Parents are often concerned about baby constipation. Usually this is because the baby is squirming and wriggling when passing poop (poo, stool) - however, this is normal behavior for babies and doesn't necessarily mean constipation.
You can find out more by reading on, or to go to a specific question, click on the link below.
To read about what normal baby poop looks like, click here
To read about toddler constipation, click here
Newborn constipation occurs when your new baby passes very hard and dry stools (poop, poo). It doesn't matter if your baby doesn't poop for 7 days as long as the stool (poop, poo) is soft. There is a wide variation on the normal frequency babies poop - from several times a day to only once a week.
Although in toddlers, not passing poop (poo, stool) for a week would mean constipation, in babies it is the consistency of the poop (poo, stool) that is important not the frequency.
With newborn constipation, your baby will pass a very hard and dry stool (poop, poo). Sometimes there can be blood around the stool because it stretches and breaks the lining of the anus as it is passed.
If your baby is only passing stools (poop, poo) once a week but it is runny then this is not constipation. Keep on doing what you are doing and don't be concerned.
Not usually. Breast milk is so natural that it is digested relatively easily and so it is very unusual for breast-fed babies to get constipated, although they may not poop for several days at a time. It is not how often your baby poops but how hard it is that determines whether she has baby constipation.
No. If you are giving your baby formula it is best to give one that does have iron in it. Bottle fed babies have less liquid stools (poop, poo) than breast-fed babies but it is not because of the iron. Formula milk is just harder for the body to digest. Sometimes babies get constipation on formula - don't change to a formula that doesn't have iron, though, as the iron is important for your baby.
That is normal - babies often squirm around when they poop - they have to get their bowels moving. It doesn't mean they are constipated. Just imagine what it would feel like if you were lying on your back trying to poop.
If your baby is having a lot of trouble pooping, you can try the following:
Pushing the legs up to the chest puts her in a squatting position which can make it easier to poop.
I don't like giving medications to babies if I can help it and only do so if the baby poop is very hard and dry, not if the baby poop is not very frequent. Before I consider medications, I try simple measures for newborn constipation.
Occasionally, laxatives are necessary - discuss this with your doctor. To read more on laxative, click here
See your doctor if:
your baby didn't pass meconuim (dark green / black stool) within 24 hours of birth
your baby is irritable or not thriving (gaining weight well) - she may have cow's milk protein intolerance. Click here to check your baby's growth progress is normal
you are worried about your baby being slow to develop - she may need a repeat thyroid test
Last reviewed 13 May 2011
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