Call the Doctor
Not pooping could be nothing, but it also might be an indication something is wrong. Your first step should be a phone call to the pediatrician. Your baby can be examined and weighed to find out what’s going on. Sometimes constipation or inability to poop can indicate low breast milk production or that Baby isn’t getting fed often enough. It also may indicate a food or formula allergy, dehydration, or something more serious. Only your baby’s doctor can determine these issues.
How Often Should a Newborn Poop?
Most newborns will poop between 8-10 times per day because of their need to feed often. Missing a few of these isn’t usually a big deal. However, a parent should never hesitate to call the doctor if a newborn hasn’t had a bowel movement in 24 hours. If tips on how to help a baby poop aren’t working, this could be an indicator that something is wrong. Also, baby’s stools should not be too firm.
Soothing Motions With Tummy and Back Rubs
Sometimes, all it takes is the right motion or rubbing of the tummy. Some people will naturally want to bounce a fussy baby up and down. However, this is the wrong move for a cranky baby, especially one with an upset stomach or constipation, since it can worsen the symptoms. Instead, lie Baby across your lap on their tummy.
Very gently sway your legs back and forth as you pat baby’s back softly. Also, gently massage baby’s sides. Repeat the same motion with Baby on their back, rubbing the tummy instead. Make sure the head is supported the whole time and your motion is gentle and not fast. This should help your newborn poop or at least make them comfortable until they can.
Warm Cloths Can Be Stimulating
If the above method doesn’t work, try placing a warm (not hot) cloth on Baby’s tummy and back. Do this for a few minutes at a time at the usual times Baby poops. Sometimes, a bowel movement may be more firm than Baby is used to, causing the baby to get stressed out and resist the urge to make a poop. The warm cloth can soothe the area and help the baby and their bowels relax more.
Corn Syrup and Juice Warning for Newborns
Infant juice can be used to ease constipation in infants over 2 months of age (who will take a drink other than formula and can support their head - water is thin and may pose a choking risk to younger infants). However, this method should never be used for a newborn baby. To help a newborn baby poop, instead use safer methods. Newborns can choke on juice, water, corn syrup, and other liquids that are not breast milk or approved infant formulas. A corn syrup and water mixture should not be used for any babies, for several reasons.
Constipation in a newborn baby is painful and can be a cause for concern. Hopefully these tips to help a newborn poop will prove useful. But again, never hesitate to contact your baby’s doctor for the best advice and also if Baby hasn’t pooped at least once in a 24 hour period.
More on Infant Constipation and How to Help a Baby Poop:
5 Natural Ways to Relieve Infant Constipation
Crying Baby with Colic? Soothing Sounds Plus Bonus Tips to Comfort a Colicky Baby