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Karo Syrup and Constipation
ididntaskforthis
dreamsgoneawry wrote in parenting101
I have a 3 week old son who is constipated. (He is formula fed, btw if that makes any difference.) I have seen two different pedi's since he was born. The first one told me to give him 1-2 ounces of water a day to soften his stools. The other told me to give him a teaspoon of Karo Syrup to help the constipation.

He grunts, groans and cries when he poops. It's interfering with his sleep as he poops when he's asleep for some reason.

I'm just curious to see if anyone else has used these types of recommedations and if they were successful? The other pedi who told me to use Karo Syrup also said to change his formula if it didn't get better after using the syrup. We haven't tried the syrup yet because, honestly, I'm afraid that it's bad for him. I did try the 1 ounce of water today and he didn't even finish that.

He's attempting to poop right now as I'm writing this and I feel bad that there's nothing I can do to help him with it at the moment. I've tried circling his legs, rubbing his belly, everything and nothing doesn't work to ease his pain. We've also tried the gas relief drops (he's not really gassy though - it's just the poop) which seem to help him pass it a bit better but I hate using stuff like that to begin with.

Thanks in advance.

One of my twins was getting very constipated all the time. I started adding the Kyro in and it got better right away. BUt I did need to add it to every bottle and if I missed one it got bad again. It's actually just got better now that she is on milk based formula. HTH

My grandson was the same way.. they finally switched formulas and that helped. The switched to a low iron formula (iron can be constipating)

I wouldn't suggest the karo syrup thing myself. I can't see how that would help. I would try switching to a different formula.

Something you could try right now.. is giving him a warm bath and rub his tummy in a clockwise motion. The warm water relaxes them..and the tubby rub helps the digestive system kick in.

Good luck I hope you and your baby get this worked out fast.

When my son was about that old and constipated (though we were BF and supplementing with formula) my ped told me to offer 1 oz of pear juice with 1 oz of water (mixed) in his bottle. It took a few hours (maybe even overnight, I don't remember) but he pooped and then was fine!

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My eldest would get constipated and I used Prune juice and gerber actually has infant prune and apple juice and an ounce of that always did the trick.

it does! And you can get a little 4 oz bottle of it for under 50 cents at wal-mart :). Just look for the single little juices... just an oz of pear juice and an oz of water does the trick :). It's much tastier and works!

Take his temperature? Not that he has a fever, but sometimes the sensation of the thermometer can help. Also, try submerging his entire butt in water. That used to work well for my daughter.

We've done the thermometer thing and while it made him want to poop it still was painful and he was still was constipated.

I always put my son's back against my chest and then raise his legs and push them towards his chest and hold them there- that seems to give him more pressure to push.

I don't have any personal experience to impart, unfortunately (we breastfeed), but I did a little googling and wanted to share what I found in case it might help you decide about the karo syrup.

First of all, Dr. Greene apparently recommends it. The Karo Company addresses the fact that some doctors recommend it for infant constipation, but brings up the fact that there is a slight risk of botulism contamination. In a different Q&A, Dr. Greene discusses the very topic of whether botulism is a risk with karo syrup or not (basically saying that while no one can rule out that it MIGHT contain spores, there has been no case of infant botulism on record caused by karo syrup). HTH.

You can buy glycerin suppositories over the counter at a drug store. Break one in half or hold it halfway in, but be ready for an explosion. My daughter was constipated one time as an infant, and her ped recommended it to me. I wound up having to catch the results in my hand so they didn't get all over the bed because I wasn't quick enough with the diaper. *ROFL*

OMG
I laughed so hard I scared the cat at this!

Yeah, this is one of those "you know you're a parent when" moments.

Non-parents don't think to grab poop. They recoil. ;)

You probably need to switch formulas. I would try something gentler and lower in iron.

I am against Karo Syrup, or water & juice at this age.

Karo because of botulism, juice because he doesn't need the sugar, and water because it doesn't provide nutrients and I believe that every drop that goes into a newborns mouth should provide him with some calories.

I was just going to mention that. I've heard that prune and pear juice both work well, you might want to try apple-prune juice. Try a baby-food brand, otherwise dilute 1 part adult(regular) juice/1 part water.

Breastfed baby over here as well- sorry we can't help more.

My son was miserable on formula at that age. He was super-gassy and not pooping well, although he wasn't especially constipated. We were using Enfamil Lipil since the hospital. First our pediatrician recommended switching to a soy-based formula, but that made him feel even worse. Then we tried a low-iron formula, but the doctor said that wasn't a good idea because formula-fed newborns can be prone to anemia (I don't know if this is true). Finally, we switched to Enfamil Gentlease and he's been doing great on that ever since. (He's almost 10 months old now). It may take 3 or 4 days to make a difference when you switch formulas, so give it a little time to see how he does on it.

your little guy is so cute! (just as a by the by)

This sounds exactly like what happened with my little boy. We went from Lipil to Similac Isomil and then finally ended with Gentlease, which he is still on.

Almost the exact same situation with my daughter. She's 8 months old now and still on the Gentlease and doing great.

Our doc suggested milk of magnesia mixed into the formula, but I'm not sure if it's recommended at that young of an age. The dosage they told us (1/2 tsp) gave our daughter violent diarrhea, so I think we gave her 1/8 tsp in a 4 oz bottle once or twice in one day and that helped a ton. I would ask your doctor first before doing this, though. I can't remember exactly how old my daughter was.. she was at least a couple months old.

This is kinda gross, but you may have to help him out. Sometimes babies will hold in their poop because it hurts when it comes out, so they associate pooping with pain. If you see him grunting, pull off his diaper and see if he's getting anything out. If some poop comes out but goes back in, massage his tummy and *gently* hold his cheeks apart to help him get it out. We've had to resort to this a couple times but kiddo feels much better after it's finally out. You can also put some petroleum jelly on his bum to uh.. facilitate the exit.

AAaah the joys of being a parent... :D

The Karo thing is to get sugar into his system, which loosens the stool. It's why watery fruit juice will also help constipation. If you worry about Karo, try pear or apple juice watered down and it should have the same effect.

And yes, our pediatrician told us to try it when our lil gal was stopped up while on a soy formula supplement to breastmilk. Worked like a charm and we got rid of the soy. Soy and iron-enriched formulas can both cause constipation, so if it continues, work with your ped to figure out a formula that he can poop without help on.

a 3 week old should NEVER be given juice or water.

To much water can kill an infant, ever heard of oral water intoxication?
I bet your formula has to much iron try talking to your ped about switching.

formula is so gross like that.

formula is so gross like that.

Haha, you rock.

karo syrup is not a long term solution, you need to find something else.


I would switch formulas:-/.

I would try switching formulas before trying karo syrup, for sure. (Not constant switching, but finding a different one and giving that a go.)
Either something branded "low iron" (which still has enough iron to meet FDA requirements; they don't absorb much of the iron from formula anyway), or something specifically marketed as gentle (I've heard a few ppl say that Nestle Good Start is gentle on tiny tummies, much as I hate Nestle, actually I hate formula companies in general, but hey, not the point).
Definitely try the glycerin suppositories too as you're not actually introducing anything foreign to his system. As a last resort, a tiny bit of diluted prune or pear juice would be safer IMO than karo syrup.
Unfortunately this is one of the risks/disadvantages of formula feeding; it's very common :(

Don't give him additional water, but you already know that. Don't give him the juice -- his little body isn't ready for it yet.

A glycerin suppository is probably one of the safest, gentles options in the short term. Switching formulas may offer a more long term solution.

You're only three weeks PP, and relacating is not out of the question. Breastmilk, even a small amount, would greatly reduce or eliminate the constipation issue. You know I'm here in that capacity if you need me. Just IM me and we'll talk about your options, and I'll help you any way you can. I know how overwhelming this must seem with three small boys, but anything you can do to make poor Ethan feel better will make life better for ALL of you!

breastmilk could help. Try nursing?

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