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My newborn (currently 6 weeks) sometimes goes a few days without a bowel movement. It seems like this makes her uncomfortable and she sometime looks like she's trying to get something going (she has an obvious pooping face) but after a few pushes gives up on it. Is there anything we can do to help her out?

Additional info. She is breastfed with quite a bit of formula supplementing, we use Costco's store brand formula which makes a big deal about having a lot of iron.


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Our baby's currently on a 4 day poop cycle, as far as I can find this is perfectly normal. – deworde Jul 7 '12 at 9:35
You can also rub the baby's tummy gently, as that is known to help. – Tolga Ö. Apr 15 '15 at 19:15
up vote 14 down vote accepted

First off, some babies don't need to poop everyday, so you don't have to worry on that level, but if she seems uncomfortable you can try a baby yoga move I learned that worked wonders on our little one (six years ago now). Lay her on her back and speak softly and cooingly to her. Gently bend her knees so they are together. Move her knees - holding her lower legs - in a clockwise circle. Make it so her knees gently press into her lower abdomen while you do this. I learned this maneuver from a book called Itsy Bitsy Yoga. It used to help our Alice get all kinds of gas out of the way and she would immediately feel better and then poop not long after.

Best wishes to you

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While it may not have helped her poop. It did help her release a lot of gas. Was like pumping the legs on a whoopie cushion. Seemed to make her feel a lot better. Thanks. – invertedSpear Jul 9 '12 at 22:46
You are more than welcome - I know what you are going through. – balanced mama Jul 9 '12 at 22:48

My daughter is almost 5 months old and sometimes doesn't poop for a week. My paediatrician assures me this is normal for an exclusively breastfed baby. But when my baby does seem bothered by it, I use a glycerin suppository to get things going and it works like a charm (my paediatrician said she'd do the same...she also suggested giving diluted prune juice 1 to 1). My mother, who is a nurse and used to work on Post-Partum, also said I could use a gloved pinky finger and insert it a bit to get things going (similar to the thermostat idea).

But these are solutions that have worked for my daughter from 4 months on. I'm not sure if it's OK for a 6 week old.

Good luck! I know, their poop is so worrying!

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I'd avoid intrusive methods like glycerine and even a pinkie unless you're sure the constipation is causing more than a little discomfort. As others have said, some constipation is normal in babies as their tummies work things out. That said, it did work wonders when we used a suppository on a doctors suggestion when our 6mo didn't poop for over a week and developed a fever - the results were immediate: several full nappies, the fever disappeared and food once again became interesting (: – drevicko Apr 16 '15 at 4:27

My baby did not poop for more than 5 days.I called his nurse and she suggested that I stimulate it by inserting a thermostat just as if I am checking his temperature. Then he pooped immediately.

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This is something you'll want to be very careful with - when our children were born, the doctors specifically recommended against this method (of taking temperature) because of the danger the thermometer would break. – Krease Dec 18 '12 at 6:35
With a glass thermometer this is certainly a possibility. With a metal/plastic one like most rectal thermometers are, this isn't too much of a concern. I'm not sure this is a good idea in any event (could it make an impacted bowel worse?) but I don't think a normal rectal thermometer would break. – Joe Apr 15 '14 at 17:17

If possible, decrease the formula as much as possible. You can pump or express in between feedings to induce a greater milk supply.

You can make prune tea and give her a little bit every day.

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My 5 month old son has same problem my dr told me 2 ounces of water mixed with 2 ounces of gerber apple juice works like a charm

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Welcome to the site and thanks for contributing. Unfortunately, apple juice is generally off-limits for a baby that is only six-weeks-old, but it is interesting advice for an older child. – balanced mama Jan 4 '14 at 2:29

1) hold her over the toilet in a squatting position with the knees against the stomach - when she has a poopy face. The pressure against the stomach helps empty the bowels

2) Massage stomach in clockwise direction, or point pressing right beneath the ribs when baby breathes out.

3) If nothing helps you can inject microlax which is a NaCl Solution that renders an unpoopable baby very poopy... ;)


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