Infrequent Bowel Movements of a Six Week Old

Updated on July 14, 2010
H.W. asks from Bellevue, WA
10 answers

Hello ladies,

Prior to six weeks, my little Zoe was a greater pooper. At the six week mark, she skipped five days before she had a bowel movement. Since then, she has been very agitated. She passes fowl smelling gas all day long. And, continues to strain and push with no success. She is mostly breast fed and I supplement with formula at night. Her last bowel movement was the consistency of peanut butter. This seems odd for a baby who is mostly breast fed. The pushing, straining and gas concerns me the most. I don't like seeing her in so much pain. Your thoughts and suggestions are most welcome.

Thank you!!!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Dallas on

We ended up having to get baby suppositories for my son for that problem. Something was up with his digestive system and he wouldn't poop either. Around day 3 or 4, we gave it to him because he was just gassy and cranky! Then, after that, he was a happy kid for 2 days til the cycle started over again. I remember having to do that for almost a month, then, he grew out of it.

Oh, he was breast fed too.

More Answers



answers from Cleveland on

I would think she is possibly having a reaction to either something you are eating or the formula. Can you pump during the day for a while and supplement with that at night for a couple of weeks to see if she clears up? If that doesn't work you may need to try cutting some thing out of your diet starting with the most likely culprit milk. It takes several weeks for an allergen to remove its self completely from your and her body so what ever you try it may improve slightly once you remove it from the diet but the problem probably won't completely go away for up to a month while the body sheds the allergen and heals from the damage done.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

My oldest daughter was exclusively breastfed and had difficulty eliminating. We found that she was allergic to a lot of the foods I was eating and this was causing her digestive disturbance. After removing dairy products from my diet it got better, but it wasn't until we found that she was allergic to some grains: corn and wheat, that it really improved. I continued to breastfeed her throughout all the diet changes, and I added good fat foods to my diet which helped her as well -- foods like avocado, olives, and salad dressing made with olive oil. I had a pediatrician who recommended that I also take a calcium-magnesium supplement because magnesium helps to reduce digestive disturbances. It took a bit of time, but it definitely helped.

As you didn't mention if anything else was different other than the 6 week mark, was there anything that changed at 6 weeks -- such as eating more or less often during the day. It is definitely very upsetting to have a baby that is uncomfortable. I also found that by putting my baby in a certain position with her back to my chest and her knees gently pressed to her stomach that it helped. I also started carrying her that way in a ring sling which helped to reduce the amount of tummy upset she was feeling.

The other hold we found that helped was to put her tummy on my forearm, with her legs on each side of my elbow (holding her head in my hand, and her body close to mine) -- this tummy hold soothe her, and we often rocked back and forth. Sometimes the rocking motion helped me to calm down too. It is no fun having a baby that is unhappy.

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I agree that switching formula or watching your diet my work.
Have you tried baby massage for the discomfort. I can't remember if you rub clockwise or counterclockwise over the tummy but it is supposed to aid in digestion. Find out more on baby massage and I am sure you can help ease discomfort. Helping them move their legs in a circular/bycycle motion also helped our kids get rid of gas or poop. A few minutes in a vibrating bouncy seat often made our second poop.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Madison on

You can try changing the formula and see if she digests it better. You can also ask your pediatrician if they recommend giving her a different type of formula or something for the gas.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

The stinky gas and "peanut butter" are probably both a result of the formula. Any particular reason she gets it at night? Can you try nursing her at night for a few days and see if that softens her stools? Breastfed babies in particular often go longer than their formula fed counterparts between bowel movements. My youngest was normally about 1x/week at your baby's age.



answers from Phoenix on

Breast fed babies usually poop less often than formula fed babies because there is less food going to waste or "just passing through". As long as the poop is not bloody, musousy, watery, black, or like marbles your baby should be fine. If you are worried about the foul smelling gas or the fact that she seems uncomfortable you might consult her pediatrician to make sure things are okay. Mylicon drops helped my little boy when he was that age to ease his gas and pains associated with bowel movements and digestion.



answers from Cleveland on

When taking my son home from the hospital last year I was informed that it is common for breast fed babies to have a bowel movement less frequently than a formula fed baby. They even said to not be worried until a week!! Seems crazy to me. However, with the supplementing with formula I would think that might counteract and she would need to go more often?? Not really sure how that all ties together. Have you tried infant gas drops or anything to help with the gas pains?? I know when my guy was younger he had bad gas all the time for a while. The mylecon gas drops seemed to help. But if it persists, I would definitely check with your pediatrician.



answers from Austin on

I breastfed exclusively for and my daughter still was constipated. Not because she had hard stools - just the opposite, it was still runny, but she would hold it for almost a week and cry horribly when she finally did have a BM (a big runny one – sometimes twice in one day) and of course very gassy a couple of days before the big explosion.

My pediatrician at the time said it was normal as long as there was no blood in the stool and she wasn’t constipated since I was breastfeeding exclusively and when she did go, it was runny. She also advised giving her white grape juice and using the thermometer for stimulation - neither helped. She like the others that have responded gave me the same reasoning that BF babies don't go as much, absorb more, etc, etc - but sorry, I wasn't buying it because I knew when she did finally go - she strained and cried.

This went on for several weeks at that point I told my friend who is a pediatric surgeon my concerns and she knew immediately that my daughter had an anal fissure (tear), showed it to me and then prescribed ointment that would numb the area so that my daughter would go more regularly (smaller BMs) allowing the tears to eventually heal. She held the BM because it hurt every time she went and would re-open the tear. My friend said that anal fissures are very common in infants on up to young children but most pediatricians will not diagnose it unless prompted. Needless to say I changed pediatricians because telling me what my daughter was going through was normal and not checking or offering some sort of relief was not good enough for my daughter. Once I started applying the ointment, she starting going every other day on a regular basis.

If BMs are soft but infrequent and if she's straining then I would have her check for anal fissures.



answers from Portland on

Two things that helped us the most: Short term, Gripe Water - health food store or section of store.

Long term, a daily probiotic good for babies. Two that I know of are Bifidus and Primadophilus. Get them in powdered form and only give about 1/4 tsp. It can be mixed in with her formula or you can finger feed it. I usually finger fed my kids until it was all gone. I learned of the probiotic through a naturopath treating my daughter for silent acid reflux and my son for gas and reflux.

My kids are 5 and almost 3 and still take a daily chewable probiotic for kids.

It isn't fun to see them suffer so much. The gas pains hurt my little guy to no end. We used the Gripe Water in the beginning of the treatment just to give him some immediate relief, but after a week didn't need to use it anymore. The probiotic kicked in and made a huge difference. He didn't have any difficulties after that.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions