Stool change after starting solids

We have a five-month-old little boy and we are just starting to add supplements to his breastmilk diet. We are introducing mostly yogurt, smashed fruits, and a little cooked vegetables. Since adding solids he is not having as many bowel movments -- usually only one a day. His stools are not hard or dry, but he seems uncomfortable. Is this normal?


Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

It is quite normal to see a baby's stools change when you begin adding solid foods to his diet. It does not sound as if your little guy is constipated, since he is stooling regularly and his bowel movements remain soft.

Your baby could be sensitive/allergic to a food you have begun offering. Solid foods should be started gradually, offering only a teaspoon or two per serving, and watching your baby closely for signs of allergy.

Bloating and gassiness once a new food has been offered can indicate your baby is sensitive or allergic to it. I would recommend starting from square one. Eliminate all foods that have been previously offered, and begin offering one new food each week, observing your baby for signs of a possible allergic reaction.

I would also recommend that you wait until your baby is between nine months and one year old before offering yogurt again. Yogurt is a dairy product, and even though it is less likely to cause sensitivity than cow's milk, it can cause problems for some babies.

You might want to try offering these foods that are healthy, and enjoyed by many babies:

  • Bananas
  • Carrots -- cook til soft, then dice or mash
  • Sweet potato -- cook in skin, then mash
  • Ripe avocado -- mashed or diced
  • Squash -- mashed
  • Apples -- peel and cook til soft, then mash
  • Rice cereal, prepared with expressed breastmilk

Keep in mind that breastmilk should still be the mainstay of your baby's diet throughout his first year of life. (It's important to fit in plenty of feeds when mom and baby are together.)

If your wife is working full-time it would be wise for her to find a quality breastpump so she can leave her expressed milk in her absence. Eight hours or more is a long time for a baby of this age to go without nursing or being fed expressed milk. If your wife is only gone for a few hours each afternoon, there is no problem offering your baby solid foods while she is away, with perhaps some expressed milk from a cup. Best wishes!

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