Q: My breastfed baby often goes four or five days without pooping. Is this normal?
A: It's not unusual for a breastfed baby to go that long without a poopy diaper (especially after 2 months). Because breast milk has the perfect nutritional balance for your baby, there's very little waste produced from it (which translates to having fewer dirty diapers than an infant who is formula-fed). It's more important to pay attention to your baby's mood. Is he content and playful as usual or does he seem more fussy or uncomfortable, especially after feedings? If your baby doesn't seem like himself, loses his appetite, and has a stiff, tender belly, he might be constipated.
When he finally does poop, make sure your baby's not straining or in pain and that his diaper contents look normal (not too hard or bloody). If so, everything is probably fine. If you're still concerned or your baby goes a full week without pooping, give your pediatrician a call. Laxatives are rarely used on infants, but your doc might suggest you soak your baby in a warm bath, massage his tummy, or give him a few ounces of water or prune juice, which can all help loosen his stools.
Copyright 2009 Meredith Corporation.