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To ignore mum and sisters advice on water for baby

(130 Posts)
Element4056 Wed 13-Jan-21 18:00:32

Hello.
My baby boy is nearly 6 weeks old and I am exclusively breastfeeding. I am also a first time mum.
My baby has recently suffered with constipation which is ongoing. He also suffers really badly with trapped wind. I have been giving him infacol for trapped wind which actually isn't helping. I've started him on lactulose for the constipation prescribed by my GP.
I am feeling quite pressured by my mum to offer him small sips of water (boiled and cooled) as she has said this is why he is suffering with constipation and that it would help. My sister agrees with my mum and has said she offered water to her two kids with no issues.
I mentioned to her my son is suffering with awful trapped wind and she has said this is why I should be giving him water. I feel so guilty and like an awful mum. I feel like I've caused his constipation and trapped wind. I'm reluctant to give him water as on the NHS website it does state babies exclusively breastfed do not need additional water as Breast milk is sufficient.
I feel so awful and conflicted. Please can any offer any comments on whether they have indeed offered their baby under two months any water and if this is beneficial.
I feel reluctant to offer him any.

OP’s posts: |
StacySoloman Wed 13-Jan-21 18:03:21

What do you mean by constipation? Is he doing hard, dry poo? Or just long gaps between poos (this is normal) but normal when he does it?

RandomMess Wed 13-Jan-21 18:04:53

It's most likely a reaction to something you are eating.

Dairy can cause constipation if you are intolerant to it.

BlairCorneliaWaldorf Wed 13-Jan-21 18:05:11

I think offering water to an EBF young baby is out of date advice, my Mum used to say the same to me. I was always told it wasn’t needed, even in hot weather.

Sounds like you’ve already spoken to the GP so I would stick with their advice.

gamerchick Wed 13-Jan-21 18:05:51

Are you sure he's constipated? It's common for breastfed babies to have poo gaps.

No he doesn't need water.

Whatelsecouldibecalled Wed 13-Jan-21 18:06:13

Some sips of cooled boiled water may help him. I’ve been advised that before from
A midwife and HV

dementedpixie Wed 13-Jan-21 18:06:33

Breastfed babies don't often get constipated but can go a week or more without pooing especially when they reach 5/6 weeks of age.

If its still soft then it's not constipation and shouldn't need any medication. They also don't need extra water

Sh05 Wed 13-Jan-21 18:08:23

Exclusively breast fed babies don't need top ups of water so stay strong on that front. Maybe if you can include some more fibre in your diet as I found this always helped.
Newborns can go a few days without a poo and if he's very windy then add fennel tea to your diet.

Bobbiepin Wed 13-Jan-21 18:08:42

Try keeping him upright after a feed and burping him fully. I was told bf babies don't need burping and that was so wrong.

Is the latch comfortable? If he's sucking in air too that'll cause wind.

DappledThings Wed 13-Jan-21 18:08:59

Neither of mine had any water till I started weaning at 6 months. I'm going to be another voice asking if you're sure he's constipated, that would be massively unusual.

EBF DC1 had started only weekly poos by about 6 or 7 weeks and that carried on for about 3 months. His longest gap was 10 days.

Diverseduvet Wed 13-Jan-21 18:09:22

Theres no problem giving a little boiled water. I think its advised not to so babies belly is not filled up with water and they dont take their milk. So offer him a few ml of water after hes had a feed may help.

firstimemamma Wed 13-Jan-21 18:09:28

You shouldn't give an exclusively breastfed baby water op - you're right. There is just no need. The breastfeeding counsellor I saw on a course before I had ds confirmed this, as does the nhs website as you've seen yourself. Ignore your mum. If in doubt try the National breastfeeding helpline (if you'd rather have the reassurance from an actual person). Well done on feeding your baby thanks

Dweetfidilove Wed 13-Jan-21 18:10:01

My mom advised me to do the same, despite what the NHS book said. My baby gobbled it down, especially on hot summer days. Did no harm.

Can't see how water can be any more harmful than medicine.

This is up to you of course, as I mostly followed the advice of my mom and sister's who had done it before me; which sometimes disagreed with the NHS book.

Respectabitch Wed 13-Jan-21 18:10:49

Yes, can you say a bit more about the constipation? It's unusual for an EBF baby to be constipated. What are the poos like?

Pretty much all tiny babies get trapped wind, their guts just don't work very well for a while when they're born! Newborns are so badly designed, as my DSis used to say.

I don't think your mum's advice is in any way dangerous. Small sips of water wouldn't hurt a breastfed baby. They aren't likely to do much either though for a breastfed baby's constipation and they won't do anything for wind. I'd want to know more about why/how the baby is constipated.

LizFlowers Wed 13-Jan-21 18:10:58

Whatelsecouldibecalled

Some sips of cooled boiled water may help him. I’ve been advised that before from
A midwife and HV

I was told the same and gave mine a little in a bottle at times. These things go in and out of fashion.

A small amount of water won't hurt.

However as others have said, your baby may not be constipated and they all have trapped wind at times (as do adults).

As you are breastfeeding, think about what you are eating and if it is possible there is something affecting your breast milk.

Good luck.

Merryoldgoat Wed 13-Jan-21 18:11:11

A) breastfed babies don’t need water

B) breastfed babies very rarely get constipated so it’s more likely he’s either just going a long time between movements. If he really is it’s something you’re eating.

YANBU to ignore their advice.

MustardMitt Wed 13-Jan-21 18:11:20

Babies of this age don’t need water that’s true, but sometimes cooled boiled water can help with constipation. It really is just the tiniest of sips off a spoon. But it’s certainly not required, don’t feel pressured into doing it if you don’t want to.

Lalapurple Wed 13-Jan-21 18:11:21

I'm sorry your baby is suffering and that you are getting unhelpful advice.
Breastmilk is mostly water - so water is not going to help. I think it is sometimes recommended for formula fed babies.

In fact I just looked it up and here is a link about water: kellymom.com/nutrition/starting-solids/baby-water/#:~:text=Exclusively%20breastfed%20babies%20do%20not,assuming%20baby%20is%20nursing%20effectively).

I hope you find a solution to the constipation.

Element4056 Wed 13-Jan-21 18:11:35

Regarding his poo, the reason why I think he's constipated is that at most nappy changes there are specs of poo but nothing actually there. He is also often straining throughout the day which makes me think he is constipated.
Also his poo is watery and not solid. A bit like diarrhoea.

OP’s posts: |
DontBiteTheBoobThatFeedsYou Wed 13-Jan-21 18:11:53

Giving water for constipation is sometimes advised by HCP's

DontBiteTheBoobThatFeedsYou Wed 13-Jan-21 18:12:56

If his poo is watery and not solid, he doesn't have constipation.
Until you see dried up rabbit pellet type poos or very formed dry poos then he isn't constipated.

Moirarose2021 Wed 13-Jan-21 18:13:15

Another one who questions if baby is actually constipated. EBF babies can go a long time between poos, if it's soft probably not constipated. Babies often look as they are struggling to pass a poo, this is because they are learning how to do it, needing to push and relax at the same time

StacySoloman Wed 13-Jan-21 18:13:34

Element4056

Regarding his poo, the reason why I think he's constipated is that at most nappy changes there are specs of poo but nothing actually there. He is also often straining throughout the day which makes me think he is constipated.
Also his poo is watery and not solid. A bit like diarrhoea.

His poo sounds normal then, is he pooing every day, every few days?

It doesn't sound like constipation, new babies often strain and grunt and get wind. I wouldn't give him anything but breastmilk.

Respectabitch Wed 13-Jan-21 18:14:05

Element4056

Regarding his poo, the reason why I think he's constipated is that at most nappy changes there are specs of poo but nothing actually there. He is also often straining throughout the day which makes me think he is constipated.
Also his poo is watery and not solid. A bit like diarrhoea.

All of that is entirely normal.

Breastfed poo is always watery. This is normal and healthy. It is also normal for babies to strain and for breastfed babies not to poo at all for a week or more. Constipation in a baby is indicated by hard poo.

I think your baby is absolutely fine and all you need to do is keep BFing. Maybe try a few winding techniques.

Remember that a baby's gut is brand new. They've never got energy from milk before. It takes them a few months to start working properly and settle down! Until then, you get trapped wind and occasional straining.

secretsnowsquirrel Wed 13-Jan-21 18:16:07

As others have said. Do not give water to an EBF baby, particularly before starting on solids. Your milk is mostly water anyway, so not really sure what this outdated advice achieves. My son also had a funny few weeks from around 5-6 weeks, and like you’ve found, Infacol did nothing. Their little digestive systems are only just starting to work properly, and their gut bacteria still settling down. I very much doubt it’s constipation, but more digestive upset. I would also doubt that lactulose is of any use either. Hang in there!

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