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How often should breastfed babies poop?

How often should breastfed babies poop

How often should breastfed babies poop?

I’ve searched that phrase in Google no less than twenty times since my daughter was born, and I’ve never really found a great answer to the question.

You see, my breastfed baby only poops about once a week, and sometimes goes as many as 10 days between bowel movements. Since my experience with my son was so different, (he was formula fed), I was worried sick that something was wrong with my daughter. I mean, babies are supposed to poop all day, every day, right?

Is my breastfed baby constipated?

Of course, my first step was to consult our pediatrician.

The first doctor we questioned about the poop issue did little to settle our fears, and I was left with the concern that something could be wrong. We were instructed to give our 2-month-old baby pear juice (even though her poop was not hard) and we were even set up with a referral to a GI specialist to rule out disorders like Hirschprung’s Disease.

Filled with worry, I wrote a post on Babble about Kara’s poop issues, and I also polled my Facebook community to find out what was normal as far as a breastfed baby’ poop.

I was reassured by many parents that it is completely normal for breastfed babies to go several days between poops.

Not wanting to subject my baby to unnecessary testing, I sought a second doctor’s opinion.

Normal breastfed baby poop

The second doctor told me that it is indeed quite normal for a breastfed baby to poop 10 times a day, or every 10 days.

He described breast milk as, “A clean burning fuel,” and told me that my baby was by all appearances, healthy.

Baby poop update

At 5-montshs-old, my breastfed baby still only poops about once a week. I no longer worry that anything is wrong, and I know that this is just what is normal for her.

I didn’t write this post because I have a strong desire to type the word poop on my blog thirty times. I wrote it because worrying that there is something wrong with your baby because her poop isn’t coming as frequently as you think it should, or because it’s green instead of yellow (I’ll do a post on what normal breastfed baby poop looks like next, haha) can be terrifying.

So, if you’re here after Googling: “How often should a breastfed babies poop?”, rest assured, your baby is most likely absolutely healthy and normal. If you have remaining worries, please consult a pediatrician—or two.

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29 Comments

  1. May 17, 2012 @ 2:17 am

    My breastfed son poops about 2-3x a day during the first 3 months! I didn’t know some breastfed babies can go for so many days without pooping! But if your doctor says everything is fine…

    Now my son is 6 months, poop frequency has lessened, sometimes only once in 3 days (then I panic). It’s because rice cereal can cause constipation.

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  2. May 17, 2012 @ 7:54 am

    When my girls were little, they must have pooped about twenty five thousand times a day. It felt like a constant job to keep their diapers clean. I’m glad Kara’s pooping schedule is a little lighter and completely normal, although, I admit, I’m a wee bit jealous.

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  3. May 17, 2012 @ 7:56 am

    You know even after having seven children I worried about how often my eighth pooped and the color, well, if it’s green baby is getting too much fore milk and yellow is perfectly normal and the right combination of hind and fore milk! ;)

    My midwife was the one to tell me that some breastfed babies can go days while others go numerous times per day.

    I would never have thought to write a blog post about my baby’s poop! ;)

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  4. May 17, 2012 @ 10:51 am

    My DD was the same way. She was my first and pooped every week to 10 days as well. I’d always heard that BF babies pooped every time they ate, so I was worried! There was not a problem, though, and now at (almost) 7, she’s a pretty “normal” pooper…usually, but not always, once a day, and sometimes, still up to a week!

    My DS1 was the typical poop after every feed baby. He’s almost 5 and EVERY night after dinner he gets a belly ache. He doesn’t have to poop, he says, but when I send him he goes. Every day.

    DS2 pooped 97,000 times a day as a baby, and also vomited 84 million times a day. He was diagnosed at 2 months with a condition called “gastroparesis,” which he was supposed to outgrow. Now, at 26 months, he’s typically down to about 5-6 poops a day, unless he should happen to catch a stomach bug (which we avoid at all costs), and then all bets are off, and the virus will hang on for no less than 3-4 weeks!

    Anyway, I’m saying all this because EVERY baby, even with the same parents, same “food,” etc., is different–and even as they grow they’ll be different. You’ll figure it out!!

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  5. May 17, 2012 @ 11:04 am
    Michelle

    I agree! My BF girl would poop every 5-10days… my BF son pooped every feeding, seriously.
    Different strokes for different folks. I was very concerned about it, but my daughter never had hard poo either, so I didn’t consider her constipated and neither did her pediatrician. That is just HER normal. She’s almost two and has started pooping a little more often, but I’ve also started giving her a splash prune juice if it’s been a few days. :)

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  6. May 17, 2012 @ 11:42 am
    TAylor

    My babies pooped like every 30 mins to an hour it seemed like!!

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  7. May 17, 2012 @ 11:43 am

    Isn’t it amazing the little things that can make us worry? My 2nd and 3rd really were constipated, and it was not fun. You could see them straining to get something out, and then just crying in pain :( Now my 4th is pooping with almost every diaper change, so like 8-10 times a day, and I shout with joy over each successful poop, lol. I’m making sure what I eat this time isn’t causing problems. Recently discovered I can’t eat spinach without it hurting baby’s tummy and causing a rash on his poor bum :(

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  8. May 17, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

    My first son pooped once every 7-10 days, and my parents told me he was sick (and I was a bad mother for not giving him laxatives, even though his pooping habits were none of their business and the peds and books I read said this is normal for a breastfed baby). My second son poops about 4 times a day, so I miss those once a week poops!

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    • May 17, 2012 @ 9:56 pm

      Once you realize that it is normal, and get beyond the worry, the once a week poops are definitely NICE! :)

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  9. May 17, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

    I haven’t had a newborn in a couple of years but wouldn’t it be AWESOME if it were normal for newborns to poop ONLY ONCE DAY?! Ahhhhh…a girl can dream can’t she??? =)

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  10. May 17, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

    for my LO it was once a week :)

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  11. May 18, 2012 @ 12:49 am

    Man I could have used one or two of those “only poops once a week kids” All four of mine pooped multiple times a day. And continue to not miss a day! Would have saved a bundle on diapers!
    But in all seriousness I am glad you are no longer worried. I just discovered this myself! :)

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  12. May 30, 2012 @ 9:48 am
    Kimberly

    My now six month old breast fed baby poops about once a week. She’s been on that schedule since about 4 months. I was so worried the first time she went a week without a poopy diaper. Our doctor also suggested pear juice. She wanted nothing to do with it and I never forced her to take it because the lack of poop seemed to bother me a lot more than it bothered her.

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  13. June 1, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

    I breastfed all 4 of my babies & my youngest (3 months) only poops every other day. Like you said that is completely normal!

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  14. June 11, 2012 @ 9:42 am

    Hi! I don’t know how old this post is, but |I thought I’d share my experience. My breastfed only daughter went 47 days without pooping!! Seriously. 47 days. I had her to our gp, he referred us to a pediatrician, who said “she just uses up every last bit of stuff from your breast milk, she’s fine!” She has a quick metabolism still to this day, and does not poop every day and she’s 7.5 now. Enjoy the savings on diapers :)

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  15. June 11, 2012 @ 12:19 pm
    Brandy

    Wow. This was an eye opener for me. My son has about 3-4 BMs a day and one day, had none! I was alarmed, but thankfully all is well. It just goes to show that just like all humans, babies are unique to their own.

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  16. June 11, 2012 @ 1:28 pm
    Diana R

    Thank u for you time writing this it help me a lat I was super worry sick becouse my baby is 3 months and was 8days with out pooping

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  17. June 12, 2012 @ 3:05 am
    A.Smith

    I’m one of the people that googled exactly that phrase when my daughter was first born. I could not believe how many diapers we were going through and thought there was something wrong with my little girl. I bet I called the nurse 2 or 3 times every single day for weeks. Haha, post will help others I’m positive of that ;)

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  18. June 13, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

    I just started a series on things I google just like this one. And when Emily was breastfeeding she hardly pooped at all, but then on formula she’s like a poop machine. I kind of miss the breastmilk…

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  19. June 13, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

    Oh and my mother-n-law is a pediatric nurse and would rest my weary mind about her lack of pooping when she was breastfed. Her doctors office airs on the “it’s normal” side while mine would probably freak out & send for tests. UGH!

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  20. September 15, 2012 @ 6:50 am

    My 4m old baby pooping 3 to 9 times per day, is it normal?

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