40 answers

4 Week Old with Constipation

My friend has a 4 week old boy, he had jaundice when born and spent a week on a bili-blanket and is just fine now. But now he has another problem, he seems to be constipated. He only goes once a day and it is fairly hard. Before he goes he spends a lot of time fussing and straining. He is on formula and his Mom is hesitant to give him anything else (since the Dr. says not to feed him anything else). Has anyone had this problem before and how did they solve it?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I didn't have time to read all of the previous responses so I don't know if I'm reapeating someone else. But my son seemed very irregular at that age and I asked his doctor and he said all babies are different (just like all adults are different) and that some babies only have a bowel movement every 4-5 days. And to count my lucky stars. :) But I would have her ask her pediatrition. They can probably just answer her question over the phone instead of taking all of her kids to the doctor.

I wouldn't recommmend giving a baby that young anything to help with constipation unless directly reccomended by the baby's doctor.

1 mom found this helpful

I'd recommend an infant approved probiotic. My son was constipated for several years, starting from the time he was a couple of days old. He was hospitalized several times, put on Miralax, etc. What finally helped him at age 3 was giving him a probiotic powder. It helped to regulate his gut and get the good bacteria in there. Wish that I had known about it sooner!

1 mom found this helpful

A friend told me to use a little olive oil on their tummy and rub/massage it in and that helps digestion system move. I have never had to try it, but I have heard of some others doing that.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

While it's unlikely that our cases are parallel (because ours was caused by an odd genetic thing in our family...a SUPER small percentage of the population has it), we went through the same thing. Since this wee one is on formula, it is most likely related to that. Since there are Sooooooooo many reasons to feed a baby formula (from mom being on meds to adoption to etc.etc.etc.) I'm not even going to enter into the nursing v. formula discussion and just assume it's the best option they have.

In our family babies are either born with a nearly adult sized large intestine (ouch!!!), or twisted intestines (surgery needed). My son has the large kind....so we spent LOTS of time rocking and comforting, and being supportive. And by LOTS I mean nearly every time for about 3 years and every other time for a whole year after that. We kept diapers on hand for over a year after he was potty trained, because even though he knew it was going to hurt & be scary, he was more comfortable pooping in them. Even as a big boy I'll still occasionally go provide moral support...and we understand that spending 40 minutes in our (only!) bathroom is what it takes. This, for us is the easy part. Rocking a sobbing toddler for 2 hours...poor kiddo.

The point of all of this is: If your friend works with her pediatrician, tries different formulas, bioactives, etc. all to no avail...beg her patience. Because if nothing helps, while it most certainly will annoy her at times, he's the one in pain, and in fear of pain.

On the upside, few children remain constipated for very long, and his is probably situational, not medical...and will pass soon. :)

My best wishes to the three of you,
Z.

2 moms found this helpful

I'd recommend an infant approved probiotic. My son was constipated for several years, starting from the time he was a couple of days old. He was hospitalized several times, put on Miralax, etc. What finally helped him at age 3 was giving him a probiotic powder. It helped to regulate his gut and get the good bacteria in there. Wish that I had known about it sooner!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter has crohns disease. She used to fuss and hold her tummy before pooping too, we thought she had colic at birth and then had it a lot... When she was 2 years old she started pooping blood...she was not diagnosed with a colon disease until she was 2, she had it since birth. Please consider taking your baby to a pediatric gastroenterologist. With pain and suffering before a bowel movement, sounds all to familiar. This specialist can help you figure out what/if somethings wrong other than irregularity.

1 mom found this helpful

We put a little bit of brown sugar in the formula for my boys when they were really little and it worked well. If she doesn't want to fee him anything then she may just have to go for a baby supository or put on a glove and rub some vaseline up in his bum.

1 mom found this helpful

Constipation is usually caused by a lack of fiber and/or water. Does he drink enough? Does he drink water? Milk can also cause constipation. What is in the formula?

I don't know what one should do with a baby that young and would recommend talking with the doctor. Can he drink prune juice. Can you add
Mirelax to his bottle. Miralax completely dissoves in liquids and has no task, It adds fiber to his diet. My grandson used it starting around 6 months of age which is around the time his mother stopped breast feeding.

He was chronically constipated until he was close to 3 when all of a sudden his movements were soft and firm. The doctor could not figure out what caused it. My daughter tried several things, none of which worked. Miralx softend his stools some but he still had difficulty with bowel movements. He always tried and stayed on the toilet until the poop came out. He would cry and I felt so sad for him. He has now outgrown constipatuation.
Fortunately his experience did not make him withhold his feces.

A possible cause of constipation is that his body is not mature enough. There are also causes that need to be medically addressed.

I doubt that he's constipated since he does have a bowel movement once a day. It's just more firm than it should be so that he can easily push it out. Fussing and straining is common at this age even if the movements are easy to pass. His stools have probably been on the soft side until now. He's feeling new sensations.

If she hasn't already talked with the pediatrician I'd encourage her to do that now. If she has talked with him I advise her to call back and explain her concerns.

1 mom found this helpful

K., please let your friend know that first of all this is common. Babies this age, however, cannot be given just "anything." The Dr. is correct in saying not to feed him anything but formula, however, a little water is ok and probably needed. Make sure she is mixing the formula correctly...a little too much powder can cause constipation and a little too little can cause decreased weight gain. As long as he is having a bowel movement daily, he'll be fine. To help she can place him in a warm bath when he starts fussing, or even a warm, not hot, washcloth across his tummy. Gentle massage to the tummy is good too, it helps to stimulate the bowels. Letting him have floor time is important even at this age. I tell my patient's parents to be sure and do "exercises" after they recieve their shots. Moving the legs in a bicycle or knee bending motion is a good exercise. We all know exercise stimulates the bowels as well. Make sure not to force the legs into a bent or straight position, it can cause muscle damage. I always counted with my kiddos while doing it. Hope this helps! If it continues after these methods she needs to talk to the Dr. It could be a problem with the specific formula.

1 mom found this helpful

A friend told me to use a little olive oil on their tummy and rub/massage it in and that helps digestion system move. I have never had to try it, but I have heard of some others doing that.

1 mom found this helpful

My DD also a premie had this issue at 4 weeks old. I struggled to nurse but having had breast reduction surgery as a teen it just wasn't physically working. I was using Horizon Organic Baby Formula. It was bovine sourced. Turns out she can't handle cow milk.

To ease the immediate problem I did NOT do corn syrup which I know many GENERAL (not specialist) pediatricians recommend. I used some organic olive oil and rubbed it into her tummy following the path of her digestive track.

I also did some bicycle type motion with her legs to help things get moving.

I switched to powdered goat milk by Meyenburg and added a very high quality probiotic and liquid vitamin (Pediatrite from Seroyal) from my naturopath to it for healthy flora and vitamins.

The olive oil helped get things moving and the switch to goat milk helped her thrive and grow through the remaining of the first year of her life.

My older sister had been unable to tolerate formula and had to live on goat milk as a baby who was failing to thrive until grandma stepped in. She was the one to remind me to try this with my DD and I'm so glad she did.

My did is now a 4.5 y/o very healthy and active preschooler. She now drinks oat or hemp milk.

I strongly urge her not to do the corn syrup. HFCS is not friendly to the body and has been linked to obesity.

1 mom found this helpful

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