My Baby Hasn’t Pooped in 24 Hours! What Do I Do?

baby hasn t pooped in 24 hours
PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Your little one is doing something alarming or rather, NOT doing something. It’s something that you have expected to be fairly regular. Why hasn’t baby pooped in 24 hours? You’ll be happy to know that most likely this in normal. In this article we will discuss baby’s pooping schedule as well as symptoms that can indicate that there actually IS a problem so that you will be prepared and aware of what to look for. So let’s discuss some of the potential reasons why baby hasn’t pooped.

If your newborn hasn’t pooped all day

Newborns have a very undeveloped digestive system and, as such, sometimes it seems like pooping is all they do! If your newborn hasn’t pooped for awhile one thing to consider if their diet. Are they drinking formula instead of breast milk sometimes? If so, it could be due to the formula. Formula tends to produce more robust stools which are harder for baby to pass. Your baby has weaker abdominal muscles and so they have to work harder when pooping, so if your baby is not having a bowel movement and is drinking formula then this might be the case.

Baby didn’t poop today and we HAVE switched to formula

Not to worry. If you have recently switched to formula and your baby has stopped pooping there are a few things that you can do to help. Belly massages, several times a day, can help to relax your baby’s digestive system for a little more productive pooping potential. Warm baths are good for this as well. If your baby is older than a month, you can also try adding a teaspoon of prune juice to their bottle. Prune juice is a natural laxative as well as a stool-softener, so if the constipation is coming from tougher stools then the prune juice might just do the trick! If your newborn hasn’t pooped in 24 hours then stick with the massage and bathing as the prune juice is not good for a baby less than a month old.

What if my baby is only pooping once a week?

newborn hasn t pooped in 24 hours
RobinHiggins / Pixabay

During the first year of your baby’s development they will be undergoing a lot of changes. One of which is that their digestive system is going to become much more efficient as it prepares your baby for the eventual introduction of solid foods to their diet. This means that while they are on a liquid diet it is actually quite possible that your baby is only going to poop once a week. Sometimes it can be even longer (we’ve heard of babies not pooping for up to 18 days and still being quite healthy, but this is certainly not common).. When in doubt, you can always ask your pediatrician if the changes are normal but the odds are definitely with you. Your baby is growing up before your eyes!

When is the normal time that they stop pooping regularly?

Typically around the 3 month mark is when your baby is going to start getting all weird with their pooping schedule. They might not poop for days or even only once in a couple of weeks. It is different for every baby but is not really a sign for alarm. Some signs that you SHOULD watch for, however, are as follows:

  • Loss of appetite – Distress can cause a baby to lose their appetite and coupled with constipation it is not a good sign. You will want to check with your physician right away.
  • Crying when attempting bowel movements – If baby is in obvious distress and straining while trying to poop then you will want to try the prune juice if they are over a month old or bring them in to your pediatrician for recommendations.
  • Pellet-like bowel movements (often with blood) – This is another warning sign that you will want to bring your baby in for a pediatricians visit. This can also be a sign that baby is dehydrated and you may want to increase feeding volume as well. Do NOT give your baby water without your pediatrician’s recommendation first.

“This can also be a sign of actual constipation.”

  • Bloated tummy – If the baby’s belly is feeling kind of stiff and bloated then this can also be a sign of actual constipation (rather than normal changes). If the belly massage and warm baths have not helped then you will want to bring your baby in for a checkup.
  • Fever – Fever is never good so you will want to bring your child in to see your pediatrician right away.
  • Discolored stools – If baby has discolored poop (white, grey, or black, for instance) or if it contains mucus or a high water content then you should check with your pediatrician to see what is going on with your baby’s digestive system.

My newborn baby hasn’t pooped all day: A little more about constipation

While it may be a bit alarming, actual constipation is fairly rare with babies and more likely to be the result of a liquid diet and changes in their digestive system. Just be sure to watch for the signs that we have listed and you should have very little to worry about. Once your baby hits that 3 month mark then a week or two without pooping is perfectly normal. As long as your baby seems happy and healthy then you should be fine.

baby hasn t pooped
Free-Photos / Pixabay

In conclusion

In this article we have discussed what to do if your baby has suddenly adopted a less than regular pooping schedule. Just remember, if you are seeing signs such as fever, bloated, or discolored stools then you should get your child in to the pediatrician right away. For other cases, consider your baby’s diet. A recent switch to formula may be the culprit and a little prune juice might just be in order (if they are old enough). Above all, don’t panic. Your little one might just simply be growing up before your eyes! Happy parenting, folks!

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