43 answers

Constipated 7 Week Old

My sister in law has a 7 week old son who, we think, is constipated. Sorry to be so graphic, but the consistency of the poop is correct but he strains, grunts and groans for hours and hours before he is able to poop and sometimes goes 2 or 3 days without going. He is also incredibly gassy. The pediatrician told her to give him prune juice and it worked for a few days but now he's back to straining. Now the doctor says he's just has colic which we think is a bit of a catch all and doesn't really help her.

Has anyone dealt with this and are there any suggestions of what she can do or give him to help with this? He is breastfed.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to all of you who took the time to respond. I'm pretty much in to organic and holistic type solutions so she tried the fennel seed "tea" first and that has worked like a charm. Thanks again for all of the suggestions.

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I agree with just about everything here..While I didnt have to use the suppositories with my two breastfed babies.. we did have to use the Karo syrup and we gave diluted apple juice bottles to keep things moving..
The apple juice worked most times and the syrup was the back up plan when thing got really bound up...
Also breast feeding tends to be more efficient than formula (all the nutrients can be used with a lot less waist product) so they dont poop as much or as often...
Hope this helps!

Hi V.,

I went threw the exact same thing with my son at that age.He would just cry and cry because he was in pain. And yes some of it was because he was colic and he was very gassy too, but we found out that it was his milk that his system couldn't tolerate he was dropping weight and refused to eat. So at that point his doctor changed his milk to soy and it has worked for us extremely well his weight picked up within the 1st two weeks. He is now 7 months old. I don't know if she is breastfeeding or bottle but she may want to talk with the doctor about the possibility that its the milk. Hope he gets better.


What's wrong with doing a little prune juice everyday, if it works? I would dilute first and see if that works just as well.

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I am 58 years old, I had the same problem with my daughter. My mom put about 1 tsp of white karo syrup in 4 oz. of water and bottle fed my daughter. It corrected the problem and got her adjusted. I would check with my dr. first. It was a problem to get her to drink plain water, then.
a mom in Ga

Hi V.,

This sounds like a possible imbalance in the fore and hind milk. Not enough hind milk can cause gas and irritability, too much gas can look like constipation. It is not unusual for exclusively breastfed babies to go 2-3 days between bowel movements. If she isn't already doing this have her put the baby to only one breast for 2-3 hours at a time and only then switch to the other breast. Prune juice is not normally necessary. Have her consult with a good independent lactation consultant.


Hi V., my son had the same problem when he was that age. When he had trouble, I used an old remedy of warm water,about an oz.in a bottle.That would help him go almost immediately. We still kept having this problem often,so I tried different brands of formula and different kinds,such as lactose intolerent etc. Then we went to soy,it worked really well for him and he no longer had the constipation issue.We went with this until he was 10months,added vit.D milk a little at a time until he was 12months and off of the soy formula completely.We did not have any trouble w/switching him from soy to whole milk.I wasn't able to breastfeed so,I don't know what to say about your nephew being breastfed,except maybe it's something in your sister-in-law's diet.Something she eats or drinks maybe bothering him. Hopefully he gets through this soon.Poor baby. I hope this helps.You're a wonderful Aunt.

Poor little guy! Tell her to keep up with the watered down prune juice. There are a lot of people who suggest Karo Syrup (both on here & just in general). Personally, I think it's too much sugar for that young. It's highly processed. You want things as pure & natural as possible. I agree with those who said to have her check her diet. Have her contact Le Leche League. They can direct her properly as far as diet goes.

I am a 53 year old mama of 2 adult girls and grandma of a 9 yr old girl and a 3 yr old girl..........I know the doc and all the experts will disagree with me, but I have been through the baby being constipated deal many times.........my solution, that my mama and grandma told me was, to put about a tablespoon of clear Karo syrup in the bottle a couple of times a week. I don't know how or why, but it helps! It is also cheap and easy. Hope it helps your sis in law!

That situation sounds exactly like what we went through. My son was breastfed, grunted and strained every time he pooped, and was always gassy. I, too, thought he was constipated but the doctor said most likely not (to this day I still disagree). If I gave him juice of any kind or prunes, he'd get extremely watery stools for days, so that wasn't working either.

When he hit age 1, he would scream and cry everytime he had a bowel movement. He still does fuss a little and his is now almost 2. We never to this day know exactly what the problem is(although I still say he is constipated).

Is mom drinking milk or eating it with cereal, etc? If she is taking just one tablespoon of milk, she needs to stop. That is awful for colicky breastfed babies. Another thing she can do is take the baby to a chiropractor because they deal with colicky infants and cure them so well. Make sure that she finds one that deals with babies. Milk can constipate us adults or give us diarrhea, so it can definitely happen with babies through the breastmilk.

After she has done that, he should be fine, if not, then she should change some things that she is eating. Milk is definitely THE BIGGEST CULPRIT of infants besides needing to be adjusted after being born.

My daughter was and still is this way (almost 3 years old now) and she would turn tomato red trying to poop back when she was a breastfed baby too. When I mentioned it to my mom-in-law she said both my husband and her sister (his aunt) had been the same way so it was probably a herideratry issue. I've been told everything from her bootyhole is too small to I'm feeding her the wrong foods, to she'll just grow out of it. One thing I was cautioned about was that you don't want her/him straining b/c it'll cause tears in the booty area. Anyway, he's pretty small to be giving him any of the stuff I use now (more on that in a minute). On thing that did help her when she was tiny...we'd use Vasaline and massage her little hole to help her relax and poop. Once my daughter began eating solid foods we started giving her the tiniest bit of mineral oil (like 1/2 of a 1/2 tsp) each night to keep things loosened up. We laid off it when she turned two thinking it would get better now she was older but she continued to struggle and her pedetrician put her on Miralax. Now that she eats solids all the time I keep her on a fiber heavy diet (loads of fruits and "adult" cereals) with very little bread or dairy. It is easier as she's getting older but I think it's just a fact that some people are easily constipated and she and your nephew are two of them. Good luck with this!

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