It starts out thick and sticky and then gives way to soft and yellow. By the first week of your babies’ life you are up too your ears in it!!!! You got it….POOP! If you are breastfeeding your baby will be pooping yellow mustard seeds 8-10 times a day. If your baby is formula fed his/her stools will be a little firmer and tanner. Either way, poop is its name and examining it will be your game!!
Shh…Now I have a very secret mommy confession, please don’t tell anyone! I was obsessed with both of my infants poop! I know disgusting, but true!! Both my children were breast feed and nothing made me prouder then a good mustard seed poop!! I felt like it was my way of making sure they were getting enough nutrients. Then it hit…CONSTIPATION!!!
What Is Constipation?
Dr. Sears says that constipation refers to the compactness of the stools and the difficulty passing them, not the frequency of bowel movements. The consistency and number of stools varies according to age and from baby to baby. Here are some signs that your baby may be constipated.
- In a newborn, firm stools less than once a day with straining and difficulty passing them
- Dry, hard stools and pain on passing them
- Hard, pebble-like stools passed by a baby who strains during a bowel movement, drawing her legs up on her abdoment, grunting, and getting red faced
- Streaks of blood along the outside of the stool
- Abdominal discomfort along with hard, infrequent stools
Please watch the following video to hear more about how to handle constipation
What could be causing your Child’s Constipation?
Baby Center gives some reasons why your baby may be constipated
- Formula. Babies who breastfeed exclusively are rarely constipated. Breast milk has the perfect balance of fat and protein, so it produces stools that are almost always soft — even if your baby hasn’t had one for several days. If your baby is on formula, it’s possible that something in her formula is making her constipated. Ask your baby’s doctor about switching brands. (Despite what you may have heard, the amount of iron in formula doesn’t have any bearing on constipation.)
- The introduction of solids. Don’t be surprised if your baby becomes mildly constipated as she steps up to solid food. That’s often because rice cereal, usually the first food given during this transition period, is low in fiber.
- Dehydration. If your baby isn’t getting enough fluid, she’ll become dehydrated and her system will respond by absorbing more fluid from whatever she eats or drinks — and from the waste in her bowels, as well. The result is hard, dry bowel movements that are difficult to pass.
- A medical condition or illness. Though it’s uncommon, constipation can be caused by an underlying medical condition such as hypothyroidism, some metabolic disorders, some food allergies and botulism. If your baby passes hard, painful stools, you’ll want her doctor to check her out, just to make sure.
Rarely, constipation is caused by a condition called Hirschsprung’s disease, which is typically diagnosed within the first few weeks of life. A baby with this disease suffers from a birth defect that prevents her gut from functioning properly.
What can we do to Stop Constipation?
Alright, we know what it looks like and what causes our little ones to suffer from it. Now, what can we do to prevent or help our little ones with their tummy troubles? The Mayo Clinic suggests the following things.
To help prevent constipation in children:
- Offer your child high-fiber foods. Include in your child’s diet foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, whole-grain cereals and breads. If your child isn’t use to a high-fiber diet, start by adding just several grams of fiber a day to prevent gas and bloating.
- Our Very Own Solution: Wellements Baby Move is a natural formula designed to help infants and toddlers with occasional constipation. Our blend of organic prune concentrate and prebiotics is specifically formulated to be gentle and safe for infants 6 months and up.
- Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids. Water is often the best bet.
- Promote physical activity. Regular physical activity helps stimulate normal bowel function.
- Create a toilet routine. Regularly set aside time after meals for your child to use the toilet. If necessary, provide a footstool so that your child is comfortable sitting on the toilet and has enough leverage to release a stool.
- Remind your child to heed nature’s call. Some children get so wrapped up in the activity at hand that they ignore the urge to have a bowel movement. Postponing the event can lead to problems in the long run, however.
- Review medications. If your child is taking a medication that causes constipation, ask his or her doctor about other options.
Now that I have given you my secret scoop on poop, I would love to hear yours? It would only be fair to share any embarrassing stories you have about you and your child’s poop. Please tell us any funny stories you have about this topic.