Infant W/ Bad Gas & Constipation

Updated on September 18, 2011
V.S. asks from Lima, OH
12 answers

I have a 3 1/2 year old dauther, a 16 month old daughter and a 6 week old son. My oldest daughter never had issues with formula. My 2nd daughter had massive problems with spitting up and she did this with every formula. So we switched her to Vitamin D Whole Milk added w/ a vitamin supplement daily and she is a very healthy 22lb girl w/ lots of energy.

My son we are currently having issues with his gas and constipation. I addressed this to his pediatrician so he said to give him 3 teaspoons of prune juice w/ 3 teaspoons of water mixed 1 time per day. I did this for a week as told by the doctor and he did finally have a bowel movement, but it was thicker than normal (which I heard can happen with prune juice). I called the doctor and told him that he only had 1 bowel movement the week he was on the prune juice. So he prescribed him a laxative. Unfortunately, the laxative I think gave him stomach cramps so now I'm back to the beginning.

He was first on Similac Advance. He did ok with it at first and then got worse. At about 2-3 weeks old, he started getting very bad gas along w/ horrible constipation. So, I switched his formula to Gerber Good Start Protect and he was still getting constipated. So I switched to the Gerber Good Start Gentle. He is still really constipated. Now, he is getting mostly breastmilk and getting right around 8oz a day (2, 4oz bottles) of formula. I have heard that Gerber Good Start has a lot of broken down proteins to help the babies digestion.

I am starting to wonder if he has some sort of a milk allergy or a lactose problem. I do drink around 2, 8oz glasses of milk per day, roughly, and now I'm wondering if some of this is contributing to his bowel problems. Today, I have not had any milk yet, but have had some milk based products (not a lot though and not near what I was consuming). I am drinking more water and hoping this helps, but I don't know right now if it's the formula or what I'm drinking/eating.

My son has been breastfed since day 1 and the 1st week he came home, he would poop every diaper I changed. I consumed the same amount of milk and ate/drank what I am now. I haven't changed anything honestly.

What do you think? Is it the formula or the stuff I am consuming?

Please any ideas! Also, he passes gas all day long and his gas is so nasty smelling. I don't know if this is because he is so constipated or because of the formula or what I am consuming. He seems to be more colicky in the evening around 4-5pm and it will last pretty much until 6pm when he falls asleep for a nap. Should I try him on Gerber Good Start Soy? I don't want to switch him to Enfamil or Similac. I hate Similac and Enfamil is sooooo expensive!!!!!!

To answer some questions though, I cannot go totally 100% breastfeeding b/c I don't produce enough milk and I have tried everything. He just eats a lot! Second, I am due to go back to work here in another week. I have some frozen breast milk stored here for the babysitter, but this will only last him probably a month, if that. So 100% breast milk is out of the question right now. I know he is constipated b/c he grunts really hard and normally he doesn't get anything out. When he passes gas, it smells very rotten and he seems ok. It's just when he finally does poop, he strains so hard. My pediatrician said he is to poop at least 1 time per day. I would be ok if he went every 2-3 days but right now it's getting to the point where it's almost a week. I also don't really want to go to a chiropractor for him. I was on bed rest for 7-8 weeks due to preeclampsia and now off for 7 after delivery and I have not gotten paid anything from my work and we don't have the money to take him unfortunately. My husband being the sole provider right now is barely affording our monthly bills.

What can I do next?

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answers from Gainesville on

Just stay with breastfeeding! I switched to formula because my son had the same disgusting gas and constipation problems, i think the formula made it worse. My doctor didn't have anything to help us out on this, they acted like everything was normal. I thought his diapers smelled toxic. He now outgrew it and is fine.

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answers from Tampa on

Unless you measured him before and after every single feeding - then your assessment of not producing enough is false. Please don't sell your wonderful body's design short. You ARE producing enough, but due to supplemental feedings, you are telling your body to produce LESS because your son isn't suckling each and every time he needs to feed. His constant suckling is what will tell your body to increase the production.

Formula has foreign proteins, foreign bacteria (which is why formula can cause either extreme of diarrhea or constipation) and causes inflammation and irritation of the baby's immature digestive tract. I would counsel you to stop all formula and start breastfeeding on demand. If it's every 20 minutes, then do so until your body can get back to what it should be (usually takes less than 48 hours of on demand nursing) in milk production. Soy should be a last resort, especially for boys. Between the increase of hormone imbalance from the soy (much like estrogen) and the GMO soybean used in the mainstream brands - I don't think that will be helpful. Breastfeeding exclusively will immediately cut down spending on expensive formula and give you extra money to put elsewhere where it's most needed.

For the pooping... breastfed babies can poop up to a few times a day or once a week. Breastmilk is so easily absorbed by the body that the waste is minimal (hence not as much poop and not as often). Formula fed infants tend to have 3-4 poops a day because most of what they consume is waste - and what they DO poop is usually very yucky smelling (like adult poop). This usually can cause an issue in young infants if both formula and breastfeeding. Should be one or the other consistently for the first 4-6 months.

For gas... babies are gassy. Their bodies are brand new and it takes about 3-4 months for their body to mature most of the way into being more what we know as normal. Their GI system doesn't mature until 7-8 months, swallowing ability doesn't occur until 6-7 months and their sphincter which closes off the stomach from the esophagus takes about 4-5 months to mature (when spitting up is less of an issue). These things are normal. Gripe water really worked well for my little one, who is 5 weeks now, 6 weeks on Monday. I will also stagger with baby Gas drops. He is exclusively breastfed from day 9 because the first 9 days he was force fed formula and breastmilk thru a nasal tube.

My son is gassy no matter what I eat. I don't eat much dairy anyways except for frozen yogurt and organic yogurt, with the small bit of organic milk in my cereal - - but the normal 'gassy' foods like eggs, broccoli, etc I eat in moderation to help with the gas - but I don't see a difference one way or the other. The burping often, lots of tummy time, bicycling and pumping his legs, as well as the gripe water/gas drops seem to make him feel fine. He IS colicky, but if that's his only issue - I'm happy... many other children have some major issues now a days.

Please try to gain some support and real life experience from Le Leche League Moms - they have meetings all over the country and I'm sure there is a nearby chapter for you. They can help ease your fears and give you the help from a real person - which it sounds like you really need.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Provo on

I would do two things. Lay off the milk and stop the formula.

**It can take breast fed babies a few days to poop, but not constipated. FYI So if you do switch to 100% BF, be aware.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

When my baby was 6 weeks she did the same. The pediatrician said it's normal for breastfed babies to have different schedules for pooping & be fine. The nurse had 3 kids, her 1st pooped after every feeding, her 2nd pooped once a day, & her 3rd pooped once a week LOL!! So I felt better after hearing her story. The pediatrician said don't worry about unless the baby seems like she's straining & in pain. So I started giving my baby an infant powder probiotic to help build good bacteria in her gut. It really helps. Try massaging your baby's stomach with a little cod liver oil. It soothes the stomach. Good luck!!

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answers from Cincinnati on

I agree with Mommyof2 100%. Formula is what is making him constipated. Breastmilk is much easier to digest and breaks down faster. That is why breastfed babies eat more often. You may think you are not producing enough because he wants to eat more often but that may not be the case. The more a baby breastfeeds the more milk you will produce. Supply and demand! Just make sure he stays on each breast for enough time. I breastfed all my kids and after about 6 months or so they actually lost interest. That was my problem. They wouldn't stay on long enough and it was a struggle for the last 6 months and they actually had weight issues but as long as he is gaining weight steadily then he is getting enough. Besides breastmilk is cheaper because it is FREE!! When he is not feeding you can pump to keep the milk flowing!!

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answers from Detroit on

Can you just breastfeed him for a while and let his system settle down. Breastfed babies are never ever constipated. Tehy poop after every feeding.

I would ...1.. just breastfeed him for at least a week and see how he does. If he is still fussy and gassy after a week ... try to eliminate milk from your diet. I have heard it takes a week to eliminate all the milk protiens from you so there is none in your breastmilk.

it is totally normal for him to be fussy at 5 pm. my daughter cried every night at that time.. colic.. she was breastfed but very fussy.

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answers from Cleveland on

all the switching could actually be making the issue worse instead of better. IF it is a dairy issue it can take 2 weeks of you having NO dairy for you to see any results in your son.

Like someone else mentioned by kids all go to a chiropractor. My youngest is 9 months old and we've had nothing but great experiences, he has been going since he was 6 weeks old.

It's also been said, but as long as his stool is soft and he is going and does not seem to be in pain when he goes, he doesn't have to go every day.

As for the formula, the soy may work, but it could cause more issues, there are lactose free options or I would suggest alimentum or nutramagin (although those are both significantly more expensive)

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answers from Fayetteville on

Try a little yogurt in his milk. He may not have the right bacteria in his gut. When he is older... Braums frozen yogurt works wonders for constipation.



answers from Atlanta on

Soy formula solved our problems with our second. Your breastmilk could also be the problem if you are consuming dairy and he has a lactose issue. Also, if you're consuming a lot of broccoli, garlic, cabbage -I know breastfeeding moms who had success cutting those foods and stopping a lot of infant gas.



answers from Cleveland on

I haven't had a baby in a while but what I have read stay away from soy. My kids were on soy as babies and they have had a lot of food intolerances.It sounds like in the beginning when you were bf he was okay. It sounds like it is the formula. I would the one that is best for children with lactose intolerence and see how he does. I am shocked about giving that young of a baby prune juice.I always gave my babies water and caro syrup. My mother also did that.



answers from Milwaukee on

This may sound WAY off but I think a trip to the chiro is in order. They can do WONDERS for babies and tummy issues. Mine has been going since he was two months old. He LOVES going and begs to go see "HIS Dr. Don."



answers from Jacksonville on

How do you know he's constipated? Is he straining to go? Does it seem to hurt him when he goes? When we were breastfeeding my son, he would only poop once every 5-8 days. When we added formula, it was about every 3-4 days. It didn't get to every day until we added solid foods. He never strained or seemed to be hurting so the doctor told us he was just very efficient.

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