How Much Formula Should A Four Day Old Baby Eat Infant Constipation

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Infant Constipation

When it comes to childhood constipation, although everyone agrees that hard, dry, and painful stools are the symptoms of constipation, the frequency of bowel movements is controversial among pediatricians. Typically, a newborn does this quite often, eight to ten times a day for about four weeks until the frequency drops to once or twice a day by the eighth week. But there is a very strong school of thought among many doctors that even four days without a bowel movement, for breastfed babies, is no cause for alarm. Breast milk is well made up, so all of it is absorbed by the baby’s digestive system, and what passes as stool is curdled protein and stomach juices and mucus.

With formula-fed babies, the baby does not consume the entire volume and the residue, if allowed to build up for too long, would lose its water content and become very hard. Therefore, the frequency of bowel movements in these babies should be greater. Babies grunt and turn red in the face as they pass stool. This is quite normal until the anal sphincter muscles learn to relax and expand when they have a bowel movement.

Parents can give about two ounces of water or diluted juice, if the stool is hard. Cycling the legs and gently massaging the tummy helps if the baby hasn’t had a bowel movement in too long. But if the constipation is accompanied by severe vomiting, pain or other problems, you should immediately consult a doctor. Parents should not try to treat the baby with laxatives or anything else. It is normal for babies to experience a phase of constipation when solid foods are introduced. A corresponding increase in fluids such as diluted juice would help manage the problem. A different type of solid food, avoiding constipating ingredients, will also help solve the problem.

If constipation persists, the pediatrician may recommend the use of mild laxatives, suppositories, or enemas. These should be discontinued as soon as the baby is symptom-free. Continued use of any aid to treat constipation should be avoided.

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