What is the correct stool frequency?

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Tania van der Linde asked 5 months ago

My mother-in-law says I must make sure my baby has a dirty nappy each day, and if not, I must add milk of magnesia to her bottle. She is 3 months old. 

Meagan Le Coq Staff replied 4 months ago

Hi Tania
The first 6 weeks of your baby’s life, it’s expected they will pass stools frequently, having a few stools every day. As the baby’s gut matures and your breastmilk matures too, stool frequency can change. Some babies will still pass 3-4 stools a day, and others can comfortably go 10 days without a stool. Some have even been known to go longer than this. There is no need to be giving medications to assist in bowel movements in small babies unless a doctor has diagnosed your baby with constipation and prescribed something. Remember, constipation is not a baby that doesn’t pass a stool daily. Constipation is small, hard pellet-like stools being passed. If your baby doesn’t pass a stool every day, but the stool is still soft when they do go, there is nothing to be concerned about, as long as weight gain continues too.

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1 Answers
Dr Diana du Plessis Staff answered 5 months ago

Stool frequency is highly variable.  Some infants may have a stool with each feeding; whereas others have one stool every 7 – 8 days.  If the stool is not hard and brittle, your baby is not constipated.

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