52 answers

My 5 Month Baby Doesn't Poo-poo After 5 Days Without Laxative

My baby son doesn't poo-poo even after 5 days and I have to apply Laxative everytime I wanted him to poo-poo. Is there anything wrong? My baby doesn't have any formula, but breast milk. I am really worried. Any insights? It has lasted for 3 weeks. Help please!!!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the great moms! My baby finally had 2 big poos today without assistance by liquid glycerin. What I did was to give him 0.5oz apple juice mixed with water. It worked!! Big thanks!!

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Just as an idea and it worked for my little Grandaughter, when she was constipated.....the DR. told her to give her baby warm water to drink and it worked every time....good luck! Give more than once a day if needed....

I had the same problem with my last baby. She actually went about a week and a half before she pooped. I started giving suppositories to my baby every 3 or 4 days so I knew she was flushed out. Then I found out later that this can happen with brestfed baby's. I was told not to worry about it by my pediatrtian to make a long story short. I wish they had told me a little sooner. My baby never had a disdended stomach or seemed bothered so I probably should have gone off her signs instead of what I thought should have been happening. Good luck and I hope this helped.

When my breast-fed son was that age, he did the same thing. I read a lot on-line about it myself and was told by my pediatrician that this is perfectly normal. That it bothers us more than it does them. Breast milk is so easy to digest, they often digest it all without much waste. As long as he's not straining, I would try not to worry (easier said than done, I know).

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My son who was exclusively breasfed for as long as possible didn't have 'regular' BM's until he started solid baby foods. If you are worried call his Ped and ask for advice. Our doc told us to not use laxatives on young ones as to not through their natural movements off balance...plus there are 'natural' alternatives that have the same effect like prune juice. But at that age he's most likely just getting what he needs from your milk and will soon be ready for more substance like cereal.

Best to you!

1 mom found this helpful

Is the laxative prescribed by your Pediatrician??? And what kind of laxative is this??? And how do you know the dosage?

You should not give laxatives unless instructed to do so by a doctor.
it is not good to give a baby this each time "you" want them to poop.

It is not abnormal for a breastfed baby to poop once a week...the breastmilk digests so quickly and is processed in the body pretty well.

Is your baby on solids or not? It's early to give solids, unless okayed by doctor.

Also, "constipation" is according to the texture of the poop, NOT the frequency. Laxatives are for constipation. Not, frequency.

Is your baby being nursed on demand? This is what should be done day and night.

Is your baby having adequate "wet" diapers??? If not he may be dehydrated.

If your baby having normal weight gain and growth?

You best take your baby to the Doctor to check.

Here are some links on the subject:
http://www.babycenter.com/404_how-many-times-a-day-does-a...
http://www.fisher-price.com/us/prepare/qanda.asp?c=bg_bob...
http://www.justmommies.com/articles/baby-poop.shtml

Good luck, stop the laxatives...unless instructed otherwise by a Pediatrician.
~Susan

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter had the same problem. Her pediatrician said that breastfed babies do not have as much by product left from breastmilk, it gets absorbed and they have less to poop. My daughter would go only once a week, until I started introducing solids. She still doesn't go every day (she is almost 8 months), but goes about 3 times a week. I wouldn't worry about it unless it goes longer than 7 days. Good luck. You could try introducing water to him as well.

1 mom found this helpful

C.,
My son went through the same thing, I remember, right around 5 months. He too was exclusively breastfeed for 6 months. We talked to the doctor and she said that their intestinal track grows and they don't go as much. But you should definately talk to the pediatrician and state your concerns. Especailly since its been an ongoing concern for 3 weeks now. Call asap.
Best wishes!

It is normal for breastfed babies to go long periods without a poop (my dd would only poop about once a week, sometimes longer). My pediatrician said that as long as she didn't seem to be in any discomfort, there was no need to worry (except about who would be with her when the giant poop hit!)

-M.

Hello, C.,

Do you have a good probiotic? Check with a good authority at your health food store.

You may also contact me as I order a special one for my family and I will give you the details.

Thank you for your wisdom. We do not want to become dependent on laxitives, or anything for that matter.

My very best to you,

T.

My oldest son had the same problem. We tried everything, but perscription Miralax worked and I kept a chart of his doses and poops. We were able to wean him off the Miralax after about 9 months. I know it is sometimes scary to resort to medication, but after going to the ER twice to get an enema, it really was a better solution. Good luck. The sooner you get him/her regular the better for everyone.

Its completely normal for breastfed babies to only have one bowel movement a week. You shouldn't give your baby a laxative unless it's been more than 7 days and you notice he's having discomfort. Check out the following websites...
http://www.llli.org/FAQ/bm.html
http://motheringcorner.com/2008/01/17/breastfed-babys-stool/

Just as an idea and it worked for my little Grandaughter, when she was constipated.....the DR. told her to give her baby warm water to drink and it worked every time....good luck! Give more than once a day if needed....

My daughter had trouble as well, and we tried prune juice, flax oil, and bicycle exercise. Especially bicycle exercise helped. Just put the baby on the changing table, and gently lift the legs to "pretend" cycling.
She was on breastmilk exclusively as well. We took her to our ped, and apparently baby's can go up to a week without. Some babies are just more prone to this than others... Now that she's on solid (almost 1), if she doesn't go for one day, I give her Piwi or Squapples (brand of babyfood "Homemade baby"- you can get at wholefoods) and she usually goes (and nice and soft) the second day.
Hope this helps and good luck!

I see you already have a lot of responses. I read down a few and agree with Rosemary and Misty. It is normal for your baby to go longer without a poop while breastfeeding, however, some babies go after every feeding. It varies, but, laxatives can be dehydrating, so you may be caught in a vicious cycle.
Definitely check with your pediatrician, but if your son's stomach feels soft (not hard and distended) and he seems playful and comfortable, you are ok. When a poop finally comes, if it is hard and like pebbles, then you need to add fluid to the diet, usually no more than 4 oz per day of extra water. If he is growing well, and you know you are providing enough breastmilk, then the extra fluids should do the trick. Good luck!

Dear C., first of all please stop giving your 5 month old laxatives they are extremely dehydrating. I'm surprised no one has told you to use a good old glycerin suppository. My son at 6 months didn't poop for 10 days!!!! Totally breast fed. What I learned? The intestinal muscles are just not that strong and it takes time to develop them. If your baby is not screaming in pain, developing a fever or losing it's appetite don't worry, the poop will come out. instead give your baby water, breast feed. Try prune juice. But please don't disrupt your babies healthy balanced elctrolytes by giving him a laxative.

Sincerely,
R.

That happened to my second daughter. She would go 6 days and then on the 7th, I would have to give her a suppository. She was exclusively breast-fed. It is somewhat normal so I wouldn't be worried. Once she was eating solids, she started going to the bathroom regularly. Good luck!

I added juice and water to my baby diet. She was a daily pooper untill 5 months. She would poop around 4 to 5 days. I heard it's normal for babies to go a few days without pooping. Though, when she did poop it was struggle and she ended up with a fisher. Her doctor suggested adding juice and water to her diet. She too was only breast feed. Now she does well with breastmilk and water. She doesn't like the fruit drinks but she enjoy sucking the juice out of fruits such as plum and watermelon. She is 7 months now and she eats everything and still sometimes goes a few days without pooping. Though it's not a struggle.

C.,

A breastfed baby is only constipated if they are straining and uncomfortable. It is kind of freaky when they go several days without pooping but a breastfed baby can go up to two weeks without pooping and it is entirely normal. There isn't much "waste" with breastfeeding so they don't manufacture all that much poop. So after the baby gets past that first "pooping ever 5 minutes" stage, it is really pretty normal for them to go extended periods without pooping.

:-)T.

I would suggest contacting your son's doctor. 5 days seems a little too long to me, but I would ask a professional. Good Luck.

This happened to my son as well, who was exclusively breastfed and I have to say that JUST BECAUSE SOMETHING IS COMMON DOES NOT MAKE IT NORMAL. It is not normal to go that long without pooping and what I did was take him in for regular "baby" adjustments from a well-respected chiropractor I know who works on even the newest of newborns. He had a huge poop that night and I got him adjusted once a week for about a month, then 2 times a month (or only once if I could only get down there that often) and will continue to do that. You also will want to consider getting adjusted yourself before all of your relaxin disappears and you are "set" since while you had the relaxin in your system, you may have gotten out of adjustment yourself int he postpartum period. I know that a lot of books, friends, doctors, etc. say it's normal, but I'd have to say, if your little one is not comfortable, it is not normal. This happened to my son around the same time and I can't explain why, but I do know what helped to alleviate it. Laxatives are only covering up the symptom, which is that he is out of alignment and if that is not rectified, you will have bigger problems than a reluctant rectum! Good luck, Mama!
J.,
www.stopsidsnow.com

Did the pediatrician approve using laxatives? I think it would be best for you to get & use the doctor's advice. My babies would often go 5 days between poops as well. So I wouldn't worry unless he is in pain while going. Again though, get this advice from the doctor. In the rare event there might be somthing wrong, you wouldn't want to let it go.

Hi C.,

When my son was about 3 months old, he did not have a bowel movement for several days with no change to his or my diet (he was breast fed exclusively). I called the doctor who told me not to worry, he would soon have a "really big poop!" Boy, did he ever. I became his routine to only have a movement on Monday nights around 8 pm. Eventually, that changed to twice a week, but he is now a happy, healthy almost 12 year old. Certainly, call your pediatrician to rule out any blockages or serious issues, but also try not to worry too much! Good luck.

Try not to worry; I know it's hard not to but I went through the same thing with my oldest son when he was a baby. My son took days to have a bowel movement and when he finally did, he would scream like he was being tortured. It killed me to hear him cry like that. I took him to see his pediatrician twice, telling him something had to be wrong. Both times his doctor gave him an anal exam (to make sure his opening was normal and able to function properly) and both times, I was assured my son was normal. I was also advised NOT to use laxatives (even the seemngly harmless glycerine rectal suppositories) because babies can and will develop a dependency on them and not go unless they are stimulated to do so by use of a laxative. I would have you son checked by his doctor to make sure his "bottom" is functioning as it should and try not to use the laxatives. My son eventually outgrew this problem and when he finally did, it was a relief. Good luck to you and your son!

Hey C.,

The pharmacists has the laxative(infant suppository)you'll need. As the previous posters say, use half only. But you'll need to sometimes hold your son's butt cheeks together because it pops out sometimes (while the diaper is on that is, otherwise, you'll have a big surprise!). I didn't use it often. Only when it was unbearable, getting on the 10th day. But you know what? The simplest solution occured. My parents insisted I gave my baby girl water. After some reluctance, I did and she was been regular every since. My baby girl is now 8 months now and goes everyday, sometimes twice a day depending on how much she eats! We are led to believe that breastmilk provides everything... It is true but water is always best. Go with water and prune juice and go for the laxative only when you really need it. I always opt for the natural solution so I hope this helps you... Good Luck!

C., if you knew what laxatives do to the colon you would not use them. Try adding some water, it will make the stool softer and he may be able to go more often. It could also be your diet, add more fruits and vegetables and fiber. I take an awesome fiber product that is good for my heart and cholesterol as well as my digestive system. This fiber attracts the water and makes it easier to go without harming my colon. S H gave you great advice, feed the baby more often and he will go more often

I would call a lactation specialist. Perhaps he is not getting enough milk? I would not let it go. I would also call his Dr. Good Luck!

When my breast-fed son was that age, he did the same thing. I read a lot on-line about it myself and was told by my pediatrician that this is perfectly normal. That it bothers us more than it does them. Breast milk is so easy to digest, they often digest it all without much waste. As long as he's not straining, I would try not to worry (easier said than done, I know).

Is your son eating solid foods yet? That may be stopping the flow of things. Give him his cereal (if that's what he's eating) with papaya or prunes. That should get him going. If you are giving him fruit remember the rule, for every fruit that closes the intestines, give one that opens them. If he's only breastfeeding then he may not be getting enough breast milk.

Hi C.!
I am having the same issue with my 5.5 month old. She is breastfed as well and my pedi told me as long as when she does go it's normal consistancy (not hard or painful) and she isn't crying, wincing or whining when she goes then it's totally normal. He also told me if she seems a little uncomfortable or bloated I can give her a couple ounces of 100% prune juice and she should have a movement fairly soon after, which she does. She goes about once a week and has been that way for about 3=4 weeks now, I too was concerned but my doc said not to worry. As far as laxatives he told me to stay away. The only thing I would suggest if her stools are hard is an infant suppository which my doc mentioned but that was only in severe cases. Hope this helps! Good Luck!

I can't help much as far as why he doesn't go. My baby has been on formula and she will get constipated too. Her pediatrician recommended pure pear juice. It worked every single time. Once we started solids she was more regular, but you may want to try pear juice instead. It's natural so you don't have to worry about side effects. Good luck!

C.,

Some breastfed babies don't poop for a week or so and that is normal. I wouldn't continue to give him laxative because he will become dependent on it to go poop. My son pooped every 10 days sometimes and was breastfed. This is considered normal. I would consider trying natural things to introduce into his diet. You could try some apple or pear sauce. I always had really good luck with peach or apricot sauce or even prune works wonders. Good luck!

L.

Stop giving him a laxative, it is normal for breast fed babies not to poo up to 7 days. There is very little waste with breastmilk. Consult your pediatrician of course, but mine said it is normal.

Our baby used to poop every day or every other and then at 3 months when we started rice cereal he would go 4 or 5 days and it freaked me out mostly b/c the stool was very hard and had spots of blood on it and he would cry when he went. On the 5th day (after 3 weeks of this routine) we finally gave him 2oz of prune juice and he went almost immediately. We have switched from rice to oatmeal (rice is binding) and now add 1 oz of prune juice to the oatmeal every other day and he goes daily. We have also introduced homemade broccli and green beans and Dr. says green helps too. I would try and stay away from laxatives and focus on getting the digestive system to work on it's own through foods etc.

call your pediatrician... it also may be something in your diet if you are exclusively breast feeding.

I read this on Friday and thought..hmm...my baby hasn't pooped today. And then he continued not to poop on Saturday either. I wasn't sure if I should be worried or not so I checked out the responses here. Luckily though, my 2 month old really did make a huge poop today. There was a lot of cleaning up to do. LoL. His 2 month dr. appointment is tomorrow so I will definitely be asking her if this is okay. She did advise me last month though that he would soon be pooping a lot less.

Hopefully you've gotten a chance to speak with your doctor and it all works out okay. Good luck!

This might sound too simple...but make sure you are drinking enough water yourself which effects your breastmilk and if your baby is beyond just breastmilk make sure he is drinking water too...look into some homeopathic remedies for constipation...they work great and safe for any age.

Don't worry! My son (5 mos) does the same thing. He is breastfed, but we are weaning him to the bottle currently. He started having infrequent bowel movements around 3 mos. & our dr. said that happens with breastfed babies sometimes. He said that if it goes as long as 7 or 8 days to give him 2oz of water 2x/day to help get his system moving. Our little guy has gone as long as 10 days, but he never seemed distressed or in pain. Breastfed babies aren't constipated, their BM are liquid. One reason the dr. explained about infrequent BM has to do with the fact that breastmilk is so efficient that there is very little "waste" when digested, thus, not having the need to poo. And also, are dr. warned against using a laxative or stimulating the anus as that may create a reliance on needing those things to have a bowel movement.

Hi C.-
I am the mother of an 11 month old boy who has gone through the same thing!!My son is a breastfed baby too and he would consistantly poo ever 5-7 days starting at about 5 months. He has never cried as if he were in pain from not pooing and even the Doctor felt his tummy to make sure he wasn't impacted-which he wasn't.
5-7 days just seems to be his cycle.
At 10 months he had a couple days where every time I changed his diaper he pooped and now he still poops only a couple times a week. The Dr. and I agreed that since he is a healthy and extremely happy baby that his little system is working itself out.
First, I would make sure you speak to a pediatrician about your concern.Second, watch for signs of irritability and discomfort. Third, be careful with how often you are using laxatives unless your pediatrician recommends it. Some advice that was given to me regarding "natural laxatives" was feeding my baby any type of food that starts with a "P" prunes, peaches, pears, sweet potatoes ect...
Lastly, I would say that if your baby is happy and otherwise healthy and your pediatrician is not concerned, give your baby some time, continue to monitor the situation, and chalk it up to one less excuse your husband can use for not changing the baby's diaper!

Hi, I would be very hesitant to give a baby a laxative. Did you discuss it with your pediatrician? That's what I would do.

Had the same problem with my youngest son. What I had to do was lay him down, get some qtips dipped in vaseline and stimulate him that way. HE would go and go and go...poor thing. THe dr never knew what was wrong with him. I could tell he was uncomfortable and was always very gassy. Finally, he had a barium enema and ever since then has been going poop regularly...even though to this day he STILL has a hard time going...that was three years ago! Good luck!!

We did all the suppositories and everything as well. IF you can, take the natural route!!

I hope your pediatrician approved of the laxatives. You need to get an appointment. Possibly get him started on fruit juices and baby yogurt.

I would tell your pediatrician just to be safe. I always preferred to err on the side of caution... your pediatrician will be able to put your mind at ease. My older son had to see a gastroenterologist when he was a baby, so I would say, be safe and check it out- their systems are so immature, he just may need a little help!

Please do speak to your Dr., but we added prune juice to her milk in the bottle (per pediatrician advice). She breast fed almost excluively but would take a bottle too. Even now at 10 months old we give our daughter organic prunes from Gerber (stage 1) every day and it keeps her regular.

You should call your pediatrician. That is a little concerning. My son is 5 months old too..he goes a couple of times per day. I know all babies are different...but, 5 days seems pretty alarming. Good luck.

probiotics at whole foods market. Baby's Jarro-Dophilus for intestinal health. They have web site www.jarrow.com Someone told me about this because even though I knew it was normal for my infant not to have a BM every day or could not have one for three or four days, I still was freaked out!
At six months I still give him some from time to time in his solids. Just google probiotic bacteria. It's a powder and it can go in a bottle of breast milk on your finger with a bit of apple sauce just mixes in with what ever he will take. Measuring isn't engraved in stone just get some in the babe! You will be so relieved I promise!!! ASk your pediatrician about it.

I had the same problem with my last baby. She actually went about a week and a half before she pooped. I started giving suppositories to my baby every 3 or 4 days so I knew she was flushed out. Then I found out later that this can happen with brestfed baby's. I was told not to worry about it by my pediatrtian to make a long story short. I wish they had told me a little sooner. My baby never had a disdended stomach or seemed bothered so I probably should have gone off her signs instead of what I thought should have been happening. Good luck and I hope this helped.

Hi C.,
Gosh when I read your post I felt bad about you having to give your baby a laxative. Is that healthy??? What about trying to give your baby rice cereal or baby food- fruits... When I had my children I started them early on food and I know they say to wait a little longer now but I really don't know why... Is your son hungry all the time??? Since you are nursing are you eating things that might make him constipated??? Sometimes that could do it.... Hope this helps....

All 3 of my kids had a problem with that. What I did was get child sized glycerin suppositories and cut them in half. So I'd use one half and then in a little while they would go. Sometimes it took a few minutes, other times it took a few hours. Sometimes they have gas and it comes out-- you'll want to check the diaper.

One of my kids went 11 days without going and our Pediatrician told me that one of her kids went for 13 days!
My kids were breastfed as well and for some reason had the same problem. Good luck!

Hi C.,
I had the same problem and my pediatrician said that babies who are only breast fed can go up to 2 weeks without pooping. Mine is still on a once-1.5 week cycle. She even said that one baby went 22 days or some rediculous number like that. I too was worried and gave him laxatives, but she said that there is no need since with breast milk there is not much waste and my babies body was taking in most all of the nutrients. As long as the poop is not hard and looks no worse than peanut butter, things are great. You should check with your doctor, but things over here have been fine and my little guy is now 6 months and doing great.
I hope this helps

To help the my son poop who was also breast fed my Dr told me to drink more apple juice. It actually helpped with my daughter more and my son just didn't poop as much. They also suggested putting a themometer in their tushy to stimulate them into pooping. Gross I know but it worked less then an hour later they were poopin. Talk to your Ped. They know your baby the best and will be able to give the best advice on how to help. Hope all goes well and I know it's hard not to worry because every time someone told me not to I would. So I won't say don't worry, because thats what all good moms do, just don't over worry. :) Good Luck

Here's the information you need:

Your son isn't pooping because you're breast-feeding. There is minimal waste with breast food, so there's nothing to poop.

I had the same issue with my daughter and I was worried sick. Unfortunately my pediatrician didn't explain it so clearly, and he just said, oh, no problem, don't worry. But I worried anyway.

The reason babies who take formula poop regularly is because of the waste in formula. Breast milk is almost completely useful to the baby, so it's not unusual for babies to go a week or so without defecating.

Confirm with your pediatrician, but you should probably stop using the laxatives. His little system can't handle that.

im sure others have said this, but breastmilk is almost completely utilized by baby. therefore doesnt create much poop sometimes, esp during a growth spurt. same thing happened to my daughter (not going for days.) i wouldnt worry too much but call the pediatrician. also, laxatives may not be the best thing to give him.

This happened to me once with my son. He went over 2 weeks and I went to the pediatrician and she said as long as he wasn't uncomfortable and his stomach wasn't distended that he was ok. He eventually went and BOY did he go. Breast milk is the perfect food. There is not much left to waste, so it could be that he is just really efficiently using every last bit of the milk you are giving and that is why he hasn't gone. my pediatrician said she had patients who had kids who went 21 days and everything ended up just fine. But if you are worried, go to the pediatrician. You can also give him a little brown sugar, that is supposed to help.

When I nursed my son I had the same concern. His doctor said breast fed babies do not poop as often and that's normal. I would talk to his pediatrician and ask if laxatives should be given to a 5 month old. I know as an adult I was told even harmless stool softners can cause dependency, (by my OB). If your doc says no laxatives and you're still concerned, I'm sure he can suggest an alternitive. Good luck.

My son did the same thing for awhile, and he was fine. He went for about 5 days at a time without a BM, and this lasted about 3 months! I know it's scary, but my doctor said as long as they don't go more than 14 days it's nothing to worry about. I really don't think you need to be using laxative unless the baby seems in pain or straining, but ask your doctor.
Good luck

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