Did you know that checking your baby’s bowel movements is also a check on their overall health? Given that you will have to change diapers on a regular basis, I would advise you to take advantage of these moments to look for unusual signs.
Should you worry if your baby reaches 5 days without any bowel movements?
The answer is NO, but of course why not, it’s for their own good right?
In the absence of other problems, you should not worry. However, if you’re not fully aware of the differences between normal and abnormal bowel movements, it could mean that your baby is in a state of discomfort.
Consider a mother that waited almost fourteen days before her baby had a bowel movement:
How many bowel movements should a formula fed newborn have?
Each infant’s bowel movements vary from one another. Bowel movements vary when it comes to factors such as frequency, color, texture, and smell. When we talk about smell, some call it “sweet smelling”. But for me, it’s still just smelly.
While you should not be in a state of worry following a week-long break between bowel movements, there are some actions you can take to help identify the possible causes.
Review Your Baby’s Routines
The only sources of food for your baby came either from you (breastfeed), formula or starting solids. We will cover each of these aspects below.
The frequency of feeding them – if you’re feeding your baby at a consistent pace, it should not be cause for concern.
– if you provide enough water for your baby on their feeding routine, it should help prevent constipation.
– not distended, not normally people saying this, but its possible it can happen.
– Many people make decisions on which formula to use based upon recommendations from family and friends. However, when it comes to constipation, each baby responds differently to formula.
– Solid food might be one contributing factor of constipation. If you notice this, you may want to start with a small portion of food at a time. If you still find difficulty, you may elect to postpone your plan or maybe reduce the frequency of feedings in order for the baby’s digestion system to strengthen.
Consider what happened with my nephew. In order to curb constipation, he must use a specific, pricier, brand of formula: although, I am not sure of the brand name and price.
Baby poop color and How often should my newborn poop?
This color isn’t represent of all of the possibilities, but provides a good reference point.
For most people who have knowledge in this field that the color of stool is a general indicator of what the baby was fed. Let’s look into this further:
The Evolution of Stool!!!
Meconium – 12 hours following a baby’s entrance into the world, they begin to produce meconium. According to Wikipedia, meconium came from what baby’s eat when they still inside uterus.
When we consider how meconium looks compared with other sources of infant’s stool, there are obvious similarities. The color, usually will be dark green and not smelly. Some people have noted that the first purpose of breastfeeding following birth is used to push meconium outside.
Breastfed babies stool should have a yellowish color, rather liquid, and with some specks looking like small seeds. The consistency and color are similar to mustard.
Usually, your baby will poop at least once a day, even several times, a short while after eating.
Formula fed babies have a poop that ranges in color from yellow to tan, even greenish at times. They also poop at least once, even more in some cases. Be aware that they may have periods during which bowel movements do not occur. It can least for a day or two, even up to a week. Relax, as there is nothing to worry about as long as your baby is still eating well and sees weight gains accordingly.
There is a possibility where frequency of bowel movements increases with babies that are formula fed. This is due to the efficiency of breast-feeding that is easier for an infant to digest. The color also changes to a yellowish brown, and with a stronger smell.
If your baby poops, but the poop has traces of mucus, water, or even blood, it might be an indication of an allergy. In this case, a doctor will give you the best advice for what needs to be done. If the poop comes out hard, or solid, it may indicate constipation.
We will talk a bit later about home remedies and good routines for your baby to solve this issue.
Signs of Constipation in Babies
If we saw some blood in our baby’s stool, is this a sign of constipation?
Blood in an infant’s stool is a cause for concern. Kate Winn, a writer at todaysparent.com had experienced this with her child.
For her case, she was given the following advice from a physician, “still nothing to worry about because possible of small fissure or tear in the anal region might happen or perhaps or it could be a sign of a cow’s milk protein allergy, which can sensitize the baby’s intestine, resulting in the blood”.
Although pooping once a week is not a matter you should worry about, watching your baby regularly to look for signs of discomfort or concern can be helpful to ensure overall health.
If you notice your baby is feeling uncomfortable, if he is irritable and grumpy all the time, something might be bothering them. Grumpiness could be a result of constipation.
Some other signs that can indicate constipation:• Scorched poop, is small sizes; usually accompanied by fever and dehydration;
- Poop with specks of blood in it is a crucial sign indicating irritated bowels and constipation
- Crying and discomfort, irritability or pain before doing a poo.
- Dry, hard, pellet-like poo that she has trouble passing free from moisture.
- Fewer than three bowel movements a week.
- Foul-smelling wind and poo.
- Loss of appetite.
- A hard belly.
- Signs of blood along the outside of the poop
Image Courtesy of My3trimesters
Causes of Constipation in Babies
Formula Milk – choosing the right formula milk for your baby is a must, this may not be the most well-known or most costly option. Choosing a formula that does not agree with your baby can lead to increased costs over time. Even a formula that may be suitable for other babies may not work for yours given the differences in digestion abilities from one infant to the next.
Starting Solids – introducing solids with your baby might be the case for constipation as their body may still be adjusting to this change. Perhaps maybe you can try with much soft or small portion of solids first before you try what you just eaten. Perhaps you can opt to postpone starting solid foods. Low-fiber foods and dehydration are also contributors to constipation.
A few factors that contribute to dehydration are:
1. Reduced or absent tears when crying
2. More than 6 hours without a wet diaper
3. Teething, presence of thrush, a throat infection, a cold, or an ear infection.
4. When they are taking solids make sure to increase the amount of fluids to help aid digestion.
When your baby is pooping regularly, it’s likely a sign that she’s taking in enough food and disposing of the rest, says Jennifer Shu, Md., an Atlanta-based pediatrician and coauthor of Food Fights: Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed with Insight, humor, and a bottle of ketchup, from http://www.parents.com/baby/health/constipation/constipation-in-babies/
How can we treat constipation at home?
As you can see, your baby’s poop is a serious matter. Be careful of the way it looks and try to see if there are any changes in the way your child feels and acts. If you child eats well, giggles and looks happy, you shouldn’t worry about the pooping process, as it will come naturally.
How about, 10 days without a bowel movement!
These ideas are not exactly ways for you when treating constipation, but more to good routines for your children too, to be honest.
While people may tell you it is natural, let’s consider some actions you may take to ensure that the problem will not get worse:
Changing the formula
– For me, changing the formula might the first step that I would look into. Ask for help from your child’s pediatrician is important prior to making these changes.
Here is an article that will help to choose the right formula.
Baby’s workout – Gently move your baby’s legs in a bicycling motion
I’m not sure if we can call this workout for a baby or not, but this exercise may help your baby move the hard poo along their intestine.
Formula-fed babies especially need to take extra water daily. And when you get the formula ready for your baby, make sure you are on right level of water and powder as recommended. But not too much powder, especially when they are under 6 months old. Here’s the link why. Make sure, put water first before adding formula.
Delay their intake of solid foods
As I mentioned earlier, solid food may be a contributing factor to constipation. Some tips include chopping food into smaller pieces or delaying the intake of solid foods when issues of constipation are resolved. Another option are foods that are high in fiber such as pureed pears, peaches, prunes, and plums. Barley is also a preferable alternative to rice cereals.
Use glycerin suppository
You may have heard about glycerin suppositories elsewhere, as the method was quite popular. Steps include inserting a glycerin suppository into the baby’s rectum and hold her buttocks together until dissolved. It may take around an hour to produce a bowel movement.
Alternatively, squirt some liquid glycerin using a dropper into the infant’s rectum if she is straining. These can be done once a day until stools soften with diet. Liquid glycerin also helps heal rectal tears caused by straining, which causes fresh blood to appear in the diaper.
Here’s are helpful reference list of foods that contribute to and remedy constipation.