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.
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.
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.
My baby did not poop for more than 5 days.I called his nurse and she suggested that I stimulate it by inserting a metal or plastic thermometer just as if I am checking his temperature. Then he pooped immediately.
Do not use a glass thermostat: it can break. Use a metal or plastic thermometer instead.
[Edit: Squatting is the best and most natural pooping position for adults (source), but is unwise for your child at this time.]
If you wish to help your baby poop, do so at the right time: either whenever her pooping face is visible, or else whenever her bowels are most active. (Babies vary, but perhaps your baby's bowels are most active five minutes or so after feedings. Also, your baby's bowels are probably only active during the daytime. Human bowels generally shut down for the night every night.)
But I suspect a three-day poop cycle is fine and perfectly normal. So I don't think it's a problem that a baby poops every three days.