Baby Poop Concerns

Parent Q&A

  • Our 3-month-old boy is having significant trouble "learning" how to poop - he struggles and pushes for 30-90 minutes before every one and, while he doesn't seem in pain, he does seem pretty uncomfortable and struggling. We told the pediatrician, and she said it common and that we should just wait it out. We believe her, but are wondering if there are any small steps we could take while we're waiting. Any advice for us? Thanks!

    We had a similar issue when our son started formula. So I guess that would be my first question, is your son on Formula or Breast Milk? We found that formula is fortified with iron which causes difficulty in pooping. We changed through a number of brands till we found one that it was at least softer and took less time. 

    I used probiotics for my infant and found it helpful for her pooping. I was strep B positive so had to have the antibiotics IV during delivery meaning baby missed getting the good bacteria during delivery. 

    The kind I used was developed at UC Davis and recommended by another mom. It’s pricey but we did a single round- one month- and it was really helpful. It’s called Evivo and has to be mixed with breast milk. I know there’s other baby probiotics on the market too. 

    We had the same issue, and our pediatrician (whom we really like and trust) also said that essentially, that is also normal behavior. Our little guy sometimes seemed to be straining for 50% of his waking hours, and he always seemed uncomfortable, but he was also not a frequent pooper, which confounded us. Some poor little ones just have very immature digestive/bowel systems (read about it all on google), and it just takes a few months for that to get sorted out, is what I understand. I think this lasted around 4-5 months for him, unfortunately. However, we were suggested some remedies for relief. I used a combination of Mylicon gas drops, asked for prescription baby Zantax (I think it is called ranitidine and a very yucky peppermint syrup), and lots and lots of burping. Because I also wanted to have more restful sleep at night, I'd give him Mylicon right before bed and also again when nursing him at night. I never tried gripe water but would've if the Mylicon didn't work. The Zantax helped also, but she did mention that if you start it, it does require some consistency so to try it for a week or so. We did, and it seemed to help. Hope that helps, and good luck!

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Baby with gas and bubbles in poop

Nov 2008

My baby strains, struggles, and cries every couple of hours from gas in her intestines. I thought this was a mild form of colic and is quite common and normal. Then my nanny noticed that her poop has bubbles in it and she didn't think it's normal and she might be sick. My nanny feeds her once a day w my breastmilk in a bottle, rest of the time I feed her directly. After each feeding we make an extra effort to burp her and usually gets a couple of burps. Have other parents experienced similar symptoms and found solutions? Is there any reason to believe that my baby is sick? Teresa

My baby was having similar symptoms, and even had some blood in her stool. She was also getting fussier and fussier in the evenings. The doctor suspected a milk-protein allergy, and recommended that I cut out all dairy. I did, and after 3 weeks the foamy poop stopped, the blood stopped, and fussiness largely went away. I highly recommend it! anon
I have heard that this sort of poop is an indication of a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. Check out the website for advice on how to balance this, and for advice on all things breastfeeding. My baby had this sort of frothy poop for a while, and did not seem to be a problem, she grew well, though ''snacked'' a lot, so got a lot of foremilk, less hindmilk. Good luck figuring things out! angela
it may be nothing--especially if your baby seems happy and is gaining well. But this sounds like one of the symptoms of a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. You can google it to learn more--LLL's site has good info such as at Essentially, if the baby isn't given a chance to ''finish'' a breast and is instead switched to the other breast, the baby won't get the high fat/high protein hindmilk and will be filling up on the sugary foremilk. All that sugar (lactose) overwhelms the baby's gut and the bubbles form. It is easy to remedy by limiting the baby to one breast per feeding and letting him/her feed as long as she/he wants to. It is worth mentioning to your pediatrician in case there is something that needs to be corrected. -
If you are very worried you ought to call your pediatrician. You don't say how old your baby is, but I've heard that it takes several months for baby's digestive systems to really get working so this could be part of that. My daughter did a lot of scwirming and moaning with gas. I would also consider what YOU are eating, she may be having a reaction to something that is passed through the breastmilk. Try cutting out foods that might give gas or that are considered common allergens and see if that helps. good luck. anon

Blood and mucus in infant's poo after we ate miso

April 2007

My breastfeeding wife and I had a nice lunch of miso soup for the first time since 6 mo baby was born. About five hours later, baby had the biggest, stinkiest poo she's ever had, plus a hint of blood. For the next three days (and still) she's had some particularly foul-smelling poo with a little blood sometimes. (blood and mucous, actually.) We think it might be the miso... is that possible? Anyone out there have similar experiences with miso poop? Thanks! k.

It sounds to me as though the miso may just be a coincidence. I would run, not walk to your pediatrician and include a stool sample from the baby. Bronya
hello advice on your problem with the baby it is not from the food that your wife ate. you need to take the baby to the hospital and get blood work done and x-rays. especially if the baby is not eating regular and is sleeping too much. when there is blood in the poop it could be 4 serious problems. you need to go right away. if you could prevent getting surgery getting done. it is best to go to the hosiptal and take care of it. i seen a child have something similiar to that and they had to keep the baby over night to do tests and be on antibiotics. please take your child to the nearst emergency just to prevent the worst.have them check for EVERYTHING DON'T LEAVE THERE UNTIL EVERYTHING IS CHECK ARGUE WITH THE DOCTORS IF YOU HAVE TO JUST MAKE SURE THEY TAKE CARE OF YOUR BABY OR GO TO CHILDRENS HOSPITAL IN OAKLAND. GOOD LUCK JUST GET IT DONE. PLEASE! TO A CONCERN PARENT TO ANOTHER. CONCERN PARENT
your baby has blood and mucous in her stool and you haven't gotten her to a doctor? call tomorrow. no, call right now. you didn't mention any other symptoms so hopefully this is something easily managed. anon
Bloody stool from eating miso soup?? Take your baby to the doctor! amy
It could be a soy allergy? Mucus and blood in baby poops are usually allergy related. i would call advice nurse at your dr.'s Liz
Ok. I'm going to go out on a huge limb here and say CALL YOUR DOCTOR!!!!! Yeesh.
I've never had that happen with miso and I drink/eat it often with my breastfed baby. Blood in baby poop is a dangerous sign. Go to doctor asap. Jenny
I'm not a doctor but I nursed my 2 children for a very long time and ate a whole variety of different foods. Certain foods would cause gassiness (i.e. indian, or other very spicy). I don't think that anything your wife ate would cause blood in the stool. I'd see a doctor asap. concerned
no! this is not from the miso soup! and i have had it a few times since breastfeeding. take your child to the doctor. this is very abnormal. blood in the stool could be a sign of something else wrong. worried health professional
I hope you are in touch with your child's pediatrician! My 10-month old son was just diagnosed with food allergies (we are still determining what it might be - milk, wheat, soy?) and had symptoms like those you are describing (mucousy poop with a tinge of blood at times). He's fine but, because I am nursing, we are both on a strict diet -no milk, soy, wheat, eggs, nuts, citrus, etc. for a while. Good luck - hope your little one is feeling better soon! anon
Hi, this sounds like an allergy to soy. Our kid was allergic to milk protein with a cross allergy to soy, and the blood is the indicator. It resolved when we stopped the soy & milk. hope this helps.
Sounds like your baby might have a soy allergy, which is not uncommon. I'd call your pediatrician. Good luck! Naomi

5-week-old baby's stool is green and mucousy

Sept 2005

My 5 week old baby has been having green and mucousy stools for a few weeks now (they were yellow and seedy in the beginning). the dr is not worried because he is growing rapidly. He has no other problems and we had a normal birth. the only other thing is that I was taking clyndamiacin (an antibiotic) the week before he was born and his first day or two. I am breastfeeding. I tried cutting out caffeine, which seemed to help with the consistency of the stool-- it made it less watery. Did anyone else have a baby with green stool? The dr did recommend trying probiotics. Did you get other advice from the dr? Thanks! worried new mom

I had the same problem w/my now 2 yr. old son when he was about that age. After much research, I finally found out that he was only getting the fore or skim milk when I would breastfeed. He would often fall asleep after only a few minutes on one side so I would switch him to the other. The solution was to feed him on one side/feeding so that the breast would empty completely and he would get the fatty-er milk at the end or make sure he empties both sides as much as possible. I now have a 2 wk. old and am trying to avoid the same problem. I feed him about 15-20 min. on one side and then switch to the other for another 10+ min. Fortunately he's not as sleepy as his brother. I also massage the breast while I'm feeding to make sure he gets as much milk as possible. I recently consulted w/the lactation consultant at Kaiser and she said not to worry about the green stools, but instead focus on whether the baby's gaining wt. We bought a Salton digital baby scale ($84 online and well worth the peace of mind) so I weigh him about once/wk. Hope this helps, and feel free to contact me. cv
My 11-week baby has had green stools twice now (lasted a few days each time). My pediatrician told me that any earth tone was fine, but that I should call for white, red, or black stools. anon
Assuming that you're breastfeeding, green stools can indicate a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. There can be many reasons for it, including an overactive milk ejection reflex, overabundant milk supply, or switching sides too often/soon while nursing. I have struggled with two of the three above, and am finally getting it under control at 11 weeks. I nurse only on one side for every four hour period, take sage extract a few times daily, and express a little before nursing if I catch my baby gasping, ''clicking,'' or swallowing a lot of air. An internet search on ''foremilk/hindmilk imbalance'' might give you more information. Good luck. Whole lotta milk
My now 8 month old had this... are you breastfeeding? If so, try massaging your breast as you feed. One theory with my little one was that she wasn't getting enough of the fatty hind milk and that massaging would help her suck the fattier milk out. The doc also limited my foods by taking out some allergens but I suspect the fat milk was the issue. happy mom of healthy babe
Do try the probiotics. Lifestart by Natren is a good place to start. It has gut bacteria that are the predominant beneficial bacteria in the guts of healthy infants. Whole Foods carries it and if it isn't on the shelf they will order it for you. Usually infants are colonized at birth, but if you were taking antibiotics they may not have had a chance and less beneficial bacteria may have taken their place. My child had a diarrhea illness and only recovered after we gave her lifestart every day for more than a week. Otherwise she'd relapse and it'd be back to the green poop again. The mucus is a sign that your baby is having diarrhea. The other cause for green stools can be not enough hind milk. If the baby is getting milk low in fat the bile ends up coming out in the stools. But since your baby is gaining well I'd try the Lifestart. Good luck, susan
My baby had something similar, only it wasn't related to antibiotics. Instead, I had an overactive letdown and when breastfeeding, my daughter was getting too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk. I'm not sure if this is what's happening, but if you're spraying everywhere (like I was) and your baby seems cranky at the breast, you might consider it. Once I saw a lactation consultant and learned strategies to slow down my milk, my baby's stools went back to yellow. Good luck! Green Poop Veteran
Are you breastfeeding? You may feed your baby more foremilk than hindmilk. The first milk coming out - the foremilk - is more watery and has less fat and calories than the hindmilk. This shows in more green stool. It might help to try have your baby stay longer on one breast to get the hindmilk. If you feel you don't get enough advice from your doc, try a lactation consultant.
Our baby also had a green stool for a while. I don't think you need to worry, unless the baby shows some other signs of distress. I was also concerned at the time and looked through lots of books for advice. The only one I found that addressed the subject and calmed me down was Dr. Spock's! mother of a healthy baby
Hi, When our baby (two weeks old at the time) had developed a rash, he was put on antibiotics. His stool also became green. We gave him a probiotic supplement (Jarrow Formulas' Baby's Jarro-Dophilus). His stools returned to normal color in a day or two.

By the way, when we asked his docor (at Kaizer) about the green stools, her response was to wait and see, and if they continued, to give him another antibiotic to correct the effects of the first one. She did not mention probiotics... Good luck!