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Thread: constipation and nursing/solids

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Default constipation and nursing/solids

    My 16 mo old struggles with constipation. This has been an issue since starting solids but has worsened lately. He eats sporadic meals. Often times he refuses solids. I am not super proactive about refusing boob and there are times that I offer food before boob but it is still refused. He also only eats sporadic meals even during the work day when I am not with him.

    I'm curious if other moms have had this experience. If so did you feel it was related to the sporadic foods or something else? He only eats healthy foods (beans oatmeal many fruits and veges etc). Every time I findsomething he really likes such as smoothies he decides he ddoesnt want it anymore. I cant force him to eat or drink. I was trying juice but even yesterday he refused it and was finicky about even drinking water.

    I tried giving him mineral oil last week twice even tho I dont like that idea and he still isnt pooping much. Doctor has basically said only other option if the juice and mineral oil dont work is chemical which I desperately would like to avoid.

    Should I force him to stop nursing very much? That feels wrong and some other moms have told me that when they force weaned they just ended up with a toddler that still didn't eat and didn't have the benefits of breastmilk.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: constipation and nursing/solids

    I wouldn't wean, if I were in your shoes. First, weaning doesn't magically turn a young toddler into a reliable eater of solid food. A your friends have observed, forcing the weaning process just takes away the benefits of breastmilk with no sure gains in the solids department. Second, if you have a baby who struggles with constipation, you want him to have as much milk as possible because breastmilk has a mild laxative effect.

    How often does he poop (# of times per week) and what is the consistency when he does go?

  3. #3
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    Apr 2014
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    Default Re: constipation and nursing/solids

    Used to be every couple days and go between loose and formed. Last prob two mos has become consistently formed sometimes pellets and up to a week between stools.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: constipation and nursing/solids

    I agree with mommal. Unless you want to wean for some reason, probably the last thing you want to do with a baby who is being constipated by solids and not eager to drink much is to reduce breastmilk. Nursing can only help with constipation, overall nutrition, and liquid intake. Is someone suggesting your baby needs to eat more solids? Are there weight gain issues for example? A baby this age who 'refuses' to eat much solid food is usually entirely normal. And if baby is getting constipated, it makes sense for baby to not want to eat much. You are 100 % correct that you cannot force your child to eat or drink, nor should you try! For a great read on what is normal when it comes to eating habits, nutrition and growth, I suggest the book My Child Won't Eat! by Carlos Gonzalez.

    My oldest had constipation both around the time we started solids and then again when potty learning. It was very difficult because eventually he got to the point where pooping hurt and he was intentionally withholding- in other words, not even trying to go. It really became a problem!

    I would suggest, do not mistake infrequent poops for constipation. They are no always the same thing. signs it is constipation is if stools are hard, dry, overly large, difficult or painful to pass, baby straining, etc. www.askdrsears.com has some nice constipation info that helped me a lot.

    I would suggest backing off on the solids, let baby eat what he likes when he likes and how much he likes with no pressure.
    It's pear season where I live! This is a great food to use for baby led eating and is also one of the "p" foods that helps baby poop. Slices of soft ripe pear were always a favorite with my kids.
    If there has been any attempt at potty training, stop for now, or at least where number 2 is concerned.
    Is baby taking iron supplements, or eating iron fortified food? extra iron can be constipating.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2014
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    Default Re: constipation and nursing/solids

    Thanks for the suggestions ladies. I dont pressure to eat but I will confirm that my dcp does not also. And we will continue with breastfeeding as we have been. I really want to make it until two and then I would love to be able to slow down enough to stop pumping at work. It is worrisome when he is struggling to go and it has definitely been true constipation at times. He doesn't eat anything processed except puffs which he loves so I dont want to take those out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: constipation and nursing/solids

    Get rid of the puffs. They're made with starch- usually from rice- and that can be highly constipating. You want to avoid the "BRAT" foods (bananas, rice, apples, and toast/bread) because they all have a constipating effect. You also want to push the "P" fruits- pears, prunes, peaches, plums, aPricots- and cherries and blueberries, as they all are good constipation fighters.

    At this point, I think you want to have a seriously conversation with your doctor about your child's pooping frequency and interventions which may be required. As MaddieB said, constipation can become a chronic problem. Often what happens is that a baby has an episode of constipation, which is painful and causes him to fear pooping and to withhold stool. The longer he goes without pooping, the harder and drier and more painful to pass the pop becomes, which leads to more fear and more withholding. I understand your reluctance to use chemicals to treat this problem, but it is sometimes necessary. This is why you need to talk to your doctor- you need to figure out if this is an intermittent problem that you can treat solely with diet, or if you should be treating this with stool softeners.

    Finally, if treatment is necessary, I think the most important thing to know is that the biggest mistake parents make when treating constipation is to try to keep the course of treatment short and to use the minimum amount of medication. Minimizing the treatment is a recipe for the problem coming right back. Treatment for constipation should use the necessary amount of medication and should continue for at least 2x as long as it took for the problem to develop. If it took 4 months to become a problem, treat for 8 months.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: constipation and nursing/solids

    a stewed prune seems to have a great effect for my lo. Tasty enough to be like a treat but effective enough to think of as treatment while still being a good source of Iron, yet safe enough or even good to eat regularly.

    Another mom recommended Kiwi, worked for her oldest.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Default Re: constipation and nursing/solids

    I would also cut back on the oatmeal for now - it can also be constipating. Low fluid consumption can also cause constipation. All cow milk products are constipating too. I remember I made the mistake of giving my then 14 month old baby (my first, now 6 years old) two slices of American cheese. Because I finally found something she liked (!) and I didn't know any better. Then the next day, she stood and cried while trying to make a poop. All my kids are picky eaters, and two of them have problems with constipation.

    As for deconstipaters, I would also try corn on the cob (taken off for baby, but canned corn, probably less good), grapes, and oranges (along with other suggestions posted here). I know it is hard to get a picky eater to eat anything, lol, so good to have options.

    I don't think the sporadic eating is causing the constipation, though it could be the other way around. I know my 2 year old will not eat if she has not had a poop in a while. When she is in this state, I can't make her eat or drink, but I am sure not going to offer her cheese.

  9. #9
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    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: constipation and nursing/solids

    http://www.homemademommy.net/2013/12...ted-foods.html
    http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/201...-constipation/
    http://empoweredsustenance.com/5-ste...ion-naturally/
    I'd try cutting out the puffs too. I'm avoiding them with my youngest though my older boy ate them like crazy. You could also try probiotic whether through supplements or fermented foods/drinks. My three year old loves kombucha!

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