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Baby's first bowel movement should occur within a few days of birth, although it is usually sooner. Also, baby's first bowel movement may look very dark and be tar-like in consistency. If you are worried that your baby is not having bowel movements, these tips may help you.
When baby has not had a bowel movement for three days, it is likely that the baby is constipated. Constipation can occur for many reasons, and it is normal when baby has not had a bowel movement for a few days after dietary changes. Dietary changes include introducing solid foods, different juices, or switching from breast feeding to formula. Baby not having a bowel movement is also common if the baby has breast milk at home and formula at other times. Don't worry if baby has not had a bowel movement for a few days, this is common and could be from a lot of different normal reasons.
Rarely is baby not having a bowel movement an indication of more serious problems like hypothyroidism (a slow thyroid condition). If your baby is under two months old and has not had a bowel movement for three days or the bowel movement is dry and hard, contact your pediatrician before administering any treatments. For babies two to four months old, you can give them diluted fruit juice and water in two to four ounce servings twice a day. You want to be careful only to introduce one new juice at a time so you can be sure to monitor any allergies (the same with baby foods). Infants four months or older that are on solid foods can have high fiber foods introduced, like spinach and prunes.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|