My Grandson Will Not Poop on His Own.

Updated on April 13, 2015
S.B. asks from Columbus, OH
16 answers

My grandson is 1 month and 2 weeks old, he will not poop unless his mom puts k-y gelly on a q-tip.. he is on sensitive similac... we also have tried light karo syrup in his bottle and pear juice... His bowel movements are soft or liquidy... Can someone please help.. We were at Children's Hospital 1 week ago, and they said to just wait it out....

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So What Happened?

We called his Dr. and they said we are doing the things, he should be going soon. Sure enough he went and went a lot, and he is doing just fine. Thank you for the feedback to those of you NOT leaving nasty comments. Back in the day that is what was how it was too, and we are fine...

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answers from Portland on

When did you start with using the q-ti? It's possible that his body has adjusted to stimulation by q-tip and doesn't act without it. What did the doctor say about continuing to do this? I also say follow the doctor's lead. Perhaps you need more information from the doctor. Call and ask questions.

A week at Children's Hospital evaluation is thorough. I would work at letting go of my anxiety, follow medical instructions and wait and see.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

If Childrens Hospial said wait, then wait. Stop feeding the anything besides the formula.

Infant BMs are supposed to be soft and are often liquidy. It sounds like you're trying to fix an imaginary problem.

8 moms found this helpful

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answers from Boston on

Newborns have soft and liquid-like bowel movements because they are not on solid food. Did pediatricians at Children's Hospital tell you it's okay to use Karo syrup, pear juice and Q-tips with KY jelly?? I would be absolutely shocked at any one of these, let alone all of them. At most they would change the formula, I think. Please do not put one more thing in the bottle, other than formula, without a WRITTEN instruction from the baby's pediatrician or a pediatric specialist at the hospital, complete with quantities and a schedule. You can really mess up a baby's digestion, nutrition and development by introducing things that are questionable even for older children, and you can interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients which nourish the brain.

Please get another opinion immediately.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

"His bowel movements are soft or liquidy".
That sounds about right for a newborn.
I'm not understanding why your daughter and you are messing with his intestines.
Stop with the ky jelly, the juice, the karo syrup and anything else.
Do nothing except to follow doctors instructions.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Ditto Marda. I'm wondering if there is some parental anxiety going on which is causing baby to lose the ability to just let his body do what it needs to do on its own.

Did the doctor okay using pear juice and Karo syrup? I'm not sure these are ideal for newborns and haven't heard of doing this for babies. His tummy may not be tolerating these very well either.

It's very common to hear that if they don't poop for a few days, not to be concerned. If it's more than six or seven days, then give the doctor's office a call. Formula sometimes has more iron in it, too, and can be constipating. Some things to consider....

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

karo syrup????? Is the pediatrician 102 years old? Help me. Find a new doc. You have not told us how long mother waits until she intervenes. If the stools are soft, intervention is likely unnecessary. I used to use glycerol suppositories when my babies took too long until my SIL, a registered nurse and seasoned mother ,said no intervention inside of 72 hours. She was right. Even when my babies went three days without a BM, the stools were still soft . Unless the stools are hard, intervention is not needed inside of three days.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

I thought this was a question about an older child and potty training. Boy was I wrong.

The baby is only 6 weeks old. Their bowel movements are usually what I all mush it is soft and no form to it. Don't give the karo syrup or use the q-tip. Let the baby move his bowels on his own. Not every baby does every day and sometimes they go more than one time a day. It all depends on the baby and not you.

If the hospital said leave it alone -- leave it alone and wait. Don't make a problem where there is none. Baby is still learning how to live outside of the womb. If he is on a sensitive formula then he has a problem digesting. Time to leave the old wives tales and solutions alone. You don't want him getting a sweet tooth before he needs one because of the syrup.

Take a parenting class with your daughter. Use the class as a refresher as times have changed quite a bit since you had a child.

the other S.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Did you or your daughter clearly tell the hospital doctors about the Q-tips, pear juice and syrup? I truly hope so. If not, you need to be sure a doctor knows what you have tried so far. Any doctor is going to tell you to stop all three of those things. He's still only six weeks old and soft bowel movements are perfectly normal, while syrup and juice are not appropriate. The doctors need to know every single thing going into his body that is not solely his formula. Yes, you do have to wait it out, and if you have continued the juice/syrup/q-tips after leaving the children's hospital, please stop immediately.

I strongly advise that your daughter (and you, if you are going to be caregiver/babysitter for your grandson) ask the children's hospital or your nearest major hospital about new parent classes. These often are sessions where pediatric nurses meet informally with groups of new moms to answer any and all questions. These are a great way to ask questions like yours before things get out of hand as they have now, and these classes help parents avoid the "home remedies" like pear juice and syrup that could actually be damaging to an infant. Please consider these classes -- they usually are relaxed and very helpful. It sounds as if your daughter, and you, need some reputable medical information about infant development and normal infant stages, and a class like this would help a lot in an informal, friendly setting.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i'm calling BS. who in their right minds would give pear juice and karo syrup (sugar water!!!!!) to a newborn?
IF this is for real, i'm betting you didn't tell them at children's hospital that you were doing this, or they'd have bitchslapped you.
and if they told you to do nothing (?), why do you think MP members are smarter?
i don't buy a word of it.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

stop what you are doing and listen to the doctors.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Oh for the love of God...

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Sensitive Similac is intended for babies with lactose intolerance (From their site: You can trust Similac Sensitive, our specially designed formula for infants with temporary lactose intolerance.).

In which case, babies with problems digesting lactose will have diarrhea.

So ... is the baby having diarrhea? or just regular loose baby stool?

I would really go by what the doctors told you, and go back if you're concerned. I would not give a baby karo syrup ever (check the Mayo site) and pear juice if they sometimes have diarrhea from lactose intolerance.

Who put the baby on this specific formula?

Remember - babies sometimes don't have stools every day - so long as they are not hard, or straining, and the doctors are not concerned, then you shouldn't be either.

Good luck :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on


It is perfectly normal for a baby on formula to not poop for a week. If he has not pooped by day 8, than you may need to take additional measures. My first son was on a combo of breastmilk and formula and did not poop very regularly. However, we never got to day 8.

My second son was breastfed exclusively - he pooped more frequently.

Baby poop is soft and mushy - they should be - they are not eating solids. Do not give him karo syrup or pear juice - he is too young for that. Sometimes babies are gassy - but they will poop. Stop interfering with his system and let him be.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

S., I wonder if you have some set idea about a baby's pooping schedule, and you're trying to force it on your newborn? So that is why you are throwing the hospital's advice right out the window.

You have to define what your goal is here? Are you thinking the baby has to poop daily? That's not correct. Honestly, it's ok for a newborn not to poop for a good week especially when they are on formula. Please give your LO's system a break from your concerned, but not the right thing to do, methods.

But be very prepared for a very large blow out poopy when you hit the one week mark!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

How often was he pooping before y'all started giving him Karo syrup, pear juice and sticking K-Y jelly up his butt? There is no set schedule for when newborns are supposed to poop. He's so little, his body is still trying to figure out how to regulate itself. I agree with the other opinions that you just have to wait it out. Did you take him to the hospital because he wasn't pooping? Have you tried calling his pediatrician? I think that's a better place to start than the hospital.

To address the other comments about Karo syrup, I would add that when my daughter was about 3 months old, she once went over 2 days without pooping. She was exclusively breastfed at that time, so this was very unusual. Her pediatrician said that it was considered normal for a little baby to go up to a week without a poop, but that if we were worried to try a little Karo syrup mixed with warm water. Man, did that ever work. She is nearly six years old now, so this advice is not terribly outdated. Plus, it worked. But let me reiterate that this was for a baby twice as old as your grandson.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

My son had this same issue. It was so sad and painful for him. We tried everything but found out many years later that he has a "lazy colon" meaning his colon's receptors and muscles weren't helping things move on through and out. Please ask them about this. I read a few years ago about this and there is a certain test they can give. It makes it worse when they get older and their stool is hard- my son almost had an obstructed bowel several times, it was scary and I cried about it all the time because I was so frustrated that no one knew what to do for him.
He didn't have a bowel movement until he was a week old but it was little hard rocks and after that it was once every 10 days and sometimes up to two and half weeks, it was horrible. He cried and screamed each time he'd go. Hope you get some answers soon.
PS: dr's told us karo syrup in his formula too, it didn't work and I wouldn't do it!! Then when he got older they told us to give him mineral oil! Didn't work either. His stool was very hard and never had squishy poop when he was a baby or toddler.

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