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Newborn Poop Schedule: How Often & What to Do When Baby Is Constipated

For new parents, one of the most common questions is how often should my baby poop? While the answer may vary from baby to baby, it's important to understand the normal poop schedule for newborns and what to do if your baby becomes constipated. In this blog post, we will discuss the typical newborn poop schedule and provide tips on what to do if your baby is constipated.

The Stool of a Newborn Baby
When it comes to newborns, one of the most important things to pay attention to is the consistency and frequency of their stool. As a new parent, you might be unsure of what to expect, but it’s important to be aware of how your new baby’s poop should look and how often they should be pooping. The look and frequency of a newborn’s stool can vary from infant to infant and it can also change over time. Generally, however, your newborn baby’s stool should be soft, runny, and slightly yellow in color. It should also have a mild odor. Your new baby should be pooping at least once a day or up to as many as 10 times a day. If you notice that your baby’s stool is not as expected, there may be an issue.

The Frequency of a Newborn's Poop
When it comes to the frequency of your new baby’s poop, you can expect a wide range of behavior. Every new baby is different, so don’t be too concerned if yours poops more or less than other babies you’ve seen or heard about. Generally speaking, however, newborns typically pass meconium within the first 24 hours after birth. This can be either in the form of several large greenish-black stools or several smaller ones.
Once the meconium has been passed, newborns will begin to pass yellowish-brown, runny stools. In the first days and weeks of life, this can occur as often as three times per day or as rarely as once every 3 days. If you find that your new baby is pooping far less often than this, then it may be a sign of constipation and should be discussed with your pediatrician.

What to Do If Your Newborn Is Constipated
If you notice your newborn is having difficulty passing stools, or that the stool seems harder than normal, your baby may be constipated. In this case, there are several steps you can take to help relieve your baby’s constipation.
1. Massage: Gently massage your baby’s tummy in a clockwise motion. This can help stimulate the intestines and encourage a bowel movement.
2. Warm Bath: Taking your baby for a warm bath can also help relieve constipation. Be sure to keep an eye on your baby during the bath and keep them safe.
3. Diet Changes: Increase the amount of fiber in your baby’s diet if they are consuming solids. If breastfeeding, increase the frequency of feedings. You can also try giving your baby water or prune juice to help loosen their stool.
4. Exercise: Put your baby in a position where their legs are elevated, like on their tummy or across your lap. Then, gently move their legs in a bicycling motion. This can help move things along in their intestines and get them pooping again.
If none of these methods work, call your doctor and ask for advice on how to help relieve your baby’s constipation.

Prevention of Constipation in Newborns
The best way to prevent constipation in newborns is to ensure your baby is getting enough liquids and fiber. Breastfed babies tend to be less constipated than formula-fed babies, as breast milk contains more natural fibers than formula. If you are formula-feeding, use a brand with added fiber.
Make sure your baby is drinking plenty of water, especially if they’re starting solid foods. Additionally, add plenty of fruits and vegetables to your baby’s diet when they’re ready for solids. Avoid giving them constipating foods such as rice cereal and applesauce.
Be mindful of the texture of the food your baby is eating. Foods that are too thick can slow down digestion and lead to constipation.
Keep your baby active. Gentle exercises such as infant massage or ‘bicycling’ their legs can help stimulate their digestive system.
Finally, be patient with your baby as they adjust to a new routine. If your baby is consistently having difficulty passing stool, speak with your pediatrician for additional advice.

When to call your doctor
As a parent, it can be difficult to know when your newborn baby’s constipation is serious and requires medical attention. If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms in your infant, contact your doctor right away:
-No bowel movement for longer than three days
-Blood in the stool
-Stool that is harder than normal or looks like pellets
-Excessive fussiness or crying during a bowel movement
-Abdominal swelling or bloating
If your baby is constipated, speak with your doctor about how to proceed. Your doctor may recommend a laxative or other treatment depending on the severity of the problem. It is important to follow their instructions carefully, as improper use of laxatives can lead to further complications. Additionally, your doctor may advise certain dietary changes for both mother and baby to help prevent constipation. If you are breastfeeding, this might include increasing your water intake or adding more fiber to your diet.
If you are concerned about your baby's constipation, it is best to contact your doctor as soon as possible. They will be able to provide the necessary advice and support to get your baby's digestive system back on track.

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