Help! Newborn not pooping but passing gas! Is this a problem? Should you be worried? Are they constipated? What can you do? Let’s discuss.
So much of having a baby is about getting food in one end and out the other.
If any part of that process is challenging, it can be super stressful.
While the idea of your baby not pooping might seem odd, all may be just fine.
(Why does nobody tell us these things?)
Let’s get to the, um, bottom of it, shall we?
In this article: 📝
- How many times should a newborn poop?
- How long can a breastfed baby go without pooping?
- Is it normal for formula-fed babies not to poop?
- Should I be concerned if my newborn hasn’t pooped in 24 hours?
- Can a baby be constipated and still pass gas?
- Why is my newborn not having bowel movements?
- How can I stimulate my newborn to poop?
How many times should a newborn poop?
First off, how often should a newborn poop, when they’re… regular?
Well, it depends on the baby, as some poop more or less often than others.
But, generally speaking, most babies tend to poop about 4 times a day in their first few weeks of their lives.
Then, their poops will start to be less frequent, usually going twice a day by the time they’re 1 year old.
How long can a breastfed baby go without pooping?
If you’re worried your breastfed baby is not pooping, you’re in good company.
Plenty of mamas share the worry but it’s often down to a weird sort of super-power that breast milk has.
Basically, breast milk cuts right to the chase.
Your baby can use up pretty much everything that’s in your milk.
That means there’s very little left to pass out of them on the other end.
So if your baby hasn’t pooped in two days (or more), it may just mean that they’re really into what you’re providing and don’t want to waste a drop.
A good way to check that they’re doing okay is by noticing the quality rather than the frequency of their poops.
If their poops are a decent size and not rock solid, everything is probably on track.
Also, if they’re gaining weight, that’s a really good sign too.
Is it normal for formula-fed babies not to poop?
Yes, just like breastfed babies, it can be normal for formula-fed babies not to poop.
Some formula-fed babies don’t poop for 3-4 days at a time, because many types of formula milk have just the right amount of nutrients for baby.
So, like with breast milk, there might not be anything left for baby to poop!
Should I be concerned if my newborn hasn’t pooped in 24 hours?
So, how long can a newborn go without pooping?
Sure, it’s true that newborns tend to poop a lot.
Like three times a day.
And sometimes as often as 12 times a day.
These early days sort of go in a feed-poop-feed-poop sequence.
When your baby is brand new in the world, they love to try out this new skill they have.
As a result, there will probably be a poop awaiting you at every change.
But as they get older, the frequency slows down a lot.
By about two months old, they might be down to about one poop a day—and for some babies, far fewer than that.
In fact, it’s not uncommon for breastfed babies to go a week without pooping.
So, how long is too long for a newborn not to poop?
If baby hasn’t pooped for more than 5 days, it’s worth checking in with your doctor, just in case they need some help (if baby is constipated, for example).
Is it normal for newborns not to poop?
Not often ‒ usually, newborn babies are little poop machines.
Sometimes, however, they may not poop for a few days, because they’re getting just the right nutrients from breast milk or formula.
But it’s not all that common for babies under 6 weeks old.
So if your newborn baby hasn’t pooped for a day, it’s worth checking with your doctor.
When should I worry about baby not pooping?
If it’s over 5 days and baby still hasn’t pooped, book an appointment with your doctor asap.
And if they’re a newborn, then it’s best not to leave it any more than 24 hours if they haven’t pooped.
But if baby has smelly gas but no poop for a few days, chances are, their bodies are just getting used to digesting ‒ although this is mainly for babies over 2 months old.
Can a baby be constipated and still pass gas?
Yes, baby can get constipated but still be gassy.
While the poops may be in short supply as your baby reaches about the 2-month mark, the gassiness is most certainly not.
That’s likely because your baby is still test-driving this new digestive system and some air might get in the way.
It’s important as well, even if baby is constipated, not to stop feeding them when they’re hungry.
Regular feeding can help them to pass the harder stools and give them some relief.
But, while it’s not abnormal for babies to poop less and fart more, if your baby seems in discomfort or has any other symptoms, it’s always a good idea to chat to your healthcare provider.
Why is my newborn not having bowel movements?
So what are the causes of a newborn not pooping but passing gas?
Here’s the common culprit and how to spot it:
Usually only in babies 2 months old and up, constipation can strike if baby doesn’t get enough fluids, sometimes if they’re just having some troubles digesting, or if they’re trying new foods.
Here’s how to spot if baby has constipation:
- When baby does poop, it’s hard, larger than usual (or pebble-like), and dry
- Baby is straining like they’re trying to poop, but nothing’s coming out
- Baby is still gassy
- Baby’s trying new foods or switching from breast milk to formula (or the other way around)
- Baby has a swollen belly
- Baby is reluctant to eat
Other causes of newborn not pooping
Sometimes, baby not pooping can be a symptom of something else, like a digestive issue.
If baby’s symptoms seem severe, like they’re in pain, they’re not eating, or they haven’t pooped for 5 days (or 24 hours for under 2 months old), it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor.
How can I stimulate my newborn to poop?
Now, if your little one is uncomfortable and you want to help them out with their… regularity, here’s how to get newborn to poop.
When your baby switches to solids, they might get a bit constipated as their system adjusts to the new menu.
If they look like they’re straining to poop and their poops are very hard, it’s probably constipation.
Not to worry though—it’s easily treatable:
- With TLC: 🤗 Moving their legs around, warm baths, and gentle massages.
- With food: 🍐 A touch of fruit juice (pear and prune are both good) goes a long way.
- With meds: 💊 If they seem very uncomfortable, chat with your pediatrician. They may prescribe a suppository to get things moving again.
To get an adult to poop, one of the best bits of advice is to just add water.
Giving your baby water too early can disrupt their electrolyte balance and cause them serious harm.
So, before giving your baby water, check in with your doctor to see if it’s safe to do so.
Not keen on leaving the house with an uncomfortable baby? Try a telehealth pediatrician service, like Blueberry Pediatrics — our Peanut mamas swear by it!
Does gripe water help baby poop?
You might have heard about using gripe water to help a baby not pooping.
Well, there’s no conclusive evidence that gripe water can help with constipation, but there is a chance that it could work for your little one.
Unfortunately, most studies about gripe water are concerned with how effective it is at treating colic, rather than constipation.
But if you want to see if gripe water will help with your baby’s constipation, be sure not to give it to a baby under 1 month old.
And as with any medication, it’s worth checking in with your doctor, first.
So, um, bottom line?
If your newborn hasn’t pooped in 24 hours, it’s likely nothing to worry about.
Same for the newborn not pooping but passing gas.
Is baby not pooping for three days?
Depending on their diet, it might still be fine.
If you’re worried, check in with your healthcare provider.
Here’s to perfect poops. 💩