QOD: My newborn turns bright red/purple when she tries to poop and gets really fussy, is she constipated?

Check out your baby's stool. If it's hard and round, like pebbles, she's constipated. Otherwise, it's a normal stool that just takes a little extra work.

Newborns spend their time doing two things: growing and digesting! If we think of digestion as the "work" of a baby, then it makes sense that producing a stool can sometimes be difficult. The important thing is not how the baby poops but what the stool looks like!

A constipated stool is firm, like little balls. Even if the infant squirms and turns rosy when working to poop, if the result is a soft or even liquid stool then constipation is not the issue. Nevertheless, we want our little ones to be as comfortable as possible, so a gentle tummy massage, gently bicycling the legs, and gentle bouncing can sometimes help the passage of the gas that might accompany or precede a stool.

Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, December 2018

Comments

  1. My 6 month old struggles to poop to the point of crying in pain. I’ve started putting her on the potty and this helps her pass it quicker but she still struggles and cries sometimes. This last time she was in a lot of pain and now has what looks to be a hemorrhoid lump. Is that something that could happen with an infant? She has had problems with her stools since birth.

    Reply
    1. Poor thing! Have you talked to your pediatrician about this? I encourage you to visit Ask Bundoo and we can give you some advice about how to talk to your doctor and help you know what are the right questions to ask.

      Reply
  2. Thank you. I can tell my son is not constipated but he makes the funniest faces when he’s getting ready to poop. Also, he seems to poop while I’m holding him and he is asleep. How does this happen, I do not know, it doesn’t seem to bother him at all. He has an explosion and does not blink at all lol.

    Reply

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