Advanced search

Page 5 | To ignore mum and sisters advice on water for baby

(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: |
username1909 Wed 13-Jan-21 20:30:22

OP, you need to go with your gut feeling with the water thing. I have spoken to several doctors about water and babies under six months. You need to remember that the NHS website gives blanket advice on everything. It's super strict. The reason it says that breastfed babies don't need water and why they generally encourage babies not to have water is because they're trying to avoid mums giving their babies too much water- as they need the calories in breast milk or formula. So their advice is- no water. To avoid people making that mistake. A small amount of cooled boiled water won't hurt. Will it solve the problem ? I don't know. Is this something you should feel guilty about- NO WAY. You're doing the best you can. Go with your gut on following people's advice but remember, the NHS website advice is not the be all and end all, but a great guide. Discuss with HV/GP and other mums and then make a decision.

Also someone once said to me when I told them I felt guilty about something - you can't feel guilty about something you didn't do on purpose. You can feel bad about something, but feeling guilty is reserved for things you did on purpose. I've never thought of the term in the same way since !

Vehivle Wed 13-Jan-21 20:30:27

Hi BOTH my sons had the exact same problem! It was like they hadnt learnt how to poo and their bodies were trying to figure it out! They'd cry and strain after feeds. It wasnt colic (no excessive spitting back up or anything) - but it was definitely trapped wind. I hated it! Essentially after every feed we would need to do plenty of bicycle legs and tummy rubs to help them pass the gas. The worst times were of course the night feeds. Taking the time to do the whole bicycling AFTER you've already done a feed at like 3am when you're exhausted makes the whole thing feel hours long!! But its worth it as when we didnt - we'd end up with them crying for ages and being unsettled.

Once they figured out how to do it themselves - everything was great!

There are lots of suggestions for the issue around - another method is using a q-tip to stimulate the anus to help them poo. But I read somewhere it can make them dependent on that rather them learning how to do it. I dont know! But I found bicycling worked best for us.

vivariumvivariumsvivaria Wed 13-Jan-21 20:34:46

Abdominal massage, going clockwise, a warm bath and lying on his tummy on your lap might all help.

A few mm of water isn't going to do any harm, but, he won't need it.

I agree with PP, just tell your mum and sister that he had it and it didn't make any difference, but, thanks for the suggestion.

Mothership4two Wed 13-Jan-21 20:43:18

Sorry haven't RTWT sure you have got lots of good MN advice. Baths and massage sounds sensible. Just wanted to mention that breast-fed babies are effected by mum's diet, so may want to look at that - sounds obvious but I know a couple of mums who got caught out. Good luck!

SoupForLunch Wed 13-Jan-21 20:53:34


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.

Yes, what you eat helps your baby. Drink more water yourself and eat more fruit or other fibre-packed foods. I'm breastfeeding. I never gave my baby (or her older, breastfed brother) water until they were weaning. For what it's worth though, I don't think water would hurt your baby. It's just not necessary and it's better not to fiddle about with a young breastfed baby's suckling reflex by introducing a bottle.

Indecisive12 Wed 13-Jan-21 20:54:32

Please don’t start cutting out dairy from your diet without being advised by your HV or GP. Cows milk allergy affects only 3% of babies so it’s unlikely to be the cause. Have a look on the icon website, it’s got info on normal crying for babies. Basically from 2 weeks they start to cry more, by 2 months it peaks then it reduces. It has settling techniques on there. Also is baby getting enough sleep during the day?

Crumpetsandhoney Wed 13-Jan-21 21:01:15

Also around six weeks your colostrum dries up. Colostrum is a laxative. My baby went from 3 x per day to 1 every 3 day explosions. It all balanced out.

sparticuscaticus Wed 13-Jan-21 21:08:01

I read OPs green posts and she hasn't posted since,

All this advice yet the answer is to call your health visitor (HV). That's what they are there for. Baby clinics (seeing HV weekly or monthly) aren't running in person during lockdown but get on the phone!!

Don't mess around with internet site advice on your young baby- talk to your health visitor tomorrow. Sheesh

Norwayreally Wed 13-Jan-21 21:14:15

Baby poo is supposed to be watery and breastfed babies can go up to 2 weeks between poos. Your baby is fine and doesn’t need any water or lactulose. Bicycle his legs to help with the wind.

Hankunamatata Wed 13-Jan-21 21:22:11

No to water

I would look at cows milk protein allergy. May be worth cutting dairy from your diet

Anotherdayanothernewname Wed 13-Jan-21 21:48:23

My exclusively BF DD went 10 days without pooing when she was tiny, spoke to my HV who said BF babies don't get constipated, breastmilk is so quickly and easily absorbed, sometimes there's nothing to come out. As long as his nappies are wet I wouldn't worry.

Also, breastmilk is designed to be everything your baby needs: foremilk to quench thirst and hindmilk full of fat to fill them up, no extra fluids required.

joystir59 Wed 13-Jan-21 21:58:02

Give your baby some cooled boiled water. It will not harm.your baby. Can breast milk become too concentrated if a mother is chronically dehydrated herself?

WorriedAboutAirQuality Wed 13-Jan-21 22:00:15

I haven’t read replies so apologies if repeating what may have come up already - I would consider whether your baby may be allergic to dairy and discuss with your GP or Health Visitor.

ItWorriesMeThisKindofThing Wed 13-Jan-21 22:06:50


Give your baby some cooled boiled water. It will not harm.your baby. Can breast milk become too concentrated if a mother is chronically dehydrated herself?

No it can’t. It’s made directly from your blood, which doesn’t go too concentrated if you are dehydrated.

There are good reasons not to give water, and I am not so sure the description of the nappies does sound normal (small dry bits?). A chat with the health visitor and getting the latch looked at would be helpful here.

airbags Wed 13-Jan-21 22:08:41


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.

Young babies do not have solid poo. See this...

I suggest you phone the breast feeding counsellors at the NCT, they are well qualified and can help. 0300 330 0700. I think they're open until about midnight if my memory serves me correctly.

Bilgepumper Wed 13-Jan-21 22:23:14


Boiled cooled water is sound advice. Don't know why it's scorned . My babies had it especially in warmer weather and with central heating. But if you don't want to then don't. It's entirely up to you.

No it isn’t, not if your baby is breastfed.

SirVixofVixHall Wed 13-Jan-21 22:33:25

Even in scorching weather my EBF baby didn’t need any water. Babies who are only breastfed don’t have solid looking poo, you may have seen this with bottle fed babies, or older babies eating some solids, but your baby should have gloopy looking poo, it is normal.
Are you burping your baby ? Because not doing this can mean wind and pain.

Element4056 Thu 14-Jan-21 09:55:04

Thank you everyone for all your helpful suggestions and reassurances.
As some commenters have asked, I have tried ringing the number for my health visitor and the line has always been engaged. No option to leave a voicemail or request a call back. This is why I contacted my GP. My GP was the one who booked me in with an out of hours GP as he wanted the baby checked over.
I have been doing bicyle cycle motions with his legs for the past two weeks and it doesn't always help which is why I was resorting to alternative medication. GP suggested colief drops yesterday.
The helpful suggestions regarding tummy rubs will be put to use today and baby bath. Thank you all again for all your support, it is very much appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
heLacksnotluster Thu 14-Jan-21 10:04:03

Breast milk is primarily water. Constipation is consistency not frequency. EBF babies can poo up to weekly. Focus on winding techniques. I used to raise my babies high on should and kid of neatly tummy on my shoulder and gently rub back. Find your babies position. You’ll have to play about a bit. Always supporting neck and head of course.

Cornetttttto Thu 14-Jan-21 10:14:12

Can we all just remember that 6 week old babies are basically newborn and that not everything needs to be medicalised and labelled? Getting fed up of this "cut dairy" nonsense especially since less than 5% of cases are an actual dairy intolerance. OP, have you a Facebook account? If so, some very good Breastfeeding Support groups online with brilliant advisors. I also second Kelly Mom as a brilliant source of online information as well as the publication by LLL, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding which saw me through the early months.

Respectabitch Thu 14-Jan-21 10:22:01

Yeah, OP, I can kind of see a lot of me with my first baby in you, thinking there Must Be A Reason why he cried and was so windy and was restless at night. And one part was overtiredness - it took me a while to learn about newborn sleep - but most of it was that he just was a baby. Babies cry, they can't figure out their guts, they get wind, and they go on and grow out of it. Try not to stress. Unless your baby is crying every awake moment, odds are he's just a normal baby in a normal baby body that he doesn't know quite how to work yet.

CareBear50 Thu 14-Jan-21 14:22:48

My friend's baby was EBF and would Poo once every 14 days!

PracticallyPerfectInZeroWays Thu 14-Jan-21 14:28:12

Just to add in case it helps - as well as bicycle legs, we used to gently and carefully lift both his legs at the same time (toes towards head type thing ) and oh my goodness, it was like playing a trumpet! grin I assume because it pushed some of the air out of his middle.

I've not seen it recommended anywhere so take this home remedy with a dose of caution but it certainly worked well for us (and was pretty amusing as well!)

lalaroo Thu 14-Jan-21 14:43:25

Its been a while since I've had a new born, but I remember Colief was alot better than infacol. I remember my GP at the time told me to stop using infacol as it contained orange? She said we wouldn't give citrux to adults with reflux as its acidic.

Not sure how true this is, but was years ago. Hopefully your LO gets on much better with the new medication op

Respectabitch Thu 14-Jan-21 14:43:50


Just to add in case it helps - as well as bicycle legs, we used to gently and carefully lift both his legs at the same time (toes towards head type thing ) and oh my goodness, it was like playing a trumpet! grin I assume because it pushed some of the air out of his middle.

I've not seen it recommended anywhere so take this home remedy with a dose of caution but it certainly worked well for us (and was pretty amusing as well!)

I did this too. Gently folding legs towards head after some bicycling often produced impressive trumps.

My favourite winding technique I learned from a midwife, and involved gently rotating their whole torso in a circle while they sat on your knee. Burps galore.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in