37 answers

4 Month Old with Constipation

I started my 4 month old daughter on a little rice cereal this week and now she's constipated. Both my and my partner's families have a history of sensitive intestinal tracks so I really tried to be careful with introducing solids (I was only giving her a small amount of cereal and I was making it very liquidy) but now she's been straining off and on for about 16 hours and hasn't passed anything. I'd really appreciate any advice on ways to relieve my daughter's discomfort. Since she's only ever had one type of solid before (and I have a history of food allergies) I want to avoid giving her a big mix of remedies.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

We have poop!!! Thank you all for your advice. She ended up getting it on her own after a big morning of playing and kicking but I gave her a little Mylicon anyway just to keep things moving (she usually gets some with her bottle but hasn't needed it for the past couple days - this probably contributed to the problem.)

I would especially like to 'thank' everyone who felt it was necessary to go off the deep end about why I started my child on cereal "so young" (I received some private messages that were particularly nasty). I haven't responded to any of you because I didn't feel like I should have to defend my decision to anyone. However I found myself getting more and more upset about the implied accusations that I'm uneducated, misinformed and or just plan stupid. After discussing my feelings with my partner he encouraged me to update my "what happened" section if for no other reason than to provide support to other mothers making this same decision.

So here they are, my reasons:
1. My daughter is very large and I'm starting to have trouble keeping up with her dietary needs. Fenugreek has not helped increase my milk production and getting her to take a bottle that's more than about 20% formula is impossible. Because of this my partner, our pediatrician and I decided to start the process of introducing foods. Since my daughter is 4 months old she falls within the 4-6 month range recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)for the introduction of first foods.

2. I and my daughter are about to loose our health insurance because I'm starting a new job soon. I love our pediatrician and am hopeful that our next one will be as good but considering that finding a good fit in this department can take time I felt it was important to start introducing new foods to my daughter while still seeing this doctor. This way if there was any kind of early reactions we would at least be going to see a familiar face when dealing with it. The only reason I came to this forum with my question rather than our doctor is because of the time of day that I became concerned and the fact that our doctor was not the one on call that night and I hate the messaging service that her medical group uses.

One last thing and then I'll be done with this. For everyone that was overly concerned about the allergy issue. I've spent a lot of time researching this (I work in the medical research field and have many great resources to draw from). No one knows for sure what causes food allergies. The most of the research that's been done in this area has been anecdotal at best. The AAP made a lot of recommendations for allergy prevention over the past 10 years that have turned out not to actually do any good (the rate of new peanut allergies in children under 3 has doubled in this country in recent years)and earlier this month the AAP has updated their recommendations. So if you've been stressing about that handful of peanuts you ate when you were pregnant don't worry your still a good mother. The latest research indicates that our overly hygienic lifestyles is contributing to the problem, some really great research on this topic is likely to come out of Sweden in the next couple of years. So here's my bit of advice based on what I've read.

If you really want your kids to be healthy let them get sick every now and then. Throw out your antibacterial hand soap, regular soap and water do a fine job and don't promote antibacterial resistance. Don't be afraid to take your new baby out in public. The change in scenery will do you both some good and lets face it we all love it when strangers oooh and aaaaw over our little ones and no one needs this more than someone suffering from the baby blues. Lastly, plant a garden. If you don't have a yard get some pots and some good organic soil. Have your kids help you with the planting and if they stick their muddy fingers in their mouth don't freak out, they probably needed the trace minerals anyway.

Ok well I've made my peace. For those of you who made suggestions that I truly appreciate I will be sending you a flower.

Featured Answers

Warm water in her bottle prior to feeding and if she'll take it after. This should get the ball rolling.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi there!
You know, it might just be the rice cereal that is causing the constipation. What if you try another type of cereal that is not "rice" ? M.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi there!
My advice would be to maybe hold off on the rice cereal for a month or two and just keep her on her milk if her iron is ok. Rice cereal made my 2 youngest children constipated at times, so I actually gave them the Oatmeal cereal instead.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

try to give the baby some water. Have you called the advice Nurse for some suggestions. My kids are a lot older but I remeber some one telling me that a baby can go as long as three to four days without going to the bathroom. The baby must be so uncomfortable. Hopefully the advice nurse has a better suggestion....good luck

1 mom found this helpful

Rice is used to stop diarhea, and that is why your child is constipated you need to add fruit and fruit juice to help soften stools and I suggest you or go to local healthstore and buy BABY MAGNESUIM CITRATE from Natural Calm http://www.webvitamins.com/product.aspx?id=21310&wvai... Trust me it works great and anot just helps with constipation, it helps balance Calcium in their systems, and a more relaxed and happy child!!! Love, G.. :0)
P.S. This way you do not have to add so much sugar in to the baby's diet!!!

1 mom found this helpful

My 5 month old daughter seems to be straining a lot too, and we've recently been giving her about 1 tablespoon of rice cereal. The Dr. said the normal range for frequency of bowel movement is from 7 x per day to 1 x in 7 days. While I thought this range is huge, they assured me it is normal and she sometimes takes 4 or 5 days in between, so I guess it's ok. I sure wouldn't want to wait for 5 days! Yikes! It wouldn't hurt to check with your Pediatrician as well, just for some assurance.
Take care..
M.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi there!
You know, it might just be the rice cereal that is causing the constipation. What if you try another type of cereal that is not "rice" ? M.

1 mom found this helpful

My son had the same problem. I stopped with the rice cereal until he was about 5 1/2 months old. If the constipation continues, you can check with your pediatrician about giving her a little apple or white grape juice mixed with water.

1 mom found this helpful

The same thing happened to my son at 4 months. I immediately added some prunes to his rice ceral in the morning and now he poops about once a day. I was hesitant to do this at first because i wanted to keep things simple, and my older son never had any trouble pooping. My little guy is now 5.5 months old and eating avocado and sweet potatoes as well. I've seen no adverse affects from the prunes. Good luck.
S.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi There,
I had the same issue with my daughter. The advice that I received (and that worked) was to mix a little baby fruit with the rice cereal. I used applesauce or prunes from both Gerber's organic or Earth's Best (a completely organic label. Just one or two spoons mixed in with the cereal will help.

I also was told to try other grains. Rice is generally thought of as "the" cereal for babies, but both Gerbers and Earth's Best make other cereals, oatmeal or barley or mixed grain. My daughter likes the mixed grain and the oatmeal. Finally, although you can mix the cereal with breast milk or formula to make it, you can also use boiled water. That sometimes makes it thin enough that it doesn't clog things up. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My older daughter had a hard time with constipation when she was a baby. What worked the best for her was to move her legs up and down into her tummy a little bit or to lay her across my legs on her belly while moving them side to side and rubbing her back. This always helped her get a hard BM out. Our doctor has told us that babies don't need any type of solid food before six months because their little systems don't need it yet and it can cause constipation. Good luck making her more comfortable.

1 mom found this helpful

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