Karo Corn Syrup

Updated on October 04, 2011
K.M. asks from Brentwood, CA
15 answers

My 5 week old has been constipated, my grandma said put a teaspoon of this corn syrup in her formula once a day and that will help her go to the bathroom. We tried it once and it worked. Just wanted to know if anyone else has done this and if it's safe for an infant to use daily?

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answers from El Paso on

I was always told that honey and that syrup was dangerous to kids younger than a year!
I would never use that
Maybe diluted apple juice to help but still too young for juice
Ask her pedi before you give her anything else
Hope this helps

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Hartford on

I promise you that your 5 week old is NOT CONSTIPATED. Grunting and pushing with a scrunchy face and even a little crying while trying to poop does not mean constipation. Constipation is indicated by hard, dry, pebbly poops or poop that is hard and stiff that is too wide to poop out and cause anal fissures.

At this age, your baby's digestive system is very immature and babies are not born knowing how to poop. They have to learn. Their bowels sometimes don't feel good when it's time to poop. The straining and grunting and pushing are NOT signs of constipation, but it's all normal. He should NOT have Karo syrup or juice or anything else unless you show your pediatrician a stool sample and the pedi says, "yes, that's indicative of constipation." Then and only then do you offer the baby anything other than breastmilk or formula, and only then do you offer the baby something that the pediatrician recommends. Karo syrup is pure sugar, and the reason people think it "works" is because the baby's body can't digest it.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

FIRSTLY: My question would be, how do you know baby is constipated?
Did the Pediatrician say this... or is it a guess?

Are you breastfeeding or Formula?
Breastfed babies, do not poop everyday, and this is normal.

I would NOT give a 5 week old newborn, anything... UNLESS the Pediatrician has formally said this, and said it is, constipation.

You should only be going according to your Pediatrician.
Your baby is very, young.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I think the bigger issue is the constipation. First off, why do you think she is constipated? If she is, then you need to figure out why and not just treat the symptoms. There is an underlying issue and you need to speak to your doctor. I would not give her anything except formula or breastmilk since she is so young. She might be allergic to whatever you are giving her or not getting enough of it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I doubt your baby is constipated. My baby poops once a week and is just fine. Call your pediatrician's office and describe what is going on - that way you won't be assuming anything. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Our pediatrician told me that sometimes children have died from this. I have always heard to do it but I would rather the doc give them something instead now. I think that if he's on formula that it needs to be changed. They should not be having any issues.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I never did it. But just about every older person I know suggests it. I know for a fact it was used on me and my siblings as infants. It was not used daily though, only when symptoms of constipation started to show.
Now they say honey and karo corn syrup can be dangerous because it can cause botulism, although some only say honey.
Either way when my baby was constipated I used suppositories that were liquid. It worked great and I found out the cause of constipation, which was the type of formula we were giving her.
Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

yes we have used it too. It is also good for nagging, itchy coughs when you can't give them any cough syrup. It kind of coats the throat to help soothe the cough, I put it in a syringe then. Also, when my daughter was that age and had difficulty pooping, I put her in a warm bath and then after bathing, pulled her legs back (like I was going to put a diaper under her bottom) and used a rectal thermometer to stimulate the anal area gently. That usually helped move things along too. Also give prunes regularly (when she is old enough that is!). My kids are now 2.5 and almost 4 years old and I still give them the pureed prunes to help regularity! Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsfield on

Yes, that is what my son's pedi told us to do 12 years ago when he was an infant. I don't remember any more how often we gave it to him- you could ask her pedi to check. Several things have changed since then, (like when to start rice cereal, for example), not sure if the recommendations about this have changed as well.
Best wishes =o)

Added: Emily S.- Interesting link- I've never heard of that possibility
Sounds like the best thing to do is to check with the pedi- the recommendations given were for older babies. I'm always very wary of giving water to infants because of the potential for water intoxication.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Stockton on

I don't think it's safe daily, but I would confirm with your doctor. I used to put half apple juice and half water in a bottle and give my son's that when they were stopped up, but only when they were older. Also, and this is gross, but if you insert a thermometer into their bottoms with a TON of vasoline on it, it sort of lubes them up and helps move things along.......(sorry for the graphics, you should see the look on my face as I write it)/...

good luck.



answers from Washington DC on

we used to use the dark karo syrup, I can't remember how old my son was, probably about 4-6 months old. It did work like a charm. I'm not sure I would try it with a baby this young unless I talked to the doc first.



answers from Chicago on

I used it once and it worked great, but b/c of some of the reasons other posters have mentioned, I found other ways to solve the problem. Actually, now that I think about it, that is why we switched to Good Start formula -- apparently easier for digestion -- and it worked.



answers from Lincoln on

When my son was a baby he had constipation or I think he did... (now I don't know reading some of these posts!) and the Ped told me to dilute Gerber prune juice and give it to him. I don't remember how old he was though. He's 6 now, so my memory is fuzzy... I was a big do what the Dr. says kind of person and my ex mother in law drove me NUTS insisting that he needed corn syrup.

But...I took the science of food here at the University and it was enough to make me never want to eat again!! There are so may ways one can die or get very ill from what they eat! It was mentioned not to give infants under the age of 1 syrup or honey due to botulism. A baby's digestive system is too underdeveloped for it.

Hope that if your little guy is plugged up that it gets better!



answers from Atlanta on

I wouldn't use it daily, but it is "prescribed" by doctors and nurses quite frequently! I've always been told to use the dark variety, and I have a few times with great success.

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