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Doctor Betti
Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."

Constipation in babies

Question: My baby skips bowel movements. She'll have one and then skip a day before she has another one. I think that she hurts and is gassy. Is there anything I can give her that won't hurt her? - Ashley

Answer: Bowel habits will change on a daily basis as babies mature their digestive systems. Babies will also change elimination patterns as foods are added to their diets. If strictly breastfed, Mom's diet will also have an affect on baby's digestion. Gassy foods eaten by Mom, such as a diet high in vegetables, will tend to also produce extra gas in baby. Foods introduced too early may have the same effect. Six weeks seems to be the magical age when the so called "COLIC" sets in. There are many causes for this mysterious symptom that happens in babies who are definitely thriving, happy and growing properly. As parents, we try everything including taking long rides in the car when all else fails. The good news is that colic seems to "disappear" at around 3- 4 months. Back to the every other day bowel movements in your baby. This is normal. As long as the stool is not hard or has small amount of blood from straining, your baby will do well. When first born, most babies have a stool after every feeding. This is especially true with breastfed babies. Some breastfed babies can go for many days without a bowel movement. But when they go...........that's right...a lot! Remember not to use any laxatives without consulting your baby's pediatrician. Extra cool, boiled or bottled water in between (not in place of) feedings is acceptable, especially in warm weather. Constipation describes the consistency of stools, not frequency. Enjoy your baby. Consult your baby's pediatrician if you have concerns.

Dr. Betti

Also see:

  • What is the cause of ITP and is there anything that can prevent it from recurring?
  • Can a pediatrician comfortably prescribe and manage ADHD medication or is it better suited to a psychiatrist?
  • Ask Dr. Betti your questions

    This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.



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