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Newborn and Infant Care

Constipation in 3 month old

07/03/2008

Question:

my 3-month old has constipation. She has a bowel movement every two days and she cries with pain every time. She is on Similac Isomil Advanced Soy formula and the doctor just started her on rice cereal. I`m wondering if it is the iron in the formula and also if she should be eating oatmeal instead of rice? What is causing it? What can I do to aleviate it?

Answer:

Infants generally do not need any supplementation with solid foods for the first six month of life. Breastmilk or artificial breastmilk (also called formula) are generally all that is needed during the first six months of life. Your infant is adjusting to a diet change. Rice cereal is usually the first cereal given to an infant. Oatmeal is higher in bulk; however, infants are more likely to have reactions to oatmeal than rice. Therefore, rice is usually the first solid food given. Because I do not know the personal history of your child and why she is receiving supplements before the age of six months I am not really able to identify the cause of her constipation. Yes, iron can be constipating in some infants. Consult with her health care provider who told you to introduce solids as to how they would like you to treat the constipation.

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Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati