How can you tell if your baby is constipated?
If you're concerned that your baby may be constipated, look out for these signs:
- Crying and discomfort, irritability or pain before doing a poo.
- Dry, hard, pellet-like poo that she has trouble passing.
- Fewer than three bowel movements a week.
- Foul-smelling wind and poo.
- Loss of appetite.
- A hard belly.
Don't give her more than 1 teaspoon per 4 ounces. Add a little prune juice to formula or breast milk if your baby is at least 4 weeks old. Normally, it isn't necessary to give your baby juice, but a little is okay to help relieve constipation. (Try apple or pear juice if your baby doesn't like the taste of prunes.)
- When your 4-6 month old baby is learning to use a cup, giving him a few sips of water a couple of times a day (no more than 2 ounces per 24 hours) is fine and fun. Once baby starts solids, you might want to give him a few sips of expressed milk or water with his solids – some babies need this to prevent constipation.
- In general, your baby shouldn't drink water until he's about 6 months old. Until then, he gets all the hydration he needs from breast milk or formula, even in hot weather. Once your baby is 6 months old, it's okay to give him sips of water when he's thirsty.
- A: It's best not to give your baby water before 6 months. At this newborn stage, breast milk or formula is all a baby needs to stay healthy. You don't want to fill up your baby on water, which may decrease her appetite and leave her malnourished.
Your formula fed newborn should be pooping around 3-5 times a day during this time. After the first six weeks, formula-fed babies will typically have one bowel movement every day or every other day, where as breastfed babies can go up to a week without pooping.
- On average, a newborn drinks about 1.5-3 ounces (45-90 milliliters) every 2-3 hours. This amount increases as your baby grows and is able to take more at each feeding. At about 2 months, your baby may be taking 4-5 ounces (120-150 milliliters) at each feeding and the feedings may be every 3-4 hours.
- Babies generally do not poop in the womb, given that their digestive systems are not used to process much outside of this swallowed urine. They do accumulate a small amount of fetal poop known as meconium that consists of dead cells, waste, etc, that is pooped out within the first few days of life.
- Infants older than eight weeks often go 4 or 5 days without a dirty diaper, and it doesn't mean they are constipated. Breastfed babies, especially if they have not started solid foods, can easily go two weeks without a poopy diaper once they are 2-3 months old.
After the first month of life, if you think your baby is constipated, you can try giving him or her a little apple or pear juice. As a rule of thumb, you can give 1 ounce a day for every month of life up to about 4 months (a 3-month-old baby would get 3 ounces).
- After the first month of life, if you think your baby is constipated, you can try giving him or her a little apple or pear juice. As a rule of thumb, you can give 1 ounce a day for every month of life up to about 4 months (a 3-month-old baby would get 3 ounces).
- Anything containing bran, known for it's high-fiber content, should help loosen up your baby's stool. Think fiber-rich cereals, whole-wheat pasta, and brown rice. Next are the P fruits, particularly pears, plums, peaches, and prunes. Their juice counterparts could also do the trick.
- A recommended treatment for constipation is 50 g dried prunes twice daily. The 50 g serving equates to about seven medium-sized prunes. This treatment has been shown to be better than a standard 11 g dose of psyllium taken twice a day.
Updated: 2nd November 2019