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Childhood-diseases

Question
Posted by: Purple | 2004/11/15

Q.

Constipation in baby

Hi,

My baby is 9 months old. I'm not sure if he is constipated or not.
Most of his stools are little round balls (though there is a lot of it each time he passes a stool). He usually passes a stool every day, and doesn't strain unduly as he passes it. As I clean him, the little balls are soft enough to squash into the wet wipe. Each is about the size of a large pea.

He eats lots of fruit and veg, as well as yoghurt, pasta, chicken and beef, bread, marmite, rice cakes and rusks. He drinks cooled boiled water regularly through the day (in total, he drinks about 250ml spread into a few sips approximately every hour). He is breast fed, though as I've had a breast reduction, he gets formula while I'm at work, and gets breast fed with top ups of expressed breast milk in the morning and evening, and breast milk only, if he wants it, at night wakings, if any.

Before he began on solids (5 1/2 months), his stools were those of a breast fed baby, unless he had more than usual formula on a particular day, when they did firm a little.

He is teething at the moment (first tooth arrived over the weekend), but is not sick at all.

Does the fact that his stools are little balls mean that he is constipated, or would he only be considered to be constipated if he strained for a few days before having a bowel movement? or the movement was very hard? I have pureed prunes and some prune juice to give him but don't know if I need to give him some twice weekly or so just to ensure that he doesn't get constipated.

Expert's Reply

A.

Paediatrician

The stool consistency is only one indication of possible constipation. If your child passes stool easily and regularly, I will not be concerned. The most important thing is to provide a healthy balanced diet, which you seem to be doing.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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