When starting with solids, constipation is common, especially among breastfed babies. But a baby’s pooping habits can change without necessarily being a situation you must do something about.
So, if your baby hasn’t pooped after starting solids, here is how to assess the situation and how you can handle it.
My baby hasn’t pooped after starting solids, and I am getting worried!
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 mine usually goes 3-4 times per day. Should I be concerned, or could she be constipated?
She is not acting any differently or is fussy.
Bowel Movement When Introducing Solid Foods To Baby
In this article:
How the Poop Changes When Starting Solids
I can totally understand that you are worried if your baby is not pooping after starting solids! Introducing solid foods to our babies is quite a big step, especially for their little tummies.
But it is not uncommon that a baby’s bowel movements change after starting solids, and the lack of poop doesn’t have to be a big problem:
When breastfed babies start eating solid foods, their bowel movements often change drastically.
Suddenly, 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 and smell! The poop may also include pieces of undigested foods.
These changes are completely normal, but the breastfed baby will often become constipated with the introduction of solid foods. Their digestive systems are not used to any solids at all. It is possible that the introduction is somewhat easier for formula-fed babies (many parents seem to experience that), but I haven’t been able to find any research to back up that claim.
What to Do if Baby Hasn’t Pooped After Starting Solids?
No discomfort, no change
Now, if your baby hasn’t pooped after starting solids, it is a sign that the food is harder (than the breastmilk) to digest for your baby. But is it something to worry about or act on?
As long as your baby doesn’t seem uncomfortable or in pain and shows no obvious signs of constipation, you can wait her out for some time!
If your baby continues eating, she will need to poop quite soon. And then, you’ll notice if her bowel movements have simply just changed due to the new foods or if there is something you need to do because she really is constipated.
With my youngest son, I had to stop introducing solid foods three times due to constipation and pain.
Discomfort – change the diet!
If the poop is hard or your daughter is in pain when passing stools, you need to act.
The best you can do is to cut down on foods that tend to make stools harder and focus on introducing foods that tend to soften the stools.
Also, go very slowly with the introduction.
With my youngest son, I had to stop introducing 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.
So, if you notice that your daughter really is constipated, reduce the solid foods you give her and increase the share of breast milk for a while.
Remember that this is a transition period that some children don’t even need, while others have tummies that need a longer adjustment period.
If your baby turns out to be very constipated and in great pain, you might need to use a glycerin suppository or a baby laxative as a one-off. But in most cases, breastmilk and the right foods will do the trick.
This video provides additional tips on how to mitigate your baby’s constipation:
Foods to avoid if your baby is constipated after introducing solids
When choosing what foods to introduce and in which order, make sure to start with foods that soften rather than harden the stools.
Rice cereal is a common cause of constipation, and you might want to switch to oatmeal.
On the other hand, avocado and peas are both great first foods since they are easy to digest.
Prune puree is a very efficient way to mitigate constipation.
For a list of foods to give your baby and what to avoid, read this post. The list includes foods that will soften your baby’s poop and also which foods can make constipation worse.
I have also listed a few books below on baby poop that might be helpful.
I hope this helps,
- Evaluation and treatment of functional constipation in infants and children: evidence-based recommendations from ESPGHAN and NASPGHAN
- Aguirre, Andrea & Vítolo, Márcia & Puccini, Rosana & Morais, Mauro. (2001). Constipation in infants: Influence of type of feeding and dietary fiber intake. Jornal de pediatria. 78. 202-8. 10.2223/JPED.831.
Parents, who else’s baby hasn’t pooped after starting solids? What did you do, and how did it go? Share your thoughts and questions below!
Paula Dennholt founded Easy Baby Life in 2006 and has been a passionate parenting and pregnancy writer since then. Her parenting approach and writing is 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 that you find here. They write or review all health-related articles.
This Post Has 9 Comments
Hello there my daughter is 6 months old and I recently giving her solids and still doing breast feeding but I noticed that she has not poop in 2 days is this normal ? I’m a little worried since she always has bowel movements 2 days a day or once a day !
What are you feeding her and how much? It is very common for breastfed babies to become a bit constipated when introducing solid foods. Try to go very slowly and focus on introducing foods that do not make the stools hard. If she now hasn’t pooped for two days, I would probably cut back a bit on the solids, until she starts pooping. This way you’ll notice if she is constipated (with discomfort and hard stools) or the stools are just a bit less more solid. Pooping less frequently doesn’t have to be a problem, but again solids introduction to breastfed babies is sometimes has to be done very slowly. My youngest boy was like that.
You can read here about what foods can soften a baby’s stools and which to avoid. Good luck with the intro and keep me posted! :-)
I hope this helps,
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 checked out or to just wait until the morning and see what can be done.
I’m worried and just need help!
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 this 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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.