Q. My premature baby pooped 10 times in the last 24 hours. Is it a sign of loose motion?

Answered by
Dr. Faisal Abdul Karim Malim
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 17, 2017 and last reviewed on: Sep 22, 2022

Hello doctor,

I need detailed medical advice regarding my son's medical condition. My baby was born on the 19th of last month, but he was premature. He was born at 29 weeks. His birth weight was 1.26 kg. Due to his preterm birth, the baby was in NICU for 45 days and got discharged. During birth, he had RDS and a surfactant was given and later supported with CPAP for five days. Feeding was done with an OG tube and slowly shifted to oral feed after 25 days (spoon feeds). Initially, he had feed intolerance, but he is fine now. NN jaundice was diagnosed and phototherapy was given. At discharge advice, weight: 1.89 kg, height: 45 cm, HC: 30 cm, breastfeed on demand, spoon feed every 2 hours. Medications: Caffeine 9 mg (now stopped), multivitamin drops (D3 and A to Z), Domstal suspension 0.5 ml, iron supplement 0.4 ml. As of today, he is 65 days old and his weight is 2.42 kg. In the last 24 hours, he is passing more liquid stools and not like a paste. His usual pattern is one to three stools per day. But, in the last 24 hours, he pooped at least 10 times and most are a bit watery. He is exclusively breastfed. No formula is being given. Is it a sign of loose motion? If so, what should be done?

During his stay at the hospital, he caught a mild cold. His doctor gave him nasal saline drops and we are using them. It has been almost three weeks now and the baby is slightly coughing. One week back his pediatrician told him no medication needs to be given and it will go away. He makes a lot of noise while sleeping. How to treat this cold and cough in a preterm baby? Will this lead to any other complications? His feeding is a challenge. He likes to breastfeed, but sucks only for three to four minutes and falls asleep. If we try to wake him up, he is not active to take the further feed and within the next 30 to 40 minutes, he will wake up and demand feed. Due to this frequent feed, my wife gets really tired. Spoon feed he is taking but that too is not as expected. He is passing urine well. My concern is whether he will drink enough milk when put on the breast. What should be the pattern to follow? He frequently makes a lot of grunting noises. We are much worried and doubt if it is because of any pain or discomfort. Are these sounds and moves normal?



Welcome to

Please find your answers in the same order as the questions asked:

Small children below the age of six months may pass stools once in two days or 10 to 15 times per day. It is normal. As long as the child is active and the urine output is fine (which in your case it is) you need not worry. Mild grunting noises are often made by children below the age of six months. As long as it does not cause an issue with breathing, feeding, and sleeping, it is fine. These grunting noises eventually go away by the age of six months. Do not force the baby to take feeds. Let the baby take demand feeds. Since the baby is small, the baby gets easily tired while breastfeeding. So, do not worry. Till then you can give spoon feeding after breastfeeding. Slowly, as the baby grows, this issue should also resolve.

Hello doctor,

Thanks for the reply.

How about the cold and the cough he has from three weeks? Since he is preterm when can we expect him to achieve his normal milestones like social smile, rolling over the stomach, etc.? We did a hearing test and his left ear is perfect. However, his right ear does not respond to the OAE test. Will this resolve?



Welcome back to

The mild cough and cold are also normal. As long as the child does not have any issues with feeding or breathing, do not worry. Regarding the OAE (otoacoustic emissions) test, a repeat test may be required in a week or so to see the progress and decide the results.

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