4 months old
Bowel Movements and Digestion
You’ll notice a reduction in your baby’s bowel movement frequency (if you haven’t already) as your baby’s digestive system matures and solid foods are introduced. Even if you decide to stick to a purely liquid diet for a few more months, you might notice that the six bowel movements your baby had yesterday have turned into maybe one – or none – today. Of course, digestive habits will vary, but don’t be too concerned about this sudden drop. Unless your baby is straining to pass hard, pellet-size stools, it’s most likely not constipation. On the other hand, if you notice watery, green stools – possibly with blood or mucus – then it sounds like your baby has diarrhea.
Also, keep in mind that symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) tend to peak at around four months, characterized by:
- Inconsolable crying, often sounding like he or she is in pain
- A large amount of spit-up and drool
- Projectile vomit
- Little to no weight gain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Gagging while eating
- Back arching, leg curling or other signs of abdominal pain
- Excessive burping and/or hiccupping
- A chronic cough, which often leads to respiratory problems
- Constant ear infections
The doctor might recommend adding rice cereal to your baby’s bottle (always get the green light before doing this), or giving medication to reduce or neutralize your baby’s stomach acid. Most will outgrow this heartburn-like condition and the symptoms aren’t likely to get worse than they are right now. Until then, follow our advice on how to help relieve reflux.
Now that your baby is secreting less waste, cloth and hybrid diapers might be more manageable for those cringing at the landfill contribution of and chemical-filled plastic in disposables. Before you write off cloth as messy and high maintenance, there are plenty of new options that eliminate some of the hassle. And if your baby has been experiencing painful diaper rash, trying a different diapering option might be helpful.