My Newborn Won’t Poop!

My newborn won't poop!Poop!

It’s what we moms love to talk about, and as a mom to a newborn boy it’s forever on my mind. My little guy is just barely seven weeks today, but for the first five weeks he rarely pooped. I stressed, I worried, I called my doctor. When the standard for healthy breastfed baby weight gain is to look at the output–two to three poops and four to five wet diapers a day–I wondered, what on earth do you do with a baby who does not poop?

Now I consider myself a pretty seasoned mom–I have five- and two-year-old boys, and I have seen just about all there is to see with infant and baby poop. It does not phase me when my sons go a few days between movements, but with an infant it’s different. You expect poop. It just happens. Except when it doesn’t.

Breastfed babies usually go a few times a day, but can wait up until a week sometimes. The truth is that no one really knows how often a breastfed baby goes. If your baby has not gone in ten days, then you should see a doctor to rule out bowel obstruction or any other problems. More often than not, your baby is probably using every single ounce and drop of your milk to grow at an astonishing rate. There is no poop because there is nothing to waste. It’s the perfect food in the perfect environment.

By the fourth day, at my pediatrician’s recommendation as he seemed to be grunting and gassing often, I used a lubed up Q-tip to help things along. A few hours later, success!

My other recommendations for our party poopers are:

  • Tummy time – Sometimes the pressure on their tiny bellies can help move things along.
  • Bicycles – Pump those sweet little legs to move things along for them. Also, this can help release some trapped gas.
  • Floor time – Give the babe some room to stretch out and move! A little floor time gives the tiny tyke a chance to exercise and relax enough to move things along.
  • Patience – Newborns are complex little creatures whose systems are just working out the kinks. Sometimes you just have to wait for them to figure themselves out.

Hopefully it will pass (See what I did there?) and we can all relax about newborn poop soon.

Pia Watzig is a stay at home mom to three boys in Portland Oregon. She loves daffodils, chocolate and chaos.


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