19 answers

6 Month Old Having 6-9 Bowel Movements a Day for at Least 7 Weeks

Hi there--I am looking any suggestions or even similar experiences. I have a 6 month old that has had GI trouble since he was born. He has a sensitivity to dairy (which I stopped eating most of it 5 moths ago and all forms 1 month ago) and is on medicine for reflux. He was doing great at about 6 weeks old and generally sleeping 6 hours or more. By his third month, he was sleeping most nights from 10 until 6, nursing, and then going back to sleep. Since he is exclusively breastfed, he was pooping once a day or so. Right after he turned 4 months old, he got diarhea. He started going at least 8 times a day. This went on for more than two weeks. We took him to the doctor since he started screaming a lot more than normal and he turned out to have an ear infection. He took three shots of antibiotics. Then, we thought the bowels would get back to normal. Then, he got another ear infection. He started oral antibiotics. Of course, this could make stools worse too. But, he has been off the medicine for nearly a week. He has not gotten better. Our doctor did stool testing and can find nothing wrong.
We have been giving him probiotics for two weeks. We have taken him off and put back on the reflux medicine. I have tried an elimination diet to determine if anything I was eating was bothering him (this was done between antibiotics, but I am still concerned that there were too many factors to rule out a food allergy). The doctor that I talked with yesterday said that he just doesn't know what could be the problem. He is growing well and not dehydrated. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas, I would gladly look into them. Oh, and yes, he stopped sleeping well too. It is miserbale. He often wakes to poop. He might be cramping sometimes. Thank you!

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So What Happened?™

Thank you again for everyone's information regaring my little one. He seems to be doing much better with his digestive system. He had 4 months of ear infections and has allergies. We tested him for specific food allergies and found that he is allergic to peanuts. Doctors are unsure if this has anything to do with fluid in his ears ro any tummy issues, but we are avoiding all peanut products!

More Answers

It can be normal for a bf baby to poop that often. My babies would poop every time I nursed them.
If he also seems uncomfortable it may be the dairy. If you havn't already I would cut out ALL forms of dairy not just the obvious. That will mean that you will have to read labels and find out what all the diffrent code names are in the ingrediant list. It can take 2 or more weeks for the dairy protien to completely leave your system.
I hope that every thing works its self out!
Blessings, K.

Hi M.
It sounds like your doing your best. Did you try eliminating gluten; wheat, barley, rye? Most of us off gluten feel better off dairy because the proteins are similar. You could also wear him in a sling next to your skin, babies do better when touched.
Best of luck to you, A. H

My first son had the same issues but not as sensitive to dairy. His ears were terrible! He had a cycle of ear infections/antibiotics/diarrhea for 10 months straight!! I fought getting tubes because it sounded so scary to put him under anesthesia.

When my 2nd son was born, he started the same pattern, only at 5 months old!! (way earlier than my oldest) So I decided to do the tubes when he was 10 months old. He was an early walker at 9 months. But he would walk a couple steps and fall down. The day after the surgery when we could let him get around by himself, I nursed him in the morning and put him down and he walked across the room!! I couldn't believe how much his ears affected him.

Every time my boys would start teething, their ears would get infected, they'd be on antibiotics, they'd get diarrhea, I'd start acidopholus, they'd get another toothe, another ear infection, they'd go on another antibiotic, get diarrhea.....It's a vicious cycle!

While it's hard to watch them go under the anesthesia, they're done in literally 7 minutes and they are not in any pain. And the rewards are amazing!!! I would get tubes put into his ears as soon as possible. Then you don't have the added worry of too many antibiotics and his body requiring stronger and stronger doses/kinds to fight off future illnesses.

By the way, my oldest is 7 and just yesterday had another ear infection in the ear that his tube fell out. Some kids just have a hard time with that and both his dad and I still have sensitive ears too.

Hope this helps!

I breastfed my son and he was a pooping machine too. I don't think it's bad for a strictly breastfed baby to stool after each feeding and if you're feeding him every 2-3 hours (as recommended for breastfeeding) then I don't think you have anything to worry about. If you truly think something is wrong with your son then seek a second opinion or request other tests. I'm not a doctor but if baby seems healthy (proper growth, not dehydrated, etc) then don't worry and just enjoy your time with him...they grow so fast!

It sounds like your son could have an intolerance to foods other than dairy. Another poster mentioned celiac disease - I think it would be a good idea to have your son tested. He could also be intolerant/allergic to wheat (which is more common than you'd realize). The one thing I really recommend is to hold off on an vaccines while you're trying to figure this out. A lot of pediatricians will say it's fine to vaccinate as long a child doesn't have a fever. Some of the research I've done suggests otherwise (especially if the child is on antibiotics). I wish you the best of luck in sorting through all of this!

My husband's side of the family has what we call "active bowels". My daughter inherited this from them. At age 3.5, she still has several BMs each day. She is not allergic or sensitive or intolerant to anything. My husband is lactose intolerant, but he doesn't eat a lot of dairy. This is just the way some people on his side of the family are: they have sensitive stomachs. I breastfed my daughter, and she had a BM every time I fed her even after she started eating solids(and they were mostly loose stools, even though I was feeding her adequate fiber). I think that if your son is growing well and not dehydrated, he is probably fine. But you are the mom and if something feels like it's not right, well, God gave us a maternal instinct for a reason. Best of luck.

For one I think your tripping out and need to breath and relax. 1st. when a child has been on antibiotics it is very possible for them to have loose stools for up to 10 days. 2ndly your breastfeeding him so that will give him loose stools too. When breastfeeding a child and and he is boy it is more normal for them to have 6 to 8 stool diapers anyway. He is older now than was before. You said he had a gi problem. Maybe the gi problem with the stool has grown itself to normal and he is getting better. Babies grow out of certain things. His reflex may not get better till almost a year or so. He may even grow out of the milk allergy too. Just relax and see if it passes. When changing him you may want to air his bottom and also wash his bottom with a wet cloth not wipes. Wipes will chap him. rinse his bottom under running water air dry for half an hr and put on a clean diaper with cream. Good luck he will get better!!!

Sounds like a lactose intolerance.

Has it been mentioned to do a sweat chloride test to rule out Cystic Fibrosis? Mention it to the pediatrician. It is a non-evasive test.

My son was misdiagnosed until he was a year old. Many of the similar stool issues were going on. He also had food allergies so things were complicated in sorting it all out.

Listen to your instincts and be persistent in sorting it all out!

Poor little guy! Hooray for you, you are breastfeeding! Those antibiotics can sure do a number on a little one's insides. I read so many things about babies being on reflux medication. My kids are 31, 27 and 25. Until I started on Mamasource, I had never heard of this before in babies....neither have any of my friends. I still don't even know what it is, but it sounds like there is alot of spitting up going on with reflux????? ALL babies will spit up a bit OR alot...we always said the babies were just overflowing from eating too much at once. I think docs overmedicate ALOT thinking all the moms just want a solution to an age old baby issue. Back in my day (ha-ha) we gave just a ittle bite of oatmeal for this problem.
For the poop issue, breastfed babies DO poop more frequently than bottle babies. Breastmilk is alot easier to digest than formula and there is very little solid waste to it...mustard diapers.
You have had him to the doctor and he is growing and healthy. No worries!

Our son went through a similar situation last summer, he was older than your son but had constant loose stools. They lasted for over a month and we had him back and forth to the doctor twice. We discovered that our son has this problem when he's teething. This could also be why your son isn't sleeping well since teething can put pressure on their ears. As long as he's hydrated and eating, I wouldn't worry too much about it, their little bodies can do some crazy things!!

My son is 14 months old and also has a lot of bowel issues, he too is on acid reflux meds. I would wait another week or two before trying any other changes. It can take sometimes up to 2 weeks to get bowel habits back on track after antibiotics. To be honest I think your best bet is to go back to doing things the way you were before your baby got sick the first time. Don't do the elimination diet, don't do the probiotics. Just make sure you keep your baby hydrated and ride it out. It is too soon after the meds to know if there is something else happening. As for the cramping, try mylicon, it works like a charm for my son. I would not start worrying that your baby has allergies, or celiac disease or any of the other stuff yet. It sounds like your baby had a strong couple of courses of antibiotics close together and his little bowels just need a little more time to get back on track. Good luck. PS if you give him baby food yet, try bananas and applesauce, they help to bind things up.

I might stop everything and try starting from scratch so to speak. I would take him off the reflux meds, continue giving him a probiotic, take yourself (if nursing) off of all dairy, eggs and gluten. I know this sounds incredibly hard (my 7 year old daughter and I have been doing it for 5 weeks once we had a blood test done for her that showed high sensitivities and I do it with her so she doesn't feel bad), but it is not as horrible as it sounds. I know that gluten can cause diarrhea. It's hard, however, to determine since antibiotics were involved (which almost always cause diarrhea). Since it started before the antibiotics, it's probable that the tummy issues may be from food. His body may have taken all of the reactive food(s) it could take by 4 months and then started showing symptoms. The probiotic will help rebuild the good bacteria that was killed on that antibiotic, and if you just stick to veggies, rice and lean proteins (not eggs though)....you may begin to notice an improvement in him as soon as a week (but may take a bit longer to show as well). If it ends up improving the situation, try to stay off of those foods for at least 4 weeks (optimally 8 weeks). Then add one of those foods back into your diet, every other day for a week, one food at a time. If there is no reaction, you will know that the food is no longer a sensitivity for him and can try the next food. Obviously, if there are symptoms, you will know which food(s) he cannot tolerate. Remember to read your labels carefully because even soy sauce contains wheat!

Also, since he is 6 months, you may want to try giving him some baby bananas which can help his b.m's to become less loose.

Lastly, if the diet is too much for you to adhere to, you could always try him on one of the hypoallergenic formulas (I think Similac makes Allumentin and Enfamil makes Nutramigin).

Good luck regardless, and if you need some good food suggestions---should you decide to try the gluten/dairy/egg free diet---I would be happy to give you the food ideas that actually taste good!

I have been there with my middle son. He was 8 months old. I was no longer nursing so I had to give hime progestermil formula, pear juice and rice cakes. He is now 27 but back then health food was not in so I had to buy the pear juice from a specialty store by the case and it was not expensive. The special formula was hard to find and expensive as well. Also rice only cakes did not readily exist. He was on this for almost 3 months then everything settled down; he could have diary and all foods after that with no returning issues. My oldes at 2 had to be given something similar to immodium prescribed by the ped. He was having diarrhea for 2 weeks and I had to stop it before he became dehydriated. Good Luck

hello, my name is K.. i have a nephew who like your son was brestfed and he had many bowl movements. my sister was sure that there was something. to make a very long story short, my nephew had the same problems your son did. turns out he has celiacs disease (allergic to gluten) a product found in wheat. it took over a year to find out what he had. by his 2 year check-up, he was under weight and very small for his size. i don't mean to scare you, but the sooner you have him tested, the better the results. it is a blood test, but there are 2 different kinds. if it is celiacs disease, it can all be fixed by a change in his diet as well as yours (since you are brest feeding). i hope this will help. my sister when a long time to find out what was wrong with my nephew, the do's said the same things to her, there is nothing we can find. trust in your self, he is your son, you know what is normal.

best of luck,

ps i don't think i spelled the name of the disease correctly

How is your son otherwise? Is he acting normally, or is he acting like he is in pain or sick? If you think he is acting sick, it sounds like it is time for him to see a pediatric gi specialist. It is true that breastfed babies can have frequent bowel movements, but the key is that this is a change in your sons habits.

It sounds like a lot has been going on and you've been dealing with each issue as it comes and being very diligent. Good for you for breastfeeding and sticking with it! Best thing you can do! I guess, if the doctor isn't worried, I wouldn't be in the light of so many infections, meds etc. I'd continue to watch him and be sure he's hydrated adequately and see how it goes over the next couple of weeks. If nothing else is wrong and he's growing well and clearly not ill, I wouldn't be too concerned.

Try some probiotics. You can get some that is made for infants at health food stores (I get ours at the Good Food Co in Troy). Its refrigerated and can be hard to find, so you may as well ask for help as soon as you walk in the store. Its about $25.00 a jar, which seems like a lot, but it lasts a couple of months.
This has really made a difference in our baby (9 months). He too was getting ear infections, then antibiotics, which destroy the good bacteria in his belly.
We mix ours with some pured fruit (it comes in powdered form) and he gets some every single day. You can mix it with expressed breast milk, etc. Again- its made a HUGE difference!

Good luck and pm me and let me know if you tried it and if it worked.

PS- Many believe it takes 6 weeks for milk proteins to leave your body, so be patient on that front too.

Have you thought about a gluten allergy? My son had tummy issues from day one, he is lactose intollerant and just would scream for hours. After I elimated dairy from my diet he got better, but not great. I noticed that around 4 or 5 months (about the time I introduced other foods) he stopped growing. after an internet search I found gluten intollerance. The signs are lactose intollerance, excessive bowel movements, and lack of growth. Living gluten free is tough, but worth it! Since we started he almost immediately slept through the night, and his tummy is still pretty sensitive, but for the most part he acts like a normal 2 year old. There is a lot of info out there...Good luck!

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