Your Baby Straining To Poop? Why Plus Solutions

newborn straining to poop

Newborns do not usually do much. They cry a bit and then sleep. Gaze around for some time, eat and then spit-up. They do pee and poop. That is all babies do all day. Thus, it is important for you as a parent to check on your infant’s bowel movements.

Is your child doing poop too much, or not enough? Is it too hard or soft? Or wondering why your newborn is granting like that? You need to be concerned about any unusual behaviors in your baby.

Deficiency in the bowel movement for an infant is not an indication of constipation. It is quite normal for breastfeeding babies to get bowel movement about once or twice a week.

Not all babies are the same. There are some with a relatively weaker metabolism. These have infrequent bowel movements.

When to worry

  • Newborn has taken an extended period without any bowel movements
  • Baby winces and grunts excessively while trying to pass stool
  • Baby pulls up their knees and seems relieved afterward
  • Noticing dry poop from your child
  • Going beyond 3- 4 days without poop
  • Baby feeling uncomfortable for a significant part of the day

Causes of bowel movement problems

Are you feeding newborn formula milk? It might be part of the reasons causing the problem. Or if you just changed formula milk recently, switch back to the old one and see if the problem subsides.

Still, if you are feeding the baby cow milk based formula, the newborn might have acquired sensitivity towards lactose. You can try and switch to a soy based formula. Then, monitor the baby’s bowel movement for any changes.

Is your child still breastfeeding? There might be particles in the breast milk causing stomach upset. If you eat strongly flavored foods or those which cause a lot of gas such as cabbage and strong spices, they can get passed on to your baby through breast milk.

So, you need to check your diet. The bowel movement problem might be traced back to you, not the baby.

Factors affecting baby poop

Baby poop has wide variations. Some newborns make stool immediately after feeding while others do it once a week. It also has different thickness including thin and clay patties.

It has different colors as well. There is green, red, yellow, black and red. Let us have a look at these factors to find out what is normal and what is not.

Movement of the intestines

Bowel movement is dependent upon two variables, the baby’s absorption of food by the intestine and amount of bacteria present in the gut. A newborn’s food absorption ability changes with time hence the amount of remaining residue also changes.

A baby usually has more residue to poop in the first few weeks of life. But as the intestine grows, the rate of absorption improves which reduces the amount of waste. You will then notice that a baby who used to poop many times a day slows down to once a couple of days.

With the baby growing, bacteria tend to increase in the gut. It is helpful in the process of digestion. Further, bacteria are the reason newborn stool changes in character in the initial months of life.

Effects of bacteria

As bacteria increases, the body eliminates much of them in stool. The amount of stool increases as bacteria grows. The increase in stool leads to frequent bowel movements.

Transit time

Some newborn guts work faster than others. It is hard to determine what is right. Some newborns poop every time they eat. Others do so every few days. If your baby makes stool more than three to four days apart, there might not be much to worry.

Stool consistency

When you notice that newborn stool is always mucus-like or thin like water, see a physician. Sometimes it might be thick as clay. The consistency of baby stool is like mustard though some little variations might be okay.

Pay attention to color

If you notice bright red color in the newborn stool, that is blood. Take the baby to the doctor immediately. It might have been caused by milk allergy, intestinal tract or a crack in the skin around the anus.

It is a bit healthy for a newborn to produce black tar-like stool in the first days of life. If it keeps going on for some time, consult a doctor. It might be a sign of bleeding in the gut.

Other colors might depend on diet and the structure of bacteria in the intestines. Typical Colors include pale yellow, dark green, light tan and dark brown.

Home remedies to fix baby digestive problems

Use prunes when newborn doesn't poop

Prunes are high in sorbitol and have a reputation for promoting regularity. Sorbitol is a kind of sugar with a mild laxative effect.

Once you notice that the newborn stool is hard or baby straining to poop, include additional prunes to the baby feeding regimen. It might help soften the stool. You just need to chop and hydrate the prunes, then add them to the food you are to give the baby.

You will not get any resistance from the baby since prunes have a sweet taste.

Use a hot water bottle for upset stomach

A hot water bottle is an excellent source of comfort when your child is having bowel movement problems. It will act as a companion.

You need to be careful that the bottle does not leak on filling it with hot water. Also, ensure to wrap it in a towel before you put it near the baby.

It is a home remedy when a newborn suffers from stomach upset. Make sure to leave the bottle in a place until it becomes warm.

Use chamomile tea to ease stomach problems

Chamomile teas can do wonders when your newborn suffers from poor bowel movements. It has been used for a long time in the treatment of ailments like insomnia or digestive flare ups. It works well to encourage sleep including easing stomach upsets.

In conclusion

Newborns only have to do eating, pooping and sleeping to concentrate on in their daily life. Thus, they put full attention on whatever they are doing.

This much concentration might sometimes be misinterpreted for discomfort. But if you are a bit more patient, they will get back to their usual angelic looking life in no time.

Babies have an efficient system which most times runs on auto pilot. You just need to relax and enjoy the moment.

Have anything to comment about this article, drop it in the comment box below. You can as well tell as your experience in a similar situation.

Joscelyn Booker

I’m Joscelyn! I’m a 30-something wife and working mom of two kids, a boy and a girl. I juggle work, kids’ activities, caring for the family and of course blogging. We love the great outdoors, camping, travel and vegetarian life. I enjoy sharing my thoughts on motherhood. We don’t have to try hard at being perfect mothers.

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