51 answers

Infant Constipation - Asheboro,NC

I have a 15 week old precious daughter who seems to me to be constipated. I nurse her only once in the morning and pump breastmilk and feed her a bottle during the day, but strickly breastmilk. She will go like 3-5 days without BM. At first, I was not concerned, because my son had one occasion of being consipated. I called the Dr. they said to give a suppositorie and they fixed it. My daughter on the other hand probably has had maybe 5 BM's in the month of March. However, I have called the dr. and said to try apple juice and water, she would not take that. They said to try like 1/4 tsp of Karo syrup to breastmilk until she gets regular, that has not helped. I have given her suppostitories several times and nothing. I feel and palpate her stomach and it does not feel hard nor painful to her when I do it. Occocially does it seem to affect her feedings, she want take the whole bottle and seems squimish, like moving her legs around and just not her normal, calm self. I have tried warm baths, exercise her legs, turning her from front to back. Even putting the thermometer slightly in her rectalto try to motivate things. Nothing seems to work. I do have a dr. appointment today and DO NOT want to hear that it is because I am breastfeeding. I am very cautious to what I eat. I breastfeed my son for 14 mths and he seemed to do fine. I have tried looking around on the internet for infant constipation, not that much helpful info. Has anyone experiece constipation with an infant. It just seems odd to me that as many times as she is eating during the day (every 3 hours) she should have a BM more often. Does anyone know if you can give MiraLax to an infant..thanks for any advice

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So What Happened?™

Thank you to all that have helped me and my daughter with what I thought was constipation. I was apparently doing everything right all along, by giving her God's formual: BREASTMILK!! I had no idea about the harmful spores in Karo Syrup. She will not getting anyone syrup. This website was extremely helpful. Thank you again!! God Bless all!! S.

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Hello. I am a doctor and I tell you that is definitely not because of breastfeeding.There are children (like adults) that go to the bathroom every 4-5 days and it is totally normal. I wouldn´t do anything as it seems it doesn´t bother her. You could put micralax but I don´t recommended because I think she doesn´t need it. And you, eat what you want. It is different that in an adult that has to eat a lot of fiber.
All will regulate with the time...

I know that you don't want to hear that it's because you are breastfeeding but it may be. I have a 13 week old daughter that I breastfeed and she can go days without having a bm. My 21 month old daughter was the same way. I did read somewhere that it was not unusual for breastfed babies to go 5-7 days without a bm. They eat a lot throughout the day and it does seem a little weird that they don't go more. But if she's not in pain try not to worry too much. Easy for me to say. Good luck!


I understand what you are going through. I thought that he should be going every day when I was breast feeding. My Dr told me not to worry. He asked me if he was pulling his legs up and seemed like he was in pain I told him no. He asked when he is crying does his stomach feel like a hard ball and tender to the touch again I said no. He finally asked me when he does have a BM is it loose or in hard balls. To which I responded no. He then told me that he would not be concerned about him having a BM every 3 to 4 days. He did however tell me if it goes to 7 days then he needs to be seen immediately. Hope this helps.

D. S.

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You baby is not constipated. This is completely normal for a breastfed baby. It's just throwing you off since your son's BM habits were more frequent. And I have to say this: your doctor's office gave you bad advice. Karo syrup should not be used, that's dangerous and outdated advice. And there is no need for suppositories. Repeated use can actually cause harm. Please checkout kellymom.com and use the search engine to find FACT BASED articles on constipation and bowel movements in infants. Then check out their forums where real moms talk to each other (this board is moderated so stupid advice is labeled so!). You'll feel better once you read about other moms who worried about the same thing, then found it it was normal. Here's a link to one of the articles I found on there http://www.umc-cares.org/health_info/article.asp?Category...
Here's an ancerpt: "at 3-6 weeks of age, breast-fed babies may only have one stool a week. This is because breast milk leaves very little waste in the intestines to be passed. Again, if the stool, when passed, is not hard, this is completely normal. In general, it is almost impossible for strictly breast-fed babies to become constipated."
Now back to the Karo syrup thing. Karo syrup can contain botulism spores. Although Karo has changed their manufacturing process in recent years to cut down on this, the chance is still there. Trust me on this. Google it. Go to Karo's website, they have a disclaimer about it. If it were me, I would print this information and take it to my doctor's appointment and show them they are giving out dangerous and out dated advice. I don't care if it's a small chance of contracting botulism, it's a chance I wouldn't want to take.
Good luck and best wishes to you!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,

I know it is frustrating for you that your daughter doesn't have more frequesnt BM's. My pediatricians (two different in two different states)have told me in the past that breastfed babies can go up to a week without a BM as they absorb the majority of the milk and there is little waste. If she is not uncomfortable (bloated with a hard belly), she probably doesn't need to go. My understanding is she is too young for Miralax, I think they have to be 18 months old. We used Karo syrup in warm water or warm baby apple juice with dark Karo twice a day and that helped. When she is 6 months old, she will be old enough to add solids and when she starts to eat cereal it will help also as she will have some bulk for her intestines to push. Rice cereal was constipating for both of my kids but they did great with baby oatmeal.
Hang in there, it will pass.

HI S.,

There are good results with chiropractic for these cases, not all of course, but it is non invasive. Just look at ICPA4kids.org and find a DC with extra training near you. There are different ways of working with kids and different techniques, like Logan and others for these problems.

Good luck,

WHen your baby DOES poop, is it hard and pellet like? or is it soft and "normal" breastfed poop? (about the consistency of mustard in any number of colors)

If it is the latter, she is NOT constipated. A baby is only constipated when her stools are hard. Many breastfed babies will go for days, and up to a week, without having a bowel movement. That's because so much of breast milk is NOT waste and their bodies (colons) soak it up.

If she is not in pain and her poops are not hard and pellet-like, you have nothing to worry about. 5 BMs in one month is not unusual if she is going once a week.

This is normal. It's also normal for her to strain and turn red to push out a "normal" (not hard, pellet like) poop.


I think it is very likely she is not constipated. I have read and know from personal experience that if a baby is given breastmilk only he/she may not have as many bowel movements as a formula fed baby. My first daughter was strictly breastfed and only had a bowel movement once a week. You could literally set your watch by it--every Tuesday after lunch she would poop! My pediatrician said this is not abnormal and the American Academy of Pediatrics book says the same thing. So if she does not seem to be overly fussy or in pain with a rigid abdomen I would say let it be and once you introduce solid foods the number of movements will increase. BTW I have read different reasons for why this happens and one said that breastmilk is just easier for them to digest and they use it so efficiently that there is not much left over to be excreted from the body.

Hope this helps!


this is where people get confused constipation is not, not going. constipation is having hard dry bms. if shes doing that then i would say their is a problem. but if its normal then dont worry about it, its normal to not go every day for these little ones

Hi S.! When my son was that age I worried that he wasn't pooping enough. He never showed discomfort or pain and his Dr said he was completely normal. I did notice that after five or six days he became a little more gassy than usual and then when he was finally ready to "pooh" he would wiggle around a lot, especially while nursing. I always checked to make sure it was soft. Once, when he was about five months old his BM looked like rabbit pellets. I was told that rice cereal and bananas sometimes can cause constipation. Now he's almost ten months old and has a BM anywhere from three times a day to once a week. I no longer worry!

It's totally normal for a breastfed infant to poop only every 7-10 days. My oldest went once a week, but my youngest only went every 10-14 days!! I was concerned when that first happened, but my doctor assured me that while it was not usual, it was also not abnormal. If your child develops a fever, you should call the doctor right away, but otherwise, just try to be patient, and if your child gets to 14 days without pooping, call the doctor. Some kids just use up and break down breastmilk so completely that they don't have as much waste as other kids. I know it's a little disconcerting, but once I got used to it, it was kind of nice changing stinky diapers only once every two weeks. :) Good luck!

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