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Pediatrics/Frequency of bowel movements


My daughter is 13.5 months old (actual age) - 1 year adjusted (she was a 33 week preemie).  She is doing well.  No problems.  Weight gain is good and she loves food (eats a lot and also still has about 20 oz of expressed breast milk a day).

She has always had frequent bowel movements.  As a young baby - with every feeding.  I read this usually slows down.  Now that she is over a year, she still has 4 - 5 bowel movements a day.  Not diarrhea and not constipation.  She just goes a lot (during the day, almost never overnight - she sleeps about 12 hours/night).

I read online this isn't common and it could mean she isn't absorbing what she needs to from her food.  She is otherwise completely healthy and isn't having an issue with weight gain (currently 20 lbs and was 4 lb 6 oz at birth).

Is there anything I should have her evaluated for to make sure she is okay or is possible just the way she is?

Thank you very much for you time.

Hi, Lisa,

Gee, I think you are describing a very healthy infant who is eating well and getting one of the world's best laxatives....breast milk.  The soft 4-5x a day stools would be what I would expect in this situation.  As the solid food increases and the expressed breast mild decreases, this should be a more "normal" pattern.  

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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