44 answers

My 2-Week-old Is Constipated

My baby is showing signs of constipation (hard tummy, grunts a lot and seems to be "pushing" but when we check her diaper it's very small amounts of liquidy poo). A note, I breastfeed and formula feed, although lately we've been giving her more formula than breastmilk. Could this be the cause? Anyone ever experienced this at such a tender age? Any suggestions for how to help soothe her tummy? Thanks much.

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I would give her 1-2 teaspoons of sugar in her formula to see if that helps when she is constipated per my pediatrician;-) After 4 months old, you can give her apple prune juice to help her;-) Good luck!
C.

I had a similar experience at the same time. My daughter did not have a bowel movement for 2 days. I put in a call to the pedatrician on a Wednesday. He said if she had not had a BM by Friday to call back. That whole day she cried nonstop. I had no idea what to do. Later that evening, she had a massive BM. After that she had one everytime she ate. I attribute it to her body changing.

Hi A.,

For constipation even at that tender age what you can give her is a couple of drops of the white Karo syrup in her formula. I don't know how many months she is but if she's like under 3 months you may just want to give her this remedy once a day until she starts doing it normal. The formula does do that to babies when you switch from breastmilk to formula. It may be the iron that's causing her to get constipated but this remedy will help her. Well hope she gets better.

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STOP FEEDING THE FORMULA! Your breastmilk has colostrum in in for up to 8 - 10 weeks and will be all the laxative that your precious little one needs! If you are having trouble keeping up your milk supply you can buy a tea at a nutrition store called "Mother's Milk Tea". You can also take fenugeek. Increasing your fluid intake will also assist in increasing your milk supply. Please talk to your doctor before giving your tiny one something so harsh as a suppository or other stimulating medications. You never know if there is something more serious going on and a visit to the doctor is the best thing. But in response to the mom suggesting you listen to your elders, I would say that my elders always said that "an once of prevention is worth a pound of cure!" STICK WITH BREASTFEEDING!!!

Good luck and God Bless!

1 mom found this helpful

I breastfed both of my children and most of the advice you will find on breastfeeding will tell you that your milk supply will not completely get established, or it will diminish or completely dry up if you formula feed and breast feed. Also, you need to be aware that the iron in the formula will block the iron in your breast milk from getting to your baby. Also, the iron in the formula is constipating. Mother's milk is best for your baby and no chemist has been able to duplicate what God created, so do your baby a favor and don't mix formula feeding and breast milk. Once your baby is older, you will be able to pump milk to store in the freezer for when you absolutely can not be with your baby to feed him/her. I hope that this advice helps you and your baby.
Blessings to you and yours,
K.

1 mom found this helpful

Very, very, very normal. Your baby's digestive system is newly working those muscles. If her BMs are soft and very liquidy as you said, she is not constipated!! It is just her muscles are being trained and she has to work at it. I had the same concerns with mine, but the doctor and all the books said it was normal. It happened with all my children. As long as you are mostly breastfeeding, your child won't get constipated. If you are only formula feeding, you should offer water once a day to compensate. Otherwise, all this is normal. I breastfed and gave formula to all my children. They are all very healthy.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A.,

This is very normal! Our baby did the same thing up until she was about 4-6 weeks old and it really freaked me out at first, but I went to the doctor and he told me this was perfectly normal. Remember that breastmilk is like a natural laxative and is much easier on the tummy than anything else. If you are still worried about it, take your baby to the pediatrician and set your mind at ease.

On another note, I noticed that several folks posted that you might consider giving your baby Karo syrup. Please know that this is definitely something you should talk to your pediatrician about before you do that. Manufacturers of corn syrup cannot guarantee that their products are free from Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which can cause infant botulism, and for that reason most pediatrician's do not recommend using this method. For more information: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/karo-syrup-for-constipat...

Congratulations on your new sweet baby!

1 mom found this helpful

I would have to say that the mixture of both breastmilk and formula is not a cause. These tiny little people, so new to the world, havent yet developed those little digestive tracts.
Here is my "old school" advice. Put her on the changing table, with a diaper under her, of course. Gently massage the rectum, without "poking" in. This causes the natural reflex to poop.
If that doesnt work, lubricate the end of a thermometer with a little petrolium jelly. Only insert were the silver part is. (about an 1/8th of an inch) This, too, will cause that "urge" to poop. If she is truly constipated, the results will show it.
My own daughter went through the same thing and I was given this advice from two Grandmas and a Great Aunt. It worked.

Happy Pooping!!!

M. :)

P.S. For what its worth, I find in this day and age, we simply dont listen to our elders. They, in my opinion, are a font of information. They arent always right, but by golly, sometimes they are right on the money!!!

1 mom found this helpful

No she is not constipated. The formula is upseting her stomach and causeing the gas and bloating etc. Give her MORE BREASTMILK. Constipation is not based on how often we have a bowel movement, although most people think that. If you are able to breastfeed quite giving her that fake stuff. She needs your milk.
Sam Evans LM CPM
wholisticmidwifery.com

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A.

When my daughter was born 4 months ago, she did alot of grunting and I mean a lot with constant pushing. Does you daughter cry when she does the pushing and grunting? What formula do you have her on? My daughter also did the combo of breast feeding and formula feeding for the first two weeks of her life. I was told by ther doctor that the grunting is just what she does, it's just her expressing herself. I was worried about the pushing, worried she's give herself a hernia or something but she is fine now. She never cried along with the grunting and pushing. Now at 4 months she is very verbal constant babbleing and I was told that all the grunting and pushing was just because she was going to be very verbal and she is. I did have to change her formula to sensitive and that seemed to help the pushing. Hope you find some relief in my email. If all else fails take her to her doctor. Have a wonderful day

C.

1 mom found this helpful

I just wanted to let you know that I sent you a pm. Please read it and let me know. Also, don't believe every little article you hear about bf vs. formula feed babies. I want you to think about people who adopt and do not have a choice but to feed formula. Their babies are just fine and their IQ is very high. Trust me! Plus, my best friend has a serious illness that won't allow her to bf. She does not produce the hormone Oxytocin which is what "stimulates the ejection of milk into the ducts of milk." Her doctor tested her levels and this is after she took fenugeek/blessed thistle/goats rue/mother's milk/ and an illegal drug which you could only buy in Canada..anyway, her levels were so low that the doctor was impressed that she bf for as long as she did. This doctor fed her 4 babies bm for a year. I just say all this that no matter what you decide to do that as a mom...you know what is best between you and your doctor and WE SUPPORT YOU!!! Hang in there and READ MY PM to you!!!!!!!

much love and support!!!!!!

Constipation can be caused by diet but it can also be a sign of a more serious condition. It is best to call your pediatrician as soon as possible to determine the cause.
M.

it could be the combination. have you tried 1/2 ounce water and 1/2 ounce pear juice. this was recommended by my ped. it helped!!!

She may have gas too.
I am a first time mom as well, so when my baby girl showed those signs, the docs told me she may be suffering from gas. I ended up giving her Mylicon. And when she was older, infant suppositories. Although don't use this method too much she will get dependent on it.
Talk to your doctor about your options. SHe is much too young to just listen to other moms...your doc may have a natural way.
Also, try burping her more, thats what i had to do until I got the Mylicon from the doc.
Good luck!

Hi A.,

For constipation even at that tender age what you can give her is a couple of drops of the white Karo syrup in her formula. I don't know how many months she is but if she's like under 3 months you may just want to give her this remedy once a day until she starts doing it normal. The formula does do that to babies when you switch from breastmilk to formula. It may be the iron that's causing her to get constipated but this remedy will help her. Well hope she gets better.

A.,

Are you eating a lot of yogurt, cheeses and milk. This will cause you baby to be constipated. Also broccoli, onions and things like this will cause cramping. Have you tried drinking a little orange juice. This may relieve some of your babies constipation. Remember everything you eat goes to her. You might keep a journal of what you are eating so you can see her reactions.

Her constipation is due to her formula. You need to let her peditrician aware so the formula can be changed. in the mean time , try to breast feed more than formula. If you have to work you can express the breast milk and leave it in the refrigerator. A..

My daughter is 5 years old and has been constipated from birth also. It has never gotten better. The Dr's. say she may grow out of it when she gets older. We have her take a stool softener named lactulax. We have brought her numerous times to gastroenterologists, with the only suggestions being to take this medicine daily. We tried to stop, and only feed her high fibre natural foods such as fruits and veggies. To no avail. We start the day with a papaya, and bananna smoothie mixed with Activa natural yogurt, psyllium husk, and flax seed oil.

I know how frustrated you may become, but just try to relax and do check with a pediatrician though. I seem to remember when she was a baby they gave us a jam or a pectate which helped our baby for a while.

I also do think that the formula could be causing this also. There is a lot of iron (which is necessary!) for babies, and some tolerate it well and some don't. I tried to breast feed as much as possible, but only lasted 8 months. I noticed the change also from breast to formula.

It may just be the way she is. My advice would be to do the same as I did. Start with the pediatrician, then if that does not work, go to a Dr. specializing in the intestines, and do keep her on a daily pooper aid.

Good luck. I know how hard it is. My daughter used to cry and be scared to death to go #2, poor thing. She would cause tears and bleed sometimes after she went to the bathroom. Now at 5 years she is getting better.

Deborah

Your baby is not constipated. True constipation would result in small, hard stools that are difficult to move. She is doing exactly what a newborn baby should be doing. Many babies have to "concentrate" or "push" their BM's out, but if the result is still essentially liguid stools, you should be fine.

It is possible her tummy is upset from the formula. Is there a specific reason you are supplementing so early? If you need the concenience of an occasional bottle, I would recommend pumping your breastmilk and offering that instead.

In addition, you are at risk supplementing so early unless you pump to replace the feeding. It can result in reduced milk supply. Unless there's a very good reason for supplementing, I'd go back to breastmilk exclusively until much later, or never! breastmilk is so much better for both of you! :)

Shelley Scotka
Certified Childbirth Educator
Certified Birth and Postpartum Doula
Breastfeeding Educator

Put a spoon of clear karo in her bottle and this should fix the problem. Do this for each feeding from the bottle. B. mother of three granmother to 10

If she's needing a bowel movement, try a dab of dark Kayro syrup (NOT the lite but the dark). A dab about the size of the tip of your little finger, put it in the beverage & it should do the trick. If still having issues, yes I'd call a dr about it.

Hi
I just wanted to let you know that my daughter suffered the same way. She is now 8 months old but when she was very young she went through a tough time transitioning to formula as well. I was concerned because she only pooped about once every 7-10 days. My doctor reassured me that this was normal for breast fed babies. We began feeding her formula when we noticed her developing a lactose intolerance to my breast milk. I was crushed!!
Try taking her feet and moving them in a "bicycle " motion to help move her bowels. Later you could also try pear juice mixed with water- that seemed to help a bit. You might try looking at the sensitive types of formula as well.
I was as also told that pooping is a learned experience and that she would eventually ease into it- and she did! I hope your little one does too!
good luck and congratulations on your new love!

My baby boy is 4 months. That first month was HARD. I called the hopsital several times a day. If you have questions you can always call the peidactric ward. I was told to use the light karo surp the amounts i dont remember. But call your dr. The liquidy stools might mean something else. But our doctor said it would be normal if our baby went a day or so with out poop! Remember those nurses are avalible 24 hrs 7 days. Always some good medical advice when you need it. Good luck.

Yes, formula fed babies tend to be more constipated. If you go back to breastfeeding more, than your baby should be less constipated. Be sure and eat your vegetables. Also, babies digest easier when they are on their tummy. In the daytime, try putting your baby to sleep on her tummy and see if that helps. Good Luck!

I went through the same thing w/my son when I was switching from breast milk to formula. I think it's the iron in the formula. It's so hard on the babies stomach. What got us through it was giving him a glycerin supository. We had to be careful so that he or his body did not get use to it. We had to do it for like a month (maybe a little longer) and then all the sudden we didn't need it anymore. I guess his body took a while to get use to the formula. Sometimes, I'd put the supository in and not 5/10 min. later he'd poop. I could see almost all of the supository so it was like he needed just a little help. Best of luck-S.

From my knowledge, breastfed babies do not get constipated. Also, it is rare rare rare, very unlikely, that a 2 week old would be constipated. Babies do get hard tummies and grunt when they poo. And it could also be gas, switching between formula and breast may be ca using her to be more gassy. Does she seem uncomfortable? I would recommend (suggest), warm bath (if her cord has fallen off), gentle baby massage, raise her legs up, bend her knees toward her belly and roll them around. And Mylocon drops.

It may be your diet, I had to switch from drinking whole milk to soy milk because when I nursed I noticed our baby was constipated and gassy so we switched and it worked fine!

Hi A. I had the same problem with my chil nshe is now 6wo and every time I see trying to poo i turn her on her stomach or her side because it helps her.I ask her pedi why does that happen she told me that since she is not in a upright position like we are when we poo its alot harder for them .

First time mother also baby girl Hailey 6wo

A.,

During the transistion from breast milk to formula, my pediatrician's office recommended a bit of Karo Syrup. (preferably dark) Brian had an irritable tummy, and this worked every time.

It is been my experience that if she is on a formula that has iron, that does cause constipation. If she is on that type of formula check with your doctor and see is you can give her something before or after she eats to help her belly. Good luck.

L.
Fulshear

A., no it's not constipation. Newborns do this. They go red in the face and they push and push as if there little lives depended on it, but as you can see what they produce is runny almost liquid bright yellow poo.
Nothing at all to worry about.

Formula is a frequent cause of upset tummies for babies. It is not too late to go back to breastfeeding. Breastmilk is perfect in every way for your baby. If she has an allergy or intolerance to artificial feeding the constipation can be painful and needs a pediatrician's help. Please call her dr. with your concerns. Formula-feeding needs a lot more monitoring by the pediatrician than breastfeeding. Also formula-fed babies need more trips to the pediatrician for various illnesses. So, if you really want to formula feed, please consult the pediatrician.

You might try some Karo syrup. Dr. told me to add to one bottle a day. It helped tremendously.

What kind of formula are you feeding her? My son(he's 3.5 yrs now)would get constipation if anything had soy milk. I would suggest taking a look at the ingredients in her formula. She could be allergic to milk products, soy or so on. You might also want to look at what you're eating as well. This is something you definitely need to tell your Pediatrician about. My son to this day has constipation problems so we have to really watch what he drinks and eats...Those little glycerin suppositories work very well...Hunter hates em, but they work. We now make sure he drinks 8 oz of plum juice a day to keep him regular..LOL ...Good luck..I know how hard it is(from experience) to deal with a newborn and constipation. Nip it in the bud before it starts to hurt her.

Constipation is defined as hard stools, which your baby does not have. What you are describing is extremely common for ALL 2-week-olds--it looks and sounds as though they're turning themselves inside out just to pass a tiny liquidy bowel movement! But it's just a matter of underdeveloped muscles--she just started doing this, remember--and having to fight gravity, since she's lying down almost all the time. Formula's an easy target, but both of my breastfed babies went through the same thing. If it makes you feel better, try a different brand of formula and see if that makes a difference.

Listen to Jamie---STOP THE FORMULA and get back to the perfect food for your baby, mother's milk. There IS no adequate substitute! It contains everything your baby needs to grow and thrive. A study published THIS WEEK shows a 10 point advantage in IQ in babies who are exclusively breastfed for at least six months. The gastrointestinal difficulties will vanish if you stop using manufactured products, which were not designed by nature and CANNOT nourish your baby properly!

You Poor thing! The first few months is SO hard..... yes, it is the formula.... try watering it down- a lot..... her little tummy is stilladjusting to this world... and it can take some time.... to relieve her constipation... stick a baby rectal thermometer or a q-tip covered in vaseline.... and you will see quite a poop show.... good luck!

Try putting a very small amount of Karo syrup in the formula.

Yes, the transition from breast milk to formula is probably what is causing your baby's problems. If she does not get "regular" with her bowels in the next week or so, you may want to contact your pediatrician. My oldest daughter had the same problem. Her poo didn't become solid until after we got her on formula only. The "liquidy" part was from the fat in the breast milk. Her digestive problems didn't become regular, due to the switching back and forth. When you begin to put rice cereal in her bottles she will have digestive irregularities again. Don't panic you are doing a good job, their little tummy's have to get used to the different foods. I hope this helps, good luck!

My nepfew had the same thing.In fact he never went on his own untill he was about 2 mths. My sister had to put little liquid enamas. They make them for infants. But dont put a whole lot. Just maybe half. Then within 20 min he should go. It is safe. Our doctors told us to use them. Then see how he does for a few days and he seems to keep getting that way to try givng him 1oz of baby apple juice daily. Just 1 oz. They sell the liquid enamas at Wallgreens.

I had to supplement with formula for my daughter as well, and she did get constipated, would not go everyday. My pediatrician had me feed her Karo syrup (about 1 tablespoon per 8 oz of water) and it worked really well. My daughter had latching problems that we were not able to resolve, so I chose to breastfeed and pump, so that we supplemented with very little formula. I know how hard this is with a new baby, but breastfeed as much as you can if you are able. And if you need to give bottles, try to pump at least once/day to maintain your supply. Good luck!

I would suggest talking to your doctor first before you try any of the methods people suggest. Formula can cause the poop to thicken. However, it is not necessarily the culprit. My last 3 children would go up to 7 or 8 days with out pooping and they were all breast fed with maybe 2-3 bottles a week. when they finally went, boy did they go and it wasn't thick like I was expecting it to be. It was a normal consistency. I went to my doctor and they said to try the karo syrup. I did that and it didn't work. We tried the q-tip with K-Y on the tip, and that would work sometimes but not often. Eventually my pedi recommended giving a pediatric supository if she hadn't gone in over 7 days. When she finally went it was still a liquid. the first two outgrew the problem about the time they started on solids and I'm still going through it with my 2 month old. I haven't had to use a suppository in a couple of weeks and she is starting to go every 4-5 days. She is also quite gassy. Mylicon drops don't seem to work for her but what I found that worked is called Kid-e-col. It's by Dr. Christopher and I found it at Cost plus Nutrition. It is a formula of catnip and fennel. I used the stuff on my first child and am using on my last ( I have 4). It seems to work pretty good at easing her tummy pain. My current pedi told me one reason it takes so long is my baby is so efficient at absorbing all of the nutrients she doesn't have to go poop as often. As long as your baby is passing gas you don't have to worry about a blockage. For some of these little ones it is just harder and more painful. feel free to ask me any questions.

Breast milk is the Best!!! . I agree with Jennifer Z . The Baby needs the Collostrum in your Breast milk. That is the way God intended it to be !!

Your hospital should have sent you home with the little bottle of sugar water just in case this happens. This advise is from the old school: take a bottle with 2 to 3 ozs of water and mix with 1/2 to tsp of sugar and let her drink it. In a few hours she should be fine. Babies tend to be more constipated when breastfeed.

Both of my children suffered with constipation when they were infants. What worked for both of them was a little bit of Karo syrup in thier bottle no more that 1/2 tsp. If that didn't work I would give them about 2oz of warm prune juice. That usually did the trick within about 30 min to an hour. If that doesn't work consult her pediatrician.

I would give her 1-2 teaspoons of sugar in her formula to see if that helps when she is constipated per my pediatrician;-) After 4 months old, you can give her apple prune juice to help her;-) Good luck!
C.

I had a similar experience at the same time. My daughter did not have a bowel movement for 2 days. I put in a call to the pedatrician on a Wednesday. He said if she had not had a BM by Friday to call back. That whole day she cried nonstop. I had no idea what to do. Later that evening, she had a massive BM. After that she had one everytime she ate. I attribute it to her body changing.

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