Help! Newborn not pooping but passing gas. Is this a problem?
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?
Newborn not pooping FAQs
How long is it safe for a newborn to go without pooping?
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 over a week without pooping.
Breastfed baby not pooping?
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. (Here’s a guide to all things baby poop.) Also, if they’re gaining weight, that’s a really good sign too.
Can constipation cause gas in babies?
And then there’s the issue of gas. While the poops may be in short supply as your baby reaches about the two-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.
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. You don’t have to muddle through this alone.
How can I get my newborn to poop?
A warm bath and a little massage might help to get things moving. Taking your baby’s rectal temperature is also a good idea, both to check to see if they have a fever and perhaps to get their bowels moving as well.
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 to 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. With babies under six months, this is not necessarily the best idea. 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.
So, um, bottom line? If your newborn hasn’t pooped in 24 hours, it’s likely nothing to worry about. 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. 💩
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