My Infant Is Not Pooping!

Updated on April 06, 2010
A.D. asks from Monroe, GA
21 answers

Up until about a week ago my almost 6 month old has pooped everyday. Then all of a sudden she goes 2 full days and on the night of the 3rd night she finally explodes with a mucousy dark green smelly poop. Then she does the same thing again. On the 3rd night she poops with the same green smelly poop only this time it is not mucousy. Now it is Sat. night and she has not pooped since Tues. (4 days). Is something wrong with my child? I have heard teething can cause this to happen as well as growth spurts. She is stricktly nursing. The only thing we did different was the Poly-Vi-Sol vitamin drops and I discontinued those 1 week ago and still no poop. Is there something laxative wise I could give her or is this normal for a growing baby and how long should I wait before she needs to go to the doctor to be seen? She seems just fine, besides a little runny nose she has been dealing with. Other than me freaking out she is a perfectly happy baby. Or at least I think she is. Any advice?????

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answers from Atlanta on

Others are correct about breastfed babies not pooping all the time. One thing that always does the trick -give her some apple juice! Even my 3 year old produces a BM within 30 minutes after drinking apple juice!



answers from Charleston on

She's not technically constipated unless it's hard, dry, compact, and she strains a lot while trying to go. My exclusively breastfed son would only poop (large ones!) about every 3-4 days when he was that age. It's normal. She could be growing, and using more of what she is getting, or it could be a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. The vitamin drops (which have iron in them) probably wreaked havoc on her intestines, because the excess iron can actually promote harmful bacterial growth in the gut. I agree to avoid the solids. My son wasn't ready to start eating until he was 8 months old, so we just went with it. If she's happy, continuing to eat, having regular (if not everyday) BMs, then she's probably fine!

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answers from Houston on

It is not unheard of for a breastfed baby to go several days without pooping, but it is concerning that it is out of her normal pattern.

Could be teething.

Runny nose could be a viral infection running its course.

How is your supply? That also sounds like an imbalance/over-supply issue. The foremilk is watery and full of carbohydrates...that can cause poop like you are describing. You can try nursing just one side per session. Let nurse until she pops off, burp her, and put her right back on the same breast to ensure she is getting as much hindmilk as possible. Alternate breasts between feedings.

It is worth calling the doctor, but nothing to run to the ER about...especially since she otherwise seems fine. I would NOT give her a laxative...those are for constipation and that is not what you're experiencing.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Hi Mama,

First off, don't panic. It is not unusual for breastfed babies to go several days without pooping. The great thing about breastmilk is that you don't have lots of waste to actually poop. That being said, since it isn't her could be a little virus, especially because you said she has a runny nose. If she is acting fine then I wouldn't worry too much. It should pass soon. As the previous posters suggested, it could be the foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. Check out this page for all you ever wanted to know about baby poop! I really would not worry. I know some breastfed babies who have gone 10 days and even more without a bowel movement.

I would not recommend solids yet. Your baby will tell you when she is ready for solids. The AAP doesn't even recommend it until AT LEAST 6 months....but you can wait a lot longer.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boise on

a product called BabyCalm, which you can find online, has magnesium which can help loosen bowel movements and it is a healthy alternative to OTC medicines.

I wouldn't give Iron at all unless I had the child tested for proven deficiencies. Iron is a heavy metal, which builds up in children's tissues. There is no outlet for it, (unless they give blood) and it is toxic. It is good you stopped the supplements. Don't go back. Don't feed any foods that are Iron fortified. Iron and zinc supplementation can also lead to magnesium deficiency.



answers from San Antonio on

I would try 1/4 of a glycerine suppisotory. You can get them at any drug store. When I nursed, my 2 mo. old did'nt poop for 1wk+ so I took her to the doc. they did an xray to rule out obstruction in the mean time i was giving her prunes and juice. Well the doc had given her 1/4 of the suppository and she went all over me and her new dress on the xray table! It was sure not fun, so keep her/him home for afew hours after insertion! Good luck. A.



answers from Nashville on

All though I believe this is normal, exspecially when taking an Iron supplement, I would call the physician. When my daughter did not poop for several days the doctor suggested juice. Our last resort was an enema. But my daughter was closer to a year when we had these issues. Definately call the doctor before giving any medications.

Good Luck!



answers from San Diego on

Talk with your doc... but in general it's completely NORMAL for exclusively breastfed babies not to poop for up to 7-10 days. Whoa. Sounds crazy right? But true. Kid's elimination routines change as they grow. An everyday'er can switch to a once a week'er, and vice versa. Formula fed babies are a whole 'nother matter, but BF babies can go days and days safely and in perfect health.

I would suspect that the mucous is from her cold. and the color change from the vitamins.

I would also recommend staying away from solids. Adding new foods right now could cause some real problems, or not even a ripple, but adding solids is a whole new ball game. Little digestive systems develop at different rates but 6 months is very very early to introduce solids,(although "tasting" has always been common -different from introducing-, you'll notice post after post after post of digestive problems in 6-9 month olds -gas, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, hard poops, colic, refusing solids, refusing liquids, plus sleep disturbances relating to said stomach problems- It wasn't until wwii that introducing solids prior to a year old was advocated, it was wwii and the need for workers / a way to feed baby since mom couldn't that solids were started to be given earlier. Prior to wwii, the "age" to really start introducing solid foods was aproximately 1 year old, but it was still in conjunction with nursing. We push our babies to digest "real" foods very very young in this country, and have a lot of expected results, aka digestive and sleep problems, since most digestive systems aren't really ready that young.)



answers from San Diego on

I've heard that if you (the nursing mom) eat canned pears, it can help relieve baby's constipation. Also, try moving her legs around in a clockwise circle and in bicycle kicks to get things moving. Good luck!



answers from Savannah on

Perfectly normal to be freaking out about poop! After all, you're a mom now (a breastfeeding mom at that) so of course your world revolves around poop! :-)

Both my daughters did the same thing and when I asked my doc about it with my first he said there was nothing to worry about. He said they get so good at getting everything out of the breast milk that there's not much left to "get rid of". He said not to worry until a full week (7 days) had passed.



answers from New London on

Why don't you start giving her babyfoods? This is normal for some breastfed babies, but she could start eating baby pears, prunes, apple sauce, peach sauce, etc. This may help get her back to pooping regularly. My son got constipated at 4 months (breastfeeding only) and I started to feed him prunes mixed with pears and it helped him back to normal. He did get constipated two other times and I gave him a half teaspoon of milk of magnesia on the 3rd day and that got things back to normal. You don't want to go 4 days without a bowel movement because it stresses out the colon, but it is pretty normal for all babies to go through this at some time or another. The thing is to get things back to normal as soon as you can because it can turn into a cycle where the colon doesn't recognize the need to go until it sort of "explodes" with mucusy like poop. I also read that the greenish poop by breastfed babies may be caused by her not getting enough of the hind milk so make sure she feeds from one breast at a time and not to switch until it is empty. could also be caused by something you are eating ... have you been eating anything new?



answers from Atlanta on

Strictly breast fed babies can go a week without pooping. It just means your milk is very efficient. My kids all would go a week and they were fine.



answers from Atlanta on

Hey A.. I would call your ped on Monday if she hasn't gone. If she is bfeed only then i couldn't imagine her being constipated. teething can do some crazy things to a baby. But i'd say 5 days is long enough. Although she is prob just fine i would at least call.



answers from Spartanburg on

If it's bothering you, you can always do the old thermometer trick.
At 6 months old, their digestive tracts are changing. We're getting a rainbow of colors, textures and smells right now. Diapers are always exciting these days.
You can always call the doctor for advice. Chances are, they'll tell you not to worry, but if you lead with the mucus, they could be concerned. Just be sure you tell them the mucus was only 1 day (which could just be the runny nose).



answers from Miami on

I doubt she's constipated unless she's eating solids. Breastfed babies rarely get constipated. Breastmilk IS a laxative. You could try nursing her more. I agree with the poster who said the change could be a combo of the cold and the vitamins. Don't feed her solids until she's feeling better.



answers from Houston on

If your baby IS constipated, no laxitives, no new foods. Get a thermometor, grease it up with vasilene, and GENTLY rub in the anus. Only about a half inch in. This will stimulate a bowel movement. After "swilrlling" around , you should see a poop within an hour or so. If that doesnt work, perhaps a pedi should be called.

Good Luck,



answers from Atlanta on

Hi A.,

Most of the problem here may be as simple as she is swallowing the stuff that is draining from her doesn't digest at all. Once she gets over the cold, if it is still going on I would be concerned. Mucous in bowels is a sign of irritation in the digestive tract and if there is irritation, because of what is going on, it can get worse before it gets better. (I was a kid with problems like that.)There's no way for it to heal because of all the waste that is passing over the irritation.

Are you still on your prenatal vitamin? If not, get back on one and make sure it will absorb. That's the problem with most of the vitamins on the market today. Even prescription ones. If you don't know, get back to me and I'll recommend one.

The pooping is a big deal. Prune juice, 4 oz. full strength once a day, did it for my first one. Prunes are so sweet that she just lapped it up. They are also full of the fiber that she needs. The only down side is my little one had prune stains on almost everything.... :) Avoid corn syrup as it has the same dangers as honey. Keep her on the probiotic and see if she improves. The doctor will probably tell you it's nothing but keep your eye on it. Once she's on table food it will be easier to control.

Hope I helped!




answers from Boston on

One of my infants was constipated and the doctor recommended mixing malt supex (a malt flavored powder) in his cereal or baby food. It's an old-fashioned, natural bulk-producing remedy. Worked like a charm. Should be fine for any healthy baby as he said the twin brother could have it, too, without any problems or concerns. Ask the pharmacist.

I've also heard that a warm bath can help relax the bowels. Have the water come over the hips.

Good luck.



answers from Atlanta on

Liquid magnesium will help. It sounds very toxic....was she vaccinated or been on an antibiotic?



answers from Atlanta on

Yea, a runny nose makes weird poop. Also, the iron/vitamin drops might still be working out... Have you changed your diet at all? Stopped drinking as much water or started drinking something more/less?

Have you started other drinks than breastmilk? You say strictly nursing, but any solids at all?

You wouldn't go wrong to take her in and just check it out. But maybe "bicycling" or "football holding" like for colic, or other stimulations will help until her nose stops running?

Good luck and go-go breastfeeding Mom!



answers from Chicago on

My child would go up to TEN days without pooping. It started the same way. First she pooped everyday and then every other day until it was every 7-10 days apart. I called the doctor at least 10 times. They said it is TOTALLY normal and not at all uncommon. She is now a very healthy toddler.
If the poop is hard and "similar looking to coco puff cereal" then she may be constipated. I would put her back on poly vi sol as they are very important for brain development(call your doctor about this and do not take advice from me or any other M.). I would NOT use any sort of laxative. If she seems like she is pain, there are a couple things you can do such as stimulate the anus and move around her legs. . . but I would call the doctor if you thing she seems like she is in pain.
Once you start doing solids, she will begin to poop more often.

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