Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Col | 2012-09-03


Constipated 2 Month Old Baby

Hi - my niece in the Seychelles has a 2 month old daughter who has been constipated. She didn''''t pass a stool for 5 days so she took her to the GP who advised Liquid Paraffin which she gave her the prescribed dose once a day and only after 3 days did her tummy work - she apparently passed a very small and fairly soft stool. After this she has now not passed a stool for another 5 days. The baby is breast-feeding but doesn''''t want to stay on the breast for long and starts to cry and also obviously seems to be very uncomfortable and cry at other times with the above problem. Another family member in the Seychelles also has a 2 1/2 year old child so in the interim (while waiting for your reply) I have advised her to check the dosage and age on her Infant Glycerine Suppositories to see if they can use one to help the baby in the meantime. I said that I would also check with you because I remember years ago when I worked as a Pharmacy Assistant the Pharmacist used to sometimes advise Moms to add a little sugar into the baby''''s bottle if the baby was experiencing constipation but can''''t remember exactly how much, how often or from what age the baby should be. Please advise. I have also advised my niece to drink more water to help with the breast-feeding. How often should a 2-month old baby''''s tummy work and should she be giving her water in a bottle at this age? Please also advise re the Liquid Paraffin. Thank-you.

Expert's Reply



It is very unusual for an exclusively breast fed baby to be so constipated. Is your niece supplementing her baby's feeds with a formula milk?If she is doing this she should stop doing so. If she is not using a formula then it would be best to tell her to take her baby to be seen by a paediatrician.It is important for the paediatrician to exclude any causes of constipation especially a condition called Hirschsprung's disease.She must not rely on using liquid paraffin or even glycerine suppositories. This problem needs to be sorted out as soon as possible.

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user comments


Posted by: Purple | 2012-09-04

From about 6 weeks of age a breastfed baby may stop passing stools as frequently - previously anywhere from 2 per day to 5 or more would be normal, but after 6 weeks it can go to only one stool every 2 weeks. Baby is not actually constipated - a very large stool does arrive.

It is also normal for young babies to appear to strain when passing these very liquid stools.

Constipation is not the frequency of stooling - its when the poo is hard little balls.

Breastmilk has a laxative effect.

She can gently massage baby''s tummy and bicycle his legs, but so long as baby is at the breast frequently - whenever he sucks his hands, licks or smacks his lips, roots for the breast - which is commonly every 2 - 3 hours, though can be more frequent during growth spurts and especially in the evenings when babies cluster feed to fill up on lots of milk for a longer stretch of sleep, and also in the mornings, and baby is having lots of wet nappies - at least 5 or 6 a day, then baby is getting enough milk.

How long baby stays on the breast for indicates nothing more than how fast moms milk flows. If moms milk is gushing out fast, it may help if she lies back propped on pillows and lets baby lie tummy on her tummy, legs towards her legs and head by her breasts as gravity helps out a bit there.

Could she perhaps contact La Leche League for some help? They share evidence based information

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