

    My son is 8 months old and he’s had a number of different GI issues. More recently, he’s extremely constipated and the only way to get the blocked hard stool is to use 3 glycerin liquid suppositories. This, of course, after we remove a good amount of hard stool. Before I give his history, my question is how can we keep him from getting constipated to this point?

    He was exclusively breastfeed up to 5 months when I introduced formula. He was constipated before introducing the new formula. GI thought it was dairy in my diet so I modified. Still didn’t get better. He gets 5ml of Lactolose daily, which doesn’t seem to help, unless it takes a few weeks to kick in. He’s now solely on 95% lactose free Earth’s Best Formula, eating prunes and other solids, no yogurt, bananas, applesauce, but he’s still in terrible pain. Can this really hurt him long term or it’s just a phase? GI really is not cutting it or is this just common in some babies? Also, he never has blood in his stool.
    Thank you!

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    • Shannon

      Dr Greene, how can I get advice on this post? Thank you.

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  63. Lucyca

    Dr, Greene,

    Thank you for your nice and effective advice. One more concern from my side is that at the time when stool not coming out for 2-3 day, wearing diaper is natural or not? Please advice.

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  64. ashley

    My son is straining to poop and he cries and his face turnd red and I have tried what his doctor told me to do and he still ain’t pooped and what else can I do to make him poop?

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    • emma.zubiri@yahoo.com

      My grand daughter is 6months old she is constipated with her milk. What is the remedy for this? Does apple juice do for her? Hope I can hear a rely as soon as possible.

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      • Dr. Greene Recommends: Pears, peaches, plums, apricots, peas and prunes make stools softer. By balancing the diet, you can often keep the stools comfortably mid-range. If the stools are still too firm, juice is the gentlest medicine to soften them up. Two ounces of apple juice twice a day is a good bet. If this doesn’t work, prune juice is even better. Also, when your son is straining you might want to put him in a tub of warm water. This will relax his muscles and make the stool easier to pass.

        These are all foods you can buy from your local market. The fresh fruits should be cooked and mashed into a smooth puree. The juices can be added to a bottle, but do NOT add juice to a bottle on a regular basis. This is for constipation only.

        Hope that helps.

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  65. JP

    My son turned 1 today and has not pooped for the past 4-5days. We have previously had to use suppositories, but really don’t like doing that as it seems to be causing excruciating pain for the little man. PLEASE can someone help and advise on what to do?

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  66. maria

    Hi. I am a new mother my son is 3 months-old. He only has breastmilk, with a little bit of organic oatmeal cereal. He hasn’t pooped since yesterday morning. Today nothing. He farts a lot, but that’s it. I was suggested to give him drops of prune juice in his milk. If that’s Ok how much? What can I do?

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  67. Ilana

    Thank you for this very useful information. My 9-month-old is on breast milk, vegetables and a little water, usually. She has been so constipated that she cries terribly for up to half an hour and sometimes intermittently through the night, waking her up every couple of hours (though not every night, thank God). I gave her jarred prune baby food which seemed to help, but not 100%. I was also concerned that the added ascorbic acid preservative was not ideal. However I’ve been giving her lots of butternut squash and have not heard til reading this that it could constipate. I will try eliminating it. How about green beans and lentils? I like to feed her these. Would they pose a constipation or gas problem??
    My other question is why you recommend Karo syrup?! Recent research has been showing the harmfulness of Genetically Modified Organisms, such as the corn that is used to make corn syrup. Surely this is bad for fragile and nutritionally impressionable babies, let alone adults! If sugar is the hung that helps soften the stools, then wouldn’t dried fruits (like, as you mentioned, prunes or apricots) be the more ideal option?

    Thank you.

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    • alex

      Ascorbic acid is vitamin C.

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  68. Eli

    My baby is four weeks old and her stools are soft and yellow. She has been straining and grunting all the time she is awake. Sometimes the straining and grunting wakes her up and she feels uncomfortable, she begins crying and wants to be held in my arms. I am worried about this issue. Any ideas what this should be and how long will this last. She has begun this from week 2.

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    • stephanie kay

      If her stool Is soft and yellow, then she may likely be affected my gas, she may be colic… She would outgrow it. I only gave my son gripe water at that stage.

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  69. halima

    my son is 14 months old formula and breast milk fed. he is always constipated yet i give all soft foods foreaxample yorghut,yellow bananas grapes at times even forced to give blue band(margarine) and alots of juices and water cos he like drinking and eating so every thing i give he eats with love but he ends up being constipated. wat should i do because im worried

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  70. busani

    my daughter is 1 month old and she is constipated,i dont know what to do to ease up her constipation

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    • stephanie kay

      Iron multivitamin could also cause constipation. You can give at intervals instead of everyday.

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  71. cathryn

    my son is 14 days old, formula and breast milk fed. He hasn’t pooped in three almost four days :( he pushes like he needs to go however, nothing comes. He smells when he passes gas and he’s clearly uncomfortable. I’ve tried adding 1/2 tsp of brown sugar to his food, twice and still nothing.. what should I do? do i need to be worried?

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    • Nancy

      Buy laxatte solution,it’s sold over the counter n it helped my 1 month old son.he was going thru the same thing.

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