My ten month baby has frequent bowel movements: 5-6 times per day. He has no fever and appears happy. Is this normal?
I am afraid he is not gaining any weight because of the frequency in the bowel movement. Could that be the case?Baby Help Line:
Pooping Too Often When 10 Months Old
Actually 5-6 bowel movements per day in such an “old” baby does not seem completely right, at least not if it is a sudden change compared to his usual bowel movement habits. Are the stools hard or too soft?
If he is not ill and the stools are very soft or semi-liquid, as you say, the most common reason that I know of is too much fiber in the foods.
Is he getting whole-grain bread, cereal or some other fiber rich foods? In such case, cut down completely on those foods, and your are likely to see an improvement within days.
If the poop is very hard and therefor frequent, he is of course more likely to be somewhat constipated and instead more fiber rich foods will help him.
Other reasons for his frequent bowel movements could be some food intolerance. The baby may be allergic to certain milk proteins (think if you have introduced dairy recently?) or have a celiac disease, which is defined as wheat protein hypersensitivity (have you introduced grains?).
Think back to when it started and see if you can find a connection with the introduction of some type of food. Then try excluding it from his diet and see if it helps.
Babies can also sometimes have frequent bowel movements while teething, because they drool a lot and swallow the salivia, which works as a mild laxative for them. (For more baby teething symptoms, read this article.)
If nothing helps, you might want to contact his health care provider, to rule out any bacteria or similar.
Regarding the risk of dehydration and not gaining weight; keep a track of his wet diapers. If he is peeing frequently, he is not likely to be dehydrated. Offer him some water or formula often. And if he is happy and full of energy, he is probably getting the nutrition he needs too; any person becomes quite cranky from getting too little food.
If the baby is not gaining weight properly, often has respiratory infections and his stools are foul smelling, checking him for cystic fibrosis may be a good idea. This is a very unlikely situation, especially since your child only presents with frequent stools, which may be caused by many other reasons, but since cystic fibrosis is a serious disease with vague symptoms, it is better to be sure. If he is gaining weight normally, you should worry about this at all.
(Answer approved by our Medical Reference Team)
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