Being a new parent is tough. If you thought your worries were over after the baby was delivered, guess again. Now you’re worried about things such as whether or not your newborn is warm enough, getting enough to eat and if he is having enough bowel movements.
It is very important to monitor the contents of your newborn’s diaper, even though that may not sound like the most appealing job. If your newborn is not urinating enough or having enough bowel movements, that could indicate that there is a problem.
There is no set number of times a baby should have a bowel movement. Sometimes newborns will have a larger bowel movement and sometimes a newborn will have several smaller bowel movements. The number of bowel movements your newborn has also depends on whether he drinks breast milk or formula. Breastfed babies typically have more bowel movements than formula fed babies.
Most breastfed newborns have several bowel movements per day. While it isn’t completely abnormal for a breastfed newborn to have only one or two small bowel movements -or even go a day without passing one-you should carefully monitor the situation.
If your newborn is taking milk from the breast (rather than taking expressed breast milk from the bottle) and isn’t having any bowel movements, you should be concerned about how much breast milk you are producing. It is hard to monitor how much your newborn is taking in when he feeds at the breast and for some moms, the milk doesn’t come in as quickly as it does for others. When a newborn doesn’t have a bowel movement or only has one or two small bowel movements, this could mean that he isn’t getting enough to eat. It isn’t always a problem, but it is something that you should watch out for.
Formula fed Newborns
Newborns who are formula fed usually have less bowel movements, but you can expect him to have a few bowel movements per day. My own son who was formula fed usually had four or five bowel movements. If your formula fed newborn only has one or two, he should be fine, as long as the bowel movements aren’t hard. If his bowel movements are hard or he goes a day without having a bowel movement, this may indicate that the formula mixture is off. It is important to follow the instructions on the formula package exactly as printed or this could result in the baby becoming constipated.
Regardless of whether your baby is breastfed or formula fed, if your newborn goes more than a day without having a bowel movement, you should contact his pediatrician to be on the safe side. Many new parents are worried about calling the pediatrician over something that may be a non-issue, but err on the side of caution.