It can be quite confusing, disorienting and frustrating for any parent whose newborn is only passing gas and not pooping for days. A baby’s first year comprises of critical changes alongside their growth, body’s reaction to different foods, environment and movements.
How often should your baby poop per day in their first year?
Your baby’s first poop and how often they poop are part of the big changes. Factors like breast milk or formula, food quantity, and how often they eat, their movements and how their digestive system responds, determine what happens to their poop.
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If you compare the number of times your baby poops per day and those of your friend’s baby, you’ll find a big difference in most cases. However, you don’t need to compare because all babies are not the same.
To find out what’s stopping your baby from pooping throughout the day or in five days, you need to follow some guidelines.
Does your baby consume breast milk or formula?
A newborn being breast-fed is likely to poop severally and sometimes each time they are breast-fed. It can be 3-10 poops on average per day. This is very common in the first month after birth. However, the older the newborn gets, the better their digestive system, hence pooping 6 times a day after 6 weeks becomes possible until it moves to 3 poops.
What of the case of a formula-fed baby who is not pooping?
For a baby who drinks formula, 1 to 3 poops every day in the first month is deemed normal. At the end of 6 weeks, a single poop per day is an average number. Also bear in mind that babies are not the same with regards to poop numbers. If you can look at the big picture as opposed to how many times you change diapers that would make sense.
What is more likely to cause constipation; breast milk or formula?
Cases of constipation can easily affect formula-fed babies, unlike those fed with breast milk. The content of breast milk is exceptionally perfect for the baby and gets absorbed so easily. It facilitates the perfect functioning of your baby digestive system.
Your baby’s system finds it harder to absorb formula, and that is why formula-fed babies are usually highly susceptible to constipation. Formulas come in varieties containing iron, protein, milk and more, in a single brand, making digestion difficult.
If you suspect that the formula you give your baby is causing constipation and want to switch to another formula, consult your pediatrician. Some formulas are great for particular babies, and you just need to find one that suits your baby’s digestive system to avoid constipation.
How to know that my baby is constipated?
As a parent, it’ll naturally you take just a couple of weeks to master the life of your newborn to able to know when they are acting unusual. Here are some signs you can identify to determine when something isn’t right.
Crying: All babies cry, which is normal but not when they are pooping. It’s normal for your baby to strain to poop but not normal if they cry while doing so. That should be a sign of constipation right there.
Always take a look at your baby’s poop to determine if the color and texture are normal. Is the poop is soft, peanut butter-like, dry, hard, and pellet-like? If the poop is dry and hard and with a stripe of bright, red blood in combination to the straining and crying during pooping, your baby’s suffering from constipation.
Stinking poop: If you find your newborn not pooping but passing gas or that their poop or gas has a foul smell than usual, know that it is a sign of constipation.
A firm or hard belly: If the belly also looks bloated, that signals constipation.
Unwillingness to eat: If a lack of interest in eating accompanies any of the above signs, consider it a sign of constipation.
How can I help my constipated baby?
Even though there are a few things you can do at home to remedy your baby’s constipation problem, contacting your pediatrician first especially if you are unsure of what to do or if it is actually constipation.
Hydrating a baby with an ample amount of fluids is a great way to prevent constipation. Enough amounts of breast milk or formula will help. Keep away drinking water from any baby who is not yet on solid foods except otherwise recommended by your pediatrician.
You can add prune juice ( 1 teaspoon ) to your baby’s breast milk or formula to fight constipation but only if your baby is up to 1 month old.
You can also give them warm baths, gentle massages below the belly button to relax the digestive system. With your baby’s bowels moving, they can feel relieved as constipation gets treated.
Also, turn to daily exercise by always holding your baby’s feet and moving their legs in a circular motion for bowel movements. Doing this baby bicycle exercise every day is an excellent way of treating and preventing constipation.
When should I call in my pediatrician on my baby’s constipation?
Are you uncertain about what to do or the remedies above have failed to work effectively? Do not hesitate to contact your pediatrician.
Here are some of the symptoms that can cause you to call your pediatrician immediately:
Any of this poop colors:
Black (after the passing of meconium), grey, maroon, white, bloody poop, watery or mucus poop. Also, it could be weight loss, loss of appetite, fever or vomiting.
Never give any suppository, enema or laxative to your baby without consulting your pediatrician. These are age-restricted treatments which also depend on the severity of constipation and the medical history of your baby.
Your baby will poop:
Having a baby who hasn’t pooped for a number of days can be extremely frustrating and scary for a parent. Constipation in your baby can be dealt with quickly if you habitually listen, look, feel and smell their poop often. The look and smell of your baby’s poop are more relevant to their health than how often they poop each day.