iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2007
Sat, 01-02-2010 - 7:20pm
My 6 month old is constipated. Not just not going for a day or so, not going for several days and having hard, ball-like poops. She is mostly breastfed with very little solids. The solids she does get are not constipating ones. She gets no formula and still nurses on demand, 7-10+ times a day. She does not STTN and still nurses several times a night, usually just comfort nursing, but still, nursing at least through letdown. I don't understand why, since around Thanksgiving, we have been dealing with this? I talked to her ped at her 6 mo WCC and she admitted she wasn't very "up" on breastfeeding, but that maybe I needed to drink more water, that maybe my BM was too concentrated. That didn't really make sense to me. She also said to give her juice or water, which we have done, but Madison doesn't like either. I've gone so far as to cut out solids b/w poops to see if that helps, which it doesn't seem to. She has had a few "normal" bf baby poops, but mostly, it is very hard. I hate seeing her suffer and I just don't know why. She is otherwise a very happy, healthy baby. She is right on with all her developmental milestones, nothing unusual about her health. Before this, she'd go once every few days or so. TIA for any insight and or advice you can give me.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009
In reply to: penneagles
Sun, 01-03-2010 - 8:39am

It's certainly not anything 'wrong' with your breast milk. Drinking more water will not dilute your milk or help you make more milk.

It's most likely a reaction to the solids even if you are giving solids that are not usually constipating to most people it may be for your baby.

Kathy Kuhn IBCLC ivillage lactation consultant Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas, and Charlotte

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2007
In reply to: penneagles
Sun, 01-03-2010 - 11:23am

Thank you! No, she doesn't get much solids, some days, none at all. Last night, she had about 4 baby spoons full of peas and 2 baby spoon fulls of peaches. She's not quite a fan.

Am I correct in thinking they do not NEED to eat these solids, that she is quite fine on BM alone for quite some time? Her sleeping sucks, but I don't think it has anything to do w/ eating vs not eating solids, I think she is comforted by BFing and possibly a bit used to sleeping/nursing laying down w/ me. I am so sleep deprived at the moment, I can't quite remember.

And, while I'm here, bugging you ladies, (LOL), what can I do (should I do anything?) about the night nursing for comfort only? I really would like her to sleep longer than 1-2 hour stretches and NOT in my bed. I have nothing against co-sleeping, but its not for me, my back and shoulders are killing me from these awful positions. She is in a crib in our room, but won't sleep well there. If we eventually give in (and we do, to get SOME sleep) and put her next to me, she goes and stays a sleep for about 4+ hours. If I nurse her to sleep and put her back to bed, she is awake within an hour. She goes to bed awake and for naps awake and is perfectly fine. It's in the middle of the night, she DEMANDS me. I am SO tired and crabby and just plain miserable. Any advice for this?


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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2008
In reply to: penneagles
Sun, 01-03-2010 - 4:08pm

Hello... Iv been folling your post because Im in the same boat. Iv got a 6 month old gild (a Mady too :) who seems to be constipated. Not becuase she is crabby, but because Iv noticed the poop being very firm. She is BF and I have started her on solids in the past month.

So, I went to the ped. for her regular 6 month check up and mentioned this a he had some advice. Aparently there is what you call a BRAT diet.... Banana's Rice Apples and Toast. These are the four things to stay away from when you have a constipated baby, and on the flip side, to feed when you have a baby who is the opposite. Peaches, Pears, Prunes, and carrots, and oatmeal are good to feed a baby who has trouble passing a bowel movement.

As for the best time to get babies on solids, pediatric associations say that past 6 months a baby needs more than just Bmilk. Im feeding approx. 28 oz of BM (I only know this because early on I started pumping and havent been able to go back..... a whole other post ;)

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
In reply to: penneagles
Sun, 01-03-2010 - 7:04pm

You are correct that solids are not required - your BM is more than sufficient nutrition for the entire first year (and even beyond). Myfirst DS started solids around 7 months, second DS did not start solids at all until about 9 months and the third is 8 months and occasionally eats something. Personally, 4 baby spoons full of peas and 2 baby spoon fulls of peaches sounds like a lot for a baby just starting solids.

Keep in mind there is also no need to use baby food - you can just place small bits of your food on baby's tray and let them self-feed. This is often called baby led solids. Self feeding is especially good for BF babies as it allows them to continue to regulate their intake as they do with the BM. One of my 8 month olds favorites is steamed broccoli as it has a built in handle for holding. :) Other good table foods are bits of apple, sweet potato, avocado is excellent more here: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/enoughmilk-older.html

As for sleeping - babies are designed to be waking often and nursing - this is normal as shown in the studies of normal infant sleep http://www.kellymom.com/parenting/sleep/sleepstudies.html

I know it is hard. Mt second woke at least 3 times per night to nurse until 19 months - so I completely understand. I have co-slept with all 3 of my boys. Done safely co-sleeping is safer than letting baby sleep alone in a crib. http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/t102200.asp

Have you tried different positions nursing at night to get more comfortable? You do not need to sleep in the position you nurse in. I usually sleep on my stomach and then when baby needs to nurse I lay on my side with my knees bent and sit baby so he leans back against my legs. (baby is kind of siting up) This is another way of laying down to nurse.http://www.kellymom.com/bf/start/basics/lactation-yoga.html

Have you considered side-caring the crib to your bed as an option? http://www.freewebs.com/sidecarcrib/index.htm

Even if you do nothing when baby is ready developmentally baby will STTN - really. that does not mean there are not some things you can do to encourage a longer stretch. Some moms find Good Nights by Dr Jay Gordon helpful. Dr Sears also has a sleep book (The Baby Sleep Book) as well as info on his website http://askdrsears.com/html/7/T070100.asp
If you want to do something those would be good places to start.

On this board we do not recommend CIO as one of the PP suggested - current research shows that it is not physically or psychologically healthy for baby. This is good info from Dr. Paul Fleiss http://www.nospank.net/fleiss2.htm

I also do wnat to point out for lurkers that nursing to sleep and confort nursing are not "bad habits" and are completely normal - there is no reason to put baby down awake.

"Many moms feel guilty for nursing their baby to sleep. Nursing your baby to sleep is not a bad thing to do! It's very normal and developmentally appropriate for babies to nurse to sleep and to wake 1-3 times during the night for the first year or so. Some babies don't do this, but they are the exception, not the rule. Many children, if given the choice, prefer to nurse to sleep through the second year and beyond. Nursing is obviously designed to comfort baby and to help baby sleep, and I've never seen a convincing reason why mothers shouldn't use this wonderful "tool" that we've been given."

more: http://www.kellymom.com/parenting/sleep/comfortnursing.html

Follow up with questions.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
In reply to: penneagles
Sun, 01-03-2010 - 7:22pm

WE would not recommend adding a second meal of solids until 9 months or later - unless you want to be on the fast track to weaning. This gives a good idea of the MAXIMUM amounts baby should be getting as you introduce solids: http://www.mother-2-mother.com/samplemenus.htm During the first year solids are just for fun and tasting - they are not "required".

From Dr. Sears:"Breast milk is nutritionally complete for at least the first year of life. This means that infants can go for at least a year on breast milk alone, without eating any foods, and be nutritionally complete. Offering foods between 6 and 12 months of age is simply for social development and to get infants used to eating." http://askdrsears.com/faq/bf4.asp

IT is normal for a 6 month old to NOT be STTN. From some of the studies of normal infant sleep we see "Only 16% slept through the night at six months old -- 84% were not sleeping through the night at 6 months" more studies here: http://www.kellymom.com/parenting/sleep/sleepstudies.html

On this board we do NOT recommend CIO as a method of sleep "training". Research has shown that it is not healthy physically or emotionally for baby. If you want to investigate more on why it may not be good to CIO, or reasons folks choose not to, you might look at these resources:

Science Says: Excessive Crying Could Be Harmful to Babies Dr Sears

What parents and caregivers need to know!
by Phyllis Porter, M.A.

Crying for comfort: distressed babies need to be held - Art of Mothering
Mothering, Jan-Feb, 2004? by Aletha Solter

The Dangers of Leaving Your Baby to Cry
By Margaret Chuong-Kim, M.A.

The Science of Attachment:
The Biological Roots of Love
by Lauren Lindsey Porter

The Emotional Infant Brain
Part 1: The developing emotional subsystems of the brain process various information, including how to relate the state of the world with xpectations.

Stress in Infancy
by Linda Folden Palmer, D.C.

The Science of Attachment
By Kelley Shirazi

Mistaken Approaches to Night Waking:
Excerpt from Sweet Dreams: A pediatrician's secrets for your child's good night sleep, Lowell House, 22-28 By Paul M. Fleiss, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P., 2000

Dr Sears

The Australian Association for Infant Mental Health:

Loving Responces to a baby's cries
Copyright (c) 2001 By Ingrid Bauer:

Fatherhood Basic Instinc
A dad can do so much more than defend the cave. New research shows that he too has the biological goods to nurture baby
By John Hoffman

Amelia Hill

Why babies should never sleep alone: A review
of the co-sleeping controversy in relation to SIDS,
bedsharing and breast feeding
James J. McKenna* and Thomas McDade

Children Need Touching and Attention, Harvard Researchers Say
By Alvin Powell

CIO? No! The case for not using "cry-it-out" with your children
By Gale E.Ward

The con of controlled crying
By Pinky McKay

"Is Your Baby Sleeping Thruough The Night Yet?"

and the CIO Myth:

FOllow up with additional questions.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2007
In reply to: penneagles
Sun, 01-03-2010 - 8:25pm

Thank you, Ladies. I do not CIO for many reasons. My DS was the exception to the STTN rule, apparently, so it's good to see this is normal behavior.

She is not just starting on solids, she has been on them for about 1.5 months or so. She gets one meal, if that a day. Usually, I would say she averages solids about 3 times a week or so. One new food a week on average. I like the idea of giving her bits of food, I think she'd go for that more, too. Thank you for that idea. I currently give her a biter biscuit to "num" on while we're eating and she LOVES that. :D

So, do you think the constipation issues will eventually work themselves out? I will probably go with the bits of food instead of giving her actual baby food now.

Thank you, again. It seems like this board has my philosophy of child rearing and helps to just hear that it's ok, she's normal, instead of all the people telling me that she should be STTN (and I WISH she would, but if she isn't ready, then so be it) and I'm causing bad habits by nursing for comfort and not feeding more cereal and such. I guess I am getting tired and worn out, but we'll work on the co-sleeping a bit more. I am hoping to get a new mattress in the next month or so, maybe that will help.


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