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

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: |
MrsPatrickDempsey Wed 13-Jan-21 18:16:27

From your description your baby is in no way constipated - sounds entirely normal and absolutely no indication for giving water. We do not what constitutes a safe level of water for a baby as it can alter sodium/electrolyte balance so its vest not to give any. Breast milk is all he needs.

User0ne Wed 13-Jan-21 18:18:28

Generally the advice is not to give water to babies under 6m; it can lead to dangerous salt imbalances which can result in severe illness and even death. Unless recommended by a medical professional I'd steer well clear.

MustardMitt Wed 13-Jan-21 18:18:42

Yep I take back my earlier post. He’s not constipated.

Ithinkhedidit Wed 13-Jan-21 18:19:23

He doesn't sound constipated - breastmilk is a natural laxative so it's normal for them to poo a bit after every feed and also normal for them to have long gaps between poos! As pp have said, watch out for hard/pellet like poo as that would indicate constipation. I'd stop the lactulose as his poo is soft - it may be giving him tummy ache. You don't need to be giving water, just put him to the breast as often as possible as this will help all manner of ills. Also check out some baby massage videos on YouTube- both mine loved a bit of bicycle legs and tummy massage to help wind. They do sort themselves out digestion-wise - I found 12 weeks to be a turning point for that. He sounds like a typical newborn and you're not doing anything wrong!

Hoowhoowho Wed 13-Jan-21 18:19:43

Sounds totally normal not constipated. Breastfed babies produce loose watery yellow stools at varying intervals from every feed to once a week.

New babies often strain, it’s because they haven’t coordinated their muscles yet so push down while holding the anal muscles. He doesn’t need water and it sounds like he doesn’t need lactulose. Lactulose tends to make babies windy in my experience. The small scrapes of poo are absolutely normal and then you get an enormous explosion.

Only time to worry is hard pellet stools like rabbit droppings or very loose, frequent very smelly poo often green which is diarrhoea.

FtmNov22 Wed 13-Jan-21 18:19:53

This litrealy sounds exactly like my baby today! My baby is 10 weeks old and didn't poop for 38 hours! I express and give him milk via bottle. I rang the doctors after 32 hours of no poop as he was being very grumbly and agitated. The doctor recommended I give him cooled boiled water between feeds! 3 hours later, he only took 10ml of water but he pooped! The most amount of poop I've ever seen come out of him! He was showered off then given a bath!

User0ne Wed 13-Jan-21 18:20:20

Oh and both my ebf children used to regularly go 2 weeks without pooing and were not constipated.

It was rather "impressive" when they finally pooed grin

ShoppingBasket Wed 13-Jan-21 18:20:46

I'm not sure if I'm right in saying this but I thought babies poo was always loose as they aren't eating solids?

dementedpixie Wed 13-Jan-21 18:21:20

If its runny they aren't constipated. Lactulose isn't required. They put lots of effort into doing the toilet at that age as its all new to them (they don't poo in the womb). It all sounds normal for a breastfed baby tbh

Element4056 Wed 13-Jan-21 18:21:41

Thank you all for your comments. I feel a lot less guilty! I will be seeing an out of hours GP regarding his trapped wind this evening so hopefully it settles soon.
I presumed he was constipated as the specs of poo are dry and hard but very very tiny.

OP’s posts: |
Yesmate Wed 13-Jan-21 18:23:05

Contact your HV. That’s where you should be getting your advice from.

SmileyClare Wed 13-Jan-21 18:23:28

It's worth a try. A few sips of boiled water is better than sips of medicine isn't it? It won't harm your baby. We're talking about a tiny amount from a sterile spoon or pipette.

If he has on going issues with trapped wind, you could try altering your diet. Google foods to avoid when breastfeeding a baby with wind. At 6 weeks his poo will be soft and quite liquid.

dementedpixie Wed 13-Jan-21 18:24:34

He doesn't need water as he's not constipated

Respectabitch Wed 13-Jan-21 18:25:07

I presumed he was constipated as the specs of poo are dry and hard but very very tiny.

That sounds like the little seedy-type things that are normal in breastfed poo. (I have no idea what they actually are.) Constipated poo would be more like rabbit droppings.

I'm not sure the GP will be able to do much for you tbh. The only thing you can really do with wind is help it get out either end with burping or tummy massage. Gripe water or infacol can make it easier to get the wind up.

Lucieintheskye Wed 13-Jan-21 18:25:45

Don't give water, and contact your GP and explain that baby's poos aren't solid pellets. All your baby needs is BM. It's normal for all babies to go through different phases of toileting.

For trapped wind, other than burping well, lay baby on their back safely(this can be done on your lap, a sofa, blanket on the floor etc) and cycle their legs. It gets farts out like magic and they might even enjoy it! You can chat and coo at them while you do it or someone can hold teddies/toys for them to look at, especially if they're grisly. This might also help if they've got a stuck poo.

StacySoloman Wed 13-Jan-21 18:26:30


Thank you all for your comments. I feel a lot less guilty! I will be seeing an out of hours GP regarding his trapped wind this evening so hopefully it settles soon.
I presumed he was constipated as the specs of poo are dry and hard but very very tiny.

Can you call your HV? They are baby experts where (ime) GPs generally don't know a huge amount about infant feeding.

FFSAllTheGoodOnesArereadyTaken Wed 13-Jan-21 18:27:21


All babies suffer with trapped wind, I think their tummies are just getting used to digesting food and they arent very mobile to get the wind out. Baby yoga / cycling their legs can help, and sitting them up in a warm bath. If his poo is watery and yellow with little seeds in it then he is very unlikely to be constipated - its normal for breastfed babies to go days between between poos. Breastmilk is something like 97% water so giving more water isnt going to do anything

Cornetttttto Wed 13-Jan-21 18:27:46

6 weeks old! I breastfed exclusively for just over 6 months and then mixed feeding with the odd non nutritive nursing now at 2 years of age. Your baby is so tiny and your milk is just what they need. Water is completely unnecessary, as previous posters have said - breastmilk is very easily digested. I remember changing nappies and then nursing only to need to change his nappy within 30 mins of finishing a feed! Also, their digestive system has not fully matured, babies are windy, farty and generally whingy because they're, well... babies that haven't fully grown yet. Bicycle legs, gentle clockwise tummy rubs and lovely warm baths will do the trick. That and time.

notalwaysalondoner Wed 13-Jan-21 18:28:52

Breastfed babies not needing water doesn’t mean it will hurt them if done occasionally and frankly if my baby was constipated and unhappy I’d try it. I think it’s only not recommend in case they fill up on water and don’t get enough milk which isn’t an issue unless you regularly give them loads of water and/or your baby is already underweight. Doing it a bit for a few days won’t hurt and might help. I think you have to balance the risk of a bit of water for a few days (none) with the potential benefit.

ElizaLaLa Wed 13-Jan-21 18:29:33

What's going to happen to him if he has water? He's not a fucking mogwai.

This advice to not give water is ridiculous imo.

NewYearNewOldMe Wed 13-Jan-21 18:29:55

Breastfed baby poo is watery. If it was solid that would be a sign of constipation. This is a really good visual guide to newborn poop. CW: pictures of poop
It's also really usual for bf babies to go a long time without pooping. Longest mine went was 10 days.

1Morewineplease Wed 13-Jan-21 18:29:59

Yep... seek GP advice.
I struggled with my daughter with this issue... NCT kept telling me what not to do. HV was unhelpful, told me to try this or that chemical. Saw my GP , was given advice ( which went totally against current thinking but he had four young children) and his advice worked instantly.

BlairCorneliaWaldorf Wed 13-Jan-21 18:30:18

Have you tried gripe water? Worked a treat on my eldest, did nothing for my youngest. But worth a go.

I’m not convinced infacol does anything.

Cornetttttto Wed 13-Jan-21 18:30:26

Again... the baby doesn't sound constipated. Breastfed babies generally tend to have mustard seed type poos of every shade of yellow through to even green. It's all normal. daffodil

SmileyClare Wed 13-Jan-21 18:30:35


Generally the advice is not to give water to babies under 6m; it can lead to dangerous salt imbalances which can result in severe illness and even death. Unless recommended by a medical professional I'd steer well clear.

This is incorrect and pretty inflammatory! A few mms of boiled water is safe for babies. Dangerously high levels of salt are present in bottled water (mineral water) if that's what you're referring to?

Water straight from the tap must sterilized by boiling. It is safe in small quantities and will not cause death. It will not cause any adverse reaction. It is not recommended on a regular basis as there is a chance a baby will feel full on the water and not consume enough milk.

Obviously no one is advocating filling a whole bottle of water to feed a baby with.

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