My 3-week-old child passes hard stools and cries like he is in pain. What should I do?

Q. Is my child passing hard stools because of the formula?

Answered by
Dr. Bhaisara Baraturam Bhagrati
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 17, 2022

Hi doctor,

My 3-week-old child, about 8 lbs, had a hard stool in one diaper change, then changed to soft. The problem started yesterday. He will often pull his legs to his belly and cry like he is in pain. He is not on any medications and takes the Gerber Soothe pro formula.



Welcome to

I understand your concern.

1. Baby having a hard stool is often the reason for decreased water content in the stool.

2. This often happens when the baby cannot digest formula feed.

3. Check for the dilution of the formula. While preparing the formula add more water to it.

4. It might help to change the formula feed brand if symptoms persist.

5. Any reason for not feeding breast milk? Because breast milk will not have such issues, plus it will have added advantage over formula feed.

6. Hard stool, often painful for the baby, must be addressed on priority.

7. Hard stool secondary to formula needs an immediate change in dilution of changing the brand.

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
Norovirus Infection - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Continue a balanced diet: Infants should be continued with breastfeeding or formula feeding even when dehydrated ...   Read full

New Parents - Common Questions Answered

3)Breastfeeding and Diet: In this area, the instructions are fairly simple ... Only breastfeeding until 6 months of age ...   Read full

Why am I having hard stools with ulcer inside my anus?

.. pain when you use the toilet, and always hard. You need to take enough water, fruits and vegetables in your diet to soften your stool. You need a lot of fibres in your diet. For the ulcer like symptom as if there is a wound in your anus, that may be   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

PCOS and Liver Problems
The hormonal imbalances in polycystic ovary syndrome could cause liver diseases. Read the article to know the relationship between these medical conditions.  Read more»
Inferior Alveolar Nerve Lateralization Technique
The inferior alveolar nerve lateralization technique is a surgical lateralization technique to reposition the nerve. Read the article to know more about this.  Read more»
COVID-19 and Ebola: Similarities and Differences
This article gives a comparison and broader overview of the outbreak of the two deadliest diseases that showed a greater incidence over the last two decades.  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask a Paediatrician Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.