Is My Baby Constipated?

My five-month-old baby hasn't pooped in days. Is he constipated?
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profile picture of Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC
March 9, 2020
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A constipated baby’s stools will be hard or pellet-like. If baby’s poop is soft — even if it’s his first poop in a week or more — it’s not constipation. Some babies can simply hold more poop than others and keep it in longer. This isn’t a cause for concern.

Constipation is super-rare in exclusively breastfed babies. If baby is supplemented with formula or has started solids, constipation is more likely. To handle true constipation, your doctor might recommend adding a little water or clear fruit juice to baby’s diet or — if baby is eating solids — a bit of high-fiber baby food (like barley cereal, pears or prunes). You can dab a little water-based lubricant around baby’s anus to make pooping more comfortable. But whatever you do, DON’T treat baby with laxatives, enemas or mineral oil.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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