Reflux in babies not a “disease”
Lots of babies start life with spit up, colic, crying, and weird poop. What’s normal? When do you get help? When do you let it roll? Does your baby need medication for reflux and poop? How are they related?
First, some context: Reflux in babies only started to get a lot of attention when industry began making drugs for it. During the late 1980s, omeprazole (Prilosec) became the first proton pump inhibitor (PPI) reflux medicine to hit the market. It wasn’t FDA approved for babies and kids, and it wouldn’t be for 20 more years, in 2008.
Before then, “reflux” medicines were called “antacids”. They were sold as over the counter medicines. Products like Maalox (aluminum or magnesium hydroxides that bind stomach acid) or TUMS (calcium carbonate) are examples. Antacids were marketed to adults; giving them to babies was generally unheard of. Enter omeprazole – which stops the stomach from producing acid in the first place – acid that is crucial for digestion, and for the absorption of protein, minerals, and B vitamins.
In 2008, omeprazole finally got FDA approval for use in children. Not coincidentally, this was also when its original patent was challenged by generic drug makers who wanted in on the profits. If the patent was to expire, Prilosec maker Astra Zeneca certainly had a motivation to secure exclusivity for the pediatric market. Even then it was only approved for kids over a year old – that is, toddlers and kids – not babies, who are less than a year old.
Approval in kids was granted for “short term treatment up to six weeks for a diagnosis erosive esophagitis”. Only one PPI medication – esomeprazole (Nexium) – became FDA approved for babies age 1 year (12 months) or less, also only for short term, for diagnosed erosive esophagitis.
Erosive esophagitis (EE) – also called corrosive esophagitis – or eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) – require an endoscopy to diagnose. But in my pediatric nutrition practice, I routinely meet babies and toddlers who have never had endoscopy or any other work up to check for these conditions – and they are placed on reflux drugs like Prilosec anyway, for months, or even years, after a brief chat with the pediatrician. PPI drugs shot to popularity for babies even before they were approved for use in that age group.
Pediatricians were using them “off-label” – that is, outside of FDA approval. Starting in the late 1990s, it was all-systems-go for marketing the idea that colic, spit up, or vomiting in babies were “diseases” – aka “reflux” or “GERD” – that need treatment. Both pediatricians and parents got the marketing push: Not coincidentally – again – in the mid 1990s, rules for “direct-to-consumer” advertising were relaxed. Money poured into media for prescription drug ads, whereas before, only over-the-counter medicines were allowed on TV and media (think aspirin, Pepto-Bismol, Metamucil, Midol, or …Maalox).
As the floodgates opened to promote prescription (“ask your doctor about…”) drugs on TV and other media, the pharmaceutical industry was free to essentially invent diseases to promote their products. The phrase “acid reflux” became one of those “diseases”, and PPIs became one of the most over-prescribed drugs for babies. “Acid reflux” itself requires an invasive pH probe procedure to diagnose – but again, I’ve met countless babies and kids who had no work up done, but were diagnosed and given reflux medicines anyway.
So, the answer is this: Spit up, vomiting, and colicky features are normal for babies, especially in the first few months. Somewhere between 40% and 70% of young infants will spit up or vomit on a daily basis, and still thrive.
There are a couple of reasons for this. One, their stomachs don’t yet produce enough acid to tackle feedings very well. Eventually, this comes on line, typically by about age six to eight months. Once there is enough acid in stomach to meet the food going in, it can take it apart pretty quickly and send it on to the intestine for further digestion. If acid in the stomach is too weak, food (breastmilk, formula, first foods) will …just sit there. The longer a feeding sits there, the more it can go backwards, up into the esophagus. No matter how weak a stomach’s acid is, it’s still too acid for the esophagus, where it can burn and hurt when it goes backwards.
It’s easy to see how putting a strong acid suppressant like Prilosec into this mix will not end well. Parents often report to me that their babies seem to need more, more, and more of this medicine to control reflux over time. No wonder! This creates a downward spiral of less, less, and less digestion which allows feedings to sit in stomach longer, longer, and longer. It makes sense to use this strategy only if there is corrosive tissue damage to the esophagus that must be stopped – just as the FDA decided.
The other reason why spit up and vomiting are normal at first is that babies’ stomachs are so tiny compared to the volume of feedings they need to grow so fast. By comparison, a five year old’s stomach capacity is much greater, while their velocity for growth and gain has settled down. At birth, a baby’s stomach capacity is only about two teaspoons, while per-pound needs for energy and nutrients are two to three times higher than a sibling who is five years old. A baby’s growth velocity is absolutely huge! By about age ten days, a baby’s stomach can still only manage about two ounces (~two Tablespoons) at a time.
Meanwhile, babies have a short esophagus and underdeveloped control of the sphincter between the stomach and esophagus, so it’s easier for feedings to go “backwards”. This is why small frequent feedings and sleeping a bit upright are helpful for stomach acid early on. The frequent feedings keep stomach acid a bit neutralized, and the small size of feedings is manageable.
Misery, hard lengthy crying (more than two hours/day), endless hiccups, arching with crying, pulling away from feedings, difficulty getting enough sleep, and weak growth pattern are signs that your baby might need some fixes to make digestion easier – but a PPI drug acid suppressant isn’t necessarily the answer. Frequent small feedings, upright or slanted position for sleeping, changes in formula choice or diet choices for breastfeeding moms, or gentle digestive bitters drops for babies like this Tummy Glycerite may do the trick. You can find Tummy Glycerite along with other tools I use in my pediatric nutrition practice in my dispensary here. Check with your doctor before using supplements.
That’s a quick primer on reflux in babies. What about baby poop?
Babies, like everybody else, ideally will move their bowels daily. Stool that sits in the intestine and colon for too long permits toxins to flow back into circulation, and these can be irritating to mood, behavior or sleep. This can also feel painful or uncomfortable, or diminish your baby’s appetite. Stool that passes too fast will carry too much fluid out with it; nutrients, energy, and water won’t be adequately absorbed.
More than anyone else, babies are quite sensitive to these dilemmas. Occasional changes in this pattern are of no consequence; persisting patterns are. This is common sense as much as it is sensible nutrition science!
Many things disrupt stooling for babies. Teething, stress, immunizations, antibiotics, food intolerances, and infections or illnesses can all cause changes in stooling pattern, but the changes should be temporary for your baby. Even if your baby has special needs or circumstances, make restoration of comfortable digestion a priority. On balance, your baby should comfortably pass formed soft stools every day – as many as four or six mushy stools in young breast fed babies – and it shouldn’t smell exceedingly foul, be foamy, or contain a lot of mucus. Breast-fed infants have softer, mushier, wetter stools that look more seedy and light brown or gold, and these babies may pass stools more often. Younger babies may also have more frequent stools. Formula fed babies who are digesting well will often have more formed, more brown stool that is passed without much fanfare or distress.
Here are tips that something is off – especially if any of these persist for more than two or three weeks with no explanation. Think about making a plan to correct it, so your baby can absorb all the nutrition he needs to grow, sleep, play, observe, learn, and thrive.
- More than 5 or 6 stools per day
- Fewer than 3 or 4 stools per week
- No stools passed for more than three days on a regular basis
- Liquid, runny, or watery stools
- Mucus in stools (gobs or sheets that look like raw egg white)
- Clumps of congealed or fluffy white material (typical of a Candida/intestinal thrush)
- Undigested, whole pieces of food in stools that persist over weeks
- Stools that are explosive or overflow onto your baby’s back or neck
- Yellow, gold, tan, pale gray, black, or green stools (dark mustard colored stools are normal for breast fed infants)
- Hard, dry, pebble-like stool that appears painful or difficult to pass
- Plugs of hard stool followed by explosive loose stool
- Unusually foul-smelling stools
Can probiotics help?
Probiotics may restore a healthy stool pattern. This is a signal that digestion is working properly, and that the baby’s immune system is working in partnership with important helper gut microbes. I use them often in my pediatric nutrition practice, and choose from different brands and formulations based on a child’s needs. Review these options with your doctor. If good to go, you can set up your own access to any of these products in my practice dispensary and easily order from one source, here.
- Try a bifidobacterium blend probiotic powder in your baby’s feeding once a day. Bifidobacteria are the most abundant strains in the guts of healthy infants, where they help support the immune system. For older babies (over six months old), my product preference is HMF Bifido Powder. I begin with a pinch of powder and gradually increase to 1 scoop daily (20 billion colony forming units or CFUs) if comfortably tolerated. For younger infants, my preference is ProBiota Bifido, for its lower potency and exclusion of the potato starch. Though the potato ingredient is great as a prebiotic, younger infants may not tolerate it yet.
- Stop if you notice explosive diarrhea, hives, fever, more gas or discomfort, projectile vomiting, or sudden rashes.
- Look for Bifido strains such as B. breve, B. infantis, B. longum, and B, bifidum in the product, and a potency of at least 8 billion CFUs per dose.
- Safe Lactobacillus strains that can be added for babies nearing their first birthday or for toddlers are L. rhamnosus, L. casei, L. paracasei, L. gasseri, L. reuteri, and L. salvarius. My product preference in that case is ProBiota Infant Powder. Again, start with only a pinch and work up to a scoop daily in soft foods or liquids. Some toddlers may need as many as 4 scoops daily to restore a healthy stooling pattern – but if discomfort ensues, reduce dose.
- Don’t use L. acidophilus in babies, premies, or infants with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). The form of lactic acid made by this species appears to be tolerated poorly in babies. In fact, one study showed that it actually increased allergy (noted as skin rashes) in babies.
- Probiotic powder can be blended with soft food, breast milk, or formula. You can also dust some on the nipple of the bottle or the breast. Don’t microwave, freeze, heat or cook probiotics. Store in fridge.
- Babies with a lot of gas and reflux may need a simple product with just a few strains, rather than a multi strain product. For young infants, I often reach for Factor 4; for older babies and kids, I often choose this Lactobacillus blend.
- Don’t give probiotics at the same time as an antibiotic. The antibiotic will kill the probiotic. Wait until the course of antibiotic is completed, then begin using a probiotic daily.
- If your baby must use antibiotics for longer than two weeks or indefinitely, you can add probiotics at the opposite end of the day. For example, if an antibiotic is given in the morning, give the probiotics in the afternoon or evening.
How are reflux and baby poop connected?
What does poop have to do with reflux? Essentially, the same things that can trigger some backflow into the esophagus can disrupt stool pattern too. Remember that some “reflux” – which simply means some food goes backwards into the esophagus – is not a disease, and is normal for babies. If your baby is growing well, sleeping well, doesn’t cry excessively, and has comfortable stools, then all good. Some hiccups, burping, crying or fussing is normal.
That said, unresolved and chronic vomiting (such as is seen with FPIES), diarrhea, constipation, and misery are not necessarily benign for a baby. For a young infant, crying takes a lot of energy – like a heavy gym workout for you or me. Crying hard for more than 2 or 3 hours every day is costly enough to impair growth and may even harm the baby’s brain. Along with weird poop or prolonged, vigorous hiccups or vomiting, it can signal malabsorption, pain, imbalanced bowel microflora, inflammation, infection, milk protein intolerance or allergy, or any combination of these.
The solution: First, determine if your baby needs any intervention at all. If they do, then fix the root of the problem, rather than mask it with an acid suppressing drug. This can help both the colicky symptoms that look like reflux, and settle down stooling patterns – so babies can eat, digest, and sleep more comfortably.
Here’s how it looks when too much reflux medication has been used: One child I worked with was given reflux medication daily for the first three years of his life. Though he had been off this medication for three years by the time I met him at age six, he was stunted with delayed bone age. He had poor bone mineralization, growth failure, and developmental and learning problems. His appetite was poor. He was painfully constipated with dry hard stool, despite drinking plenty of water. He was unable to eat enough to sustain normal growth since eating was so uncomfortable. He’d had chronic infections as an infant and toddler, needed antibiotics often, and became asthmatic as well. Reflux medicine had arrested normal digestion for him, for years – and he had paid a heavy price.
Over time, acid-suppressing drugs like omeprazole alter gut microbes – and not in a good way. They engender overgrowth of toxin producing microbes like Closidtrium difficile (C diff), Helicobacter pylori, or fungal strains. By promoting a dysbiotic microbiome, PPIs can cause irritable bowel syndrome or constipation, reduce microbiome diversity, and encourage inflammation. Using these drugs in infants – for the wrong reasons or for too long – means missing the critical window we need to establish a beneficial gut microbiome in the first three years of life. We rely on this microbiome to prevent allergy and asthma later on. Studies are already emerging to show that PPI use increases asthma risk in children.
Your baby gets to thrive and be healthy! We are learning more every year about how establishing a healthy gut microbiome early in life helps digestion, appetite, eliminations, and immune function for years going forward. Natural supports for these are widely available. Visit my online dispensary to browse and view protocols that I have created for use in my pediatric nutrition practice. Thanks for stopping by!
I delivered my son at 31 weeks and he spent 2 weeks in the NICU with a 4 day course of Gentamicin and was on oral Nystatin to prevent thrush. Prior to delivery I received one dose of steroids and was on antibiotics for prolonged rupture of membranes in labor. My son has struggled with latch and poor feeding. He had an NG tube for 2 weeks and was given my breast milk and I continued to breast feed at home. Latch issues/fussiness/smelly gas led us to a tongue tie revision but the fussiness and gas did not improve. He went from stooling multiple times a day to once every few days if not longer (always soft, no mucous of blood, a bit stringy at times). Selfishly I did not want to try an elimination diet so we introduced goat’s milk (Bubs-I wasn’t sure about Kabrita at his young age) and after a couple weeks he is still struggling. His pediatrician prescribed famotidine 0.24 twice daily and after stumbling upon your blog post I elected to try a homeopathic approach. He has been on Mary Ruth’s Infant Probiotic for several weeks but I have not seen an improvement so I have ordered the Factor 4 as well as the Seeking Health Probiotic. I understand you don’t need both but I plan to introduce the Factor 4 first as he is still rather young and his history of gas. I also purchased the Colic Ease and Tummy Glycerite. Should I give both of these to him? I do not feel we have a fungal issue but I am willing to try GI mapping. I am desperate as he does not sleep on his back leading me to hold him all night which has become a safety concern. Please help. Thank you!
Whew, quite a busy start for you both! As for using any supplement or herb or probiotic, it’s always best to use one at a time, so you can see how each item is tolerated and how it works. I don’t think both Colic Ease and Tummy Glycerite should be needed. He’s so new and tiny, his body is so busy adjusting and organizing to life, keep it simple and give him time. I don’t see mention of the homeopathic remedy choice in the mix, but working with a classically trained homeopath (not a naturopath who dabbles in this modality but a certified classical homeopath) may be a good strategy to gently get him over the hump and settle in. As always I encourage patience with the shot schedule too. If he’s breastfed he has your immunoglobulin and other beneficial immune factors taking care of him. Following the aggressive schedule for multiple and early shots will only confound and upset the already complicated picture from his early arrival. A great resource to learn more about this can be found here.
Hello. My one month baby has reflux problem. It also has collic problems. Unfortunately when we use AR FORMULA the baby has diarrhea.i used a lactose free formula but the spitting up gotten worse. I don’t know which formula to us..
Talk with your provider about other formula options that are more digestible. In my opinion the AR formula you are using isn’t appropriate for such a young infant. Look into hydrolyzed formulas like Nutramigen, Alimentum, Similac Total Comfort, HiPP Comfort, or Gerber Soothe. You can also try goat milk infant formula like Holle or Bubs.
My son in 4 and a half months old. He’s always struggled with his wind (both ends) and has never been comfortable after his feeds. He also had bad skin on his belly and back. The doctor put him on hypoallergenic formula before Christmas. There wasn’t much improvement and he still had runny stools. The doctor has now asked me to put him back on normal formula (Kendamil), he has runny stools still, greenish colour. He’s making a noise, which can only be described as like a growl/long grunting noise and brings up lots of clear liquid. He struggles to sleep and nap and generally doesn’t appear comfortable and legs are always fidgeting during the feed and after. I would love your thoughts on what you think this could be, whether it be reflux etc.
my daughter had silent reflux, so I am wondering if this could be the same but just symptoms she didn’t have. Thank you Laura
It’s hard to say if this is actual “reflux” – remember that at age four months, a baby’s stomach does not yet produce enough stomach acid to efficiently take apart feedings, especially formula feedings. This gradually matures by about age 6-8 months if there are no interlopers on the process. Interlopers are things that upset the evolution of the gut microbiome, which babies rely on to develop digestive “skills”. These are things like C section delivery, antibiotic exposures in utero, via mom’s breast milk, or if given directly to the baby; vaccinations (there are no studies on how these affect feeding, reflux, or gut microbiome evolution); stress; or concerns mom may have for autoimmunity, diet, or medications if breastfeeding. All that said green runny stool can imply too-fast transit of stool through the baby’s gut: The green color in that case comes from bile not having time to be reabsorbed. It can also mean effort to shed viral material, which can come from either live exposures or vaccinations. Lastly, elemental formulas like Neocate or Elecare can make stools greenish. As always, focusing on a feeding regimen that nourishes a supportive microbiome is going to be helpful. If breast milk (even from a milk bank) is out of the question, review feeding options with your doctor or ask for a referral to a local pediatric dietitian/nutrition expert who is knowledgeable about the diverse ingredient options in formulas. Many formula-fed babies in my practice have done better with whey protein rather than casein protein (both are milk proteins), and lactose as the major carbohydrate source rather than corn syrup – here’s one example. Lactose is the natural sugar in breast milk, and is one of the fuel sources needed to feed healthy microbes for the infant’s gut.
I have my daughter gripe water and it seems to have caused her poop to become more liquidity and acidic. Which has given her a diaper rash. What ingredient could have caused that? Is there another item on the market that helps like gripe water?
Gripe water has some herbs in it that can stimulate movement of the intestines. This can be great for constipated babies or kids, but may not help babies who have irritable or frequent loose stool. For a gentle way to encourage stomach acid to come on line, I often prefer Wise Woman Herbals Tummy Glycerite. There’s no alcohol in it, and while it contains fennel, which is also in gripe water, it like chamomile and lemon balm have a more relaxing effect on the intestines and on the nervous system. You can find it in my practice dispensary by signing up here.
My baby is 7 months, always constipated, I’ve taken her in, more than 2 times, they tell me to just give her more juice. Her poop is so hard, large, hard green and gray, it always is so large is seems to be making her groin area turn blue, likes it’s cutting circulation off. I’m beyond myself on how every doc turns us away and says she’s okay
Oh this does sound uncomfortable. I love how docs say this is fine for babies but if you or I hadn’t shat for say, 12 days – would that be ok too? Nope! Stay tuned for my e book Peaceful Pooping, which will include detailed protocols for non-drug poop movers. For now you might start with an Epsom salt soak at bath time for her with 1/4 cup salts in a baby sized tub, or 1/2 cup in ordinary tub. Some belly massage with a good massage oil may help, especially if you rub a drop of fennel essential oil. Fennel is a good stimulant for intestinal motility. Orally, up to 150 mg of magnesium citrate may also help. This is available in a suspension for children like this (try 1 teaspoon at first, do not exceed 2 teaspoons per day).
My son is 3 1/2 months old.
Since birth he was super fussy and spitting up 24/4.
I was engorged and thought maybe he wasn’t getting enough or something. Long story short we visited a lactation consultant who said he was drinking fine but too much at 6 days old ( 3 1/2 Oz on a weighted feed). Lactation consultant also said that he had lip and tongue ties, and that we could try different positions and such before deciding on frenotomy. (That some babies it isn’t too severe and they do fine without having to laser it.) we also saw a chiropractor for help, they adjusted him and the rest of the afternoon he did not spit up/vomiting, but it began the next day and further on.
For the next few weeks we noticed things weren’t getting better and tried many homeopathic remedies to get the spitting up to stop. We didn’t know and pediatrician said it was normal for babies to spit.
They had us seeing chiropractors all over the place off help and finally we go decide to do the procedure because the vomiting was and is too much for me to handle.
We had procedure done and 6 weeks passed and nothing has helped… we were even advised during this time to stop all dairy and soy products because I found blood in stool.
The stools got better after a couple of weeks, but the spitting up and vomiting did not stop. In all actuality, there’s no more spit ups, it is all just full on vomit.
After Thanksgiving, one day, I made whole wheat pancakes, and noticed since that day, his poops were very mucousy all over again.
Around this time, we visited a G.I., and she recommended to continue to go dairy and soy free, but also takeout beef, and on my own recognizance, I took out wheat as well.
I have taken quite a few things out of my diet, and it has been a couple of weeks since Thanksgiving, and his poops are still not back to normal. Around the Thanksgiving fiasco, he started to get some sort of rash all over his body, it has been weeks now, since then, and it is slowly starting to go away as well.
Also, I forgot to mention that around the 2nd to 3rd week of November, we visited an allergist, and they said that he was negative for dairy/soy/wheat/eggs/fish.
From the get-go, a probiotic has never helped. I’m at a loss for words and don’t know what else to do. I am stuck at home 24 seven all day with him because I do not like to inconvenience other people with a child who is constantly vomiting all over the floor and in public. It is too much to do and I have to do laundry every single day because I just don’t have enough rags. Also, just to note, I have about 50 rags for him, and I go through a tremendous amount of them every day.
Gluten is high on my suspect list here. It was the only food that made a clear shift to mucus in stools of all foods you mentioned. Unless there is a clear improvement from removing a food, then don’t remove it. If it’s too murky to sort what is what, then a trial of formula is worth it in my opinion. Life is simply too miserable as you describe it. Consider an organic option with whey protein, and lactose as the carbohydrate source, rather than a casein protein with corn syrup for carbohydrate. If that’s out of reach, many parents tell me they have success with a product like Alimentum Ready To Feed, which has partly digested (hydrolyzed) protein in it and a tapioca starch source. We all know breast is best, but so is sleep, and so is gain and growth in an infant. Let me say it again: Chronic insomnia, screaming, and vomiting are bad for babies. And moms. If your baby is vomiting so often as to not be able to grow, this is enough of a fail to switch off breast milk.
Meanwhile – Are you gluten sensitive, or perhaps have any background autoimmune features, undiagnosed? This is quite common, and if so, your breast milk can contain antibodies to gluten, thyroid or other foods or tissues that can disrupt life for your baby.
Lastly of course, a stool study with detail for beneficial biome, pathogens, disruptive or pro-inflammatory commensal bacteria, and fungal species will inform on whether or not your baby simply needs something to set his gut biome in the right direction so it can start keeping food in and digesting it.
My son is 8 weeks old and has been having very bad gas/pain and spitting up/throwing up since day one. He was born at 35 weeks and was in the NICU for 8 days and on a course of antibiotics for the entire time. He also had BLESS procedure.
He has been gaining weight really well but his gas and pain has been increasing lately as well as he’s spitting up significantly more. Over the past five days he has had diarrhea with blow outs and has seemed to be in even more pain. He barely can sleep unless it’s upright the entire time. He arch’s his back during feedings and will spit up what seems like all of the breast milk.
He is on probiotics but it doesn’t seems to be doing anything. We’re desperate for help as he’s not sleeping well, the diarrhea is persisting and we are also barely sleeping. It’s very hard seeing him in so much pain.
We appreciate any insight to this.
I’m sorry to hear your little guy is in so much pain. Sounds like he had a challenging start. Work with your care team to make sure he is not suffering from a fungal dysbiosis, which can follow a lengthy course of antibiotics. At his age, 8 days – especially at the very start of life – is a long course. See if they will check for fungal material in stool or other evidence of thrush or Candida burden. Simply treating this may make him a lot more comfortable. In my experience if this is entrenched then probiotics alone are not much good.
Hello. My almost 3 month old on the 22nd, still have diarrhea. It’s orange/brown. I breastfeed so in the beginning she was spitting up and vomiting a lot though out The day after feedings. Shes growing just fine and gaining weight on track but I tried cutting out all foods that babies can be allergic to. It didn’t change anything. She also gags and then will choke out of nowhere when she’s just sitting/laying down relaxed. She had an mri done to check for reflux and they said she was fine. But she would only spit up or vomit 30min to an hour after eating still. Wasn’t ever right away. Then my doctor had me try adding a tsp of rice to my milk in a bottle and giving it to her once a day but it didn’t change her poop patterns. I asked to try the reflux med to see and it’s been over a week and she doesn’t vomit or spit up as much somedays and somedays she doesn’t do it at all. But after reading your blog I’m not sure if I want to give it to her. But i feel lost and helpless for her and don’t want there to be something seriously wrong that we’re not checking or going towards. Any ideas? Should I get a second opinion from a doctor?
It all sounds good – growing longer, gaining weight, negative MRI, no difference if your diet changes. Young infants do this, and it’s normal – their stomachs aren’t yet producing quite enough acid to digest food very well in the first six months at least. Keep her upright after feedings or on a slanted wedge for sleep after feedings. Her stomach will come along. If you like using the medicine for her, use the lowest dose you need – more is not necessarily better. Wean off it sooner rather than later.
Thank you for this article. My 3 month old was delivered surgically and started having blood in her stool week 3., along with some mild eczema and congestion. Cutting dairy helped with all big the blood, which persisted and got worse. I then began a rigorous elimination diet and have cut soy, eggs, gluten, and more. The blood did decrease but we still had intermittent days of green and mucousy stool with a few days of normal yellow stool. Then I gave her Evivo b Infantis per doctors recommendation and both days I have it to her she has had crazy giant sling green chemical smelling stools. So much volume And now only a fe diapers each day compared to the 5-7 we were having before. The blood seems to be gone but her stool if now crazy green pesto horrible slime mess and she’s more fussy than usual. I discontinued it right away but two days later her abnormal stool has persisted. I’m terrified that the probiotics hurt her. I’m so confused.
Hi Allison, good news that the blood has settled down. I doubt that the probiotics have hurt stooling to this degree otherwise, though they can cause loose or runny stool if doses are too high or if the product formulation is wrong for the task at hand. You were given a very gentle one in the Evivo and that in itself is very unlikely in my opinion to be the issue.
Green stool often indicates two possibilities, and both can be active at once: Viral burden being shed, and/or, bile in stool because it moves too fast through the colon and doesn’t have time to be reabsorbed. If you are using the usual shot schedule, including you getting shots while pregnant, then this viral burden may be affecting your baby’s gut in this way. A C-section delivery also complicates things in that antibiotics are introduced, thus upsetting gut biome evolution as well. The combination of giving shots at birth, in pregnancy (which is a rather recent recommendation from just the last 20 years or so), and then again in the first weeks of infant life has never been studied for effects on infant biome, not to mention in combination with antibiotic exposures. Focus with your care team on letting this settle down. Ask for a different probiotic strategy. If viral shedding from shots is in the mix then probiotics may accelerate a process here and cause transient stool changes, but these should be tolerable and temporary.
Hi my 5 month old baby has had mucous and sometimes specs of blood in his stool almost every day for the past 4 months. It all started when he received a dose of antibiotics at 1 months of age. The blood and mucous appeared 2 days after the antibiotics. I have discussed with his Pediatrician and she suggested I go off dairy. I did see a slight improvement but then more mucous has been happening almost every day again for past month or so. I have tried eliminating other foods. He is a happy baby who hardly cries and doesn’t have any other symptoms. I do worry he’s not gaining as much as he should. His doctor suggested hypoallergenic formula which I have tried to feed him many times but he refuses and cries. I feel quite defeated and hoping to find other ways to help my little one.
The antibiotics appear to have disrupted an otherwise nicely progressing microbiome. Food intolerances and allergies can occur as a result this, especially when antibiotics are given so early. Elimination diets can certainly help ease discomfort and symptoms – but they are truly only a band-aid to the original problem. If possible, work with a practitioner (my practice is full) to assess the status of your boy’s gut microbiome profile, and use that information to restore it. My favorite tools for this are a GI MAP from Diagnostic Solutions Lab and/or a stool microbiology profile from Doctors Data.
Hello! I have a six week old and we have been dealing with GI issues since week two. Mainly gassiness that turned into projectile vomiting and spit up. We first thought it was due to my let down, but figured out he was dairy intolerant. I’ve been dairy free for over a week and we have seen some improvement in the Vomiting, but still gassy and spitting up.
His stools are green and sometimes have a tinge on blood in them. I was hoping to see more improvement with the dairy free.
Would you recommend a probiotic? Could it potentially be acid reflux or another intolerance?
Babies at this age have inadequate stomach acid, which is normal, and which means they will often spit up and be colicky, and they may have a hard time digesting things at first. This may be no fun but it’s normal; though your doctor may call it “reflux” it isn’t a “disease”, and it can resolve over time. You can ease it with products made for babies like Colic Ease Gripe Water, ColicComfort, or Wish Garden Colic Ease.
He’s also just starting to develop his own supportive microbiome. Probiotics may be helpful. Ask your doctor what their recommendation is. For infants this young, I typically introduce a Bifido blend, or a Lactobacillus product with few strains – the simpler and gentler, the better. If your baby has been exposed to shots and antibiotics already, probiotics can be a good way to help restore the process of building a healthy microbiome. If your baby is so bothered that he can’t sleep and cries more than 3 hours/day, discuss pausing the shot schedule until he can settle down into a more restorative pattern. As he is breastfed, he is protected by your immune system for now.
Hi! My 6 month old has started to refuse feeding all together. I got given aptimil pepti by the gp and she hates it. Problem is I’ve tried going back to her usual hipp and now she won’t take any bottle no matter what is in it. She laso done the darkest poop ever just a sec ago… Today she has had nothing.. is driving me mad… I don’t know what to do
Hi Cristina, three things to check with your GP on this. First, is she on reflux medication, ever used antibiotics? If so then these may drop appetite and will change the delicately emerging gut microbiome. The conventional approach is … well, do nothing. The integrative health approach is to correct stomach acid with gentle herbs so that the stomach can empty and feel hungry again, and so that the proper microbiome is encouraged down stream in the gut. The next thing to check is iron overload. This can make stools dark and firm. Your pediatrician will have to sort that out either with blood work or with history for what your baby has had for iron in formula or any foods. Lastly, let your doctor know if the black stool has persisted as this can indicate microscopic blood in stool. Your doctor can check for this by collecting a stool sample from your baby. If your GP is no help check locally for an herbalist experienced in assisting babies.
My daughter is 3 months old. For the past 3 weeks she’s had watery, runny poops. The doctor tested it and it came back good. She is otherwise healthy, gaining weight as she should but does show signs of reflux (fussy, puking, back arching). I breastfeed and have been dairy free for 2 months to help with her colic. She also takes a probiotic daily. Any idea what could be causing this?
It’s likely that the doc just checked for pathogens, that is bacteria that are decidedly dangerous or harmful to a baby even in small amounts. It’s typical for this crude screening to yield no concerns. Meanwhile your baby could harbor other types of gut bacteria that aren’t particularly harmful, but are not helpful either, or that may be disruptive in a low grade way that gradually worsens discomfort and digestion over time. Your doctor’s stool testing probably didn’t screen for these “commensal” microbes, which are apt to get a start if there have been interlopers like a C section delivery, usual vaccination schedule, antibiotic exposures, or formula feeding. Since you are breastfeeding, you’re on your way to enhancing that gut microbiome with the oligosaccharides in your milk. This should right itself if none of those “interlopers” have been in the mix. If they have been, then you may need more targeted restoration of a good helper gut biome with a different probiotic strategy. Your doc should help identify that for you.
My 1 month old is struggling with cramps and gas. Over the last week his stools have become slimy/mucousy, no blood, occasionally has some green but are mostly yellow. His reflux has gotten worse, and he needs to be upright forna while after feeds and is congested. Working with a lactation consultant who thinks he may have tongue tie causing him to swallow lots of air with feeds, but it just feels like it’s more than that. He doesn’t sleep unless being held as he gets super crampy and uncomfortable as soon as he is set on his back
It’s a good idea to screen for tongue tie – this can definitely make feeding harder. Mucousy slimy stools are worth checking out with your pediatrician especially if you’ve noticed any fever. Green stools may suggest some bile in the stool; this happens when stool moves so fast that bile doesn’t get reabsorbed on the way out, as it is supposed to. Green stool may also occur with viral exposure from vaccinations or natural exposures, and can trigger GI upset and mucousy stool. At this young age he also is apt to have gas and discomfort as his own digestive skill set boots up to speed. If it doesn’t calm down in a week or two and he is crying more than sleeping, check with your doc for next steps.
My baby is 2 months old and recently has been constantly grunting/ squirmy when sleeping. He usually is a very happy baby when awake but has become more fussy and pulls away while feeding. He doesn’t have bowel movements every day but I believe that’s normal? I’m just trying to figure out if the grunting and uncomfortableness is him straining to poop or pain from acid reflux. ( he also always spits up in his mouth but gurgles it back down..) if you have any idea what might be going on I would love to know!
Well, as usual, my first question is – did your baby get his 2 month shots? If yes, then he just received twenty different disease antigens at this visit, via six different injections (details here and here). This is an avalanche of immune stimulus for a two month old, or an any month old. Yes this can disrupt the gut-immune interface that is working hard to develop digestive skill and competency. You can delay next rounds of these (which are repeats of what he just got) for a year, or forever, if you like. It’s likely that his digestion and feedings can settle down with time. If he hasn’t had any shots, kudos to you for taking your time on this! He may be helped by a smidge of probiotic and there is literally a product called Smidge that may feel good.
My 2 month old formula fed baby has started to fuss and cry while eating. It started out occasionally and is now happening with almost all daytime feeds. While drinking, I will hear his stomach start to gurgle and then he will arch and stretch out his body becoming stiff and let out high pitched screams. He is now eating less amounts during the day. With the increase of this issue, his stool has also started to become mucusy. His doctor suggested reflux medication before changing his formula to a hypoallergenic. He was born at 36 weeks and was in the NICU for 2 weeks and put on enfamil enfacare. Until recently, he did not have these issues. Just some gagging/refluxing during sleep. I would love to hear your input or any suggestions !
Also, he has not yet received his 2 month vaccinations
Mucus in stool suggests inflammation – what might be the source? Recent infection, shots or antibiotics for mom or baby, exposure to anyone with a cold for mom or baby? Identifying and mitigating any possible source is ideal. Otherwise, helpers to reduce inflammation in the gut are probiotics – ask your doctor for a product suggestion. Emphasize Bifido strains and a simple Lactobacillus like rhamnosus or reuteri.
My 6 week old daughter has been having some discomfort with feeding. She was tongue tied born but this was revised at day 10 and there is no evidence of re-attachment. Initial symptom was nasal sounding congestion which was worse when laid flat/overnight and it would disrupt her sleep – she would cry for a short period whilst sounding congested and then to back to sleep – this would only happen when laid flat in her crib or Moses basket. Following that she has developed the following symptoms:
1) regular hiccups.
2) crying after feeds with back arching and/or pulling knees up to chest.
3) having inconsolable periods.
4) not open bowels for long periods 29-40 hours and when opening bowels having diarrhoea type motions.
5) sneezing regularly.
6) developing a ‘rash’ on her face/back/neck/arm/chest which GP diagnosed as eczema.
7) red ring of skin around her bum.
8) disrupted sleep.
The GP initially wanted to treat the reflux with omprezole and eczema wifh cream but I questioned if there was an underlying cause to these symptoms such as CMPA. We have started on a new formula but it is hydrolysed, however due to the consistency we have had to thicken with carobel.
Symptoms have reduced but she still develops a rash on her cheek/neck, has episodes of crying following a feed but these are less frequent and still sounds nasally congested. Her bowel motions have become more regular and can vary between paste like or a mixture of paste like/more watery consistency.
We changed the formula first before given the omprezole as I don’t want to mask symptoms of an underlying problem…are we barking up the wrong tree thinking CMPA? HELP please!!!
Thank you for sharing your story here Rachel, I hope to have more resources soon to help parents navigate situations like this and I hope you will stay tuned at this blog, my newsletter which you can capture here, and my FB page here.
I’m in the exact same boat right now with my 6 week old baby! How have you gotten on now with everything? We have carabel also and gaviscon prescribed yesterday but very mucousy stools which have occurred for over a week now but GP will “review” on Monday. Thinking there’s CMPA or possibly pyloric stenosis since Dad had it when he was a baby. Would rather know than be panned off with medications!
My LO is 5 weeks old and has progressively gotten more windy, and is clearly upset by it. All her naps are disrupted with it and she takes a long time to settle. My eldest child had reflux as a baby so it no surprise that my second one may have it too. I have noticed that her poos are yellow and explosive blowouts and recently she has been doing maybe one a day. She often has the hiccups and seems to always be congested. We’ve tried infacol and Infants friend and they have done nothing. I am wondering if she might have a lactose intolerance? I should also add she is breastfed.
Hi Sarah, if your little girl is gaining weight nicely, then she does not have a lactose intolerance – this is very rare in newborns and if present, they wither fast and can’t gain weight. The windiness is likely gut biome getting sorted. Circumstances of her birth (vaginally? C section? Did she get a hepatitis B vaccine) shift her infant gut microbiome in one direction or another. Consider using a gentle infant probiotic like this one to settle this down and get her on her way.
My 4 month old exclusively breasted daughter has sometimes bright red strips in his poop. She always has runny poop sometimes green with mucus and sometimes mustard yellow. She is happy baby with no colic or no other symptoms other than she poops at least 4 to 5 times a day. Just wondering bright red stripes in poop sometimes still can be concerned?
Unless she’s eating bright red food (raspberry purees?) then it’s worth checking into. Ask your doctor for an occult blood stool test. Mucus in stool is a sign of inflammation (just like mucus from a runny nose) and if persistent or copious, it too can be worth investigating. A stool calprotectin test is a good start (this can be higher in breast fed babies). Both of these are simple stool tests that your pediatrician can order for you. The green color will occur when transit time is too fast or if there is a viral burden. If you recently gave her polio vaccine doses, this may trigger the green stool as she sheds the viral material in the vaccine. It shouldn’t stick around for more than a day or two. If she is growing well, sleeping well, happy and likes to eat, and if this passes after a few days, all good. If it persists, ask for some screening as I’ve mentioned here.
My son is 8 weeks old Tuesday. He’s spat up since birth (breast fed for first 2 weeks) but once on formula become significantly worse. He was projectile vomiting 50% of his daily feeds. Back & forth for a few weeks With the gp he was prescribed infant gaviscon (did nothing but constipate him) prescription milk as they thought possible cmpa (started off with similac then went to sma alfamino as he was projectile vomiting a lot more with the first milk) neither stayed down the vomiting continued but I found worse since coming off shop brought milk. Tried carobel he must of reacted to it as he then had explosive diarrhoea for the week of using it. Stopped it, the stools become soft not loose again.
Back to gp, He was then given lanoprozole. As the sickness continued I decided go strip him off the prescription milk go back to the shop brought sma pro & just try it along side the lanoprozole. Since then his sickness settled alot, was only spitting up but nothing compared to before. Since then though his stools have become very watery but appearing ok on colour. When he was passing stool even if only a little it would seep through the nappy & give a stained but greasy feeling on the outside which was even transferring to his vests. He cries in obvious pain passing this loose stool & the build up to it, along with his foul rotten egg smelling wind. He poops 4/5 times a day.
He’s also now starting randomly gasping for air, as If he’s choking until you intervene & blow to have him catch his breath again. He’s doing this multiple times a day along with starting to choke on the spit up now too. He is also spitting up between this clear liquid. We have just be referred to a paediatrician so hoping a appointment comes soon but are you able to shred any light on how my son is? I am worried sick. He squeaks alot when feeding & when just generally breathing sometimes. He’s also from birth been very congested but I keep being told it’s fine. I am no doctor but my gut is telling me it’s not cmpa but maybe something along the line or lactose intolerance. What do you think?
This deserves some investigation, now that your doctors have tried the quick fixes and you’re still struggling. Consider a swallow study with your care team, as it sounds like he is aspirating his feedings. I would also suggest consulting with an ENT specialist for infants (ear nose and throat) to have a proper look at all those structures – are any inflamed? Rule out tongue tie as well. Next steps should also include screening for intestinal dysbiosis too, which is common and disruptive once babies have had reflux medicines, antibiotics, or other drugs/medications that can disrupt evolution of a healthy gut bacteria profile. I would ask your care team to screen a stool sample for disruptive bacteria and fungal strains (Clostridia, Helicobacter pylori, Candida, Geotrichum) as well as for the helpers (Bifido infantis, Lactobacillus), in addition to making sure there are no pathogen species like Giardia or others. The helper bacteria are just as important as the pathogens here, so work with your team to get that assessed. These help digestive functions develop and protect the baby’s gut too.
My little guy is almost 5 months old. He is breastfed and also he is on purées and his pediatrician recommended oatmeal.
He has not been able to make a BM in his own since about 3 weeks. I just keep getting told it is normal for breastfed babies.
I give him a suppository every week or so to get him to go because he is uncomfortable and miserable.
I have tried apple juice, prune juice. Stimulation, as well as tummy massages bicycle legs. His pediatrician has me giving him 5ml of Dark Karo 2 times a day. Still nothing!! They have checked his muscles in his rectum and his tummy sounds and said everything was good there. I am at a loss, I feel like I’m failing him.
Hmm per my training in maternal and child health and infant nutrition, constipation to this degree in a breast fed baby is not usual. Stools of breastfed infants are typically soft/mush, not hard and stuck plugs. If you passed no stool for a whole week, would you feel well, or like eating anything? Probably not. It’s good to rule out anything mechanical as you already have. Now it’s time to consider gut microbiome and protein source. I would rule out usual suspects such as intestinal Candidiasis (discernible with a stool culture for yeast species) and treat if necessary. I would also suggest skipping oats for now and working with easier to assimilate foods like purees of butternut squash, blueberries, parsnip, congee rice (this is different from rice cereal), zucchini, asparagus, or banana. These might work better as starter foods for now.
I’m so thankful I found this site! My son is 6 months old and being evaluated for reflux. He has a lip and tongue tie that are being surgically fixed next month. However, he is considered failure to thrive. He was on a mix of breast milk and formula but now strictly formula. He was delivered via C-section, had the hep B vaccine and a few others. I feel at a loss as to where to start helping him be as healthy as he can be. I ordered the probiotics suggested in response to another comment. We started food and I saw your list so I’ll work on making those purées as well. What else can I do?
The tongue tie repair can make a remarkable difference, and is typically a well tolerated procedure. This should help! If his appetite is good, this is a big bonus too – many infants who are in failure to thrive status (FTT) end up there because they simply don’t want to or can’t comfortably eat. If your baby likes eating and is eager, then full steam ahead. Talk to whomever placed him on formula to discuss a high density (high calorie) formula option, and to identify how much for solids is workable for him daily. Breast milk is typically 20-22 calories per ounce and so are commercial formulas, but there are some options for higher calorie density so that babies can get more fuel in with less volume. Talk to your care team about these options and how to use them. Lastly, given the delivery circumstances, his gut/immune interface has taken a hit. Appetite can stall when babies miss out on mom’s vaginal flora at delivery to “seed” the intestine for digestive support. And the hep B shot has yeast and aluminum in it, neither of which are helpers at this age. You can rewind those events by delaying further shots til he is in good growth status again, and by using easy to digest purees (choose from the green column here) that feed helper bacteria. Probiotics may help too, check with your team to see which one might make sense in your case.
So my baby is only a week old today. He’s exclusively formula fed and eating very regularly. This is our second child and our first rarely spit up so it’s hard for me to determine what is normal. He spits up after almost every feeding but he does it mostly when sleeping. This of course wakes him up sometimes but I think because of the wet sensation. He will stir but doesn’t generally cry. When he spits up when he’s awake he doesn’t cry or arch his back he just makes a weird face and then tries to immediately eat again. We burp him a couple extra times during feeding and he gets hiccups at almost every feed. Occasionally he coughs but generally because he’s fallen asleep at the bottle and has a full mouth full of milk. The formula already contains a probiotic, would another be helpful or should we investigate using different bottles? At his first visit he had lost 9% of body weight from the hospital but he’s eating 3 oz of formula every 3 hours. That prior week we were only feeding 2 oz per feed. Thank you in advance!!
Congratulations on your new addition! If things haven’t settled down quite a bit, be in touch with your pediatrician. It does sound possible that a different formula would be indicated here. Rule out things like tongue tie, check size of the nipple and hole in it, and consider Bifido infantis as a helper probiotic – this is key for human gut/immune development but thrives on human milk, so if you can supplement some donor breast milk, take advantage of that possibility too.
My little boy is 4 weeks old and grunts a lot even while eating like he is trying to have a bowel movement. He poops almost with every diaper it’s mustard color and liquidy. He is formula fed we feed him Similac sensitive but I was wondering if changing his formula to maybe gentlease will help. I no grunting baby syndrome is a thing and they have to train their pelvic floor to relax but I feel like he is pretty gassy and he even wakes himself up grunting through the night.
You might try a formula that includes lactose and oligosaccharides similar to those that occur naturally in breast milk. These are carbohydrates that help the gut microbiome develop normally, which in turn helps reduce gas and increase digestion. Take a look at Similac NeoSure, Pro-Sensitive, Pro-Advance, or Pro Total Comfort. All of these add forms of those carbohydrates and may help encourage a supportive and protective gut biome.
Hi, my little boy has been VERY fussy from day 1. He is breast fed (usually a normal colour, sometimes mucusy or green).
He cries more than 3 hours a day, has trouble sleeping, can’t ever be put down and is generally miserable.
We have to hold him for hours for him to get any sleep – so we are getting none.
He definitely has gas, every single nappy is an explosive blow out no matter what we do and he grunts constantly in his sleep.
We have tried baby massage, bicycle legs – the works! And it helps a bit with the wind but not much.
He is gaining weight, so the Drs have said repeatedly he is “fine”.
Last week (he is now 12 weeks) he stopped feeding well so the Dr is trialling Esomeprazole incase it is reflux.
Everyone keeps telling us this is just what babies are like and he is fine, but my instincts say something is wrong.
Please let me know if I should be changing my diet or insisting that they look into it further.
Thanks for this history Amy. I think this is a lot to expect of a young infant (not to mention new parents!) – to tolerate crying, gas pain, lack of sleep, and explosive stools for hours/day, day after day, for weeks on end. While some gas and colic is not unusual, this sounds like 24/7 discomfort. Crying and staying awake are big expenditures for young infants. I would suspect that though your baby is growing, I wonder if he is shifting at all off his curve – this can happen if there is so much energy spent in crying, wakefulness, and inefficient digestion.
The first possibility is changing your diet to eliminate all dairy sources (including all cheeses, cream, fluid milk, yogurt, and dairy ingredients in baked goods, cream sauces, soups, dressings, condiments). Next on my list if no improvement after a week or so would be to then replace gluten with gluten free versions of bread, pasta, baked goods etc, followed by egg. If zero success there, then there are other measures to enact – If you join my Nutrition Cafe live zoom chat group, you can access the archive there on reflux, which we covered last month. To see the archive once you’ve joined, visit the group chat feature in the Healthie platform to see the history with links to archived sessions.
Hello, my little girl is 2.5 months old. I EBF for the first 3 days of life but she was becoming dehydrated because my milk was not coming in so pedi recommended only formula for the next 24 hours to rehydrate. We have her Enfamil Gentlease since that’s what our first daughter had. Well; she developed severe diarrhea- bright yellow purely water stools. Pediatrician switched her to Elecare and the diarrhea stopped immediately. On Elecare, her poop had some mucus in it but she pooped regularly. After about 3 weeks the pediatrician recommended going back to Gentlease. Her diarrhea did not come back but she still has mucus in every diaper. Her poop is green btw but my first daughters was too with Gentlease. She also does not poop every day. A few times she has gone almost 3 days without pooping and very often she goes only every other day. Should we go back to Elecare? I’m suspecting CMPA. I brought it up to the pediatrician but he said her tummy could still be recovering from all the diarrhea she dad in her first week of life but it’s been 2 months!
Although newborns can have loose and irregular stools at first as the gut comes on line, diarrhea isn’t a normal feature of neonatal life (first 30 days of life), and it can settle down nicely if the gut microbiome is progressing in a helpful way. Breast milk is best suited to this synergistic task between babies and the microbes we depend on to set this up for us. You can redirect this with attention to gut microbiome, as the formulas don’t feed species like Bifido infantis and others that help us so much at this phase of life. IMO, stick with the formula that shows the least symptoms, and which shows the clearest evidence of steady weight gain and growth (length). Greenish stools are not unusual with elemental formulas like Elecare, PurAmino or Neocate. Mucus, though, means inflammation. If you are following the usual vaccination schedule, these are intentionally potent inflammatory triggers that can affect the gut and certainly can disrupt the infant microbiome (a “side effect” that is currently ignored in pediatrics). Your baby in that case has already received 21 different injected antigens (that’s not a typo – that’s twenty-one) across 7 (seven) injections, each of which includes toxins, adjuvants (ingredients to irritate and boost immune response), preservatives, and contaminant viral or other species gene material (which all vaccines contain to some degree including covid shots). I would encourage pausing the shot schedule, and use infant probiotics steadily and at high potency (10-50 billion CFU) until this settles down.
Hi, I have a 7 week old and for a few weeks now she’s been miserable, crying all day when she’s not sleeping. She’s breastfed and poops once every 2 days. She farts constantly. We went to the store and got gas relief drops. They seemed to be working well for a day but now it seems like they don’t make a difference at all. When she poops, it’s a big explosion and fills her entire diaper, and almost always some leaks out because of the amount. She seems like she’s in pain. I asked my pediatrician what to do and they told me to cut out dairy and feed her pedialyte to get her to poop. We did that and not till more than few hours later she had a big explosion. She’s in pain again today and I just want her to feel better. I’m not sure what to try next.
Hi Katelyn, I’m sorry to hear your little girl is so uncomfortable. Crying more than 2 or 3 hours a day is a lot for a young infant. During these early weeks and months, the fuel needed to grow is (per pound) more than triple that of an adult, and crying consumes a lot of fuel. Her gut microbiome can be leveraged here to help settle her digestion down. A probiotic like this one may be helpful. If you vaccinated her at birth with hepatitis B vaccine, this is a potent immune stimulant and inflammatory trigger that may affect the gut ongoing. She is due for her two month shots shortly. I’d suggest waiting until her stools calm down before giving her more vaccinations. If she is breastfeeding then she is well protected by your own immunoglobulins against infections.
Hi Judy , my little girl is 5 months old now born by emergency C section. She started off with colic symptoms which were managed and reduced on a partially hydrolysed milk (comfort milk) but has had reflux symptoms from the moment she was born, started off with the bring up mucus and chocking sounds etc followed by lots of milk and also clear fluid coming back up hours after every feed despite keeping her upright etc we tried carobel to thicken feed but didn’t want to cause constipation and it never resolved the symptoms significantly enough. Lots of crying and discomfort so the Dr put her on omeprazole…. Started on 2.5ml and increased month by month… she’s currently on 5ml. She was a lot more comfortable and settled since omeprazole but as her weight increased she needed higher doses to manage her symptoms. The omeprazole only made her comfortable but it didn’t stop the vomit and bringing up large quantities of milk. We were advised to wean early which is helping a lot but still have episodes of acid coming up and coughing choking on contents! I’m wanting to reduce and stop her omeprazole but also wonder if there’s another cause to her reflux possibly a CMA. I’m in conflict as I would expect her to be worse after baby porridge if this was the case as it has whole milk contents in it. IM CONFUSED!!
Your doctor needs to step up here and help differentiate the diagnosis, between CMA or reflux. Both can occur at the same time, and both need supporting strategies. If food is going backwards and appearing out the mouth as vomit (rather than out the other end, digested) then your baby may have either problem, but generally, an insufficient stomach acid can precede and worsen milk protein intolerance. The stomach is designed to be an extremely acidic barrier between us and the outside world, and it is supposed to kill unfriendly microbes with that acidic pH. This acidic pH also initiates easy digestion of milk protein. Once reflux medicines are in the mix, the pH is buffered, and buffered some more, as dosing increases. Digestion stalls as a result, and even though the stomach contents are somewhat buffered, they are still acid enough to burn the esophagus and feel uncomfortable. Talk to your doctor about how to wean slowly off omeprazole and use supporting digestive “bitters” to enhance production of digestive juices. If your pediatrician doesn’t have experience with these tools, find a naturopathic doctor in your area who does.
This sounds just like my baby. Wondering what the outcome was for you. We have started a reflux med and I feel so guilty about it!
It’s ok! No guilt needed – if your baby finds relief with some medication support, use it, and stay in close communication with your doctor to look at when and how to come off of it. It’s a bandaid and sometimes bandaids are needed and helpful. The good news is there are deeper solutions that can help your baby long term to not need reflux medicine.
My baby is 3 months old next week and has the exact same issues!!! The only difference is that we started breast feeding but have switched to only formula. We are on gentlease. My son just started reflux meds last week as well. (Because he was eating less and spitting up a lot) I am not sure it is helping much though. He is still spitting up quite a bit, always has the hiccups and has tons of gas. I keep thinking that it is something else. I am wondering if maybe he has a cows milk allergy or if there is something more serious is going on. My son was also diagnosed with a double collecting system (2 ureters to 1 kidney) which I am told can cause lots of UTI’s so I’m not sure if that is causing any of his symptoms. We go to sick kids on Friday to find out more about this. Our family Doctor says he seems to be doing well otherwise. My son has also had explosive greenish grey watery diarrhea since he was about 2 weeks old and grunts a lot as well. I have been giving him probiotics everyday for about 2 months now. He also cry’s for hours and we can’t seem to calm him down. He seems as though he is in pain. He is extremely fussy and even wakes himself up because of it. It is very hard to get him to sleep without us holding him all night long. He Likes to be propped up and not laying down. We burp him a lot and he usually has adult sounding burps And farts. When he turned 2 months old everything seemed to get much worse.
Explosive watery grey diarrhea for three months’ duration is beyond the norm at any age – and beyond reasonable for a newborn. If your pediatrician is unconcerned, ask for a referral to a GI doctor, or consider talking with a naturopath doctor (ND) trained in pediatrics. Your baby’s gut microbiome is struggling, and this makes feeding and eliminating difficult or painful. He may indeed also have a milk protein sensitivity as you suspect. Trust your instincts, and let them guide you to providers who will help.
Hi my baby is 5 months next week from birth we have struggled with reflux and allergies. The dietician believes she has an Intolerance to cows milk so is now on neocate lpp formula but reflux became worse and she stopped feeding so now has gaviscon in bottles and is on 2ml of omeprazole daily. Since then she has normal stools but over the past 2 weeks I have noticed every stool has a black tar like stool within her normal stool I am concerned this is due to an internal bleed. She is also uncomfortable during feeds and afterwards we struggle with her sleep as the stomach cramps wake her. Can you help at all?
If replacing cows milk protein with Neocate elemental did not resolve the reflux, then the issue to investigate is gut dysbiosis. Helicobacter pylori, small intestine bacterial overgrowth, or imbalanced and disruptive flora in the colon can trigger these concerns. You do also need to have her doctor check her stool for occult blood – black tar in the stool is worthy of investigation also. Omeprazole makes absorption of minerals like iron and zinc a lot harder. It’s possible that iron in the formula is simply leaving with the formula in stool, but have your doctor rule out any bleeding with stool test.
My son is 4 months and was diagnosed with silent reflux at 4 weeks and has been on omprezole since 6 weeks.
While initially things improved he has taken to being VERY windy and in pain with gas which seems to build up through the day and night times are hell. He thrashes about and screams in pain waking every 1-2 hours
His poops are a good colour but have always had a bit of mucus in or come out very bubbly
He is exclusively Breast fed and gaining weight nicely.
We cut out Diary, Nuts but saw no difference and never had a rash or other signs
Really unsure how to proceed. Drs all just say colic and are no help.
Considering either weaning off meds or does he need a higher dosage. I’d prefer to get him off them but scared it will get even worse for him
We have started biogia but so far no change
Any advice would be amazing
Hi Mike, what you’re describing suggests that the medicine has arrested digestion to the point of this new level of discomfort. This is a common outcome for babies, when using these medications for a few weeks. They work nicely at first to calm symptoms, but as the medicine continues reducing stomach acid, it also reduces digestion. This means that breast milk is not fully ready for next steps of digestion when it leaves the stomach and enters the small intestine. Microbes there are needed to help complete digestion, but can’t work with the poorly prepared stomach contents created by the reflux medicine. In many cases this medicine wasn’t needed in the first place, and it’s appropriate to wean off it, with certain supports. You might like to join my Nutrition Cafe session this Thursday July 7. This is live chat session and this week’s topic is reflux, silent reflux, and both drug and non-drug strategies. You can join live or sign up and watch at your convenience, sessions are archived. If you like you can send questions in advance, once you’ve joined.
I was wondering about the point you raised about waiting to add lactobacillus strains until babies are nearing their first birthday – what is the reason for avoiding lactobacillus strains before then? We’ve been giving our 4 month old Klaire Lab’s Infant probiotic so I wanted to see what the reasoning would be to use a bifido only probiotic at this age. Thank you!
So far, research looking at early infant gut microbiome has begun to describe how Bifido strains may dominate in early weeks: They digest breast milk and enhance gut wall integrity and health. Lactobacillus may be less dominant in this moment of development of the baby’s gut, but some data from some parts of the world suggest Lactobacillus may have specific protective effects for infants too. If your baby is comfortably tolerating the product you’re using, eating, thriving, sleeping well and growing well, it’s a keeper. Microbiome is an evolving area of research, sure to yield more and more hopeful details for long term immune health.
Hi Judy! My baby is 7 weeks old and goes at least a week in-between poops. She was regular until the day I finished a round of Clindamycin that I had to take for an internal infection caused by the Dr. accidentally leaving gauze inside my uterus at birth.
The day after I completed the antibiotics (at 4 weeks of life), she was admitted to Children’s Hospital due to a distended belly and excessive spit up. She was diagnosed with reflux and a mild to moderate case of Laryngomalacia. She was prescribed reflux medication, but we discontinued it after doing research. We’ve since noticed that her reflux acts up around day 4 of not passing stool.
She was given a suppository at week 5 and stool tested normal. Also abdominal x-ray was normal. We gave her a suppository at week 6, which seemed to calm her fuss and reduce reflux, but I’m concerned that she’s not passing stool on her own and could go a week or more without. Her Pediatrician suggested lactation support and prune juice, both of which haven’t made any difference. She has been 100% breastfed since day 1 and no issues gaining weight and has regular wet diapers.
Can you help?
The clue here is in your needing an antibiotic. This allows fungal microbes to proliferate, like Candida, Saccharomyces or other fungal species. This will affect the baby’s gut as well as yours, and likely, the baby’s to a much larger degree. Fungal species also thrive in the context of reflux medicines, which change pH of the GI tract away from what is needed to initiate digestion. “Normal” stool tests do not screen for fungal microbes, so don’t assume this is not in play. I’d suggest using an antifungal medication or herb to clear the dysbiosis. Do this with oversight from an experienced provider, such as a Naturopathic doctor.
Hello Judy, I hope you can help me with my almost 6 week old baby’s situation. He is exclusively formula fed, has 2-3 stools per day, soft and peanut butter colour. He is normally a happy baby except very gassy. We do exercises with him, burp after every 2 ounces, make sure the bottle teal is full, feed upright, give him bio gaia drops etc. and he doesn’t cry when passing gas. For the past few weeks everytime he eats he starts straining like he wants to poop, his legs are straight and his stomach very hard. Sometimes he does poop, but mostly not. It wasn’t much of a problem before, his doctor said that he is learning to pass stool and it wasn’t an issue. However, the past few days his appetite decreased, before he ate 120-140ml every 2,5 hours, now I’m lucky if I get him to eat 70ml every 3-4 hours (at least 6 wet diapers) and when he does eat, he is straining and grunting and being very loud. I hope to hear from you, best regards, Ami
At six weeks, I’d agree – learning to pass stool is a new sensation that requires some practice to master. If he is getting constipated and bloated, feeding and hunger can often start to lag, as you have seen. It sounds as though he has become a little full of hard to pass stool. I would suggest probiotics to help move things along. Gentle herbals can help clear this too – for this advice, check with a naturopathic doctor (these are physicians trained in the use of non drug tools like herbs, nutrients, or foods). If all else fails, a glycerin suppository can help as well. Your baby should not stay stuck in this pattern after a week or two.
Hello, my baby is almost 11 weeks old. He has struggled with gas pains / GI immaturity on and off since birth. However this weekend he had worsened pain in his belly, crying excessively on Friday and Saturday. I called the exchange and they advised me to bring him in today. Last week we added Pepcid once daily for him. I also give him Mylicon drops PRN. His stools have been green since Saturday, which is different for him. Increased drooling. Fussiness is better today and yesterday. The pediatrician thinks it is something going on with GI tract so we are increasing Pepcid to twice daily to see if this helps stabilize things. However, this evening I am now noticing that his greenish brown stools have a very strong odor, almost like ammonia or vinegar. I have started eliminating dairy from my diet, today is the 2nd full day without dairy. Is there something else going on that I should worry about? Could it be a virus? Could he be teething? I’m not convinced it is just colic. Could the medication cause the odor in the stool?
Green stools can point to a few possibilities – either too much bile in the stool (which will happen if the stool moves too fast through the intestines), green food, or a viral exposure. Increasing Pepcid doesn’t address any of these possibilities. The strong odor that has emerged may be due to weakened digestion caused by the Pepcid. This makes for more putrefying of stool, as gut microbes have a tougher time working off “chyme” (partly digested contents of stomach entering the intestines) that is treated with Pepcid. This will also in turn encourage dysbiosis (overgrowth of disruptive bacteria or fungi in intestine). Diet changes may help as this can present less of a digestive challenge to your baby stomach. If you are following a usual shot schedule and/or if either of you has had antibiotics, this will disrupt digestion in early weeks and months also. Reversing this can be done with gradual and gentle herbs, foods and probiotics that encourage normal digestive actions to stabilize. Join in Nutrition Cafe this week – we will have a one hour live zoom chat session on reflux, foods that are easiest to work with with reflux, and review drug and non-drug therapies.
Hello, my baby is 4 months now, and he started at 2 months with atopic dermatita ! Sometimes he’s skin looks very good like he doesn’t had anything but sometimes he is red, with bumps and a lot of small dots on he’s belly! Now we use nutramigen hipoalergenic formula to see if he doesn’t this eczema because of the milk! It’s very frustrating because the doctor told me every time that he is ok but I can see that something it’s wrong because this eczema still comes on he’s skin and I don’t know why 😕after we change the formula with nutramigen he’s stood is green, thick (like it have undigested milk) and with a very badly smell .. we only have two weeks with this formula .. do you think it’s ok? Or I should give to him some probiotic maybe will help him more? Thank you
That is frustrating when mom’s radar is at odds with the doc. In my 20 odd years of nutrition practice, I can say that mom’s intuition is pretty potent and usually right! Nutramigen can make stools a little bit greenish compared to breast milk or cows milk. This comes from the type of protein in the formula. If the eczema has cleared up, this may be ok – but you should see comfortably passed stools every day without bloating, gas or fussing. If the foul smell has persisted you can request a stool study with your pediatrician. If your doctor isn’t sure how to proceed with that, you can book an appointment with me here and we can investigate.
My little one was diagnosed with silent reflux and has now been on omeprazole for nearly 2 months. He was really unsettled, nonstop crying. He’s exclusively breastfed and for the past few weeks I have cut dairy, eggs and soy out of my diet, perhaps it’s too soon to tell but I haven’t noticed much of a difference.
Also, his stools are ALWAYS mucusy, it wasn’t like this in the beginning (he’s now 15 weeks)
Plan is to stop the omeprazole on the first of jan as I really didn’t want him to be on it anyway, if his reflux symptoms persist then I think I’ll go back to gaviscon and the more gentle forms of treatment. The Pediatrician has also said to wean him early at 17 weeks because this helps with reflux… but I’ve read online that early weaning offer doesn’t help with reflux at all. Please help! Feel like I’ve exhausted every option. He’ll bring milk up still even if I’ve kept him upright but some days he brings no milk up at all.
Silent reflux diagnosis is a bit of a slippery slope. Young infants normally have some spit up and reflux as they organize digestive skills inside the stomach and intestine. Unless a baby is clearly in pain and showing dramatic reflux on diagnostic screening, you may be able to skate through this phase without medication. If you’ve tried to withdraw the medicine and his symptoms flare, that means that the medicine has diminished his stomach acid to the point of it not being able to digest and prepare food well enough for the intestines to work on it – and the food goes backwards up the throat, instead of the other way out. Weaning off the medication has to be done with support, not just stopping medicine, in that case. Herbs, probiotics and certain feeding strategies can help. Please join Nutrition Cafe this week for an hour long live chat with me on this topic. Sessions are archived in case you can’t be present live – members can view / listen at any time.
My son was born at exactly 36 wks. I had a round of antibiotics for group strep b in week 35 because they felt i was in premature labor and my strep b results werent back yet. They were negative.
My son was breastfed for the first 4 weeks but we had to supplement starting at day 5 due to high bilirubin levels. I couldn’t produce enough so he ended up on enfamil enspire gentlease and he is strictly formula since week 5. He is almost 10 weeks. During weeks 1 to 5 he was up all night slept all day. He ate with no issues. As he transitioned fully to formula his poop changed from normal breastfed yellow to green. He strained to poop and became constipated for 2 days. His poops were always explosive on breastmilk but pasty and normal according to our doc. His poop has been mostly green since formula. I noticed after the formula was more than breastmilk he became so gassy. He would cry and fuss. We thought reflux as our first had it but he rarely spit up. He spit up a handful of times and had one very forceful vomit one night (projectile). Again we were assured he was fine. He does have a reducible umbilical hernia which doesn’t seem to bother him. Once a day he becomes so fussy and wants to eat non-stop. We thought it was cluster feeding and growth spurts. As soon as the bottle is in his mouth he farts almost non-stop. Other timew he cries like eating is hurting him and most times he eats with no issues. Many poops have been somewhat solid and the rest loose and sometimes the solid is green ane loose more yellow. Today he was extremely fussy and pooped and it looks like Clay. We are concerned but our doctor doesn’t seem to be. Is this reflux,? Liver? What should we do. We are scared to switch formula or try probiotic qnd make it worse. It says you have a waiting list so ill call to get on that.
There are indeed several signs here of disrupted digestion, biome or both – this would warrant investigation with stool study in my pediatric nutrition practice. If we haven’t connected yet, revisit my calendar from here and book in if you like. Meanwhile this week our Nutrition Cafe session will focus on foods, medications, and non-drug interventions for reflux.
My son is 4months old and has been slow on weight gain. It started off that he wouldn’t take much milk in he would do 2oz and stop. I was told he had a tongue tie which we got fixed 4weeks ago but that didn’t change much. Throughout I have changed formulas a few times, from using holle pre to Hipp Ha pre to Loulouka then back to Hipp ha pre now I am using Kabrita goat milk formula. We saw an ENT 2weeks ago who scoped him and said he had acid reflux or what she saw indicated acid reflux so she put him on lansoprazole once a day. I really didn’t want to put him on medication but since she scoped it seemed he needed it and I was hoping it will help him it’s been a little over 2weeks on it and also 1 week on goat milk formula. Things didn’t really change in terms of his milk intake, still taking less and not wanting to continue. And in a week Since he’s been on goat milk I see he’s only gained 3.5oz, his poop also looks like brown/yellowish color mixed with green so more of a lighter green color, has a little larger curds size than the seedy size you see in breastfed babies and has mucus as well Which I noticed on Wednesday. I also saw he has some rash on his face but these appeared a week after being on the goat. Let me give you a timeline below:
Sunday night-started Goat milk formula Kabrita (at this time had been on reflux med for 12days prescribed by an ENT)
Monday got weighed: 14lbs 1oz and got vaccinations
Wednesday: noticed mucus in poop
Friday: saw GI doctor for the first time, he says get off reflux med and thicken formula with oatmeal cereal)
Has slight rash on forehead and side of forehead at this time
Saturday evening: added oatmeal cereal 2 tsps to 4oz milk at 6pm feed didn’t didn’t add it again
Sunday: seems a little more rash, added 3 tsps oatmeal cereal to 4oz milk at 9am feed
Added 2tsps oatmeal to 4oz milk at 12noon feed
Baby napped woke up and eyelids seemed a little swollen and both have little red bump on
Didn’t add oatmeal again for the rest of the day seems the eye swelling came down.
Still mucus present in poop.
I am confused not sure if it’s the goat milk formula or if it’s the oatmeal. And if I should switch his formula again to go to a hydrolyzed one.
I really want to quit the reflux medication as well.
Hi Angie, you’re asking for assessment and review of a case history here, and professional guidance to boot. I can’t offer that in this forum, but have a wait list for new clients and hope to make more room soon in my practice. If you’d like to join the wait list contact my assistant at 720-727-7105.
Hi there, did you ever get a resolution to this? My daughter hasn’t been scoped but just started meds for silent reflux and I think she may have a cows milk intolerance (her poop is exactly as you described, seedier, mucus.) just wondering what your outcome was. Thanks.
Hello, My son is 14.5( 36lbs and 33.5 in tall) months old. Since he was about 8 months he has been regurtitating or throwing up when he tries to pass his stool. His stool came out solid when he regurtitates or throws up. Thats the only time he does that is when he tries to pass his stool. We have been to many doctors and havent gotten any concrete answers as of yet which is super frustrating. We were feeding him Althera up until 8 months and switched to Alfamino formula milk (Because he had constant colics and uncomfort with regular formula milk) along with feeding him regular pure food such as chicken, turkey, merluza boneless fish, and vegetables, pure lentils. We rarely include rice and potatoes because he is very heavy for his age. For dessert we only give him pure¨d fruit (That we prepare ourselves) such as apples, pears, mango, blueberries and sometimes banana and yogurt. We dont give him any sweets, candy, cookies or any high sugar content foods. One of our gastroenterologists prescribed us Contumax, which is a powder that we add to his current milk which is Similac 3 now once every morning. It helps soften his stool so he doesnt regurtitate or throw up when he tries to pass his stool. However we are at a point where we want to see when will this end and we dont have to add contumax to his morning milk so he can pass his stool without and not throw up. Its been going on and off close to 6 months now and looking for answers.
Hi Alex, my first impression is your son has small intestine bacterial or fungal overgrowth, or other gut dysbiosis. This can favor fast growth and gain if skewed in the “right” direction. If that were not the case (I would discern this with stool testing and history) then his vagus nerve may be hypersensitive. Some of my clients have successfully resolved that with chiropractic care. As for the detail on his growth and food intakes, that is something I can assess in consultation but unfortunately not in this context. If his food intake is in the realm of 1200 calories/day and yet he is still growing and gaining so fast, then your physician team might consider endocrinology work up, to make sure there is not a hormonal influence in the mix.
My son is almost 3 months old lately he has been fussy and not burping after feeding. He has a hard time getting gas and poop out. He is breastfed. I have tried gas relief medicine and it only works for a little bit. I haven’t changed anything in my diet. He is chewing on his hands and drooling a lot more. He also just recently had his 2 month vaccines. I just don’t know how to help him and I feel bad when he wakes up crying cause he is in pain.
Oh dear… well, multi dose vaccinations, which are not benign, can shift the gut/immune interface that is so tender at this age and endeavoring so earnestly to settle itself in young infants. I am not a fan of the aggressive US vaccine schedule, which IMO is too much, too soon. For help with how to restore the more settled pattern, talk to your pediatrician.
My baby is a month and she was consistently having bowel movements about 2-3 times a day until she turned 1 month. Then she went 5 days without pooping. then the 6th day she was very irritable when she fed and extremely gassy. She pooped a lot it was coming out the side and top of the diaper. Now today is day 3 she hasn’t pooped and she is gaining weight.
Not necessarily concerning.. your baby girl’s body is “learning” to eat, digest, and eliminated. There can be fits and starts here, and as long as she is not distressed, and can comfortably eat and sleep, then … ok. If she is stuck in irritability, gas, and weak appetite that affects growth and sleep then it’s time to step in.
Hi, my baby is 8 weeks old and is exclusively breastfed. For the past week and a half, his liquid poop is dark green. He’s not acting out of the ordinary and is gaining weight. He poops about 3-4 times a day, and they’re not explosive. He is scheduled to get his 2 mth vaccination on Oct 14. Should I be worried? I didn’t change my diet or incorporate more greens so I’m not sure why his poop suddenly turned green and is still happening. Thanks!
This is typically a sign of either lots of bile in the stool, which will happen if food moves too fast through the intestine and bile doesn’t have time to act on it (bile is green); or, a viral exposure. If your baby feels fine, no fever, isn’t fussy and all is well, then no worries. If you are breastfeeding you are giving him immunoglobulin (immune proteins) and other protective immune factors already, and IMO, does not need to be vaccinated at this time.
Thank you! He is pretty much fine, but he’s fussy (but most likely because he wants to be held). How long is too long for the bile to be green?
My baby is 5 months old. His but is always very red. He takes a few drops of a probiotic blend of B. animalis ssp. lactis and L. rhamnosus GG, as recommended by our chiropractor. He’s always spit up but he started solids now and seems to be spitting up more. And but it more red. Some days he has been poppping 3-4x a day and he used to only go once. He is on Holle Goar formula. Should he change probiotics?
Hi Gina, if your chiropractor is giving supplements and managing the feeding and gut health piece for your baby, then expect help with the spit up and redness too. There are many possibilities that might cause redness and especially if you’ve seen a change in comfort and stool pattern, this deserves attention. It’s possible that this probiotic blend isn’t a fit for your baby.
hi, i have a 10 weeks baby girl, she born on week 34, premature, we start having lots of issues as premature babies some development umbilical hernia, every time we feed her was a nightmare, lots of scream, moving a lot, uncomfortable, we though was the hernia, and we went to hospital 3 times, no one mention, no even our GP or hospital never to change formulas, we just did for a antireflexus and was a massive change, now with the formula she’s hasn’t poo for 27 streights hours, but no pain at all, eaten a lot, just looking for any advice if anyone have this issue, thank you all
If your baby is continuing to eat and gain well, and shows no distress, then all good!
Hello, my son has been diagnosed with milk allergy. The only symptm was his fussiness strecthimg his legs while breastfeeding and taking bottle. Amd mucus in his poop bıt only couple of times.No blood no diarrhea no constipation no weight loss he is gaining very well. Now we started with gerber extensive ha and o started a diet. Since we started this diet and formula he has green poop and there are black specks in it do you think it is from formula and do you think he has really an allergy ı think it is gas ı have antibiotics during labor as ı had fever.
It’s time to let your doctor know about these stool changes. Your doctor might want to run a stool test to see what the black specks are. As always if your baby has recently had vaccinations this too can disrupt stool color and consistency.
After vaccinations how long do stool disruptions typically last? My son is a spitter & had some fussiness/ REFLx Symptoms and was started on Pepcid.
After his two month shots he had mucous in his stool. On and off for now three weeks. I stopped dairy but is it typical for vaccines to do this?
Yes this is typical but IMO not necessarily healthy. When we get infections naturally, often gut tissue is part of the response. The gut exerts a temporary effort to flush out infection. This can trigger diarrhea, nutrient loss, or protein loss while the immune system mounts a defense. During this phase the gut becomes temporarily “leaky” but it should recover. Vaccinations can trigger a similar response. It is assumed this is benign, and assumed that this only happens to a lesser degree than it would if natural infection occurred. The trouble with vaccinations is multiple “infections” (“antigens” as they are called once in a vaccine vial) are injected at once, with toxic substances, to purposefully irritate the immune system so a response is provoked. This bypasses our multi-tiered, complex immune response, which humans must build from infancy in order to reduce risk of allergy, cancer, and other chronic inflammatory conditions later on, as well as to be naturally robust against infection. Vaccination robs the developing immune system of its critical opportunity to build defenses through these multiple layers, including mucosal linings in gut or lungs, because those linings are bypassed with injection. The muousy and disrupted stool pattern should not linger more than a week or two. If it does this suggests some latent infection or toxin from the vaccinations may be residing in the gut or other tissue and the immune system is still “fighting”. It may also mean that the leaky gut induced by an illness or vaccine did not recover back to baseline, and more work is needed to restore gut integrity back to where it started. A third possibility is that the transient immune challenge overcame the helpful gut biome that would normally have protected the gut from lingering insult. All of these can usually be repaired if measures are taken to restore balance in the gut/immune interface.
Did you find out what the black specks are? My son also has green poop and black specks., this has been going on for over a month. He is on hydrolyzed formula, which is the culprit of the color, but his doctor can’t figure out what the black specks are. Both stool samples were negative for blood even though the sample contained, many black particles. He is only 10 weeks and I really want to get to the bottom of this, his doctor is fine without knowing the answer, but I am not.
To give the whole story about my son, he has a milk protein sensitivity and has been on HIPP comfort for 6 weeks, silent reflux ( just started meds) has been seeing a chiropractor once a week since he was 3 weeks old, and been taking probiotics from Klaire labs for 2 weeks. Both stool samples came back negative for blood, but his diapers are always speckled with black dots. The specks will even stick to his skin when I try to wipe him. They are very hard. Stool is wet but he has an extremely difficult time passing it, which he usually does once every 2 days.
We briefly tried Kabrita goat formula at the suggestion of our lactation consultant and didn’t transition properly because our shipment of HIPP was delayed. The goat formula make everything worse- he was miserable. As for the black specks, they significantly deceased the week he was on Kabrita.
These are signals for possible blood in stool, viral burden, or as you mention – certain formulas can make stools a bit more green, especially elemental or hydrolyzed formulas. If you or your baby are using an iron supplement, this can make black areas or specks at times. I would suggest your doctor complete more thorough stool testing to look for bacterial or yeast dysbiosis, viral antigens, or digestive and inflammatory markers.
Hello. My baby is 7 mo and has been on 5 mg of Nexium since 3 mo old due to a GERD diagnosis (silent acid reflux). I’ve tried weaning after every prescription and it doesn’t take long after for my girl to become increasingly fussy, drinking less formula, and spitting a ton. I’d love to wean her off as I’m extremely concerned about prolonged use. She now eats purees (veggies/fruit), has baby yogurt once a day, and is on Similac Alimentum. Hypoallergenic formula to help with gasses and digestion since it lacks cows milk protein. Her weight is at the 59th percentile and height is 86th so I feel somewhat comfortable with that, just would prefer her not to fall behind if Nexium were to be prolonged. Any suggestions on weaning would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
Weaning can be done with gentle corrections to gut dysbiosis and weak digestion caused by the reflux medicines. I will be covering this topic in detail in a live group zoom chat at Nutrition Cafe this week – see details here if you’d like to join in. Sessions are archived for later listening if you can’t be there live.
This is such a great article. Thank you. My son has just turned four months. He is putting on loads of weight and thriving but still has the occasional green poo and sometimes tiny tiny pallets in there. Also every morning at 6am without fail does an explosive poo that wets his onesie. He is exclusively breastfed. He was colicky to begin with but has pretty much grown out of it. Any thoughts?
Green stools can signal a few things: Viral exposures (are you giving him the usual vaccine schedule? there’s your viral exposures); rapid stool transit (in that case, bile, which is green, doesn’t have time to do its job and will show up in stool); or, use of an elemental formula like Neocate or Elecare may turn stools a bit green. Of course, dark green foods will too. If he is healthy and not distressed, then you may see this level out and leave well enough alone. If it won’t quit, starts to cause distress or painful burning diaper rash, or coincides with difficulties bringing in solids, then this is a scenario in which I would be ordering some detailed stool studies to see what’s what. I look at status of the functional (helpful) gut bacteria in these tests, as well as for dysbiotic non-pathogen flora, digestive markers, and inflammatory markers. Pathogen flora are also always included in the tests I use. Balancing the flora in the gut can resolve the crazy poop, improve digestion, and help babies feel much better.
Hi, my 11 month old still has the yellowy soft baby poo. He has never had a poo that’s brown in colour. Every time he goes, it’s a massive explosion and gets everywhere. He has never suffered with colic or stomach issues in the past.Is this normal as im starting to get worried as my daughter didn’t have this and most people I speak to, their kids are having normal coloured poos.
If your baby is growing well and not distressed or experiencing illness or discomfort, and especially if he is mostly breastfeeding and not eating many solids yet, this wouldn’t be too concerning. But, if he is having frequent explosive stools (4 or more/day), showing lots of rashes or eczema, falling a bit off his growth curve, unable to sleep or nap calmly for good stretches… hmm then something is amiss and he may need a different formula, milk, or other diet changes.
Hello. My 7 week old has had mucus in her stool for 3 weeks now. She is breastfed and we added the BioGaia baby probiotics 2 weeks ago (doubling the dose as advised by our nurse practitioner). For about a week in a half I have taken out diary, gluten and eggs from my diet. I have not seen any changes yet. Her pediatrician is not concerned as she is gaining weight and has no other signs of an infection. I’m wondering what else can be done or if I should just stay on our regiment and time will heal her unbalanced tum tum?
Was your baby given a hepatitis B vaccine at birth, or exposed to any antibiotics (C section delivery, antibiotics while pregnant, antibiotics for you often, before pregnancy, or for mastitis)? Antibiotics interrupt the progression toward healthy bacteria that aid digestion in the baby’s gut. Hepatitis B vaccine contains yeast as well as formaldehyde, soy protein fragments, and two sources of aluminum; these are confounding for a newborn’s immune system and may trigger mucous in stool or other symptoms. If she is happy, comfortable, sleeping well, and feeding well and staying on her growth channel (not slowing down for growth), then these are good signs. If skin rashes emerge and she is often colicky or has trouble feeding, sleeping, or growing, then it’s time to step in with more work. BioGaia is a nice product but quite low potency; you might try upping the dose of this to see if it helps.
My baby had the same problem the doctor had to put him on a formula call Nutramigen because he has a cow’s milk allergy and I had no more mucus in his poop but she had to watch what the baby eats or drinks very closely and make sure it has no milk in it at all
Hi Virginia, I hope the Nutramigen is going well. It is made with partly digested milk protein. If your baby still shows some trouble on Nutramigen, be sure to let your doctor know. He may need a different formula.
Hi my son had also been started on nutramigen and the first week on it he had a great result one formed stool a day minus any blood or mucus like he had been having. Then on Day 12 he started to have looser stool again and since then has had some soft some lose stools at least 3-4 a day some are very small!
He has also started spitting up, this had started on previous formula but seems to be getting worse, he is chewing on his hands excessively and drooling which I now know can be a sign of reflux. Any advice thanks
You haven’t mentioned your son’s age, but chewing hands, drool, and disrupted stools are also signs of teething. Are any busting through? If not then he may do better on another brand of semi-elemental formula (which is what Nutramigen is) such as Alimentum RTF (“ready to feed”). This has a different carbohydrate source in it that many kids just tolerate better than the corn based carb source in Nutramigen and powdered Alimentum. Otherwise, have you looked at whey based formulas like Gerber Soothe? These formulas have little to no casein and mostly use whey as the protein source. Or goat milk options from Germany? Europe has stricter standards for baby formula ingredients than we do in the US and I find that many babies do better on products from Holle or Leibenswert.
My son is one and half year old । In general he always had cough problem and gag reflex symptoms. Many a times while pooping he ends up coughing a lot and that gives him uneasiness. Please help. Is there problem in liver or so ?!
This sounds like reflux at first glance, but have your doctor rule out any anatomical findings that would trigger this. A thorough physical exam and Xray can help here. If those are all good, then your son may need help enhancing his digestion. If he has used reflux medicine, that will have diminished his digestion and can eventually cause the symptoms you are seeing. Work on reducing the medicine if you are using it. You might explore replacing it with digestive bitters that gently restore stomach acid and digestive juices.
My 8 month old has had constant diaper rash, especially bad/raw directly around her anus. You can tell when she poops it’s almost like it burns her. I work so hard to get it cleared up (baking soda baths, diaper free time, changing diapers every hour, etc.) But as soon as I get it cleared up its back within a day. I don’t even want to know how much money I’ve spent on the different diaper rash creams, balms, etc. She is on sensitive formula and is only eating butternut squash at this point because I don’t want to make things worse by introducing new foods! She is eczema prone around her neck/shoulders and has quite sensitive skin. Any advice on how to make her stools less acidic to allow her diaper rash to heal and stop the reoccurring cycle?
I should also add we’ve been to the doctor twice in the last month and prescribed topical nyastin and told to use 1% hydrocortisone cream, both with no luck. The stools aren’t loose, or green, or contain mucous – they seem relatively normal besides the damage they do to her poor bum. This didn’t start to happen until we switched from breast milk fully to formula (even when we were half and half there was no issue) and introduced her first pureed baby food. I stopped the puree because of the rash and that didn’t solve the problem. I’m at a loss.
Ask your pediatrician to consider giving Nystatin orally. This is a safe drug approved for babies and it will kill fungal species inside the intestine instead of just on the outside on her skin.
Tell your pediatrician all of the above! Eczema shows that her immune system is hyper stimulated by something – this could be a food, or it could be a resident of her gut biome. The burning stool is suspect for disrupted gut biome too. I use detailed stool studies to help sort this out. Pediatricians generally do not. They are only concerned if there is a need for antibiotic in this scenario, and that is unlikely – but balancing her gut biome would likely be helpful to resolve these issues. If you’d like more help, schedule an appointment anytime here.
Torrie- we are having the same issue, except that we believe it is happens only after she eats sweet potato. And possibly pumpkin, as she had that for the first time last night and the acidic stools leading to bright red Diaper rash are back….
Laura, your baby has likely got some gut dysbiosis and this will synergize poor tolerance of new foods. Pumpkin is low FODMAPs but in large enough servings can be considered more challenging, and sweet potato is a more challenging FODMAP food. Both need a balanced gut biome to finish digestion properly.
Hello my 3 weeks old baby is finding it difficult to pass stool. She only stains her diaper with very little stool and she strains and grunts a lot. She feeds very often too. I have given her simethicone drop yet no much improvement. She is exclusively breastfed. What could be wrong?
If she is gaining and growing as expected, this is not necessarily a bad thing for a young infant to pass very little stool. If she is bloated, colicky, fussy at the breast, and has trouble sleeping, ask your doctor to palpate her belly; s/he may be able to feel if there is some backed up stool. If so, a gentle help is a liquid glycerine suppository. Ask your doctor about this help.
My son is 7 months tomorrow, he was a month prem and had colic from about 6 weeks till around 4 months, his a lot better but we have always had issues with his tummy. He was doing great for a while now, other than extreme gas! The last couple of day his been bringing up a lot about 10 to 15 times maybe more a day and its sour you can smell it, and his face he pull when he swallows it as if his eating a lemon! Anyway his tummy has also been a little runny its usually hard. His on HA digest which is a thick formula and his been on solids, started at 5 months already. His been growing well the last check up a month ago, i have a appointment end of July at the ped but im wondering if i should shift it earlier or should i wait a few more days?
See your pediatrician as sooner rather than later. Check this blog post for options for managing reflux besides medicine, which will do more harm in the long term by shutting down digestion further (more gas, more constipation, weaker appetite). If antibiotics have been in the history either at birth (C section delivery), during your pregnancy, or for your son, you might need medicine or probiotics to restore a healthier gut bacteria profile. Babies depend on this in early months to set digestive function.
.my baby is 12 weeks old.
He was diagnosed with cmpa and reflux at 3 weeks old. He has been on various medications and milk.
He is currently on
3. Neocate milk (amnio acid based milk)
4. Movicol because the gaviscone makes him constipated
He doesnt scream for 7 to 10 hours constantly now. However, he still has days where he is in pain, he is very gassy and his stools are still green. I dont seem to be getting anywhere with consultants now and basically been told we have to wait until we can early wean him at 4 months.
Can you help?
If you’d like help you can access my calendar here and book a spot to get started: https://www.nutritioncare.net/book-an-appointment/ Note that the calendar is set to US Mountain Time and all appointments you book are for that time zone. The calendar will auto reply to you with instructions and details. Be sure to capture that e mail, follow the instructions and links in it, and we can get started.
My daughter is just 3 months old and she has reflux. I didn’t prefer medication method, as I found on this website https://ibestbabyswing.com/best-baby-swing-for-reflux/ saying you can use baby swing for reflux. So i bought a baby swing and whenever I put my daughter in the swing, she stops spitting out food. But I don’t think it is a permanent cure as I always have to put her in a swing. What do you suggest? Should I continue using a baby swing or I should ask for an appointment from the doctor?
Your doctor will probably tell you to use a reflux medicine. You can try some other options first, see this blog on reflux medicine alternatives. If your baby is comfortable in the swing, let her enjoy – as long as she still has plenty of time work on her motor skills, like rolling over, tummy time, or pushing up to lift her head while on her tummy. These are helpful foundations for skills later on, like crawling, sitting up to eat, and more.
My baby is 11 month old they just chaged her milk to natrel milk,she been popping normal,but today it was hard tan looking with just a little blood. Is that normal
Natrel milk is …milk. It has milk protein in it. It is lactose free, which means that the lactose – the natural sugar in milk – is predigested into its smaller sugar components (called glucose and galactose). For people who are lactose intolerant, this will resolve gas and diarrhea. For people who are milk protein intolerant, this will do no good at all. So let whomever told you to use the Natrel milk that you are seeing tan stools and some blood. Those are not signs of lactose intolerance, but are more usual with milk protein intolerance. If that is the problem, then Natrel milk will not work, and you’ll need to move to a different option. Fun fact: Doctors, nurses, and many other pediatric providers – for whatever reason – mix up the lactose vs milk protein quite often and give parents confusing advice. Have seen it many times.
My baby is 18weeks. We have had a difficult start with me having mastitis 5 times in 4 months with antibiotics courses for all of these episodes- I was even hospitalised once. I stopped breast feeding 2 weeks ago and used EBM for 5 days then formula since so 1 weekish of just formula. A week ago my son developed streaks of blood in his poo he is not constipated poos 3-4 times a day. He has had mucus on and off for his whole life but I put it down to my antibiotics/ vaccines/ breast feeding however the blood concerns me. The GP is not concerned – I wonder what could be causing the blood and what to do about it as it is so scary when I see it- they want to monitor for another week or so and check his weight he had been on 9- 25th centile since 6 weeks old was born on 50th and maintained this until 6weeks. And they also want to know if he becomes unwell in himself- which he isn’t. Please let me know your thoughts
Your son is experiencing some lapse in growth and gain, with his gut having been affected by the antibiotics. Have your team give him a course of Nystatin orally for 14 days. This is approved for babies in the US at least. This may quickly improve his situation, and you can use it with a probiotic. It will clear fungal/yeast species that thrive when antibiotics are overused.
Hi, my baby is 8 weeks old. Bottlefed on regular formula. Always hard to wind but would settle and sleep between each feed. Good feederand would take 4-5oz every 3-4 hours. The last 2 weeks he has had 2-3 very runny poos per day and is only taking 1-2 oz at a time so. I end up feeding every hour as he will only sleep for short periods. Any advice?
(1) Tell your pediatrician, make sure no actual fever or infection. (2) Defer vaccinations until this settles down. Vaccinating during illness can be unsafe. (3) If this ensued after 2 month vaccinations, or after needing an antibiotic, then these may have disrupted his immune system and gut function. Support these with gentle probiotics. You may need to switch to a hydrolyzed formula like Gerber GentleEase, this gives partly digested protein instead of whole milk protein (as is in regular formula).
Hello, I’ve red your blog and I think you are absolutely right. The only issue is I’m trying to find bifidus for babies and all the probiotics I find have also lactobacillus in them . I can’t find any that only has the bifidus ones. Please help
Look at Klaire Labs Factor 4. This can be purchased with my provider code (825) from Klaire Labs directly. I don’t know if that is what your baby needs, but it is a Bifido-Only blend. You can also check Custom Probiotics for single strain options.
I’ll tell you a bit about him.
He is 6 months old, exclusively breastfed, passed the meconium after birth and then he was staining his nappies constantly, every time he had a little wind, do it was hard job keeping him dry and clean. Then suddenly he started pooping only once per day and then he spent 6 days without opening bowels then another 6 days and we started cosmocol, he was then pooping once every two days or two days in a row and then he wouldn’t go for another 2 days… changed to lactulose then tried senna for a day but that made him poop 3 times in a day with a little bit of blood one of them so I definitely don’t want to give him that again.
We have tried also glicerin suppositories and that’s the only thing that makes him go when he is been 3 days without going.
And I am not sure when exactly but at some point he started being very stressed about pooping, seems in pain, stretches legs and arms and seems like if he was withholding. Again, I’m not exactly at what point that started but it has been like that for a while now. I am in such a loss , I don’t want him to suffer, it’s heartbreaking.
I found this one in the UK thst where I am, would this be ok for a 6 months old baby? Should I give him 1/8 tea spoon of it?
It does not let me post the link, but it only has bifidobacterium on it. Would be ok?
Hi Ana, if you’d like specific guidance on your son’s case please set up an appointment to work with me, here. I often work remotely with families including in the EU or UK.
Hi, my son is 3 months old and suffers with gassy tummy. I tried everything, from winding to tummy time etc but je isn’t completely better.
He is s completely breastfed baby and as he feeds, he tries to fart or poo. This isn’t stopping at all.
I have also avoided dairy since the past 20 and still do nof feel major improvement.
I’ve tried having a diet that is spice free abd still not much improvement.
Also, he has little reflux .
How can I make sure if it’s cow’s milk intolerance or anything else bothering him.
He also has mucus in his stools at times.
Some of this is quite normal at this young age. The real test of whether it is a problem is growth. Is your baby maintaining the same percentile for weight that he started with at birth? He should be within ten centile points of that or so. If he isn’t uncomfortable (crying, arching, unable to feed, unable to get restorative peaceful sleep) and is growing well, then all of this might just need some time to settle out. Meanwhile, if he has needed antibiotics, or you have needed any (C section delivery, mastitis, antibiotics during pregnancy or within the year before you were pregnant) then this has potential to disrupt the bacteria his gut needs to help him digest these early feedings. Mucus in stool will occur with vaccinations and though your doc will dismiss it, I disagree, and don’t believe this is a healthful feature, if it is persisting. To test if milk protein is really the issue, be thorough in omitting ALL dairy from your diet: cheeses, yogurt, ice cream, cream in coffee, or milk or milk, cream, or milk powder in any food you eat. Be sure to replace that with equal portions of high value protein, like egg, collagen, chicken, fish, or meat. Legumes and vegetable sources of protein may trigger more gas unless you are already accustomed to these; even then, they may be triggering for your little boy until his gut evolves a little further.
I have a 2-year-old and 5 month old. The 2-year old I have had a host of problems with, some of which seem to be better these days. She was vaccinated up to the age of 1. We dealt with spitting up basically from birth but it didn’t seem to bother her too much and then she started eating solids around 6 months and we dealt with random episodes of vomiting and I didn’t think much of it and then one day around 10 months she started vomiting and it got worse very quickly to the point where she kept nothing down except liquids and liquid foods. We got her tested for all sorts of stuff and they did all kinds of blood work and everything came back normal. They thought some kind of food aversions or behavioral thing but I didn’t feel that was the case. We never ended up going back and I kept her on a pureed food diet for about a month and started introducing solids back into her diet. Since then things seem to be ok. Then about a year later she was diagnosed with a nut allergy to all nuts! We have no history of it in our family that we know of anywhere. We also deal with eczema since birth with her and for about the first 6 months of her life I dealth with yeast diaper rashes with her and again at a year old. She was given atibiotics 1 time at a couple weeks old for the yeast/thrush. So I think something is going on in her gut that needs healing but I am not sure where to go. My son on the other hand has not been vaccinated but has eczema spots on his head. I am not sure if this is anything to be concerned about but any insight or direction would be so helpful! Thank you!
Hi Lauren, these are precisely the issues I work with in my clinical practice. If you’d like to get started have a look at my calendar (see “work with Judy“) and you can pick a spot anytime to dive in. Otherwise have a look around my blog re: food allergies, picky eating, or any topics. There is a lot of good info there. If you’d like updates on when I will be having online learning groups, sign up for my newsletter or “like” my facebook page to keep up on the latest.
Hi there! So here is my problem. My daughter was breastfeed until 3 weeks (I had issues with milk supply). At that point we transitioned her to formula. We started with Happybaby, but it constipated her. We switched to Earth’s Best Gentle and that seemed to be doing great up until two weeks later. She began crying, pushing her bottle away, etc. Our doctor recommended that we switch to similac pro total comfort and gave us reflux medication. She seemed to be like a new baby! However, last week she went a whole day without going to the bathroom. Then the next day, she took a dark green poop in the morning and diarrhea began at night. She has had diarrhea for 7 days now. Our pediatrician stated it was likely a bug, but is now stating we should try Nutramigen to see if that helps. My questions is this … could it really be the formula causing her to have diarrhea like this? She was on it for 2 weeks and seemed to be fine with normal stools. Would it be better to try a soy formula or a different brand of formula? She was tested for blood in the stool and it came back negative, so my pediatrician doesn’t think it’s a protein allergy. I am just frustrated at this point!
Hi! I have a 3 month old whose weight dropped from 46% at 2 weeks to 6% at 2 months. She is EBF but only had seedy poops for the first week of life and then for 6 days after having a tongue tie revision at 9 weeks she suddenly had hives cottage cheese like seeds and bright mustard yellow poops. At about two weeks she started having brown/yellow mucous stool several times a day she was extremely gassy and screamed a lot. I started her in some probiotics at about 6 weeks and she seemed to be in less pain but then she only pooped every 3 to 5 days and when she did the stool was the same color but almost soupy. After her surgery for her tongue and having the seedy stools for 6 days it is now a dark yellow (brown mixed in) no seeds and more liquid again. My doctor wanted to me to give her formula to help with weight gain but I tried surgery on her tongue and lactation consults with suck training. She seems to be gaining about 1 ounce a day now but will randomly ( about once a week) scream nonstop and refuse to eat for 4-5 hours. I’m glad she’s gaining weight and my doctor says she isn’t worried unless there is blood in her stool. But I still feel like something is off. Do you have any suggestions I can take to my doctor at our 4 month appt or sooner. My gut just won’t let this go. I want more than anything to breastfeed but understand there’s a chance that may not be best for her.
Hi Paige, good for you for listening to your instincts! My first suggestion would be to defer the usual booster vaccinations given at that visit until your daughter is settled and her gut symptoms are resolved. There is no magic about giving more vaccine doses at four months; it’s an arbitrary schedule, and if she had her two month doses, she is covered for now. Your pediatrician may not agree, so prepare for that as you like (you can learn about your right to this choice here) – but vaccines can disrupt the immune – gut interface in such a young infant. Your daughter is also more vulnerable now that she is so far regressed for her growth pattern, so prioritizing her gain is key. If your milk is a struggle, there are options for non-GMO, organic, partly hydrolyzed formulas that give different probiotics and/or pre-biotics, from either goat milk or cow’s milk. There are advantages or disadvantages to these various options depending on your baby’s presentation, and this is what I sort for families in my pediatric nutrition practice. If your pediatrician isn’t familiar with the details of their ingredients and how to choose the right one for your girl, let’s set up an appointment to work together (remotely or in person).
Hello, my 2 and a half month old baby been having mucus in his stool for a long time I took him to his pediatrician that said it was normal nothing bad today sep 6 he poop black they test the poop and it had blood in it she said it was because of his acid reflux I have told her that before and she said if he didn’t cry for more than 20 min than he didn’t need medicine I also told her that yesterday sep 5 my nipple was bleeding but she said that couldn’t be it but I have the med but I didn’t give it to him just yet he’s stool is now back to yellow with black freckles, what can I do ?
Hi Brenda, you can set up an appointment with me anytime here and we can investigate with stool studies if the black stool is blood, and if there are latent infections in your baby’s gut causing this pain cry. Your doctor should screen your baby’s stool for blood if nothing else.
My 3.5 months daughter -on Breast feed, and since birth she was having yellow/mustard color poops).For the last 2 weeks she’s been having green liquidy poops. One time she has a little blood in it and we took her to the doctor, the doctor sent the stool for test, and prescribed cefix 1.5ml every 12 hours for 5 days. On the second day of the medication, she started throwing up her entire feed, maybe 2 times a day. She never used to vomit or throw up her entire feed before. The test came as pus cell 10-14, and mucous present. Instead of 10 doses of medicines, i gave her only 7 thinking its the antibiotics that’s causing it. Its been 4 days, she is not having antibiotics, but she is still vomiting twice daily, and takes her entire feed out. She seems to feed a little less than before and because of the vomits, she pee less like 4-5 times a day(it used to be 8-9 times before), still pooping 2-3 times a day, the color has changed to light green and curdled looking. She has lost 100g of weight, she was 6kg, now she is 5.9kg. I am stressed and want her vomiting to stop completely. I stopped taking dairy thinking maybe that’s the issue, although I had been having milk since the time she is born and she never had a problem. My husband does give her similac total comfort maybe 2 times a week (not daily), if I am not at home. We have stopped any formula for the last 10 days. Also I think i have an abundance of milk, as now sometimes, she pulls away and takes feed with closed lips. Please help
Shilpa, your daughter needs close monitoring for feeding, dehydration, and growth and gain. Update your pediatrician and get a detailed care plan. Your daughter may need an elemental formula and may need further care to balance her gut microbes. Once you have gotten your doctor informed, I am happy to work with you closely also, to support properly with nutrition – you can access my calendar here.
Please I need help, I have seen multiple doctors regarding my 4 month old son with no results. He is formula fed. since birth Logan (my son) has Pooped green, dark green, light green, green with traces of yellow and what looks like in digested milk, never having a good yellow/ gold coloured poop he also had extremely bad reflux even though he is on acid reflux formula now in the past he started out on s26 gold newborn formula then I was advised to change it to aptimal gold newborn didn’t change anything so I took him to the hospital and was advised to put him on lactose free formula, again nothing changed he was still pooping green and having a hard time doing so and always foul smelling the best way to describe the smell is like walking into a piggery it is very unpleasant. With the reflux still as bad as ever I put him on s26 acid reflux formula and even that doesn’t keep it down. Within the last week I have also noticed runny (green) stringy mucas poop. Nothing is helping and I am really worried he is going back to the doctor today but I fear that what ever is wrong will be missed like always he has also had zantac which didn’t work either
Hi Jaymee, these signs indicate that your son may have a milk protein intolerance and may need a milk free formula (elemental or semi-elemental). Lactose free formula will not solve this problem, if that is what it is. Green stools are a sign that may also be meaningful in his case. If your doctors are not helpful then you are welcome to schedule an appointment for more help.
Hi….My daughter is going to be 10 months next week; for the last month or so, since beginning solids 2x a day now, she’s been pooping, 2-3 times a day, but it’s like hard pellet/balls….so every other day we feed prunes/apples for breakfast, and later on that day, she’ll poop a soft stool, but then the next day goes right back to hard little balls again. for the past week or so, she’s been spitting up/drinking less milk, and sometimes pukes up her milk (she’s been on the same formula for 7 months, never a problem). I called pediatrician, and she said reason she’s now feeding less and/or spitting up/throwing up (only like once a day though), is probably because her system/poop is backed up and therefore she has less space in her tummy. So we made an appointment with GI doctor for this upcoming Wed, but I am anxious to resolve this. I ruled out lactose intolerance, because for last 3 days, we bought lactofree version of the baby formula we give her (it’s called “Baby’s Only Organic”), and she’s still having the same issues. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.
Just wanted to add, that just yesterday I started adding the probiotic, Florastor, to her bottle of milk.
Hi Ivette, I couldn’t advise unless (like your GI doctor) your daughter is my client/patient. One note though is that Florastor contains Saccharomyces boulardii which does backfire in some cases. Ask your GI doctor about which probiotic to use. If you don’t get guidance there to your satisfaction, schedule an appointment anytime and we can get started.
Thank you for this article. I have a ten month old and he is having reflux. He is on solids but has 3-4 bowel movements a day but his poop looks exactly like food. It does not look nor smell like poop. It looks exactly like the whole food I fed him. I keep being told as long as he is happy he is okay but I’m concerned he isn’t digesting his food. I purchased liquid probiotic drops of lactobacillus reuteri that provides 200 million per five drop. My question is can I give too much where it is harmful? Secondly how many drops each day is recommended and for what duration. Thank you kindly
Hi Tammi, this does sound odd to me too. The way to know if it matters is for your doctor to review your son’s growth pattern since birth. Has he slowed down his rate of growth or gain? If he has dropped more than 15 points for either weight or length for age, then you are correct – he is not digesting and absorbing food adequately. Many doctors don’t respond to regressive growth patterns until kids are actually in growth failure, hitting the 5th percentile. No need to wait for that to happen. You can intervene sooner and probiotics are a fine idea. I can’t tell you what to give your child in this forum, but I can tell you that 200 million L reuteri is quite a low dose and may not turn things around. If you don’t see changes from it within 2-3 weeks then it might be wise to investigate. I would do this by reviewing growth pattern, food intake, and a microbiology panel from stool for beneficial bacteria, fungal strains, and disruptive or pathogen strains of bacteria in the stool. Also.. if your child is on reflux medicine, this will diminish digestion over time.
My 7 month old (breastfed) baby has recently started solids- mostly fruit and vegetables. She has been reflux-y since birth, though it has appeared to improve until now. She is now waking 20 minutes after falling asleep until 3am sometimes (usually until at least 1:30am). I think it could be the solids contributing to this. Also she is having bowel movements every 2-3 days now that are pebble like and cause her a lot of pain and distress. Before beginning food she was happily EBF going every 10’days, but normal colour and consistency. I’ve been advised to give plenty of pear, apricot, vegetables like sweet potato and pumpkin. Also following advice and giving her diluted prune juice and cooled boiled water. We have stated to put some Coloyxl drops in with the juice, but all,of these seem to be having no effect. Her reflux symptoms have returned with a vengeance. From reading this post medication for reflux is not the best option. Would you suggest a probiotic? Also- I have eliminated dairy from my diet and after having some Greek yogurt she was screaming for an hour. I am now fearful of giving her dairy again. I feel foods to avoid for constipation are those that are ‘good’ for reflux- so feeling like I can’t win here.
I’m not sure I’d agree that one BM every 10 days for an EBF baby is entirely healthy… that circumstance in itself raises the question as to what set the stage for difficulty with solids and reflux. As always, consider if any recent triggers are in the mix like vaccinations, illnesses, or antibiotic exposures. Tell your pediatrician you’d like some other options if you don’t want to go to the reflux medicine. I can’t offer individual clinical advice in this forum but am happy to help if you would like to make an appointment.
So what are your thoughts on silent reflux and medication?
My 2 week old has only pooped 3 times in 2 weeks.. and the last time was hard poo and he cried …Is it reflux?
I don’t know Chelsea, without assessing your baby as a patient. Do tell your pediatrician, and if you like, make an appointment with me as well anytime and I can have a look.
My 8 months old has been on Nexium for a month and we’ve been trying to reduce the dosage as a slow way to take him off of it completely after reading about the negative effects of it. He immediately reacted to the reduced dosage and couldn’t keep his formula down (I couldn’t breastfeed starting when he was 2.5 months old). We then gave him the regular dosage (10 mg/ daily) but there were a few times he didn’t want to take it so it seems his vomit is starting to happen again. I definitely do not want to restart the Nexium nor any other medicines to combat his acid reflux. Doctors around here think it’s perfectly normal to take the medicines for as long as possible….We have switched formulas and is now on a hypoallergenic one.
Is there hope to help my baby? He’s weighing about 19 lbs.
My 3 month old has shown signs of silent reflux. Which of course the dr wanted to put him on zantac, I refused because of how toxic it is. Instead have been using homeopathic tablets which seem to help okay. But my baby goes a minimum of 7 days without pooping. Right now he has reached 14 days, still no poop. He is exclusively breast fed and everyone tells me it’s “normal” but I disagree because my baby seems to be in pain. He cries so much. I feel like he’s going to start missing milestones because he constantly needs to be held and spends his awake time crying. Any advice?
I agree – how would your pediatrician feel if HE hadn’t pooped in 14 days? I do wonder how when and why doctors get trained to say that this is normal! You have several options: Glycerin suppository, saline enema, magnesium citrate, Epsom salts soak, vitamin C, digestive herb tinctures, butyrate or enzymes for you while breastfeeding, probiotics (several types), working with your diet, functional stool culture to identify disruptive biome strains. I offer any of these to my patient families as appropriate, based on each baby’s findings. I can advise if you would like to set up an appointment, and we can discover what might be best next steps for your son.
Please I want to make an appoitment with you , I live in Kuwait , it will be via phone or texting ? I need to know brief answer from u please so i can sleep the coming days , I’m struggling with my baby and need a help .
He is 7 month old and scince the 1st week he is sick from reflux . At the begining it was reflux going out of his mouth and sometimes from his nose , before 2 months he start to have silent reflux , he keeps swallowing all the time ! He coughs , he is upset all the time he is not playing , he is not sleeping ! Busy with his body and whats going on there .
He cries alot before farting and moving his legs and body , its hard for him to fart and the voice of it is very strong like an adult ,He dont make stool for 3 to 4 days
I start to put gelcrin for him and after putting it i thought it will be a full diaper but stool is little and that voices was gases ! After that he makes normal stool, never liquid or green . Once it was only yello mucus .
He cant sleep he walks up each 2 hours very upset or cryinf i breastfeed him little so he can sleep again .
I mix between breastfeeding and formla but i try my best to breastfeed him only .
I cut almost anything couse gas but nothing is helping here .
He had cradle cap after 1 or 2 weeks from his born , also under his ears .
He is a miserable baby but here doctors only describe medicine and am trying to know whats wrong with him. I know medicines are not the answer but i didnt have other choice,
If i give him formualla he will only eats 60 or 90 ml max but on breastfeeding he can take more and whenever he cries if i breastfeed him he calm down.
He is not enjoying anything he is always waiting this silent reflux to go up and then swallow it .
He cough and when it comes up ( liquid )
It goes to his nose so he push his face on my shoulder and start to be upset .
I cant help him , i dont know what to do
If its only reflux why when he is on straight position he is still crying and burping and things going up and down ?!
Even if i gave him 20 ml he will do this .
He is never fussy when drinking my milk but he struggle when he burps and after that till the next meal .
His lips are always moving like he is tasting something, when he walks up at night his cry seems like there is something in his thoat and even his nose like he is having cold , i will send for u vedioes when i contact u directly. Sorry for my long msg , Waiting your reply please . Thank you .
Hello Reem, I do work with families in other locales via Skype. We can do this if you like. I’m sorry to hear this is so difficult. Possibilities that trigger this can include milk protein intolerance (even to your milk or something in your diet), poor tolerance of vaccinations, or exposures to antibiotics either for you while pregnant, during delivery, for you while breastfeeding, or directly for the baby. You might find some solutions in the first chapter of this book (available as kindle or paperback), which goes into detail about how to ease these symptoms for babies. Otherwise you can access my calendar anytime and set up a Skype appointment. You will receive an auto reply with instructions for the initial consult.
Hi I’m just wondering if you ever got help for your baby? I realise this was a few years ago now but what you have described is exactly how my 10 month baby is currently.
My 5months old since one month, refuses to drink as he should. He was drinking around 120-15oml, 6 feedings per day and now he would take only 60ml-100ml per feed. He poops once every 2 days. He seems ok, but his sleep has also been affected. he was sleeping through the night, now he wakes up 2 times for feedings. I’m exhausted, and dont know what to do.
Hi there i have a 6 month old.little lady who is currently on neocate and lansoprazole..there was nonofficial diagnosis of cmpa or allergies only silent reflux.we have just tried to introduce solids such as butternut squash but seems to be having a lot of mucous in her stool she passes about 4 stools a day dome completely green from.neocate and some are green yellow smelly and stringy..would u think shenwould benefit from a probiotic? We never had any antibiotics in pregnancy or labour or after I can’t quite work out why her poops are like this.she is suffering with a cold at the moment too.sorry for long post im so confused.which probiotics would you recommend and also first foods??thanks so much xxxx
This is about a disrupted gut biome. Neocate can be helpful if other feeding strategies can’t work, but it will not cultivate a functional gut biome – that is, it won’t encourage the types of gut bacteria needed to aid in digesting food. It favors Clostridia species, not Lactobacillus or Bifido, which infants need to harbor in order to progress away from allergies and toward normal digestion. Neocate can also make stools somewhat green which in itself is harmless (though green stools will appear in viral infections and/or if transit is too fast out of the intestine, and bile is mixed with stool). The reflux medicine she is using is also disrupting her gut microbiota. This will favor fungal (yeast) species, and make it harder for her to digest her food. She needs to wean away from that medicine and restore normal gut microbiome in order to begin peacefully tolerating food.
Hello. My name is stefanie..My one month has,be struggling with pooping since we left the hospital.. she is not constipated.. when she is having a bm she cries and I don’t understand why if they are soft.. There are times when she is trying to poop nothing comes out.. so she us just pushing and crying.. I have told her doctor all she said it’s normal.. she Said my baby was having problems learning how to poop that she would learn on her own.. I am starting to think that’s not the case..am very concern pleases help..
Hi Stefanie, best option is to set up an appointment with me so I can troubleshoot for you and see if there is indeed anything that needs attention or correcting.
My boy is 3 weeks today hos poo got mucus for over two weeks now, and he push everytym like he is constipated but the stool is soft it like he feel the pain in stomuch i do burp him after every feed, he crys can’t sleep enough please help
My 4 month old had reflux symptoms since her birth and arching back and fussy while eating (EBF) with spit ups and occassional projectile vomiting.
We brought it up to our GP and Paed but they were always against reflux medicine as she was gaining weight(although not much) at each visit.
Her vomit episodes increased since past few weeks and her weight percentile gradually reduced (from 50 to 30 to 15 to 6.8 currently ..BW 3.06 kgs Current Weight 5.9 kgs).
At her 4 month vaccination visit GP prescribed Ranitidine since her vomiting and spitting is not reducing and she came down to 6.8 percentile.
We are on Ranitidine since 2 days now with no improvement on spitting and she seems to be less active and more irritated now (not sure if its due to vaccination).
After reading your article I am now worried whether should i continue with medication or try something else. Please suggest.
Something else was clearly going long before your baby began losing weight. Backtrack to the start of the vomiting/arching, discover why that began, and support her digestion. Reflux medicines will further diminish digestion. You may see a brief improvement, but ultimately these drugs can worsen growth and gain. Ask your doctor to identify the root problem and fix it. If your pediatrician doesn’t know how, schedule an appointment and we can begin. There are many ways to investigate and improve this for babies so they can gain and grow.
My 12 week old has been on a nursing strike for the past 2 days, only nursing a few minutes here and there and popping on and off the breast and crying. She’s always had more stools than the average baby but lately she has been making 6-8 stools a day. The color and consistency seems normal but she squirms and grunts like crazy when pooping. We’ve always had trouble breastfeeding as I have a very strong letdown that she can’t handle. I find every time she starts getting more poopy diapers her appetite decreases. She coughs and gags a lot even after a feed. Is this reflex? I’m at my wits end and stressed about her milk intake.
She is also a preemie and small for her gestational age. She gained about 2 pounds a month for the first two months which was great but her weight gain this month was only 1 pound. I mentioned all this to her doctor but he doesn’t seem to be concerned. But having her go sometimes 12 hours with just one or two nursing sessions lasting only 1-2 mins is concerning. Her number of wet diapers have also decreased this couple of days during her nursing strike but she is still making 6-8 poopy diapers a day for the past few days.
You have plenty of evidence that she is struggling; I agree that twelve hour stretches without much sustenance is a long while for a 12 week old, if this pattern is entrenched for more than a few days. This may be reflux, or not; but it does not necessarily mean that your baby needs reflux medication, which is handed out far too often in infants. Assess the possible triggers: Recent vaccinations? Any fevers? Any exposures to colds or infections? Changes in your own diet, medications or supplements? In my practice I review these and will usually request a functional stool microbiology also, to assess if beneficial flora are on board for the baby’s GI tract. If you’d like that help, set up an appointment anytime on my calendar. If you haven’t already, consider a session with a lactation consultant to help your baby manage the strong let down.
Hi Judy, my two months old baby is having difficulty in passing stool. I introduced supplement/formula due to low breakfast milk. I had to massage her tommy with warm water and pass a little through her anus before she can stool after two days. What do i do?
Ask your doctor for a different formula recommendation, and discuss probiotic options too. If that doesn’t resolve things, then I can help with more detailed instructions in an appointment with you anytime.
Lately my 6 month old has had hard pebble like bowel movements and strains, turning bright red while trying to poo. He goes at least 2x a day but very hard. I give him oatmeal and a fruit in the morning and a fruit and vegetable for dinner. All other feeds are Enfamil Reguline formula. Can you recommend a specific probiotic or any remedies to make his poo softer and easier for him to pass? Thanks so much!
Ask your doctor for specific recommendations on probiotics and feeding. If no help is forthcoming, best next step is to make an appointment so I can support and advise. I am not able to make individual nutrition care recommendations here, but can do this in my practice.
Great article especially for a parent who’s struggling with our little babes reflux. She’s had reflux since she was born and is now on anti reflux milk as well as 2 sachets of infant gaviscon with every feed. She has a poo roughly 3-4 times a day everyday, this can’t be normal? Our little one has started dropping through the centiles for the last 6 weeks and puts on very slowly. We are on the waiting list to see the Pead but have been given renitardine in the meantime but i don’t feel that this will help with the weight and stool issue. We are debating going back to normal SMA gold with the gaviscon, is she more likely to absorb this? I am out of ideas and would rather her being sick than not putting on any weight. Any advise will be taken greatly. Thank you.
Hi Vicky, thanks for your questions. As always I am not able to advise on such a detailed case via a blog. I’d be happy to help if you’d like to make an appointment, and I have worked with other UK parents via phone/Skype or Zoom Chat. Your baby should be gaining steadily; six weeks is a long stretch to plateau. 3-4 stools/day are usual for younger exclusively breast fed infants but suspect for older formula fed infants who are gaining poorly. If you’d like help with how to maximize the nutrition/food and gut health parts of this puzzle, let’s talk soon – click the appointment section of my site.
Hi Judy. Great article! Very helpful as I have found many pediatricians and neonatologists know very little about probiotics and their benefits in infants. My son was born at 34 weeks and received 2 different antibiotics while in the NICU. He has been growing very well and is in the 75th percentile for his gestational age. He is however very gassy and gets the hiccups quite a bit. After observing how much he was grunting and straining and how gassy he was I put him on a broad spectrum probiotic for infants (Seeking Health ProBiota for Infants) and I started taking Align. Btw he is exclusively breastfed. Since starting the probiotics he seems to be worse and is having trouble pooping. It is a lot more pasty and seems to be a lot more work for him to have a BM. He doesn’t scream or cry but there is a lot of loud straining and grunting. His belly button is also herniated now from the straining. He is also passing a lot more gas. I know people say it can get worse before it gets better but I’m hoping you can add some more insight or advice. Perhaps it is the Align causing the issue? Thank you in advance!
Hi Charlotte, here’s the possibilities: (1) wrong probiotics for this situation; (2) SIBO infection; (3) fungal infection in gut; (4) intolerance to something in your diet. An appointment with me would allow me to sort it out, and make recommendations.
I have a 6 month old baby who has had a very small small amount of blood in his stool for 6-8 weeks now. His weight percentage dropped at his 4 month apt from 45% to 35%.. He didn’t have blood I was noticing in his stool at that time. I noticed the blood 2 weeks after that apt and have been working hard to figure out what is going on. My son is exclusively breastfed and was have 4-5 big poops a day at that time and always pooped a lot. I have not given him an vaccinations or medication. His dr said he probably has a dairy intolerance so I immediately cut out dairy and increased my probiotic intake to almost 2 teaspoons a day. He started pooping less and the blood stopped for about a week. He also has eczema rashes on his body. His poop was always very sweet smelling but had changed to a very bad strong smell since all of this started. His dr thought he had reflux and prescribed medication but I wasn’t convinced that was also going on and I prefer to not give him any medication. So he improved after getting off dairy but about a week later he had more blood again (still small amounts) I did a lot of reading online and decided to start an elimination diet of the top 8 allergies on top of still not having dairy. That diet started 2 weeks ago but in the time my son had more blood. I saw the again for the 4th time and she assured me its diet related and that I didn’t need to be so extrem with my diet. She said to just cut out dairy and soy. I decided I would just add nuts (no peanuts) and eggs back into my diet. I only had eggs 2 days and have been drinking home made almond milk again instead of home made hemp milk. Right away my son had brite green and yellow poop with mucus in it, he also has had more blood again. He was having blood maybe once a week and now it’s been in almost every diaper. During this time my milk supply has dropped as well and I had to work very hard pumping multiple times to get it back up. It was bad after stopping dairy but got much better, it just dropped again with the new diet but I think it started to get better now. mt little man is happy for th most part but I hate seeing the blood in his stool and the smell change. I finally gave him rash cream after all the natural things have not helped. His rashes are much better but I’m wondering if It’s time to start a full elimination diet. My concern is my milk drying up, I have hoped to be able to nurs him for as long as he wants it. Please help. Thanks a bunch.
Hi Jessica, next step would be a functional stool microbiology. If you’d like help with that, jump on my calendar for an appointment. Your pediatrician can check for very bad stool infections but these are extremely unlikely as your son would be a lot sicker if positive. A functional stool test looks for levels of helpful bacteria, fungal load, and “commensal” strains – those are strains that won’t cause immediate harm or threat but can chronically irritate gut or disrupt digestion and absorption if present in larger amounts.
You’ve probably figured this out by now, but I’ve had 3 kids with fpies and this was their exact symptoms. It’s a food protein allergy and my diet affects them immensely!
Absolutely Jessica, Mom’s diet figures in. FPIES is not simply a food protein allergy however – many kids with this condition show no IgE or measurable immune responses to foods. You might enjoy this blog on that topic!
my 4 months son was on isomil formula and his poop was dark green and constipated,i then changed him to lactogen within a day his poop was pan but then it has whitish stuff in it , like the formula being rejected , im planning to take him to the doctor tomorrow .. please help what could be a problem? #worried
Set up an appointment so I can help. Once you schedule you’ll get a confirmation from my calendar with info on paperwork I need to get started. Start here, schedule anytime: https://nutritioncare.net/make-your-appointment/
my son is 11months and hes struggling to pass poop this started when he was 8 month I’m still breastfeeding and wen Im not around we give him infacare formula milk then I changed the milk now I give him lactogen but it still the same wen he starts crying trying to poop it hurts me a lot but we ye drinks medicine like duphalac he goes nicely and the stool is softer wat can I do he doesn’t go normal to the toilet
As always nothing I can do here but encourage you to consider making an appointment – or have a look at books on this site for more solutions.
I’m hoping you can help because this far, we have been fobbed off by doctors in regards to the belly issues. baby has been suffering from stridor breathing(frightening at times) but after tests and X-rays on the airways etc… all lung and breathing functions are normal but a fairly minor case of reflux is present. the belly issues are ongoing. fussing at the breast, pulling away, seeming to need feeding constantly, then eating too much and vomitting it all up, writhing around in discomfort before a big burst of wind or poop, dry stringy greenish coloured poop sometimes and then explosive diarroahea, wet burps and hiccups.
Doctor says it will “correct itself” “her gut is just maturing”
but it’s more than that. I don’t think it’s normal.
can intolerances cause the stridor breathing as well?
baby is clearly uncomfortable often and feeding is a nightmare. settling is slightly improving. weight gain is normal. she’s 10 weeks old.
I so wonder who these (younger?) docs are and who taught them that this stuff is ok for babies (and moms) to endure. It all sounds distressing enough to take action – and doing so just for comfort’s sake is perfectly reasonable. These are signs that your baby’s gut biome is skewed away from optimal flora. If there have been vaccinations or antibiotics for either you or baby (including at delivery, while pregnant, or while nursing) then these exposures are enough to tilt the delicate choreography that is so crucial to development of digestive and immune competency. Exposures to viruses (via jabs or naturally) may do the same to a newborn’s gut. Good that lungs are screened and clear, and that she’s growing nicely. Your task is to balance that biome; this may mean thoughtful selection for probiotics or other measures (gentle herbs, prescription medicines). Once that is settled, the symptoms will diminish and then your baby’s gut can mature as intended. Right now, it isn’t – it’s completely addled, and there’s no need to wait and see.
My son is now 5 weeks old and has had a hard time with digestive issues. He’s very gassy and strains a lot. I was very engorged for a while so I tried block feeding which helped with my oversupply. We have tried bio Gaia and I haven’t noticed much of a difference, baby massage has been helping a lot but when he was 3 weeks I started to notice small white pebbles in his stool. They look and feel like cat litter, and then they turned darker. Now they look like little rocks, there’s only one or two mixed in with the stools but it’s been going on and off for two weeks now. I brought it up to a lactation consultant and my midwife and they had no idea what it could be. I can’t find any answers as to why my son has hard pebbles in his stool. I have a doctors appointment coming up soon so I will be bringing it up then but in the meantime it would be great if I could find a possible answer. He’s also been jaundiced since birth but the levels have always remained low…he’s been gaining weight well, but has a cough, spits up daily and has vomited once a week, he sounds congested and wheezy sometimes…
Bio Gaia was a good idea, but it isn’t working most likely because it is a very low potency. Probiotics that are worth their salt reach into the tens or even hundreds of billions CFUs per dose, not millions, which is all this product gives. A higher potency multi strain product may be a help – but white pebbles in stool with persisting jaundice indicate the liver is struggling to clear/detoxify something, and not quite doing it. Vaccines? Antibiotics? Wheezing? A cold or virus not quite cleared? If any of these have been in the history for either of you since pregnancy, delivery, or after, then that may be what needs to clear out of his liver (which of course clears all toxins that we encounter). The strong growth pattern is a huge asset for your son – a good sign that he is digesting well. Constipated or pebbly stools while breastfeeding can indicate a gut biome skewed away from what is ideal for digestion at this age, and this can be discerned with a functional stool test if need be. You can get that with a naturopath, in my practice, or with a functional medicine pediatrician but not typically at a mainstream pediatrician.
I wish I found this article sooner, I’m sick of being told my 6 MO will grow out of spitting up. He has done it since birth. I have tried many different formulas as that is what the doctors keep telling me to try. He has had hard/pebble dark green stools for the past couple of months. I have tried water between feeds and putting baby laxatives in his formula. Doesn’t help at all. He will almost ALWAYS spit up after a bottle and sometimes up to three hours after. He has stopped rolling around as much now and has developed rashes on his skin. He has been eating solids for a month and was told by midwife to introduce yoghurt. I did this and some custard another time and spat the whole thing up. Really sour smell too. He can have a bottle and an hour later have some solids and will spew up milk. He has become irritable, but he is still gaining weight. Wondering if this is a cows milk allergy?? Or am I just being paranoid.
If skin changes are also active (thick cradle cap, eczema that comes and goes) then this may well be a milk protein intolerance – but it is likely also a gut biome issue (as any food intolerance or allergy often is; it starts at the gut). You can find out by running a functional stool test, and this is something I can do if you make an appointment. And if any vaccines, reflux medicines, or antibiotics are in the history (during pregnancy, delivery, or since birth) then these can also weaken digestion and trigger inflammatory symptoms as you’ve described here, by changing the baby’s gut biome and by introducing toxins that he possibly hasn’t cleared.
My little girl is 7weeks and is breastfed. She crys, strains, and grunts when she passes her stool. She is very uncomfortable since 3 weeks. There is a lot of gas. I already stopped all diary and pea products, brocli, etc which are easier to produce gas in digestion. Is it normal? When the pain and discomfort will be gone?
The abrupt change is curious – what happened three weeks ago? Was your daughter vaccinated, or given a new antibiotic or other medicine? Some gas and fussiness is usual, but if there is more time spent crying than not crying, and difficulty napping and sleeping, then this becomes costly for babies. Consider products for babies that aid digestion, such as WishGarden ColicEase. If antibiotics are in the history for you (C-section, Group B Strep treatment at delivery, or antibiotics while pregnant or nursing) or for baby, this can disrupt digestion too. In that case, your baby may need care to eliminate thrush or a fungal overgrowth in the gut.
My 2MO OLD DAUGHTER IS MOSTLY FORMULA FED BECAUSE OF MY DROP IN BREASTMILK, BUT STILL GETS SOME BMILK WHEN I CAN PUMP SOME FOR HER. ABOUT 2 WEEKS AGO SHE HAD A BAD COLD THAT SHE FINALLY GOT OVER. ALGO HER DR STARTED HER ON REFLUX MEDS BECAUSE OF THE SYMPTOMS SHE WAS HAVING ( ARCHING BACK, INCONSOLABLE CRYING, FUSSY WHEN EATING ). BUT I HAVE NOTICED THAT FOR THE LAST FEW DAYS SHE HAS HAD LOOSE PALE YELLOW STOOLS CONSTANTLY. AFTER EVERY FEED AND IN BETWEEN. IT BARELT HAS A SMELL ANYMORE SO SOMETIMES SHE WOULD GO LONGER WITHOUT GETTING CHANGED AND NOW HAS AN IRRITATED BUM THAT HURTS HER I AM CONTACTING HER DR ON MONDAY ASAP BUT ANY IDEA WHAT THIS COULD BE? THANK YOU IN ADVANCE
This sounds like a combination of milk protein intolerance and fungal infection in her gut. Though they give short term relief, reflux medicines encourage fungal infections and diminish digestion. See my blog on why reflux medicine is a downward spiral for babies here, and what to do instead. Most pediatricians only know to prescribe these medicines and don’t offer other tools. If you’d like more help with other tools, contact me to set up an appointment soon.
Hi, I have read a lot of comments above but none seem to be what my baby is experiencing. My little boy is 17 weeks and had had clear signs of teething for about 8 weeks now. His BM’s have changed over the 17 weeks going from several BM’s per day in the first month to not going for 2-3 days in the second month and for the last few weeks very watery BM’s 3-4 times a day usually soon after feeding. They are bright yellow or bright orange in colour and mostly liquid with some semi-solid bits. He would have an explosive BM nearly 4 times a week that travels up his back. There is no discomfort though and he doesn’t seem to have cramping or pain. Also for the last few weeks his spit up levels after feeding has increased. I would not describe it as vomiting, he just seems to spit up a good deal of his feed for about 30-45 mins after feeding and there is usually a large proportion of clear mucous mixed in. Again, it doesn’t bother him or distress him. He doesn’t seem to be at a loss; he is growing and sleeps for 8-10 hours at night with a few short naps throughout the day. He is smiley and laughs and plays and eats every 3-3.5 hours with a consistent appetite. He has been on regular formula since he was born and is not on any other meds but sometimes he gets analgesia for his teeth if we see he is particularly distressed with them. Is the above all normal?
Thank you in advance.
My opinion: Not ideal, and unlikely that this is teething at such an early age. If he has been teething since 8 weeks, teeth should be visible now. When kids are teething, diarrhea isn’t unusual, but chronic watery explosive stool with mucus is not diarrhea – it’s watery explosive stool with mucus, which signals inflammatory responses (usual suspects: milk protein intolerance, vaccinations). I can’t tell if your baby is growing as expected without assessing his growth since birth, so I don’t know if this pattern of spit up and watery stools is actually impacting growth or not. Pediatricians often don’t take notice of this until babies are sliding to the bottom of the chart – but waiting this long is not necessary, or healthful. It’s a great sign that your son is laughing, playing, eating, and sleeping, but the analgesic may be masking pain as well. If I can help troubleshoot, let’s set up an appointment soon.
Hi, I’ve been trying to find information about this from all sorts of sources(including gp) and haven’t been able to find anything; my now twelve week old daughter started only having soiled nappies every few day a week or two ago. She still has plenty of wet ones, but when she does poo it will be runny diarrhea rather than as if she were constipated. She had one this morning where she was sitting in her bouncer and I heard this wet farting noise. She didn’t look like she felt too uncomfortable but I picked her up to change her on the mat/table behind me and when I lay her down, realised it had dropped out of her nappy and pants onto the mat, the carpet in a few places over the metre distance and onto my leg and her bouncer. The colour is like an orange/brown/tan/gold colour and can stain a yellow colour if I don’t soak whatever it has gotten onto in stain detergents.
Any help you could give me as far as a possible cause or anything I could do to help her would be greatly appreciated. I’m very worried but all I’ve been told is that as long as she’s still wetting nappies and there isn’t any blood that she’s probably fine.
IF your daughter is growing nicely, feeding well, sleeping comfortably, and not showing discomfort (hard crying, hard belly/gas, projectile vomiting) then I’d agree with your doctors on this one. Especially for breast fed babies, soft, wet, unformed, or loose gold stool is normal. When it becomes watery and too frequent (8 or more times/day) then there may be some work to do to support digestion. Easy natural helps first – probiotics, changing your diet, Gripe Water. etc. If she is formula fed and there are other symptoms present indicating discomfort, then consider other formula options. If I can help more, let’s set up an appointment to work it out.
Hi Judy. What a great article. I’m almost convinced my 8 month might have acid reflux. She has been pooping a lot I mean we are having 8-14 poopy diapers a day. It seem like it’s every times she eats or its every hour. We been to the doctor they say it could be a virus but she doesn’t have a fever or vomiting. Sometimes it’s watery and sometimes it’s bright green and sticky. They all have the sour smell to them. This has been going on for over two weeks. I’m so stressed. I don’t now what to do. She was on Similac total comfort no problems was told to mix that one with Advance was doing fine cause it was half and Half. Was told to go full advance I’m also convinced it the Similac Advance. I don’t know was else to do.
I agree with your doctor’s take that there may be a viral load at play here. Green stools often accompany this scenario, though a bile deficit may be active as well; both can come about from natural or vaccine exposures and both can make for runny, foul, green stools. If no fever, I’d be more suspicious of vaccine as a source. Vaccines contain viruses or viral material (of course), and though they may be attenuated or genetically modified to give the immune system a “false” infection (to trigger antibody response without full blown infection), this does not mean that the viral material can’t linger or cause other problems. Balancing your baby’s gut biome can be a good place to start. If there is a latent virus niggling around, correctly using probiotics can support your baby’s immune defenses in her gut. Adequate, non-inflammatory nutrition will too. Best way for me to advise on your case is to make an appointment, and I’d love to help out.
wow great article! well my baby is almost 2 months old and he is severely constipated. It all started suddenly after hep B vaccine at one month age. Thats what i noticed. On the day he got the shot he develpoed low grade fever and was crying and crying. Doctor prescribed Novalac Anti-colic for him as he was very gassy since birth. He is formula fed by the way! After taking this milk for a week his colic was much much better but he started being constipated. I gave him this milk for a week more but it made him more constipated. then We started again with frisolac , on which he was before novalac. nothing changed , constipation was still there. We went to doctor he gave frisolac comfort formula for colic, refulx and hard stools. he developed diarrhea, i satred givin mix feed with frisolac normal, constipation again started to show. Now he is back on comfort formula but still constipated or thats what i think. he pushes and grunts and become red faced but doesnt poop. and when the poops come out after my help through enemas / stimulation they have pellet like first part then normal soft poop followed by watery like poop. what should I do now. Doctor said you have done all you could now wait and see.
I don’t think “wait and see” is your only option. Lots of pieces here – possible milk protein intolerance, and possible gut infection from the vaccine. Hepatitis B shots are made with a strain of yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisae. While this is assumed benign for everyone, some infants do not seem to tolerate it well, especially when injected. First signs of this will be changes in digestion and stools that don’t resolve. As for the formula, those you’ve mentioned are based on skim milk protein and whey which can be tough on some babies, especially after gut balance is disrupted by a vaccine or antibiotic course. Your baby will probably feel better by resolving unwanted effects of the hepatitis B vaccine, balancing gut biome with probiotics or direct treatment for infections (yeast) if needed, and a formula that is easier to digest. If your pediatrician isn’t familiar with these strategies, let’s talk – make an appointment here.
Also is very fussy barely sleeping which is not the norm for her only way we can get her to stool is to stimulate with a thermometer and Vaseline?? Help me please
Check with your doctor as always – this sounds like colic, and the most common cause of this is milk protein intolerance. She may feel better if mom avoids dairy foods from her own diet (all dairy including milk, yogurt, ice cream, cheeses, cream, and foods made with any of those). Replace dairy foods with other strong protein and calcium sources so you don’t get depleted. If this isn’t helpful you can try any of the many gentle herbal tinctures available in stores to help with colic. These usually have herbs like peppermint, chamomile, or licorice root in them. And as I always say, if any recent vaccinations or antibiotics, these also have potential to disrupt the baby’s digestion, so let your doctor know if you noticed a change after either of these.
My baby has gold stool, arches back when crying won’t sleep but from maybe an hour hard stomach and has been stooping once a day for the last 3 days with theses symptoms she usually passes stool 5 times a day and is breastfed
Also passes gas all day long but with no stool and a hard belly
Wow great read! So my son is almost 5 months old. Up until 2 months he was spitting up a lot. I mentioned it to my Ped but he wasn’t concerned. By his 4 month check up he had stopped spitting up and traded it for really bad gas. For the last two months he only goes poop once every 6-8 days. When he goes it is normal baby poop yellow and smooth. So no constipation. My Ped again seems to think nothing is wrong with this. He is exclusively BF. He is so gassy and you can see it hurts his tummy when he passes gas. About 3 weeks ago his Ped put him on Zantac for reflux. Today we had an upper GI X-ray and it showed he does have reflux. Could his gassy problem be connected to this? I can’t seem to get a straight answer. She thinks he has a milk protein allergy so I am one week dairy free and am supplementing when needed with babies only soy formula. Any thoughts?
Yes! All these things are connected. I’m sorry to hear about the Zantac – read here to see why . If your baby had no gas or other issues while not moving his bowels more than once a week, that might be fine. But all these things together are in my opinion not good. Your baby can be more comfortable, without gas, reflux, or constipation. All those things are common but not necessarily healthful or normal. Better strategies would be avoiding the meds, withdrawing dairy from your own diet, and skip the GMO soy formula, which can be as triggering as cow’s milk protein for many babies. I’d be glad to help – set up an appointment anytime, here.
My three week old daughter has anywhere between three and four poopy diapers a day. They are usually mustard colored with a grainy texture. She recently had a watery blood come out when I was changing her. She spits up and has to sit up for at least thirty minutes after eating. She has been through neosure, Similac spit up, enfamil gentlease with a teaspoon of rice, now to nutramigen because of the bloody stool. She seems to be having a hard time with the nutramigin. Very gassy, crying with blood curdling screams. She is called by holding her and a pacifier. She was born at 33.5 weeks and is now three weeks old.
My first suspect in these scenarios is gut biome. It’s all about the biome. This would be helpful to assess. Conventional MDs poo poo (no pun intended!) this test, often used by functional medicine practitioners. But I have found it to be very helpful in identifying if there is an infectious trigger in the gut for this problem. It checks for helpful bacteria in the baby’s gut as well as some others that can trigger blood in stool or weaker digestion. The results can guide choices about probiotics or if a medication is needed to support the baby. Next – It’s my opinion the US should follow the example of other countries who wait longer to vaccinate infants, and who don’t give vaccines to pregnant women. This is safer. If you and your daughter have followed the vaccination schedule so far, this may disrupt her feeding and eliminating. Going forward, the good news is your baby can respond to healing measures for her gut so it can settle down and she can feel better. Feeding options may be elemental formulas like Elecare or Neocate Infant, or possibly a goat milk infant formula, along with gentle choices for probiotics, fatty broths, and safe anti-inflammatory foods or herbs to calm the storm in there.
My baby is 4 months. She passes stools 4 times a day. But 2 of them are loose stools and 2 are semi solid type. She is on soy formula Feed because she had diarrhea 2 months ago. Are 2 loose stools a day normal?
Depends. Is she growing as expected? Gassy? Hard bloated belly? Cranky and colicky? Sleeping enough as she needs? Does she have eczema or thick cradle cap? Any sinus congestion, ear infections, respiratory infections? If you answered no to all of those questions, then it’s probably fine. Caveat: I am not a fan of soy formula even if organic, because it is hard to digest, binds minerals including iron (necessitating inclusion of higher amounts of iron in the formula, which is hard on some babies). If it’s a GMO non-organic formula, that is even more questionable. See my blog on why I don’t like GMO foods, and go to an organic version if you can. If milk protein formula was trouble, you might consider a goat milk formula over the soy also.
Our 1 month old daughter just recently started to become fussy when trying to breastfeed and her poop has suddenly changed from a healthy light brown with white seeds to dark brown and black spots. It has only been 2 days of this and our pediatrician says it is nothing to worry about for now. Any advice
If it returns to her usual pattern soon then no worries; if not, then consider an infant probiotic like Klaire Infant Therbiotic. Also, vaccinations will trigger changes in baby’s digestion as the viral material is shed. Hepatitis B shots, often give at one month, can be particularly challenging because they are made via genetic modification by combining a strain of yeast with hepatitis B viral DNA. I have observed that many infants do not tolerate this well and it triggers gut and digestive changes. If your baby had this shot, let your doctor know if you think she didn’t tolerate it well.
Hi Judy, very interesting read. My 8 month old lg has been on reflux medication since around 8 weeks old. She’s had a variety of problems, colic, reflux, nasty wind and tummy cramps etc. we tried all elemental formulas which would only ease symptoms for 10-14 days. We then ended up using anti-reflux milk and she thrived on this, however we are now having to use colief as the cramps returned.On a dairy free weaning diet. She seems to react to a variety of foods.
To get to the point, I would ideally like to get her off Zantac as she despises taking the medication and I’m even more conscious after reading your article. How can I wean her off without any ill side effects? She is currently taking amoxicillin due to a chest infection and had an explosive mucous nappy at 5am! Hardly any stools just mucous. Any help or advise greatly appreciated.
One of the best supports I can offer, short of working with you as a client (which I am happy to do), is to suggest that you get a copy of my book Special Needs Kids Go Pharm Free. The first sections of the book discuss these issues in detail and give stepwise instructions on what to do. The triad of her gut, her food, and her immune system is out of balance – hence the mucus, explosive stool, food reactions – it can be redirected with a stepwise program. Legally and ethically, as a licensed nutrition professional, I’m not allowed to give advice over the web, but again am happy to help via Skype or phone if you’d like an appointment – have done so for many others on other continents!
I have a 19 month old who I suspect has an intolerance to dairy, tomatoes (and really most nightshades), vinegar and chocolate. I cut all these things out while breastfeeding him for the first year. Once weaned, I have continued to keep all the above mentioned items out of his diet. However, his stool has always been soft. Right now he is on a course of antibiotics for a double ear infection, and his stool is now firm! Which makes me suspect that there is still something in his diet that is bothering him. I think a probiotic may be all I need to at least keep him steady and protect against him losing any nutrients. He has never had failure to thrive and his growth curve is normal. What probiotic would you recommend for his age and this situation? Thanks in advance.
Hi Lisa, this sounds like fungal overgrowth, which occurs after antibiotics and will make stools firm. You will probably need more than a probiotic to correct this. I often find that OTC probiotics at low potency do little here. Look at herbal tinctures or higher potency probiotics. To get specific guidance on what is best in your child’s case, I can only direct you if you make an appointment – happy to help.
We have a 4week old daughter who has been experiencing some major discomfort. She grunts and strains while trying to have a bowel movement, groans while trying to sleep, hiccups, screams/cries at times and passes lots of gas – all are extremely painful. She has a BM once or twice daily and the stool is yellow, seedy to clay looking and the pediatrician doesn’t think she’s constipated so recommended BioGaia Protectis (probiotic) and Enzycore (digestive enzyme) which have not helped. We took her to a Gastro specialist & he tested her stool and found a small trace of blood; further lab testing did not find any milk protein allergies. We recently saw small traces of blood in her stool twice. We feed her Holle Infant Goat Milk Formula (switched from Holle Cow Milk Formula) exclusively do to an inability to breastfeed. She has not spit-up or refused feedings once and we’re not sure if she has reflux. What suggestions do you have to improve this uncomfortable, painful situation and build a healthy gut for her.
The idea of probiotics and enzymes was a good start, but obviously wasn’t enough. I’d suggest you make an appointment so we can do a functional medicine stool test. This will look deeper than usual testing done by GI specialists, which don’t look for fungal/Candida strains, beneficial flora, or commensal flora, nor do they check for inflammatory and digestive markers in much detail. This is not yet standard of care for the GI community, but makes a world of difference for some infants. A more detailed stool test will be helpful in getting the answers you need. It will reveal what probiotics may work best, whether or not latent infections need treatment or other support, and will give clues as to how to better support her digestion. Start here: https://nutritioncare.net/make-your-appointment/ I’d suggest the New Patient Three Visit Series to resolve this. This package saves you $75. You can also book single appointments at a time if you prefer.
Hi, my daughter is 2month old.
She always poops after every feeding.fussy some times.sleepless nights.but she is gaining weight.she is exclusively breast fed. Pediatric told me to cut out cow milk from my diet.after 2 weeks also the same problem is going with my baby. Doctor told me feed elecare and stop giving breastmilk. She doesn’t like the taste of elecare .
She keeps on crying if we force her is feed.that to she is drinking only 1/2ounce.again she is pooing after every feed . She is becoming weak day by day.im really getting worried about her.becoz now I’m not getting breast milk. Plz help me
Sorry to hear this is so difficult. Tell your pediatrician right away about your daughter’s declining energy and intake. I’m not sure why he told you to stop breastfeeding just because removing dairy alone didn’t help, but you need solutions now. I can’t monitor a high need situation like this via the web. If you’d like to set up an appointment, I can offer guidance for how to work with your pediatrician, as well as how to use different options if you are out of breast milk.
Hi Judy, I wish I would’ve found this sooner when we started having issues with our baby. Around 2 months we switched her to Enfamil A.R for reflux. It worked great for about 4 weeks then she started spitting up ounces and screaming/crying in discomfort/pain after every bottle. At her 3 month check up her pedi thought she could have a protein allergy (her dad had that when he was a baby) so she switched her to Nutramigen. She spit up so much and had diarrhea for a week (her pedi just said watch it) she was losing so much liquid she started getting shaky/twitchy, she would thrash her body around trying to eat and fall asleep; she was so uncomfortable. After that we switched her to Similac Alimentum, another hypoallergenic formula. This worked great for her spit up and everything but it gave her bright lime green, slimy, stringy, mucusy poop (her pedi yet again wasn’t concerned). She was on it for about 4 weeks when she started having extreme discomfort and pain after every bottle again. Her spit up also came very thick and mucus-like. We started mixing her formula half Alimentum and half Similac for spit up. She was happy again and feeling relief and back to talking and thriving like she was when she first started alimentum. This half and half changed her poop to an army green color and got thicker. When we went in for a check up due to the formula issues her pedi said she doesn’t know what’s causing the pain it could be multiple things but wasn’t too concerned because my baby wasn’t sick, has had no fevers, etc. Pedi said that it isn’t logical for her to be on two formulas, she doesn’t know why it’s better than being on just the alimentum. She didn’t want to put her back on a regular formula in case of a protein allergy still, so she moved her to Neocate. She’s been spitting up a lot on this, covers herself from head to toe, but no pain so far. I’ve noticed the couple times she’s pooped it’s been a yellowish color instead of green. She also hasn’t been peeing like usual. Tuesday she went 830am-1pm dry then a little wet 1pm-5pm dry and after that it was fine. Thursday she went 215pm to 630am Friday morning dry, she finally had a partially wet diaper. Then went 830am-2pm dry with 2 bm’s between that time. Her pedi said as long as she has 4 wet diapers in a 24 hour period she’s okay, I just feel 12+hours for an almost 4 month old baby is not okay..I don’t know if she’s spitting up so much she’s not getting enough liquid down.. her pedi did prescribe Zantac but I’m trying to find other alternatives and/or what could be the cause before resorting to that. Any thoughts or opinions? Thanks!
Your baby’s birthright is good health. Calm digestion is foundational to thriving for babies. I am sorry that any pediatrician today would regard what you’ve described as “normal”, and simply rotate formulas and drugs. There are other ways! Please set up an appointment so we can talk soon – scroll down to the “Better For Baby” appointment option.
My son is now 7 weeks old and has been taking Zantac now for 3-4 weeks. His dr decided he had reflux because of him being fussy and seeming uncomfortable after a feeding she witnessed. He is a spotty baby with vomiting episodes that I relate to not burping enough. He was a slow weight gainer and I started bottle feeding him breast milk to get more consistent nutrition. I don’t eat very much dairy because I was told he could have an intolerance to milk protein. Just recently he was a daily pooper but now he poops every 3ish days and it’s very liquidy and is accompanied by a lot of gas. The other days he doesn’t seem bloated or gassy. Should i completely cut out dairy? Anything else in my diet that should be changed?
In my opinion, that was premature and probably not necessary, for your doctor to so quickly turn to Zantac. There are many other safe solutions to support your baby’s digestion comfortably, rather than suppress it, which is what reflux medicine does. If you read my blog about the over prescribing of this medicine for infants and kids, you’ll see what I mean. Milk protein intolerance is a likely culprit, and symptoms may resolve with this removed, so that no medicine is needed at all. It’s easy to trial a dairy free diet for yourself and see. If you do this be sure you replace any food you pull out of your diet with equal or better value foods – lots of protein, healthy fats and oils, and minerals. You’ll find more advice about infant feeding in my book Special Needs Kids Go Pharm Free. Note: The publisher wanted “special needs” in the title, and I did not – as the advice in it applies to all kids, and the first chapter is all about the sorts of problems you are dealing with. It gives many natural safe solutions.
I have an 8 week old that has had bright green explosive poop since he was 4 weeks old. EBF. At that time I ate some lactation cookies and dough that contained brewers yeast and eggs and within 24 hours he was extremely unsettled and had green explosive mucousy poo. Paediatrician has blamed an oversupply-I don’t think this is it. I’ve been on a dairy, egg, chocolate and caffeine free diet for fortnight now with no change to symptoms. I gave in and started zoton two weeks ago as he displays a lot if signs for silent reflux, but he still feeds and sleeps horribly. Any ideas where to start to work out what is happening digestion wise?
Hi Kate, I agree, this is not likely an oversupply issue. Explosive green stool from birth may indicate other problems that need attention. I’m not able to advise via the web. If you’d like specific nutrition support and guidance for you and your baby, I invite you to set up an appointment so we can chat.
Hi, my 11 week old daughter has been on anti reflux milk since she was about 4 weeks old, it has made her much more content, but now and again she gets very gassy, she’s in pain with her stomach and farts, a lot. Last week she had clear mucus in her poo, past few days she had had one or two poos with mucus and a few browny mucus bits? What could this be?
Many possibilities.. but in my opinion, it’s time to wean off the reflux medicine and fix the underlying problem. That will likely improve both the reflux and the other symptoms your daughter is experiencing (bloating, gas, irritable mucusy stools). Ask her doctor how to do that. If that is a dead end, you can make an appointment as this is something I often support young infants with too. Meanwhile have a look at my blog on reflux medicines for ideas to start.
Hi, my daughter is 15 weeks and having severe abdominal pain. For the last month or so she has only been having a bowel movement every 7-10 days. My first daughter had a BM everyday so I was concerned but my dr. Said it is normal since she is gaining weight. Her BW was 8 lbs and she is now 15.5 lbs. I feel something is definitely wrong though. She is strictly breastfed and since was born I noticed that dairy seemed to upset her so I have tried to avoid dairy products but I am wondering if she is also sensitive to whey protein. For the last month or so she has been extremely gassy, the smell is so foul I can’t believe it. She has episodes of crying uncontrollably and screaming while arching her back and quickly pulling her knees to her chest. She also spits up a lot, her burps sound very wet too. She has always spit up some but not like this. Things only seem to be getting worse too. Her last BM was way different than I have ever seen, a medium brown mush and some sort of white splotches in it. Her pain has gotten so bad my husband is wanting me to give her formula but I really want her to have breast milk if possible and find out what is wrong. Should I go completely dairy free ( lactose and whey)? Should I try cutting out gluten? Do you know what could be wrong, such as a allergy or intolerance?
She has started teething and was given a small dose of antibiotics due to another child in direct contact with her having pertussis, but this was just a few weeks ago, her stomach issues started way before then.
Also, what would be a good probiotic for her?
Once again.. I can only help with specific questions like this when a baby or child is a patient of mine. Clearly your daughter is in enough distress and discomfort to deserve some intervention. Exactly what those helps might be do require some time and assessment on my part. I have no doubt she can feel better. A definite flag is white patches in stool, which may be fungal overload – likely after antibiotics, and more so, depending on circumstances of her birth. Not only can this cause all the symptoms you describe, but it is easily treatable. Probiotics alone don’t usually fix this entrenched a situation. Let’s talk soon if you’d like help.
My now 4 month old is on an amino acid formula since 2 months. It changed him for the better. He now smiles and giggles. The reason for this formula came from him sleeping less than 6 hours in a 30 hour time frame as he spent the rest of those hours screaming and crying.
However, from his 2 month check to his 3 month he dropped from 75% to 49% for weight!
His belly was checked for pyloric stenosis and was negative. The tech mentioned him having a full belly despite his last feed was 3 hours prior & what prompted the er visit was everything was being spit up even with the rice cereal we had to start adding because of how bad his spit up was.
We tried to avoid Zantac but here we are using it :-(. It’s made him feel better I guess as he takes 19-23 ounces a day compared to 16!
I worry about gastroparesis as his docs have mentioned he doesn’t empty belly fast enough and I had polyhydramnios during his pregnancy but the doc doesn’t want to go that route with him?
I’m scared! I don’t want him on meds for life but I’m worried because since he on amino acid formula I worry about his reaction to probiotics?
Hi Angela, the sooner this is smoothed out for your baby the better – if your doctors have not quite found solutions that work as well as you’d hoped, we can look at the nutrition related aspects of these feeding, growth, and elimination issues. Click here to begin, if you’d like to make an appointment. I’d suggest you pick a discounted three visit series (the first option at this link).
My sons who’s 20 months now has been on neocate since 10months old, his poop has always been explosive with dark green, his failure to thrive and has reflux. His on culturelle probiotics and omeprazole with no change as he still vomits.
Can you share some throghts?
I feel like I’ve failed with him
You haven’t failed with him, but your GI or pediatrician has. After ten months of treatment, your baby should be thriving, not failing! This is beyond the scope of this blog to solve for you, but very much within the scope of my practice. I have helped many kids recover from this Catch-22 scenario. Your son is eating a formula that fuels an unhealthy gut biome, and the omeprazole exacerbates the problem by altering the pH of his GI tract even more – which further worsens his gut biome, his reflux, and his ability to digest and absorb food. I’m available to help via Skype, phone, or in person, and am happy to help – just make an appointment anytime to get started.
My daughter is 3.5 months old and ever since she was about 2 weeks old she has had very acidic and her poop has smelled strong like vinegar. She was exclusively breastfed for the 2.5 months now we are supplementing with formula. She was very colicky and has reflux. Her gas has always smelled very bad as well. She had a diaper rash for a few weeks when she was just a few weeks old that didn’t go away until she started having less frequent bowel movements. Now that she is being supplemented with formula her poop is still very dark green and smelly but more paste like. She only has a bowel movement every few days. My peditrician tested her stools for blood but there wasn’t any. It’s starting to concern me because it’s been going on for so long and hasn’t improved. She’s also been taking Klaire Labs infant probiotics with no improvement.
Hi Erin, I can best troubleshoot this for you if you make an appointment – I think you are right to be concerned. There are solutions for this but some investigation into your daughter’s case would permit me to discern what is best. I look forward to hearing from you! https://www.schedulicity.com/scheduling/NCFL5Q#%2Fservices
Maybe your baby is lactase intolerance. Search for the secondary type. I think mine is. Acidic stool as well. I am trying oit coleif and digestive advantage lactase defense. Both to digest lactose in stomach or small intestine, instead of in large intestine, which contain bacteria that ferment sugar like lactose. I giess!
Good to rule this out! When young babies are truly lactose intolerant, they wither fast, because lactose is the only carbohydrate they get from milk or formula. Without it, they fail to grow and thrive quickly. There are specialized formulas with predigested lactose in them, or other carbohydrate sources, that you can ask your doctor to recommend for you. If your baby turns around quickly with this, then you’ve hit the nail on the head. Other babies just need support to restore healthy gut bacteria that digest the lactose for us. Either way, your doctor should have these tools at hand.
My son passes a hard sometimes pasty stool followed by really runny stool… he seems to be in bad pain at first and it takes him a while to poop..we recebtly started oatmeal cereal, could that be the cause?
If no other changes in foods, medicines, or recent vaccinations preceded this change then yes I’d pull the oatmeal out. You can start with non-grain soft cooked, mashed or pureed vegetable carbs that are easier to digest: Squashes, cauliflower, beets (these will turn stools red/pink – that’s fine), parsnip, yams, sweet potato, asparagus, pumpkin (canned, stir in a little breast milk, formula if you’re not breastfeeding, or high quality organic or homemade broth), …. though it’s just our common (convenient) practice, no need to introduce grains. Roasting hard vegetables to softness after coating with coconut oil or ghee is an excellent cooking method, for your baby to practice picking them up as soft finger foods. They’re also easily mashed from there. If your baby had vaccinations recently (our schedule is so crowded that it’s hard not to), and you’re seeing that most any food seems to be problematic, then you have work to do to repair his gut flora. The earlier the better!
The Thuja & Sulfer you recommended above, how are these administered? I have 9w old twin girls & they’ve had mucus in their stool for weeks. I’ve been off dairy since they were 3w old. One has gas constantly & cries in pain. They’re generally good natured and don’t seem terribly bothered by the gas or mucus. The color of the stool is otherwise normal. I’ve given them l.ruteri occasionally but we are EBF so they don’t get a bottle of breastmilk often to get them. Should I get a different probiotic or thuja (not sure what this is) or Sulfer? In addition to dairy I’ve also cut out spicy food, onion, eggs, oats, chocolate & corn.
Homeopathic remedies are given under the tongue as drops or micro pellets that quickly dissolve. No swallowing needed. You can buy these at many stores, but for most effective and safest dosing of any remedy, talk with a classical homeopath who is trained and experienced. Buy a copy of Everyone’s Guide To Homeopathic Medicines by Dana Ullman to learn more. If you’ve tried eliminating so many foods without success, a different probiotic strategy may help. If you’re seeing mucus in stool, or gas that won’t quit, or eczema following vaccinations, consider a high potency varied strain powder for infants like Klaire Infant Therbiotic. You can place the powder on baby’s tongue or stir in soft foods or even dust on nipple ahead of breastfeeding.
My 5 month old is having 4-6 diarrhea episodes with dark green/brown tinged mucus every day for the past 3 weeks. He was on a hypoallergenic formula due to a milk protein sensitivity and my pediatrician seems to think he has just outgrown the formula and asked us to switch. We changed formulas this past week, luckily no rash or other symptoms he was experiencing before to show signs of milk allergy, however this is when the mucus started. He is on a probiotic too. We are at a loss and very worried parents.
Lots of options, and you can indeed expect your baby to have more calm digestion and absorption. Questions: Did this stool pattern begin following vaccinations or a course of antibiotics? If so, your baby’s gut was probably disturbed by these drugs. Good probiotics should help, but they must be potent enough and of a good mixed strain for infants. There are homeopathic remedies to help calm the baby’s gut too: Thuja is common after poorly tolerated vaccinations; Sulfur (homeopathic) is often good for runny mucousy stool. Elemental formulas (Neocate, Elecare) may turn stools darkish green but will not make stools mucusy or loose/runny. These signs indicate inflammation in the gut – which can come from infection (viral, bacterial, or fungal gut microbes out of balance), or from protein intolerance. Even hypoallergenic formulas can trigger inflammation if they are based on milk protein that is only partly digested, versus the elemental formulas, which are ready to absorb (no digestion needed). I’m happy to help, and you can schedule an appointment here.
My 7 week old has begun pooping every 3 days from a few times a day. They say its normal for an EBF baby but he is seeming uncomfortable and gassy. I also believe it caused his reflux to return. His poop is orange and pasty. Could it be because i started with dairy and gluten again?
Yup. Try withdrawing one at a time and watch for improvement. Give your baby a good probiotic like Klaire Labs Infant Therbiotic.
Is this probiotic safe for infants as young as 5 weeks? I notice you stated above that Lactobacillus was safe for infants nearing 1 yr, but it seems this brand has 5 Lactobacillus species. I’m looking for a good probiotic for my BF 5 week old.
I wouldn’t know what is best for your 5 week old Bridget, without an individualized assessment – check with your pediatrician for sure. If they’re not certain, I invite you to set up an appointment so I can review your situation more thoroughly.
My 7 week daughter tends to be in pain soon after feeding and passes explosive poop, with yellow colored mustard seed like flecks. She is constantly groaning and writhing in pain passing gas. I also hear some loud gurgling sounds in her belly.
Please help because we are constantly having sleepless nights for this.
I also have gone to your scheduling site but found that Itthet afford the payments on there.
Any help will be kindly appreciated.
I’m sorry I can’t provide free care Busola! You definitely should check in with your pediatrician about these symptoms. You can also pick up a copy of this book and look at the first chapter for tips on helping babies with these symptoms.
My 2 week old baby was displaying the classic signs of reflux so we changed her feed to anti reflux formula. We thought she was doing well and keeping her feed down rather than projectle vomiting it back. However, she seems to pass stools very regularly and seems very uncomfortable doing so. She is pushing when she sleeps, feeds infact all the time. Have we done the right thing changing to anti reflux formula or could there be something wrong?
In my opinion (your pediatrician’s may differ) it’s not reasonable to assume it’s okay for a baby to be in chronic discomfort or distress. There may be a better feeding option for your daughter, and/or her gut micro biome (bacteria) may need specific support to aid her digestion and absorption. If your pediatrician isn’t troubleshooting for you on this, contact me for an appointment.
My baby is 5 weeks old. Showing classic signs of silent reflux. We started her on rantidine and thickened her bottles. She still screams after eating for a good 10 mins I’ve tried gas drops and colic calm. She has recently gotten diahrrea. She is on similac sensitive formula and nothing seems to help. My thought is to stop using eve thing and switch formulas. I didn’t think it would be an issue since she doesn’t spit it up and my doctor never mentioned changing formulas either. I don’t know what to do at this point she cries and cries and will finally calm down and falls asleep. She’s also been sleeping more.
You might trial an elemental formula or consider Alimetnum, which is similar to Similac Sensitive but has a different carbohydrate source that some infants tolerate better. Check with your pediatrician.
Em my little
Boy is the exact same. He is on anti reflux milk also. He pops loads but the consistency changes each time, one time firm another time very funny. He’s now been put on ranitidine but I’m not really wanting him on it. Did you get any answers for your little one?