Mom’s Question:

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

by Sarah

Baby Helpline:

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.

More Babies With Tummy Issues After Introducing Solids

Comments for
5 Month Old Has Infrequent Bowel Movements

Nov 29, 2017 My son has pooping issues
by: Nikki
I have been told this is normal but I would like more input.

From ages birth to 7 weeks my son had multiple poopy diapers daily. Anywhere from 4-7. Then when he had his 7 weeks check-up and got his first round of vaccines, his daily poops stopped. At first, he went 1 day without pooping, then 2-3, then 4-5, then 6, then 8, then 9, and then the last round was 12 days. We had his 4 months check-up and the doctor said that is perfectly normal for breastfed babies, but to give him apple/prune juice. So I did. Still nothing. I called and asked how long it should take in effect and she said to use a q-tip or a suppository. (on his 4-month appt she told us to NOT do that anymore because it would get him used to us helping him). We used the suppository and he pooped twice.
She told us to start him on cereal because I told her he seemed to be hungry a lot more. So we waited until he pooped. He has now been on oatmeal for 3 days and prune juice for a week. NO POOPING.

Could something be wrong? Should I call my dr and have her check my son out to make sure there is no blockage?

Any feedback would be great.

Nov 30, 2017 RE: pooping issues
by: Anonymous
I have no good advice. I was the one who posted in the beginning. My son is now5 1/2 months. I have started him on solids again. He poops every 4-6 days now. It is soft so I guess it’s normal. I wish he would go back to pooping every day and I hope he does at some point.
12 days!! That would make me crazy. From what I can tell as long as it’s soft when they do finally poop it’s ok. I, of course, don’t know anything about potential problems and whatnot. I hope it works itself out. One thing I do that the dr. didn’t suggest but I read in “super baby food”. Is make sure they get good fluids. Some boiled/cooled water. Not so much that it affects bf but enough to keep fluid in his bowels.

Dec 13, 2017 To Nikki
by: Paula (Baby Help Line)

It is completely normal for breastfed babies to poop less frequently as they grow older. In the beginning, they poop many times per day, then at around two-month-old most breastfed babies go less often. Some go each day, some go once per week. And it is normal! They simply digest what they eat.

When babies start with solid foods, however, they can certainly become constipated. If so, pooping may become painful and the poop is hard. The frequency is still less of an issue since it is very individual.

It is highly unlikely that your son has a blockage issue. If you can reduce the amount of oatmeal and increase the share of breast milk again, you can try that for a while. Then your son will certainly not be constipated. You can also try to help his tummy a bit with a warm bath and some baby massage.

And if your son seems to be in pain, do talk to his doctor again.

Warm wishes,


Dec 13, 2017 My son has pooping issues – part 2 :)
by: Nikki
Hi everyone…
I am happy to announce my son no longer has any pooping issues. We took him to the dr to just get him checked out because he went 14 days without pooping. She did a rectal exam to make sure his hold was big enough, it was, then she ordered an x-ray and that was all fine. By a week after starting food he and straight prune juice with water, he has been pooping every single day.

I am also making all his baby food since he didn’t seem to really like the stuff in the jar and he LOVES it :).


Apr 23, 2018 no poop
by: Anonymous
I have a 4-month-old boy. I breastfeed him and have given him formula milk now and then when I’m out.

I have now started weaning him. I started him on half Farley’s rusk mixed with formula milk and then after about 4 days, he has a whole Farley’s rusk. I would make 5 oz of milk and mix with the rusk and he would drink the rest on a morning otherwise he is breastfed. His poops have still been regular.

I then started him on dinners after a week. I made a batch up myself it included carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, parsnips, cauliflower I pureed this down with water (from the kettle) he had 1 tablespoon and has not pooped for 3 days now. He was pooping fine on the breakfasts and he has only had lunch twice and that was only 1 tablespoon each time. He does have water regularly, I was told that he didn’t need water as he is breastfed but I can’t see how water would harm him.

I have been massaging his stomach for 2 days twice a day and also bringing his knees up to his stomach but nothing he does pass wind and this used to smell but this is not smelling now just don’t know what to do!

Jun 29, 2018 5-month poop
by: Anonymous
Hi everyone, my baby just turned 5 months and she is been pooping every 5 to 6 days. I do give her a bottle just before bed, 2 teaspoons of rice cereal, and breast milk during the day. Last night I noticed she was straining and grunting, she also went so red in the face before she did a poop. I was just wondering if that signifies she was constipated?

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