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Constipation in 5mo dd - advised to start weaning but reluctant

(25 Posts)
Fleecy Wed 21-Feb-07 13:09:42

My DD was mixed fed up until a month ago and had problems with constipation on and off. Since swapping solely to formula (2nd milk) she has been better so I thought it must have been something I was eating.

However, she's now very constipated again. She poos every few days which is fine in itself - but when she goes, she strains so hard her eyes water and the poo itself comes out in a hard little lump. It's usually then followed by a normal poo so it's as if she needed to clear a blockage before the rest of the poo could put in an appearance. Despite the hardness of the first bit, she usually seems unconcerned when pooing - but yesterday she did get a little upset and when I went to change her nappy there was blood in her stool.

I spoke to the Dr this morning and said I don't want to medicate her if i can help it - I'm already watering her formula down slightly and she's having a good feed every 4 hours plus 4/5oz diluted prune juice at teatime so I know she's not dehydrated. The Dr has advised I start weaning her, avoiding baby rice and giving fruit and veg purees instead. I'm reluctant to do this as she's not yet six months and I was hoping to hold off as long as possible.

Any advice or ideas would be gratefully received!

MrsRecycle Wed 21-Feb-07 13:21:31

My experience - have a bf 5 month old who was hospitalised at Great Ormond Street a month ago so currently under treatment of a Consultant and a dietician. I decided to wean early with the full support of the dietician and now ds goes 3/4 times a day as opposed to once every 5 days. He always goes after I give him pureed banana. Nothing in my diet ever made him go more frequently.

This is my experience and I have a completely diferent, healthy son since he is going more regularly.

Bienchen Wed 21-Feb-07 13:37:58

Fleecy, I know currant advice is that we don't wean before 6 months but this is fairly recent. When I had DS who is now 12, the advice was to introduce solids at 4 months. He had stewed apple and pear in small quantities plus potato and carrot and loved it. No damage done at all, he is a happy healthy boy and a real star, so pls try not to be hung up about your DD being only 5months.... good luck

AitchTwoOh Wed 21-Feb-07 13:42:20

isn't that funny, mrsr? banana usually makes my dd a bit constipated...

fleecy that sounds a bit grim, the poor poppet. what about sitting her on your lap and eating a ripe apricot, then if your DD grabs for it and starts to eat it you could go with the BLW line that she would likely be ready.

as a matter of interest, did the doc give you any lactulose or other stool softener?

lulumama Wed 21-Feb-07 13:44:40

bananas had the same effect on babylulu too aitch !!

have you tried just extra water ? and a gentle anti clockwise tummy massage?

2nd formula..ie hungrier baby milk can make LOs a bit bunged up and tummy achey...can you try her back on first stage formula . that might help too?

DizzyDave Wed 21-Feb-07 13:45:40

i'm surprised your gp suggested early weaning tbh. did he not suggest anything else first? gps are not usually weaning experts it has to be said.

AitchTwoOh Wed 21-Feb-07 13:45:50

oh good point lulu, my friend found that helped with her bunged-up babe. i'd forgotten about that.

AitchTwoOh Wed 21-Feb-07 13:46:49

awright dave?

DizzyDave Wed 21-Feb-07 13:49:19

awright love

MrsRecycle Wed 21-Feb-07 13:49:23

The consultant gave my ds lactulose and it had the opposite effect - made him worse! So no two babies are the same - isn't that funny?

MrsRecycle Wed 21-Feb-07 13:53:22

Lulu - I searched every single thread on mumsnet and tried everything to make him go - the water, the gentle massage of his stomach, everything - the only thing that worked was apple juice but then he got to like it too much and pushed my boob away as he wanted it. So now he has some pureed fruit and demands a lovely big bf topup. If I hadn't weened him, he'd still be on a drip and being fed through a tube into his stomach.

AitchTwoOh Wed 21-Feb-07 13:58:10

oh dd hasn't been much troubled with constipation, mrsr, the lactulose was my lifesaver after giving birth to her. there was a time when i thought i'd never go again...

MrsRecycle Wed 21-Feb-07 14:12:00

come to think of it Aitchtwo... lactulose never worked for me - just a good fresh fruit puree that my dh brought into hospital.

AitchTwoOh Wed 21-Feb-07 14:14:25

also i do think the fact that you weaned on the advice of a dietitian is different to taking weaning advice from a GP, tbh. although as i say, if the child is ready let her feed herself of course.

MrsRecycle Wed 21-Feb-07 14:20:02

I didn't wean on the advice of a dietician - I weaned with the support of my dietician - completely different. I decided to wean and my dietician backed me up.

AitchTwoOh Wed 21-Feb-07 14:25:18

not so different, mrs recycle. at least the dietitian is more of a specialist than a general practitioner.

lulumama Wed 21-Feb-07 16:21:24

fair enough mrsR - some babies just get bunged up! and nothing much seems to help....like bananas bung some babies up and not others !

glad that he was not on drip.must have been very distressing for you all...x

Fleecy Wed 21-Feb-07 17:57:59

I do massage her tummy and give her a warm bath every day - I'd guess it helps and she'd be even worse if I didn't so I'm carrying on with that!

I was planning on doing BLW so I might try that - she was reaching out towards my malt loaf this morning - but that's not something I'd let her have! I'll give that a go with some fruit and see how we go. Also will try giving juice at other times of the day - so simple but never occured to me!

Can you switch formulas? I didn't think you were supposed to because then dd's digestive system would have to adjust - is it okay to move back to first milk?

It is horrible to see her pooing (sure it's never nice to see someone pooing but ykwim!) but she's such a happy little thing the rest of the time, I'm sure I'm more upset about it than she is at the moment!

lulumama Wed 21-Feb-07 18:10:58

i switched from first to second over a few days, but have never switched back from second to first...i imagine, as the first is less heavy, it will take less adjustment..maybe reintroduce over a few days.

AitchTwoOh Wed 21-Feb-07 20:18:41

i switched from second to first when i realised that i actually did want her to have the fish oils contained in the first. i honestly didn't notice any upset at the change.

BURNINGTHECANDLE Wed 21-Feb-07 20:32:49

Try fresh orange juice mixed with water although make it quite dilute...from freshly squeezed oranges. I used that on my DD when she was younger and it was quite effective.

SaucyMoo Wed 21-Feb-07 21:54:43

Aww poor little baby! My ds is 8 and a half months and is terribly constipated too, he also goes every 3-5 days, and sometimes hes in terrible pain, he shouts and screams...i always hold his legs and press them against his tummy and that always helps him..its horrible to watch..when u do wean him, try giving him a prune...i just tear bits off and put them in his mouth, he loves it cos its so sweet. Oh and give him lots and lots of water between feeds...i think u can try lactulose after 6 months as others have mentioned- i think it just makes it runnier so will be less painful for lo.

Fleecy Thu 22-Feb-07 09:47:50

Your poor lo Saucymoo - I do sympathise! I'm off to the shops this afternoon so I shall pick up some fresh oranges for juice - and a tin of first milk. I'll try gradually moving back as suggested.

My family can't understand why I haven't weaned her yet and I know the guidance is 6 mo but I have to say, if nothing else works, I'd be tempted to give her some fruit to play with and see how she gets on with it. She's 23 wks now - how time flies!

The Dr said i should ask the HV for more ideas - but i only called the Dr cos I'd tried all the HV suggestions! They have said I can have medication but respect the fact that I'd rather sort it out naturally if possible. I realise if she carries on like this it would be kinder to give her medicine but she did do a slightly softer poo today so here's hoping we're getting there (tried apple juice instead of prune juice yesterday so maybe that helped?).

Thanks for all your ideas - interested to hear about the banana helping cos I've also read it can bung babies up - just goes to show how different they all are, bless 'em! Glad to hear your ds is doing well Mrs R

colander Sat 24-Feb-07 08:28:29

Not sure if you are still watching this thread, but DD1 was a v constipated baby. She is 4 now so I weaned her at 16 weeks and I found fruit and veg really helped her. Apple juice also, and tbh if you are already giving prune juice, then why not try some pureed prunes? That always used to work for DD1 . DD2 also weaned at 16 weeks as will no 3 be when/if they arrive! We had to give DD1 lactulose as she got older to help things along - the GP said much better to do that than end up with any other problems, but I think she was 1.5 before we had to.

nearlyfourbob Sat 24-Feb-07 08:38:32

If you are giving prune juice then you have already started the weaning process.


Could she have first milk again, could be the iron.

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