When To Call The Doctor
- Your baby is irritable and seems to be having abdominal pain.
- You see blood in your baby’s stool.
- Your baby’s constipation does not improve with current treatment.
If you have any questions or concerns, call your baby’s doctor at ___________________.
HH-I-14 7/84, Revised 3/14 Copyright 1984, Nationwide Children’s Hospital
How Can You Tell If A Baby Is Constipated
Signs of Constipation
Take Your Babys Temperature Rectally
This works like the q-tip tip, but is an excellent alternative for when you dont have any.
STEP 1: Gather supplies as before but swapping q-tips for a rectal thermometer for babies
STEP 2: Hold babys ankles and lift them toward your babys tummy while they are on top of the newspaper and a clean diaper.
STEP 3: Take the thermometer with lube on it and insert it carefully into your babys anus. Leave it in for the 15-30 seconds required to take their temperature and then remove.
STEP 4: Keep the babys legs pushed into their tummy, and within a minute or two, your baby will likely poop.
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How Do I Know If My Newborn Is Struggling To Poop
A baby struggling to poop will often have a red or flushed face, grunt, be cranky, and even cry when trying to make a bowel movement. You may also notice your newborn pulling their knees up into their tummy or chest when trying to make a bowel movement.
This does not necessarily mean your baby is constipated, she may just be having difficulty learning all the steps of pooping.
When To See The Doctor
Yes, you can tell a lot about babys health by monitoring the color and consistency of their poop. But if you notice any of the following, you should consult your doctor for advice:
- Breastfeed baby hasnt pooped in over three days
- Formula-fed baby hasnt pooped in over five days
- Baby poop is thick, hard or or pebbly
- Baby poop is red or black
- Baby poop is white, gray or clay-colored
In the coming days, weeks and months, youll likely take up a mission to analyze the contents of your infants diaper checking for normal baby poop is par for the course. The truth is: Everybody poopsand you want to make sure your little one is happy and healthy! To that end, keep our baby poop guide bookmarked as a reference to help you navigate this sometimes sticky, but always interesting stage of parenthood!
About the experts:
Madhavi Kapoor, MD, is a clinical assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at NYU Langone Medical Center. She received her medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.
Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, is a pediatrician and chief medical officer at SpoonfulOne and BeforeBrands. Previously, the executive director of digital health for Seattle Childrens Hospital, she earned her medical degree from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia.
Plus, more from The Bump:
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What You Can Do
Dont give your baby medicines for constipation unless they are advised or prescribed by a doctor.
If your baby is fed with breast milk:
- You may need to feed your baby more often. See your doctor or child health nurse for advice.
If your baby is fed with formula:
- It may be that his or her formula has not been made up correctly, so it does not contain enough water.
- Double check that you are following the instructions on the tin of formula correctly.
- Make sure you are using the scoop that is provided with the tin of formula you are using different brands can have different sized scoops.
- Make sure you are not packing the powdered formula too tightly in the scoop it should be loosely filled, and levelled off using the flat side of a knife or the leveller provided.
- Make sure you are adding water to the bottle first, then the powdered formula. If you add formula first you will be adding too little water to the bottle.
If your baby is eating solids :
- Offer extra water between their normal meals or diluted fruit juice , 1 part juice to 3 parts water.
- Try to encourage them to eat extra servings of fruit and vegetables that have been pureed or chopped . These can include stewed prunes, stewed apricots, and steamed vegetables.
- Add more water to your babys solids.
Other things to try:
- Gently move your babys legs in a cycling motion this may help stimulate their bowels.
- Gently massage your babys tummy.
- A warm bath can help the muscles relax .
Baby Poop After Starting Solid Foods
The color, frequency, and consistency of your baby’s poop will change again once you introduce solid foods at approximately 4 to 6 months of age. At this point, the bowel movements will be thicker and more formed.
The foods that you feed your baby will change the color of the stool, too. For example, carrots and sweet potatoes can turn poop orange, while green beans and peas may turn it green. You may also see foods that do not get digested at all and end up in the diaper in their original form. The introduction of solid foods can increase the chances of constipation.
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Stools: How Often Is Normal
- Normal Range: 3 per day to 1 every 2 days. Once children are on normal table foods, their stool pattern is like adults.
- Kids who go every 4 or 5 days almost always have pain with passage. They also have a lot of straining.
- Kids who go every 3 days often drift into longer times. Then, they also develop symptoms.
- Passing a stool should be free of pain.
- Any child with pain during stool passage or lots of straining needs treatment. At the very least, the child should be treated with changes in diet.
Things You Should Not Do When A Baby Is Constipated
- Dont give prune juice to infants under six months of age it contains a natural bowel irritant, even when diluted.
- Dont add any form of sugar, malt extract or rice cereal to formula it will not help the constipation.
- Dont introduce solids before four to six months of age its not recommended as a way to treat constipation.
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How To Prevent Constipation In Bunnies
Bunnies have sensitive digestion tracts, and the slightest change to their diet can cause constipation. Health problems, like an intestinal blockage or painful teeth, are often to blame. However, stress and anxiety can also throw their digestive system out of balance.
Constipation is a serious health condition in bunnies and must be treated quickly. Symptoms of constipation include:
- Loss of appetite
- Hunched posture
- General pain or discomfort
Bunnies are habitual creatures and need plenty of fiber in the diet to maintain a healthy gut. To prevent constipation and keep your bunny pooping properly, try to feed your bunny at the same time each day and ensure it has access to an ample amount of grass hay to graze on throughout the day.
Pellets are fine to eat, but only in small quantities each day. As your bunny begins to grow, start introducing vegetables into its diet.
Leafy greens such as parsley and spinach are fine in moderation, but too much can upset the digestive system and cause either soft stools or constipation. Only feed these kinds of vegetables to your bunny once it is eight weeks old.
Avoid legumes such as beans and peas and starchy foods like bread, pastries, and cereal. These foods offer no nutritional value but cause havoc with your pets bowel movements.
How Much Poop Is Normal
Once children are on regular solid food, their stool pattern is much like adults. Babies who go every 3 days may take a long time to poop. Babies who poop every 4-5 days may have painful passing of stools with too much straining.
Some conditions that mimic constipation are as follows:
- Breastfed: Breastfed babies who pass soft, large, and pain-free stools every 4-7 days are considered to have a normal stool pattern. However, if the baby doesnt pass enough stools before one month of age, it may mean that they are not getting enough breastmilk.
- Straining: Grunting or straining while passing stool is normal in young babies. Babies may also usually turn red-faced and move up their legs while straining. Babies usually strain during stool passage because:
- They are learning to relax their anus after 9 months of keeping it closed.
- It is hard to pass stool lying on their back without the help of gravity.
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What Causes Constipation In Babies
Constipation in babies is primarily caused by diet. Here are some things you might want to discuss with your pediatrician:
- Baby Formula: The intestines of some babies just seem sensitive to a particular brand of formula .
- Dairy or Soy Allergy: Babies that have a milk allergy can experience constipation, excessive gas and other discomforts. A doctor can determine if your baby has a dairy or soy allergy.
- Change in Diet: Sometimes when babies are given the green light for baby food they can struggle with regularity. Many first-time foods are very starchy and if he isnt getting enough water this can lead to poop troubles. Check with your pediatrician on the best first foods to help avoid constipation and how much water he needs in a day.
- Iron Supplement: Vitamins with iron can make poops into hard little black-green colored pellets.
- Dehydration: If a baby is not getting enough to drink, stools can get drier and harder. Its super easy to check for this problem: The inside of the mouth will get dry and sticky your baby will pee fewer than six times a day the urine will become much more yellow and a bit smelly.
Use A Warm Wet Washcloth To Stimulate The Anus And Help Baby Poop Instantly
Another method to help your baby to relax their anal sphincter is to use a warm wet washcloth.
STEP 1: Like the above, you want to have your baby on a clean diaper, a disposable changing pad or some newspaper that can be thrown away easily after the stool makes its apperance.
STEP 2: Hold babys ankles and push their knees toward their tummy, then with the other hand, use the warm washcloth to gently massage the anus and their butt until they relax allowing the pooop to exit. For some babys the warm, wet washcloth will be plenty of stimulation.
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When It Comes To Bowel Movements In Babies You Should Take Into Account
Its normal for babies to undergo changes in their intestinal rhythm at different stages of their development and with changes in feeding. Whenever you have any doubts or notice any important change, you can consult your pediatrician during your next appointment.
If at any time you notice that your baby is especially irritable or you observe signs of alarm in their stool, such as blood, cracks in the anus, or your babys making a great effort to poop, you should see a pediatrician immediately. Theyll be the one to properly assess the child and establish the guidelines to follow.
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Helping Your Newborn Get Through Painful Pooping
That constipated look your baby gives you when they cant poop can be entertaining to look at, but can be quite painful for your baby. Luckily, painful pooping, or infant dyschezia, is a very common, normal and curable problem. Dr. Cindy Gellner talks about what might cause dychezia and what safe methods you can use to help your baby.
Dyschezia. It sounds like a scary condition for a newborn to have, but it is a common and very normal problem for new babies. What is it and what can you do to help your baby?
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Newborn Not Peeing Or Pooping For Two Days
The newborn does not drink much milk during the initial days outside the womb.
The baby will start with a very small amount of milk, and due to this might not pee or poop a lot.
During the first 24 hours of the newborn baby, he/she might urinate only once.
On day two, the baby can pee twice. On day three, you can expect to have 3 wet diapers from your sweetie.
If you find your newborn not pooping for a few days, then its nothing to worry but not peeing for some days is stressful.
No pee refers to a sign of dehydration. Do consult your doctor immediately in such a case.
Litter Train Your Bunny
Litter training can be a long and frustrating process, but you must do it properly to make using the tray as easy as possible for your bunny. Follow these steps:
Once your bunnys litter tray routine is cracked, you can leave it to roam while safe in the knowledge that its unlikely to have an accident.
Unfortunately, its very difficult to care for a newborn bunny rabbit. Intestinal problems are common and even the slightest changes to the bunnys diet can cause havoc with the gut. When helping your newborn bunny to poop, you must be extremely gentle and careful not to press too hard. Doing so may harm the kits fragile organs.