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Beginning Solids, visit from constipation monster

1116 Views 24 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  wawoof
We just started our 6 mo old twins on solids, and are now facing the constipation dilemma

I tried to balance the rice cereal I made with breastmilk and Avocado...but they had their first firm BM's today, and weren't too happy about it...
Are there organic Prune products? After 3 pruneless organic stores tonight, we are almost eyeing jarred food (gasp!)

Anyone make their own prune/plum starter baby foods?
Does nursing more frequently help?

I saw the great post about suggested foods - what experience have you personally had with them?


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if they can't poop after eating solids, they may not be ready for them.
you may think about backing off for a few weeks and then trying again with single-ingredient foods.
hope your babies feel better today!
Rice cereal is known to be constipating. If you are using Gerber, it is a denatured food, kinda like Wonder Bread.

Try organic baby brown rice cereal or grind your own brown rice or quinoa.

Back off and just bf for a few days/week. the breastmilk will de-constipate them. Maybe then, just try the avocado? Or sweet potatoes? Just a fingertip full the first few days. Go realllll slow.

Have they been asking for food? grabbing? Sitting up unsupported? Do they have a few teeth? We look for these signs, but the best sign is, can they actually digest the food? Otherwise, why bother?
I grind my own organic brown rice for the cereal I fed them...

Only fingertip fed 1 single-ingredient food type for every 5 days to watch, never mixed any avocado AND rice....

They grab for food (not the utensils, like before) sit up, swallow without the tongue reflex and asked for more

everyone pooped breastmilk-type stools today, so only nursing yesterday worked
Breastmilk rules.

Thanks for your help, I think it may have been the change in their system....we will just nurse for now and keep up with smaller amounts of food, as they are incredibly eager when they see it go into mouths other than theirs lol

So no one approves or knows how to get organic plums/prunes? How about with older babies and established food patterns?
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organic prunes are in the bulk food section of our local Whole Foods store. they might've helped a little bit with dd, but she wasn't overly fond of them. pears are supposed to help with constipation, too. you might give those a try. has a section on constipation if you want to search it out.

The co-ops near me, as well as the local Whole Foods market all sell bulk organic prunes, as well as organic prune juice.

Stewed pureed pears (w/ skins on) is also another great remedy for constipation in little ones.
I've said it before on here (forget where), but pureed apricots worked for us. I have heard they're a common allergen though (can anyone confirm?), but DS didn't have an allergic reaction to them.
My ND recommended black cherry juice for children's constipation. This for kids over a year- don't know how old your are.

Also, my kids constipation ended when we removed wheat and gluten from our diets- I think certain things you are genetically sensitive to can create digestive problems and this is different for everyone.
I found my ds got a little constipated after his first solids just because his poops were, well, more solid. He wasn't used to having to push at all so he didn't so he got a little backed up. The first few poos were a problem but I kept up with tons of fluids (bm) and prunes (which he liked and I could swear I found at the health food store - Healthy Times or Earth's Best?). Go slow though because constipation can become a vicious circle. If it hurts when they poo they don't want to poo so they don't and then it hurts when they poo. Poo poo pee doo!
it's too early for your baby to be eating cereals. Humans do not start producing amylase (the enzyme that breaks down grains) until about the age of one year. Until then, add carbs to her diet by giving starchy veggies mashed with butter. At about 10 months she may be ready for meat. Listen to her cues. I thought my child wasn't ready for fat or meat until the day (about 10 mo)he reached for some (very yummy!!) boiled chicken skin. He devoured it.
See if normal bowel movements return when cutting out the cereal and giving veggies instead.

It seems that there's always some note on rice cereal and constipation on this board.

For those of you who decided to try brown rice cereal instead, was the problem resolved?
I tried the organic brown rice cereal with dd at 6 1/2 mo. She got constipated and miserable.

I waited. At 7 1/2 mo, I tried quinoa - also constipated her, made her miserable and she got the bright red 'Target' sign on her butt. I tried rice cereal again at 8 mo - I swear I gave her 1 serving and she was constipated for a week. All I did was nurse and give her pears - she was straining so much, there was blood.

I'm just stopping cereals all together. Actually Dr. Jay Gordon's latest book also recommends just feeding fruits and vegetables first and waiting on solids until towards the end of the first year. I was concerned that dd get some iron rich foods though cause I've heard babies who were under 6 1/2 lb at birth run out of iron stores faster than other babies.

It IS hard finding organic prunes and juice! But yesterday I went to Whole Foods and bought some arame, blackstrap molasses and organic prune juice (it's made by Lakewood). I'm just gonna add these foods to her fruit and veges to give her iron rich foods.

BTW I couldn't find prune juice in baby sized jars so I got a big bottle. But I was concerned about it spoiling so I poured into ice cube trays and froze it.
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wombat, I hear you saying you are concerned abt iron stores in a baby less than 6 1/2 lbs. But even so bf'ed babies are rarely anemic.

Artifically fed (formula fed) babies are more prone to anemia for a couple of reasons. First of all, the food they are given has artificial iron in it which is not at all well-absobed.

2nd thing is, they actually get micro-hemmorhages in their guts from the hard-to-digest curds of the ABM. This causes bleeding in tiny amts, enough to add to the anemia risk.

Earth's Best Organic Brown Rice Baby cereal with Iron sounds good. But as you said, babies do not have the correct enzymes to even digest grains til 12-18 mos. And the artificial iron even in this organic product can interfere with the baby's ability to absorb the naturally occuring iron in the breastmilk.

I personally can not deal with artificial iron. Constipates me like crazy. One of my dds was anemic at 9 mos (3 weeks early, broken down placenta), so was I (I bled after her birth) and could not deal with iron supplements either, not directly, not Floradix, not even when I took Floradix and just nursed her! Her anemia and mine resolved anyway by the middle of her 2nd yr, just by continuing to nurse [her] and eating a varied diet of table foods [both of us].)

Going with real food sources of iron is probably best. Use a cast iron pan for cooking.
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Thanks DaryLLL, that's good to know. BTW I remember you recommending dulse as another good source or iron. I've never seen it in the shops. Where do you get it? And in what section of the shop is it? Is it like arame?
veggiewolf, I found this chart for introducing solids for allergic babies and remembered your question about APRICOTS. Seems they're not allergenic, they are one of the first foods allowed. They're such a yummy nutritious fruit, I'm surprised you don't hear more about them for baby food.
DD hates pears (and rice cereal) so when she was constipated, I only did one small meal a day of veggies (sweet potatoes, winter squash, or carrots) and gave her water in a sippy if she would take it. We figured out that bananas were what constipated her, so we cut those out entirely. Now we do one meal of veggies and fruit (apple, nectarine or peach) per day with water during and nursing after. This seems to work well for us, and after reading this thread I think we will skip cereals for a long time.
Dulse is like arame in that they are both sea vegetables. I can easily find dulse, either in shreds or in flakes, in the bulk herb section of health foods stores.
Seaweed is a hard to digest food, especially for babies.

Iron is probably an important nutrient for babies under a year old. In some cultures (where they breatfeed extensively), chewed raw liver is given to infants from 4 mo. This, I (and others) assume is done for the high iron-content in liver. Getting other (which are more palatable to westerners) high-iron foods for infants is probably a good idea, like blackstrap molasses. One could also try cooked liver I guess (when the baby is a little older).
Our local whole foods store sells Organic Prune juice as well, my daughter went through this same problem, and I just gave her a little bit & even sometimes mixed it in with her rice cereal.
I could see kelp being hard to digest but dulse flakes melt in your mouth. Toddler eat sushi rolled in nori in Japan.
y'know there's another thread on here about iron supplementation that you might be interested in -- .

personally with dd i was mildly concerned about her iron because i was a first time mom and she would have nothing to do with mushed up baby food although i made it homemade from scratch and organic. i gave up after about 2 weeks, never did introduce cereal, and she went straight to finger foods. anyway, as i mentioned on that other thread, at 9 months we had her pricked for an iron (and lead) test and it was fine. no need for mama to worry. she has always been a champeen nurser and the iron in breastmilk is soooooooo much better absorbed than iron in other forms, it's really a non-issue, or rather a formula fed baby issue. i imagine it's something that was a concern with early formulas that weren't fortified and occasionally a concern with anemic mothers. it can be constipating, though, which is what this thread is about.

here's another thread about constipation, although dealing with a toddler, if anybody's interested in it -- .

dr sears advises foods that begin with P for constipation -- pears, prunes, peaches, plums, aPricots. dd also liked peas (although i later read there was a slight allergy risk with them, so you might research that before you give them), spinach (frozen whole leaf spinach, steamed, although fresh would be even better), beans (canned, any kind), green beans, and avocado (not sure if that's supposed to help unplug you or not). cooked carrots can be constipating, so go easy on those. the BRAT diet for upset stomachs (diarrhea) calls for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast so you might want to steer clear of those foods since they help to ease the opposite problem.

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