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5 weeks old - constipated?

Hi all, hoping for some advice...I have a 5 week old who is formula fed. Up until now we have a dirty nappy at least a few times a day

and some very obvious and noisy passing of stools! In the last 24hrs or so he seems to struggle and the number of times he has been has reduced. He also is difficult to settle at certain times of the day.

When he has been it's still runny and not hard.

Could he be getting constipated? What steps should I take?

Any help or suggestions much appreciated!

9 Replies

Baby's Can go a couple of days without going so don't panic but keep an eye on him and if u are worried then speak to ur health visitor x


Ladies - thank you all for your replies.

I'm not sure he's actually constipated yet but he has def been struggling more than normal. Giving him some boiled water and taken him off Infacol after reading some information on internet.

Hopefully he'll keep getting better.

Thanks again ladies.


At this moment in time I think its important not to worry too much as long as a baby has at least 1 bowel movement every 3 days ( at least) he/she should be fine.

If your baby seems to be straining in discomfort it may help to get a small cloth (similar to the size of those cotton face cloths) make it warm by using warm water & give his/her tummy a light massage.



yes can be constipation. Isabella is facing the same now at 8 weeks. Straining herself a lot and having a big accident once a day since last two days - I would be calling my GP tomorrow.

BTW I gave her cool peppermint tea and also made her formula milk in water having crushed cardamom (it dint cure, but surely helped her pass out)

also slowly bicycling with their legs help release gas !


My LO is exclusively breastfed but last week didn't go for nearly 3 days. I rang the hv as she seemed in pain when pushing and was really unsettled. We tried all the massages and things but health visitor said oh it's colic. My partner believes everything they say and refused to trust my instincts that it was belly ache. After she had pood she has been fine since! Only been going every few days though however she's been 3 times in the last 12 hours! Sorry for the essay! Also I was told a breastfed baby can go 10 days before they start to worry! Not sure what it is for formula x


Hi there, we've been combination feeding our 16 week old since she was born and her bowel movements are pretty regular at every 3 days. Without going into yukky detail, the consistency can vary from hard/formed to less so and I think this is related to how much breast milk she gets vs formula. The thing that we've been told is that formula-fed babies (like ours & yours) tend to have less-frequent bowel movements and can easily go for longer than 3 days.

The key thing though is that every baby is different and your instincts are important. As per the other suggestions - I think it's a good idea to talk to your health visitor or gp if you're worried. It is so hard to watch them in apparent discomfort :-( I also wonder if you've got a bit of colic going on too? It's pretty common up to 3 months and tends to mean they're very unsettled in the evenings....

Good luck!


Hi did you talk togp go said my lo might be dehydrated as her formula intake is higher than breast milk she gets from me.... We are meeting her at 4 to know keep posted on what your go said..... Also today I noticed a bit green poop at the end of her accident and if that is because of foremilk she is getting from me than she should not be dehydrated at least.


Hi Ritz21

Thanks for your response.

I haven't spoken with my GP yet. I gave him some boiled water and also stopped giving him Infacol as I read some information on the Internet which suggested that they can get really bunged up from it. So far this seems to have had a positive effect.

He has been today and whilst he still strains it is soft.

It's just so heartbreaking to watch them struggle.

Hope you get some help from GP for Isabella. Keep us posted.


Hi, yeah the same here - doc advised me to give her little more water so would be doing that during playtime.

Also she has a slight thrush (GP said its common in breast fed babies) so gave a prescription for that, could be a reason why she was refusing the bottle (and might also be half of the reason for straining so much).

Hope your LO gets better soon too :)


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