Incosistency When Having Bowel Movements

Updated on March 31, 2010
M.S. asks from Elmer, NJ
13 answers

My 4 mo son is very inconsistent when it comes to his bowel movements. What I want to know is what is the best way you found to help a baby go? My boyfriend and I can't agree on this. He wants to use Flax seed or Mineral oil to help the baby. His mother suggested these, but I'm not comfortable giving those things to him. I'm not saying that I don't trust his mom, but I don't know what something like that will do to a baby. I want to go with the method that 2 of my co-workers suggested. They both said to use a teaspoon of Karo syrup in a bottle. (My co workers are mothers and grandmothers themselves) Any suggestions?

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So What Happened?

My 4 mo is bottle fed, but his bowel problems are genetic. His father and most of his fathers cousins have had bowel problems as a child.I don't want it to get so bad that he has to have something extreme done. His grandma worries about him. I took him to the Pedi, but she said it would work itself out. She also recommended the Karo.

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answers from Florence on

Well first of all does he seem to be constipated? Have you asked the doctor for advice? Usually my ped told me to give them a tsp of the dark Karo syrup and it usually works. Also when he gets a little older and say he is really constipated, I made the mistake of giving my daughter prunes one time and needless to say, they work. But I would seriously ask the doctor because maybe his formula is not working for him. Good luck!

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answers from Allentown on

Hi, M.:
There is a Vit. C tablet for infants from Hyland.
Go to your nearest health food store and see if they have them.
If not, Call the Heritage Store in Virginia Beach, VA and ask them
to ship you some.
The come in 5 mg tablets that melt in the baby's mouth. If one doesn't do it, give 2 tablets.
Good luck. D.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Ask your Pediatrician.

Babies... poop in varying lengths of time. Which may still be normal.
Also, he is only 4 months old... their bowels/digestion is still developing.

Do not use the mineral oils or flax seed oils, unless you know it is a problem or IF he is constipated. You NEED to go according to your Pediatrician. Not your Mom. No disrespect to her.
NOR do you know how much "oil" to give a baby, a 4 month old baby. And it can also cause MEGA diarrhea... and poop blow outs. So, that is really not necessary, UNLESS the oils are prescribed by a Doctor.

Many times a baby does not poop for days... all normal.
I would simply ask your Pediatrician.
Babies, don't always poop like an adult, nor on a strict regular basis.

All the best,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

My pediatrician actually recommended the dark Karo syrup when my daughter was younger. Worked like a charm. 1 tsp per every 4 ounces of milk. I started putting it in every bottle and then took her down to every other and so forth. You and your boyfriend should talk to your pediatrician together and see what they recommend. I honestly would be concerned with the flax seed and mineral oil. They just seem to harsh for a 4 month old. But, again, run it by the doctor and see what they say.

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answers from Reading on

talk to your doctor. My daughter's had issues with constipation since around that same age and she's almost 3 now. Even those alternative remedies you are talking about can reak havoc on a babies tiny little belly and digestive system. One of those ideas may very well be a good one but definitely talk to a doctor to find out how much and how often.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

My sister in law said she used to use suppositories that are supposed to be designed for kids and that this worked for my neice when she was young. It sounds gross but she said the other thing she used to do was use a themometer and put it up her rectum to try to get some of the stools out.
good luck. personally i did not think that flax seed oil or mineral oil will hurt the baby. what can it hurt? may be try both things.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

When my daughter was 4-6 months we tried brown sugar water and the karyo syrup,prune juice with water and nothing worked we had to go to a geastroentonologist for help and they put her on Myralax and I would put a small dose in her bottle and it took 3 days for her to get used to. I would ask your PED before it gets worse and you will feel better about your decision.
Good Luck!

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answers from Provo on

You to your local health food store and ask them. I would stay away from Mineral oil and try a pro-botic

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answers from Philadelphia on

It definitely depends on if your son seems to be in pain when trying to have a bowel movement and on whether the result is soft (in which case there's really no problem) or hard (in which case you may need to do something). All three of my formula fed babies had some issues with constipation. We used a little prune juice in each bottle and it worked great. You will have to experiment a little to see what the right amount is for you, but we found about a tablespoon for an 8 oz. bottle was usually about right. Keep in mind that it may take a couple of days of trying anything to see a real change since the firmer poop that's already in his system will have to work its way out before the newer softer stools start coming out. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Is your baby breast or bottle fed? If he's breastfed, don't do anything. Breastfed babies really can't get constipated, but they frequently don't need to have a bm as often. 4 mos seems young to be doing ANYTHING about bowel movements. When he does go, is his bm hard like he's been constipated? Does he seem uncomfortable? Babies shouldn't really get constipated unless there is something wrong with what they're eating. I'd talk to my doctor first, you don't want to fix the symptom without fixing the problem because you'll just end up back in this place again.

Hope this helps.


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answers from Los Angeles on

...uh...karo syrup is pure SUGAR! I wouldn't...

have you tried apples? or at least apple juice? I know there is sugar there too - but you can start with a dilution...

maybe check out web MD??? there are homeopathic solutions, but i do not think Flax or mineral oil would be good for an infant...(Castor oil begins peristalsis + cramping = unpleasant)

I assume you can go to the MD, but do some research first...maybe some probiotics like activia or something in the milk bottle would work - that's what my GF was told by her MD...

good luck - tell me how it goes!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

Are you breastfeeding? If so, it's TOTALLY normal. Especially during growthspurts. Breastfed babies will frequently go for as long as 10 days w/o pooping. Not a big deal. Just keep nursing-on-request & it will come eventually! (and be prepared for a blow-out when it does! lol)

If you are formula-feeding, I would suggest using probiotics for infants instead of syrups, prune juice, etc... which can be VERY harsh on their system & make the problem worse instead of fixing it at the root of the problem. You can find a good probiotic for infants at virtually any health food store, in the refrigerator section. It will be a powder form so that you can add it in w/ formula.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Is he formula fed? When I was pregnant with baby #2, I switched my oldest onto formula and he suddenly became really constipated... to the point that it was painful for him. If this is more than an isolated incident, you might want to discuss this with your pediatrician. Anyway, I was told by the ER doctor the Karo syrup trick (1 tsp in bottle of water) and it worked VERY well (stand back!). However, this isn't something I would do on a regular basis... prune juice also works VERY well.

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