E.H. asks from Baton Rouge, LA on October 25, 2008
My daughter is about 4 1/2 weeks old. I recently switched her from breastmilk to formula. We have been out of town for the past few days and I have noticed a change in her BMs. I have read that 3 days of no BMs is considered "constipated". On day 3 she had a runny runny BM that was dark gray in color (it reminds me of clay for some reason??). She went another 2 days with nothing and towards the middle to end of day 3 she had another stool that looked the same.
One person suggested a small bottle of apple juice and a suppository from the store. I was unsure if she could have the juice. As for the other, I'm a bit nervous about all that.
Is this normal? Should I call the dr if things are not better by Monday? Today was day 3 so I'm figuring if she has the same routine it would be Tuesday before she has another BM. She has plenty of wet diapers- she does not fuss really. She eats well. I'm not real sure what else it might be...
Thanks in advance!
N.N. answers from New Orleans on October 27, 2008
First of all, shame on you for stopping breastfeeding. It is BEST for baby. The constipation is due to the formula. It's okay for a formula fed baby to go for up to a week without a BM. She may be a bit cranky, though. No one likes to be constipated! NO JUICE just yet. She is too young. When you do introduce juice, it should be 1 part juice to 2 parts water (1oz juice, 2oz h2o). A drop of Dark Karo Syrup mixed in should help. Did you know that babies who are breastfed for at least 6 months have a higher IQ?
C.C. answers from Huntsville on October 27, 2008
C.T. answers from Little Rock on October 27, 2008
unfortunately, it is normal for babies to have a hard time transitioning from breast to formula. My son went through the same thing. His pediatrician told me to use glycerine suppositories to get him to poop. I would not give a 5 week old baby apple juice. Their bodies are not ready to digest anything like that yet.
A.K. answers from Tulsa on October 27, 2008
I've always heard that babies who are formula fed have fewer BMs than BF babies....actually up to once every 3 days. I always got worried when my kiddos switched from breast to bottle because of the cycle change. But our dr told us the same thing every time.....unless baby seems to be in pain then their should be no worries. As long as baby is happy, then dont' worry about it. Good luck and congrats on your new little princess!!
D.M. answers from Lawton on October 27, 2008
My daughter did the same thing, but had to be switched to Nutramigen because she had a milk protein allergy and couldn't break down the formula by herself. But when she was constipated, I hated using the suppositories, too. A friend of mine suggested MiraLAX and it worked wonderfully. My pediatrician even suggested it when he returned my call. It is an over-the-counter powder that you mix with water, milk, juice or even food. There isn't a dosage for babies, but I started with a 1/2 teaspoon in her bottles and waited a day or so then increased by 1/2 teaspoons. She was about 4 months old at the time and 1 1/2 teaspoon got her going and just to keep her regular, I would used about 1/2 teaspoon every day in her morning bottle. It is non-addictive, so there's no worry that she'll HAVE to have it in order to go and that's what I liked about it. Also, if you want to give her juice, you can use Gerber Prune Juice, but dilute it 1/4 juice and 3/4 water. I'd prefer the MiraLAX in her regular bottle, myself. Hope this helps!!
J.L. answers from Biloxi on October 27, 2008
I had the same problem with my daughter. I ended up switching her formula to Enfamil Gentleease. I would also make a 4 ounce bottle of half apple juice (I used the Gerber juice for babies) and half water. I would give her that throughout the day along with her formula. As long as she had that she seemed to stay regulated. She would only go once a day maybe twice. Before I got her on the right formula I would give her half a suppository when she hadn't gone in more than 3 days. Her doctors weren't much help they just said that she was learning how to use those muscles and would work itself out. So I pretty much had to figure it out on my own and they didn't like the fact that I was giving her extra juice and water before she was 6 months but I had to do what was right for her and it wasn't hurting her any because she still ate her formula like she should. She just turned a year in September and to this day I have to make sure she gets enough fruit and veggies and watch her intake on milk and cheese products so she doesn't get constipated. Anyway I hope this helps.
L.C. answers from Oklahoma City on October 27, 2008
My son was formula-fed. Babies on formula do not have as many BM's as breastmilk babies. There is generally nothing wrong. Sometimes, my son would go 5-6 days without a BM. The first time I took him to the doctor, but she wasn't concerned at all and said to only bring him if he acted like he was in pain about it or extremely fussy. He was like that until he was a little older like 3-4 months.
I wouldn't suggest giving her juice. Her little system is too young for the natural sugars in the fruit. It could cause allergies too. I also would not suggest a suppository. Once again, she is probably too young.
If you are concerned, give your doctor a call. For things like that, they sometimes will just answer your questions over the phone.
Hopefully this helps!
A.M. answers from Oklahoma City on October 27, 2008
I remember with both my girls that at around 1 month their BM's changed. One of my friends (who had 4 kids and had seen it plenty) called it "getting her system adjusted". After she told me that I looked it up and found it in the baby book. I wouldn't use the apple juice or the suppositories, she is too young for such harsh measures. Try just giving her a bottle of just water, just getting more liquids will help her some too. I seem to remember them going as much as a week between, and boy when they went it was a blowout! You will get into a routine with it and be able to say, "o today is a poo day, let's stay close to home", or put her in clothes that can get stained. Good luck, you are being a good mom to worry! A.
L.H. answers from Baton Rouge on October 27, 2008
I would definitly say call your doctor, thats what they are there for. And if you're not comfortable calling them about these things I say find another doctor. Good Luck.
D.B. answers from New Orleans on October 29, 2008
i have a question. why did you switch from breast to formula while your baby girl is still so young? she is sooo young to go through such an abrupt change in diet. and as for the apple juice, i disagree on that as an option. Her digestive system is too new to handle juices at this time. The suppositories for infants will help if she is constipated. i had to use them for my 2nd child who also had difficulty with formulas. They saved his life, I'm sure and caused no ill effects later down the road!
If possible, I would go back to breast feeding her even if it means you have to pump the milk and feed her at times with a bottle. Her system is in shock from the change. And NO i'm not fussing at you or accusing you of screwing up. Not at all, so please don't be offended by my words. I'm only wanting to be clear in my communication based on my experience and knowledge after having raised 3 who are now full grown and healthy as horses!
God bless you and your little one! good luck. and write again if you feel the need.
G.V. answers from Lafayette on October 27, 2008
Hey E.. We went through the same thing with my daugther, who is 11 weeks old now. Everytime she gets irregular like that I mix an ounce of apple juice and an ounce of prune juice in a bottle and feed it to her. It could be in the middle of feedings or when she eats. My daughter eats 5 ounces of milk now so I'll give her the 2 ounces of apple/prune juice mix and 3 ounces of milk. She'll normally have a BM within 24 hours. It may be a darker color than normal. I have also given her white grape juice and this has also helped. I was also told a teaspoon of KARO in a milk bottle helps. I've tried it and it didn't do anything. All babies are different though. Hope this helps!