My baby is four months old. He is exclusively breastfed. During the first three months of his life he would dirty four to six diapers per day. It has been a month now that he is not regular anymore. I had to stimulate him with glycerin suppositories when he had very painful moments (usually once a week). His stools are looking harder and harder. What can I do for him?
Our breastfed baby had the same pattern - a marked decrease in number of bowel movements, although not as extreme as once per week, but more like every 2 or 3 days. Their digestive systems developing rapidly at this age to get ready for solids.
La Leche League also makes note of this pattern:
It is also normal for a breastfed baby older than six weeks to have only one bowel movement every few days. Some healthy babies will have only one bowel movement a week. When bowel movements are less frequent, they should be more profuse in volume. As long as the baby is gaining well, wetting sufficiently, and is happy and content there is no cause to be alarmed by infrequent bowel movements, and it is not necessary to give the baby a laxative, fruit juice, or any other "helpers." In fact, attempting to force bowel movements can have harmful consequences to your baby. http://www.llli.org/faq/bm.html
If I were you, I would talk to your baby's pediatrician just to be sure, but relax and don't worry as long as he's gaining weight well and doesn't seem distressed.
Painful moments and hard stools are the symptoms of baby’s constipation. Constipation is not common in breastfed babies; a change in the mother’s diet may lead to constipation in babies. They will be sensitive to certain foods, this might result in constipation. So you should notice the behavior of your baby after having certain foods and figure out the foods that are causing allergic reaction and eliminate those foods from your diet.
As your baby is 4 months, you can give him apple juice twice a day to soften the stools. Apple juice is the best remedy for baby’s constipation. Massage your baby’s tummy, help the stool to pass easily. Try these tips, if it doesn’t work out then make a visit to your paediatrician. Thank You!!