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constipation after starting solids

Mom’s Question:
I have a 6-month-old breastfed baby who normally has a bowel movement 3-4 times per day, but now she has not pooped for 2 days. We recently started for the last 1-1/2 weeks on rice cereal and then she has been on sweet potatoes for the last 3 nights.

Anyway, she has not pooped in over two days and I know this is normal for some babies, but since mine usually goes 3-4 times per day. Should I be concerned or could she be constipated?

She is not acting any differently or fussy.

Thanks,
Lisa (NC)


Baby Helpline:

Bowel Movement When Introducing Solid Foods To Baby

When breastfed babies start eating solid foods, their bowel movements often change drastically. All of a sudden the baby has more solid poops, less frequent (or sometimes more frequent, since some breastfed babies only go once per week!), and with a completely different color.

These changes are completely normal, but often, the breastfed baby will also become constipated with the introduction of solid foods. Their digestive systems are not used to solids.

As long as your baby doesn’t seem to be uncomfortable or in pain, and not showing any obvious signs of constipation, you can just wait her out. But if the poop is hard or your daughter is in pain when passing stools, the best you can do is to cut down on foods that tend to make stools harder and focus introducing foods that tend to soften the stools.

Also, go very slowly with the introduction.

With my youngest son, I actually had to stop the introduction of solid foods three times and wait a couple of weeks for his body to be prepared for the transition. And I really had to take it in baby steps. Neither of my other kids had these problems, so it really varies.

Rice cereal is a very common cause of constipation, and you might want to switch to oatmeal instead. Sweet potato, on the other hand, is great first food, since it is easy to digest.

For a list of on foods to give your baby and what to avoid, read this post.

I have also listed a few books below on baby poop, that might be helpful.

I hope this helps,
Paula

Helpful Resources on Baby Poop

If you want more in-depth information and tips on baby poop issues, here are a few books to check out. (Links to Amazon)

Comments for “Started Solids and Baby Has Not Pooped In A Couple Days”

Oct 14, 2018 Black Poop!by: Lalo

I have a 6-month-old baby, who still breastfeeds but has been on solids since 5 months old! Just recently as of 2 night ago, he had a bowel movement that was black, but a dark brownish and yellow in the inside. Luckily, he had a doctors appointment today, but the nurse didn’t help. She said if it happens again, then I should call her back! Since his appointment, he has had two more bowel movements. His 1st one was dark brown, and the last one was black on the outside AGAIN!! I’m wondering if I should just take my son tonight to the hospital to get him to check out, to just wait until the morning and see what can be done. I’m worried and just need help!

Oct 15, 2018 Yes a doctorby: Paula (Baby Help Line)

Hi Lalo,
Black stools may indicate bleeding and should definitely be checked by a doctor. Has your son been constipated lately? That is probably the most common reason for black poop. In any case, have him examined by a pediatrician as soon as possible. Whether to go to the hospital tonight or wait until the morning is difficult to say. He has passed black stools three times now if I understand correctly, and I think that is a concern that a doctor should take seriously. Does your son seem healthy? Any signs of illness, such as fever, vomiting, irritability, refusal to eat, decreased or dark-colored urine or decreased activity? I think if I was in your situation, I’d at least try to speak with a doctor already tonight.

Good luck, and please let us know what you found out.

Paula


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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Am a mum of 1,he is my first child,but its very hard for him to poop,he cries always,we went to the hospital,we try everything,before he poops ones in 2 weeks, or ones in a week,and now he poops like ones 2 to 3 days and it gets really big and hard, but its weird and sometimes it has little blood bcuz he forces himself, and today their poop was completely black in colour and am confused… What can I do to make his poop normal and soft…

    1. Paula @ EasyBabyLife

      If your son’s poop is black, I think you should take him to a doctor as soon as possible. It could mean that it is blood in it and therefore should be addressed by a doctor.

      You don’t say how old your son is and what he eats, but in addition to seeing a pediatrician, take a deep look at what he is eating. Remove any foods that might make the constipation worse (i.e. dairy products, bananas, carrots, blueberry) and add in a lot of foods that are likely to soften his stools, such as prunes, pear juice, apricots, a lot of water or breast milk (depending on his age and if he breastfeeds or not, high-fiber cereals (if appropriate for his age), raisins, oatmeal porridge et cetera.

      Again, since I don’t know his age or diet, it is difficult to be specific help, so above all, take him to a doctor to discuss the situation and what you should do.

      Warm wishes,

      Paula

  2. Avatar

    My pediatrician recommends adding apple prune juice to the diet of my little girls when the had bowel frequency issues. The juice did the trick to get things moving. The recommendation was to offer 4oz of juice a day when constipated. The juice could be mixed in wih rice cereal, mixed in with other baby foods like applesauce, or offered in a bottle.

  3. Avatar

    Rice cereal is constipating. I would skip the rice cereal. I am not sure what other foods you have tried but apricots work great for my twins. I will give them about 2-3 baby spoonfuls (NO MORE THEN THAT) of either straight apricots which is hard to find or one of the jars of mixed fruit like applesauce and apricots. Also at this point I would not give her rice cereal any more. She is not allergic to it so I would skip to the oatmeal or barley, whatever is next on your list.

    Also I can tell you I had to do a rectal temperature on my kids a couple times to help them go. Just be sure to use tons of Vaseline on the thermometer. If you are really concerned call the doctor.

  4. Avatar

    Rice cereal is binding. It is used in the diet. Lay off the rice cereal for a couple of days. Stay away from corn, bananas, etc. If this doesn’t work, consult your doctor. A simple phone call to his nurse should do the trick.

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