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Jan 08

If my breastfed baby has no bowel movement for several days, should I be worried? Is my baby constipated?

The above is a common question asked by a lot of new mothers who breastfeed their babies.

Here is one question posted by a mom.

My Nina now is nursing fully, but it’s been 3 days since she’s moved her bowels. Is this something I should be worried about? I’m thinking of taking her to see my paed if she doesn’t do anything today. How long can a baby go without doing it? -Yat

And the other mothers who breastfeed their babies shared their own experiences :

Bowel – If Nina is not straining or looks uncomfortable, just sit and wait. You will be ‘rewarded’ with a big one soon. My son is also the same – sometimes poo about 7-9 times per day, then suddenly 3 days without bowel movement. All the moo-mies here will chorus – this is normal! if you are exclusively breast-feeding her. – Lilian

Not to worry! It’s normal for exclusively BFG babies do not pass the bowel very often. This is due to our super duper milk is almost 100% absorbed as nutrition by their body, thus not so much to be passed. At one time Wafiq (when he was 3 mths) did not do ‘bisnes’ for almost 10 days. Just minutes away before we went to see a paed, he gave us a surprise with long overdue bullet! – Fiz

There’s nothing to worry about. Joe Yue, now 3.5 months old, has been having bowel movement (since he turned 3 months)every 4 – 5 days. At first, I was worried like you too but after that I realised that it was normal. His paed said that there’s even a record of 11 days! As long as the poo-poo is not hard and pellet-like and your baby is not crying, it’s perfectly fine. – Christine

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Dec 29

Gadgets

One does not need a whole range of kitchen utensils to prepare baby food. However, two things will come in very handy, i.e. the slow-cooker and a hand-blender. These are multi-tasking kitchen gadgets which can be used for the whole family food preparation and cost less than RM100 each. One just needs to toss in the ingredients like rice or oats into the slow-cooker to make a porridge and add the rest of the ingredients. In the earlier stage, baby food needs to be blended into very smooth consistency and thus, the hand-blender will come in handy.

Time saving tips

* To save time on cooking rice or oats, I wash a batch of rice, dry them in the oven, blend the rice/oats to powdery, and keep them in airtight container. Cooking time is very much lessen.
* When Matthew was younger and only took small serving of food, I cook extra portions, freeze them in ice tray, store the frozen food cubes in plastic bag, and kept in airtight container. However, label with the date and avoid storing frozen cubes longer than 1 week. Fishes do not store well. To heat up the cubes, one just has to pop it in the microwave and reheat for 1 minute or steam it. (Caution: One ought to be careful when giving food heated in microwave because sometimes, there are ‘hot spots’ that can burn because of uneven heat distribution. Always stir the food well.)
* At times, I will cook for the family, dish out a small portion of food before I add in any salt or flavourings and blend the food for my baby.
* When I prepare soups made of vegetables and meat/bones stock, I will dish out some before adding salt and cook porridge with it.
* As baby food is not supposed to be flavoured with any salt or soy sauce, I use herbs and spices like garlic, onion, bayleaf, cinnamon powder, celery etc to enhance the flavour.
* One readily available ingredient is homemade ikan bilis powder. I will soak the ikan bilis for a long time until all the saltiness is removed, dry them in the oven till crispy and pound them into fine powder. A pinch added to porridge not only makes it tastier, it is full of calcium too.
* Babies love the taste of soft fruits like banana and papayas. All one need to do is just to scrape the fruit with a spoon and fed to the baby.

More discoveries

* Different babies react differently to the texture of foods. While other 9 months old babies are adapting to soft porridges with bits and pieces of vegetables and meats, Matthew dislike any lumps in his food.
* Some babies only like Malaysian/Chinese flavoured porridges while others like those with a more Westernised taste like corns, peas, cheese and pasta.
* Food for young babies must be in a runny consistency instead of thick gooey stuff which sticks to the palate.
* It takes patience and time to make the transition for my baby to get used to chewing his food. I offer him rice crackers, rice crispies and soft fruits to chew on. However, he still oftens gagged while eating rusks and other baby biscuits. Therefore, one has to be very careful and never leave a baby alone with any kind of food.

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Nov 30

Can I give my child “pearl powder”?

Pearl powder not excreted out will stay in the body and turn into gallstones. I will remember to ask the paed for a medical explanation next time. – Lilian

Does frozen porridge cause wind?

The paed confirmed that frozen porridge can cause wind if the frozen food is contaminated with bacterias. This is the medical explanation.  Best to have freshly cooked food but if there is no other option, then we have to make sure that the food is stored at the right temperature and is not kept for too long– Lilian

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