Jan 14, 2010

Constipation Explanation

Ok, perhaps you shouldn't read this post if you're thinking, by the title of this one, that's it's already too much information... :p If you're not a Mom yet, you might also not be interested in talking poop. If you're a Mom, you'll well accustomed to talking poop regularly and feel it's a completely acceptable conversation topic at any event!

After a
Zombie Christmas, I've spent the last few weeks trying to get my little girl back into her previously fabulous sleep routine of waking only once throughout the night. It's going so-so. As I said in my Zombie Christmas post, I was convinced that she was having too much cereal and this was making her constipated and keeping her up at night. So, I cut back on cereal. This made things a little better but by no means is the problem solved. Now, I'm thinking a few things.

First off, I'm not 100% sure she's constipated. TMI alert (non-Moms may want to skip this one altogether). I think she's just not used to having to work to get her poops out! Her breastmilk poops basically fell out of her and now she's got this soft-serve-esque poop that seems to be causing her some discomfort to get rid of. :p
I did a search on solid foods and constipation and found a list of baby foods that can exacerbate the digestive issues that often accompany a transition to solids. Top of the list - Rice Cereal. What the heck? Others include unripe bananas, cooked carrots (which of course I was feeding Jane daily - who thought carrots cause constipation?) and applesauce (Jane's favourite). Iron is also often a culprit of constipation and the baby cereals have 100% of their daily requirement so if you're feeding cereal and meats, you may want to keep an eye out for signs of constipation.

So, I could cut out solids altogether, which believe me, I have considered - especially at 2am when I'm up for the 3rd time. But, I figure, at some point she's going to have to transition to solids and if I quit now I'm just delaying the inevitable... so here's what I'm doing now:

  • Switched her from rice cereal to oat
  • Was feeding her cereal 3x a day, however much she would eat. Now I'm feeding her cereal at breakie and dinner, 2-3 tbsp per meal max.
  • If she has chicken during the day, I'll cut out a little cereal because she's getting some iron from her chicken.
  • Feeding her prunes every morning (helps the bowel, ya know - and she loves 'um) - hilariously I fed her prunes twice one day and I swear her poop was pure prunes, like it hadn't even been eaten. Won't do that again! :p
  • If she seems to be straining to poop, I'll give her 1-2 oz of water in a bottle.

So, I'm hoping this will, at least, reduce the discomfort she's having in passing the solids. Eventually, I pray, I won't have to worry so much about it all and her sleep will go back to "normal".

Can I just say, as a breastfeeding Mom, introducing solids SUCKS! Breastfeeding is so convenient and easy. Now I have all this schedule nonsense and prep work. BLEH! SUCKS! :p

More to come next week on solids - I'm making my own baby foods, so I'll be posting some recipes!

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Mama Kayla said...

Story has had no problems with constipation. But she loves her prunes, oat cereal, and apricots! Apples are good too. The more fruits and veggies, the better her poop! hehe

Lena! said...

Oh I feel your pain. When Ryder transitioned from breastmilk to formula, I thought I'd never get his BM's off my brain. A quick call to his pediatrician (and this guy is ancient, so he's seen it all) and he recommended sugar! You know, plain old white table sugar. One teaspoon in a formula bottle, or half teaspoon mixed with juice. At first I thought he was off his rocker, but then realized that prunes, juices, etc. are just forms of sugar anyways, and this was a quick way of delivering the cure straight up!

So I mixed one teaspoon of sugar into his formula bottle, and 20 minutes later - glorious poop. Ryder's now 20 months, and any time he gets backed up (maybe 4-5 times since then?) a half teaspoon works like a charm. I find it much easier than forcing bottles of prunes on him (which he will eat, but I'm afraid he'll develop a dependance on them to poop).

Call your doc, and if you get the okay, I'd def try it!

Jen said...

Awesome suggestion re: sugar - that would explain why Story doesn't have trouble with BMs when she eats fruit. This is why I love blogging! Who would have thought!?!?! Thanks Lena! Saw your video of your wedding planning yesterday - crazy to think of how much changes in such a short time!

Morgan Cain said...

I had this EXACT problem with Jorja when I put her on solids, she had only ever had boob and didn't like having to push out her poops, the longer she would not try pushing, the harder it would get. I had started her on veggies and some fruit that waesn't as high in fiber as it could have been). I knew what I was in for with Quincy so I started on a very high fiber diet right away so we didn't even go there with the pasty/nuggety poops. Right now he gets 1 cube avacado,1 cube prunes and 1TBSP organic rice cereal. (I make all of my baby food from fresh fruit and veggies and freeze it in ice cube trays and then transfer it to a zip lock baggy to be stored in the freezer, 1 cube= 1TBSP) We just take out one cube of each thing hes having, defrost it and mix it in with his cereal. He has had 0 issues with poo so far, its kind of like Breastmilk BMs just prune coloured haha. Avacados are VERY high in fiber but don't have much taste, however they do make other fruits "creamy" when mixed in. I would give them a try. You won't find a fruit much higher in fiber. It's also a general rule that fruits and veggies beginning with "P" make you "Poop" lol

Jen said...

P for Poop cracks me up! I've been making Jane's baby food too and following exactly what you're doing morgan, with the trays, etc. Going to try avocado though for sure - she had a taste of it yesterday, funny coincidence, and seemed to like it. Plus I love it, so you've sold me!

Mandi Miller said...

My Maddy did that when she started on solids too. I would give her puree prunes mixed with a little applesauce and it would help her out with those poops a lot!
The thing that drove me crazy was the smell. I just thought breastfed poop was bad... it smells like roses compared to the solid food poop!!

Angelene said...

I am so glad to read all of this now! We're one month away from starting solids and I need to hear all this poop advice before we get started!

Thanks for the post jen!

Angela @ Nine More Months said...

I remember those days, it really wasnt' that long ago. I made all of Jackson's baby food, and I tried to stick with foods that have a lot of fiber in them. Pears, Peaches, Prunes and Peas are great for constipated babies. And of course Oatmeal instead of Rice cereal. It's also super east to make your own oatmeal baby food! I just ground up some rolled oats, added boiling water, let it sit for a few minutes and that's it. I usually mixed it with apples or mashed banana, but those are NOT high in fiber.

Good luck!

Jen Peddle said...

Try Gerber peaches Jenny! My doctor recommended them when I was concerned that Ethan hadn't pooped for a couple days. They are higher in sugar.

Courtney said...

Can I just say, for the record, that she is the CUTEST thing?! What a doll you've got, mama!

Jen said...

Thanks for the advice chickies... we've now sorted that it's not constipation, however, your advice will definitely come in handy if and when that does occur!

Thanks for the comment Courtney - you know that I love your little Noah, he's such a sweetie pie. xo