A question new parents often have is if their newborn baby is pooping and peeing often enough. If you find yourself wondering, you are not alone. In this video, Dr. Jamie Kondis walks through what to do if your newborn is constipated.
There can be some variation in how often newborns poop. Formula-fed babies usually poop every 1-2 days, but it is not uncommon for them to go 3 days. Breastfed babies can go even longer, even up to a week without pooping before it’s cause for concern, as long as nothing else is odd. If your breastfed baby isn’t having bowel movements very often, this could be a sign that they are not getting enough breast milk. It’s important to make sure that they are showing other signs of good hydration, like peeing frequently enough and having a moist mouth.
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There are some situations when you might want to reach out to your pediatrician about your newborn’s constipation, including if your child seems to be straining or working on a bowel movement for up to ten minutes without pooping. If there is any blood in the stool, a call to your pediatrician is definitely warranted, as that could indicate an infection. While rare, it’s also possible for babies to get bowel obstructions. Signs include a big, hard stomach and vomiting in addition to not having a bowel movement. If none of these symptoms are occurring but your baby still seems constipated, one thing to try at home in babies one month or older is one ounce of fruit juice for however many months old they are—for example, two ounces of fruit juice for a two-month-old. If your baby is old enough to eat solid foods, around 6 months, fruit can help, particularly prunes.
If the constipation seems persistent or you are worried about other symptoms, always contact your pediatrician.