Learning (the hard way) How To Prevent Constipation in Babies

*Heads Up - This post contains potty talk. I'm always getting on my 4 year old's case about not using potty talk, but sometimes there's just no way around it... Like when your entire story is about a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad poop.

How to prevent constipation in babies

A sweet family member of mine recently posted on her blog about the #momfail trend on social media, and how we need to change that hashtag to #ilearnedsomething. I really appreciated that post, and I definitely had an #ilearnedsomething moment last night.

The Beginning

Mason was really, really fussy. We thought he was just over tired, but I decided to change his diaper because he was smelling slightly suspicious, and what I found was horrifying... There was a giant poop stuck in his poor little butt, and try as he may, he could not get it out. I'm sorry for that mental image, but at least I didn't take any actual pictures.

I yelled for Ryan in a panic and told him I figured out why Mason was so upset. Ryan and I took turns trying to work the poop out of him, but nothing was helping and poor Mason was screaming (as I would be too in that situation). I decided to call the doctor's office while Ryan kept trying. I left a message that sounded something like this:

"My baby is really super constipated! Please call me back!!"

Ryan worked that baby like playdough, and after a few minutes called me back over and showed me a little something that he was able to pull out of our child's rear end. Progress! 3 suppositories later we got it all out, and an exhausted and relieved Mason fell fast asleep. Thank goodness for Ryan. He always manages to keep a level head, even when poop is literally hitting the fan.

Sometimes you just have to laugh about it.

As funny as it seems now, it was NOT funny at the time. I felt like the worst mother in the history of forever for letting my baby get so constipated, but honestly I'm not sure what I could have done differently. He only eats one thing, for Pete's sake! And our older boys didn't get constipated until they started eating solids. This was a first for us.

The last time I spoke with a doctor because I was concerned about diapers, he said it was sometimes normal for babies to go a whole week without pooping. It didn't occur to me that I was breastfeeding a newborn back then, and the rules are different for a formula fed three month old.

When the doctor called back, I told him what happened and asked him how we could prevent constipation in the future. He said a formula fed baby usually poops every 1-2 days (but not always). He suggested we put a little extra water in one of his bottles each day (not every bottle). He said we could also mix 1/2 tsp of miralax into one bottle a day until he becomes regular. He emphasized that every baby is different, and if our baby poops every 3-4 days, then that's normal for him.

So what did I learn from this experience?

I learned that if Mason hasn't pooped after 4 days, I need to give him Miralax to prevent constipation. I even marked a little "p" on my calendar so I can remember when he last pooped.

I also learned that young babies can get super ridiculously constipated, even when all they drink is formula that you've prepared by following the directions on the box.

In case any desperate parent stumbles upon this post in the middle of the night, please call your doctor before you do anything. This is advice that was given to us by our doctor specifically for our baby. And this is just a mom blog. I have zero medical authority whatsoever.

I write about this story not to be gross, but to help me find the humor in it. I felt so bad when it happened that I had originally told Ryan not to tell anyone... But then I remembered Ann's post. It's in the past now, and it's better to laugh about it than brood about feeling like an awful mom.

Since I didn't get any pictures of the monstrosity in Mason's rear (disappointing right?) I'll throw in some funny dog pictures.

When Mom and Dad won’t let you get too close to the fire, but you’re still cold…


  1. Yes! You’re totally right! You definitely learned something! And really, motherhood is one of the places I learn the most… about all kinds of things!

  2. LOL! Funny but serious post. Try a nice warm bath to help relax him. I’m glad everything work it’s way out😃.

  3. It was so sad! But I felt better when I tried to find the funny lol. I had actually given him a warm bath, so maybe that helped get the process going!


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