Constipation: Is this normal when starting solids?

At my son's four month checkup, the doctor said that I could start feeding him cereal and "stage one" foods. I nurse him every two to three hours and offer him one tablespoon iron fortified cereal mixed with apple juice for breakfast and dinner. I also give him two teaspoons of either a vegetable or a fruit puree for lunch. His bowel movements have become irregular and seem very difficult to pass. He did not have any problems when he was only on breastmilk. Is this change normal?


Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert works as a consulting nutritionist. For many years she worked with Earth's Best Organic Baby Food, integrating nutrition and... Read more

What is changing is the bacteria in your baby's intestine and the foods that are passing through there. Gone forever are the yellow poops that slipped out so easily of your purely breastfed babe.

Now your baby is in the process of establishing new bowel habits. And they will continue to change as he grows and develops and the variety in his diet increases. It is very normal for babies to have bowel movements once every two or three days. Once a baby begins eating solids, they will often strain more to pass a bowel movement. This is nothing to be concerned about unless you notice that the stools are hard and dry.

To help keep bowel movements as frequent and a easy as possible, be sure there is plenty of liquid in your child's diet, as well as some fruits and vegetables. Prune juice diluted with a little water may help in difficult times.

Like This? Read These!
- Breastfeeding Support Message Board
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