14 answers

5 Month Old Constipation

My 5 month old is constipated now for 9 days. I breastfeed her and no formula or any solid foods. Her pediatrician priscribed her Polyvisol a month ago. Her poop color changed for 2 weeks as it has to be while giving Polyvisol. Suddenly a week later, her poop turned semi solid (not at all liquidy) for 3 days and then she din poop till now. Is this because of Polyvisol or is something wrong with my breast milk. She is acting normal not fuzzy. She is not crying for milk now a days. She empties my breast, but sometimes she doesnt. I cald her Dr and they ask me to give her GLYCERIN which is over the counter for babies and it has to be given repository for every 4-6 hrs. If she still doesnt poop I have to take her to Dr tomorrow. I'm worried so much pls help me out. Thanks.

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My son had the same issue. Since he was 5 months old we started him on water, 4oz in a bottle, and that helped. We also started him on stage 1 baby food prunes. We gave him half a jar of prunes a day and then when he started having softer poop we would give prunes every few days or so. Good luck!

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I know alot of Drs like to tell you to give iron, but it is not really necessary. http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/vitamins/iron.html

The prune juice (just a little!), Karo syrup in water or gylcerin suppositories (I know that's intimidating, but it's very simple and easy...for baby I bought the pediatric ones that come over the counter and cut them in half) should work fine. I would discontinue the vitamins till she is older and on solid food, unless any of those conditions listed in the link apply to you. Breastmilk is a complete food and baby does not need anything else until she is at least 6 months, at that point even eating is for practice/learning more than nutrition. In fact it is much better for baby's gut to NOT give them anything else until that age. If I remember right it's not till 10 or 11 months till babies really NEED anything but breastmilk.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter was the same way. She's exclusively breastfed and from about the 4 month mark on, her poop was basically rabbit-like, if you know what I mean. While she was going once every 4-8 days, she didn't seem overly upset about it. I was freaking out about it, though! One day, all I gave her (besides breastmilk) was prunes. The next day, WHEW! But then she didn't go again for a week. I've realized that she just uses the breastmilk very efficiently! I do try to give her extra water every day to help keep things moving. And her doctor suggested that if I was using Polyvisol with Iron, to switch to the regular Polyvisol without iron since iron can cause constipation. I'm not a fan of glycerin suppositories. Used them once with my son when he was legitimately constipated and miserable--didn't really work that well. Hope this helps!

It is disturbing to know that most doctors are uneducated on breastfeeding. 5 month old breastfed babies might not poop very often. If she doesn't seem uncomfortable or ill, leave her alone. Please get a second opinion from a dr who knows about breastfeeding. If you're in Illinois, try homefirst in Naperville. All that medicine and gunk is just making it worse or causing new side effects/issues. Please don't put your baby through sny invasive procedures unless it is absolutely necessary. Breastmilk is so complete and perfect that there is not a lot of waste, therefore not much or frequent poop. Good luck!

When my now 6 year old was an infant she was also taking Polyvisol and if I remember correctly it's the iron that can cause constipation. I think there is Polyvisol with and without Iron.
My daughter spent 4 months in the NICU after she was born and they would occasionally give her a glycerin suppository when she got constipated. It's very safe and can bring on a bowel movement very quickly (once the nurse didn't even get the diaper pulled back over her in time).
You may want to ask your Dr if it could be too much iron and if there is Polyvisol without iron. Don't worry about giving glycerin - it's safe and effective and my daughter usually needed only one dose every 1-2 weeks for a month or two. Once she started on solid foods she didn't seem to need it anymore (possibly from more fiber in the foods she was eating)


My son had the same issue. Since he was 5 months old we started him on water, 4oz in a bottle, and that helped. We also started him on stage 1 baby food prunes. We gave him half a jar of prunes a day and then when he started having softer poop we would give prunes every few days or so. Good luck!

try a tbsp of prune juice in a couple oz of water- let her drink it- should help

While I was exclusively BFing my daughter, she went through a period of time where she would only poop once every 7-10 days. You have to remember that BM is a perfect beverage for your daughter, her body will use up and not have any waste. I would make sure that she is still filling up 6-8 wet diapers a day. She never seemed too fussy. My doc also said that so long as I was still taking my prenatal vitamins, that I don't need to give her that Polyvisol. I took a prenatal and a DHA pill (just the generic Target brand) everyday while my daughter was BFing...you area providing all the nutrition your baby needs...you shouldn't have to give her any vitamins. If you are worried about her lack of poop, I would go the more natural route and give her some gerber apple-prune juice (you can get it in the mini bottles and can screw on a nipple and give it to her straight or try giving it to her in a sippy) or just give her some diluted prune juice. If that doesn't work you can do the karo syrup and water....I believe my doc said 1 tbsp or 1 tsp mixed with water... With my neice, my sister would take a rectal thermometer and vaseline and that always seemed to help loosen her up. I never did that though. I hope you can use some of the info we've provided and it works for you. I know how scary it can be when you're not sure if something is wrong or not.

You can buy this stuff in your grocery store, normally in the pancake syrup aisle. It's called Karo Syrup, it comes in light or dark. It's basically corn syrup, but it helps them to have a bowel movement. My twin daughters were very constipated when they were 4 months old, and that is what the doctor prescribed for them. It's fairly inexpensive, probably $3 or so for a bottle. It's not good for her not to have had a bowel movement in 9 days. Hopefully it helps, I definitely recommend that syrup. It helped my girls within the first 24 hours. Good luck!

My daughter is now 10 months old and she only pooped every 9-10 days. We gave her the suppositories on the 10th day, sometimes the 8th. We also used the prune juice approach. I only breastfed at the time and had to give the iron vitamin supplement as well. Our DR had us see a specialist first to be sure all was okay. The specialist said that as long as the baby has had it's first stools then her bowels are working. Some babies just only poo every 10 days. It's not common, but it does happen.

This is from personal experience:
I have heard from doctor's that breast fed babies are never truly constipated that is a total myth. In my experience, when breast fed babies approach the five and six month age, they begin to show signs of constipation and I feel it's because as they grow bigger their little bodies absorb all the water contained in the breast milk. Therefore, I used what has been passed down through our generations. Now, you may be against pumping your milk however, if you don't your baby's constipation issues will only become greater. So, my advice is pump your milk into the bottle. Add exactly two teaspoons of Karo corn syrup (a clear syrup that can be brought at your local grocer and is located in the aisle with other pancake syrups). Add two teaspoons regardless of the size of the bottle. Add the Karo syrup to the breast milk only and not water because if it is added to water the baby ingests all the sugar and does not get digested very well and this causes diarrhea. After the baby has been relieved of constipation you can begin adding the Karo syrup to every other bottle or once a day as you see improvements to the bowel movements. Believe me this works!

make sure you arent eating constipating foods ( bananas rice toast and too much dairy) and make sure you are taking a good source of omega 3s like flax or fish oil. also its most likely the vitamins. she doesnt need that extra iron quite yet. that iron actually interferes with the absorption of the breastmilk iron and also can be used by bacteria to reproduce but your iron in your breastmilk cannot. I have never supplemented my daughters iron. also if you or her have been on antibiotics you should be taking a probiotic and id give her some as well. also its normal for a breastfed baby to go up to 11 days without a bowel movement so why do you think she is constipated? kellymom.com is a great resource for nursing moms. remember a pediatrician is given an hour lecture on breastmilk and a whole course on formula!

My daughter was exclusively breastfed at this age and she could go 8-10 days with no BM. Everything was fine and we never gave her any medicine. The breastmilk is just so fully digestible that there isn't much left over. I think everything is fine. If your baby doesn't seem fussy then I wouldn't worry.

Whenever my boys were backed up, I was able to fix the problem with prunes. Either the baby food and even prune juice. I basically used the food as a medicine. I even use them for myself now.

That happens to breastfed babies! My daughter went two weeks without and was fine and happy. My doctor explained it this way: she effectively used the milk and nothing was left over. Thus no poop. As long as the baby's happy and her belly's soft, it all should be fine. I understand your woRry though. I took my daughter to the doctor, and so should you. But it most likely is nothing. Good luck!

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