How long should my baby go without pooping?
Daily, a few days or a week?
This is the question that’s running in your mind right now. Maybe it even kept you up at night.
When your baby’s pooping frequency is questionable, it’s alarming for you and uncomfortable for them.
Here is something important to remember- several factors affect how long and how much your baby poops. Age and diet are the two main ones. So rest easy mama, for all you know, your baby’s digestion is working as it should.
How does diet affect your baby’s pooping habits?
For exclusively breastfed (EBF) babies past 12 weeks, a week without pooping is a normal occurrence. Breast milk contains vital nutrients that your baby needs to grow and develop. Hence, the body absorbs most of the contents from the breast milk.
Because the body uses most of the breast milk contents, there’s little or no waste that needs extraction.
Before 6 weeks, breast milk contains a high concentration of a protein known as colostrum.
Colostrum not only provides immune-strengthening nutrients, but it also acts as a laxative. This protein is part of the reason babies younger than 6 weeks poop a lot. After that, the pooping frequency goes on a nosedive.
Babies that feed on formula or solid foods, on the other hand, will have a higher chance of difficulty in passing stool. They may strain and occasionally constipate because of the foods or formula you are using.
If your baby is constipated, there’s no need to worry. You can easily treat constipation in babies with a few home remedies.
Still not sure if your baby’s pooping is normal or not? Here are a few signs of baby constipation.
- Infrequent and hard poop
- Irritability and lots of crying during a bowel movement
- Little or no appetite
- Straining and redness without actual pooping
When your baby is having a hard time pooping
Talking to your pediatrician is the first step. You want to ensure that when using a home remedy, your baby’s health is not affected. Here are a few of our favorite home remedies for pooping issues.
Exercise and massage your baby’s belly.
As if riding a bicycle, move your baby’s legs gently to help in passing stool. Next, give them a warm bath while massaging their belly on light pressure.
Take rectal temperatures.
Using a thermometer to take rectal temperature will stimulate bowel movements for your baby. However, don’t make it a habit as your baby might grow dependent on it. Or associate pooping with negative activity.
Some fresh juice works wonders.
For babies above 6 months, 2-4 ounces of apple, pear, or prune juice will work the trick of easing constipation. These juices have sorbitol, a natural sugar that acts as a laxative.
Try Enfamil reguline
Dairy-based formulas are a common reason for constipation in babies. Enfamil reguline is a baby formula packed with nutrients and prebiotics that help your baby pass softer stool without all the strain.
Unless your baby is irritated or passing a hard stool, infrequent pooping should not be a huge cause of concern. In due time, your baby’s digestive system will get ‘the hang of things.’