I started solids after my baby’s 4 months check-up. He got really runny rice cereal. Then some watered down pears (3 X) and some prunes 1 X. He is exclusively breastfed.
Before I began solids he pooed every day. Then with the cereal every other day. Then it took 4 days and we are at 4 days again.
I have since then quit solids. The nurse at the Pedi told me to continue solids and give him 3 oz laxative every day! I just couldn’t bring myself to do that. I did a little apple juice w/water and flaxseed oil.
I guess what I am asking, Is this normal for babies to have such trouble starting solids? I thought it might be a bit early but he is a big boy and seems to want to nurse frequently.
Thanks for your input
From Breast Milk To Solids Without Laxatives
I can’t believe the Pedi told you to give your son laxative as the first option! That is just amazing unless there are some strong medical reasons to reduce the amount of breastfeeding. (Whatever that could be…)
To answer your question – yes, it is very common for breastfed babies to get constipated when they start with solids. Breast milk is so easy to digest, that their digestive systems simply aren’t trained to take care of solid foods. Whether your baby is constipated or not is more a matter of if the stools are hard and dry and if your baby finds pooping painful. If the bowel movements are simply infrequent, but still soft and without pain, then you don’t have to worry at all. (Learn the signs of constipation here.)
If your baby does seem to be constipated, I agree completely with how you are dealing with the situation. If you have the possibility, why not let his body mature at its own pace…
I had the exact same issue with my youngest son. When we introduced solid foods, he became constipated and cried a lot while pooping. Terrible! I stopped giving him solid foods twice for three weeks each before he could actually eat it and not become constipated. And even then I had to be very careful to not give him foods that could make him constipated, such as rice cereal, unripe banana, white bread, and potatoes. Or at least I had to mix these types of foods with a lot of prune puree.
You can find suggestions on many types of foods to soften stools in babies here.
So just keep breastfeeding your son and try again in a little while with some prune or apricot puree or give him pureed sweet potato or avocado. You can also mix his foods with breast milk, which will both give him great nutrition and help his tummy digest the foods.
Good luck and kudos to you who dared question the advice to give laxative as the first option.
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Paula Dennholt founded Easy Baby Life in 2006 and has been a passionate parenting and pregnancy writer since then. Her parenting approach and writing are based on studies in cognitive-behavioral models and therapy for children and her experience as a mother and stepmother. Life as a parent has convinced her of how crucial it is to put relationships before rules. She strongly believes in positive parenting and a science-based approach.
Paula cooperates with a team of pediatricians who assist in reviewing and writing articles.