Being a new parent takes a toll on you, but did you ever think that being a parent would mean you have to track poop as well? I am sure this was beyond your anticipation, but this is a real thing.
You will notice this thing from the time your baby is born. Many maternity wards track the first poop after the baby is born, and after taking your little precious home, you have to keep track of it. Who knew baby poop could be such an important thing!
But as a new parent, you have to check everything to make sure your baby is doing good. You might wonder why is the newborn not pooping but passing gas, they could be various possible reasons for that, and we are going to explore this in detail.
How Frequently Should A Baby Poop?
The first poop is made up of meconium, a green-black tar-like consistency poop that is formed inside the baby before its birth. Once this meconium has passed from their system, the frequency of a baby’s poop depends on what they are feeding on.
According to Dr. Lauren Crosby, MD, FAAP, newborns feeding on breast milk poop more than any formula-fed babies. A breastfed baby will poop around five to six times on average, but a few times more or less is nothing that should worry a newbie parent. Babies who are formula-fed poop less, usually three to four times a day.
Once a baby reaches six weeks of age, the pooping frequency goes down for a breastfed baby, and similarly, the frequency of formula-fed babies also reduces. They might poop only once and sometimes not at all. But keeping track of the frequency is not going to be all, you have to check their poop color, as that can be an indicator of some underlying issue, perhaps a change in their diet, like when you start giving them solid food.
How Long Can Your Newborn Stay Without Pooping?
After the birth, a newborn should poop at least once within the next twenty-four hours. After that, their poop frequency can vary depending on their diet as well as their age. Every child is different, and their diet and intake quantity varies as well. So, if you are worried that your newborn is not pooping enough, then it could be a sign that they are not getting enough food.
In these cases, it is better if you consult a pediatrician. Once they reassure you that their diet and intake are okay, there is no need for you to worry if they go one or two days without pooping. It is not a matter of concern if they are properly fed and the pooping resumes in a few days.
Why Is A Newborn Passing Gas And Not Pooping?
It is common for babies to have irregular poop patterns. Sometimes they get a bit constipated, and studies have shown that almost 30% of newborns are constipated regularly. This might be a reason why they are not pooping but passing gas. They might find it straining to pass stool in these situations.
While on the other hand, they might get a little gassy in between their poop durations without any sign of constipation. There are various reasons behind this. One common reason is that babies gulp a lot of air while they are feeding, which is the reason behind this formation of gas.
It has also been found that some babies are, in general, more gassy than other newborns. Something they might pass a stinky gas, and that is normal as well. But if they are having pain because of the gas, then that could be a matter of concern, and should take it upto the pediatrician.
Breastfed babies are likely to get less constipated, as it is easier to digest breastmilk than formula. Change in your breast milk could change their pooping patterns. After six weeks from delivery, there is very little colostrum, the yellow substance, left in breast milk. This contains antibodies, extra protein, and other nutrients. Colostrum works as a laxative and helps your baby to poop.
Your baby might get gassy when they somehow swallow air when they are feeding them formula from the bottle, or you might try to change the formula you are giving them or try another bottle. Their digestive system might not be working well with the formula you are currently giving them. Some amount of gas is natural and not a cause of concern until they are causing them pain.
When you start giving them solid food, it might again happen that your newborn is not pooping but passing gas. Their digestive system might not be working well with the new type of food they are being presented with.
Signs That Your Baby Is Constipated
If your newborn is not pooping but passing gas, it might happen that they are constipated. Check for the symptoms and signs of constipation.
- Decreased appetite
- Excessive irritability and crying
- They are turning red and staring at themselves but cannot poop
- Small hard poop
- Dry poop
You can try some harmless home remedies if you find your newborn in distress.
- Liquids – if your newborn is around six months old, you can give them a little bit of water.
- Exercise – a little bit of movement might help things get out of their system. Try moving your baby’s leg in a bicycle motion to get their digestive engine started. You can also hold them up, so they can move their own legs the way they wish.
- Warm bath and massage – give them a warm bath and that could help them relax. Or you can try massaging their body and stomach to get their digestive system working.
When Should You Call A Doctor?
If you find your newborn not pooping but passing gas at all, or rarely pooping, get them to a doctor immediately. It is probably nothing, but sometimes this is a sign of some other health concerns.
Look For Symptoms Like:
- Refusing to eat
- Bloated stomach
- Excessive crying
- Blood in their stool
- Arching their back in pain
If you find any of these symptoms, consult a doctor immediately. Blood in a baby’s stool is a major sign of concern and should never be neglected.
It takes time to know your baby, their habits, and their physiological needs. So, it is best to take the matter to a professional when things seem a bit off. Being a little gassy or having an irregular poop pattern is nothing abnormal for a newborn. But if you find your newborn not pooping but passing gas along with some other symptoms or pain, then that is something you should follow up on.
It might not be pleasant to deal with a dirty diaper every now and then, but having not to deal with it might be something alarming. Keep a watch over them, as this is a basic way of getting to know about your baby’s health.
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