Baby Poop Guide: What's Normal and What's Not (2023)

The mysteries of a baby's diaper can be endlessly confusing and fascinating, especially during the first few months of life. "Babies sometimes poop awkwardly, just like adults," says Adam Hart, Ph.D., professor of science communication at the University of Gloucestershire in the UK and author ofpoop life.

If you're a newborn newbie, the colors, textures, and frequency of your baby's poop can really bother you. But spoiler alert: you'll spend many awake hours staring at it andto clean, so it's important to know what's normal and what's not. Consider this your crash course.

Baby Poop Guide: What's Normal and What's Not (1)

Do babies poop in the womb?

Your baby's first bowel movement

When you take out the first few newborn-sized diapers, you are faced with what appears to be sticky, greenish-black tar. This is your baby's first bowel movementknown as meconium, which is a mixture of amniotic fluid, bile and secretions from the intestinal glands. Most babies wait until after birth to pass meconium (although it is possible).pass before). Usually it stays for hours, and then a few days later the real stuff arrives.

baby poop color

"Don't expect baby poop to look like yours," he explains.ari braun, MD, pediatrician from Austin is co-author of Baby 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for Your Baby's First Year. "If you're breastfeeding, it's probably going to look dirty and mustardy, and if you [feed Forumla] expect something greener, toothpaste consistency," she explains.

Any variation of yellow, green or brown is normal when it comes to baby poo. "The only colors that warrant a visit to the doctor are red and black, which can indicate GI bleeding, and white, which can indicate liver disease and/or nutrient malabsorption," he says.Nanci Pittman, MD, pediatric gastroenterologist and assistant professor of pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

The ultimate baby poop color chart

baby poo consistency

Since your child is on an all-liquid diet, soft, loose stools will be the norm for a while. Babies' stools can be thick like peanut butter or soft like cottage cheese or yogurt. Breastfed baby poop often looks like mustard chic: yellow, dirty, or curdled. Formula poop often resembles custard or pudding. Excessively hard poop can indicate constipation, while very soft or watery poop can indicate diarrhea.

smell of baby feces

The smell of your baby's poop usually reflects how long the poop has been in the bowel. In general, the longer stool sits in the microbiome (read: bacteria-rich environment) of the gut, the stronger it smells.

Your baby's diet also affects the smell of poop. Breastfed baby poop tends to be less odorous, while formula-drinking babies tend to be more odorous. That said, those first poopy diapers really weren't made for room cleaning. However, once you incorporate solid foods into your diet, it's a different story.

Less commonly, highly acidic or smelly baby poop can be a sign of an intolerance or allergy. If you think your baby's stool has an unusual odor, talk to your pediatrician.

What Causes Green Baby Poop?

How often should my baby poop?

Babies usually soil up to 10 diapers a day in the first few months and then 2 to 4 times a day until they are 4 months old, although this can vary greatly from baby to baby and pooping outside of this frequency is normal. The worst fall is inevitably cause for concern.

The timing is due to the gastrocolic reflex, which occurs when the stomach expands with food, automatically signaling the colon to empty and make room for more. in babies,the gastrocolic reflexIt's immature, so it's common for them to drop a little excrement whenever they eat.

Over time, some babies' intestines absorb so much milk that they produce very little waste, and their colons empty no more than once a day, or even once a week in some cases. according to dr. Pittman, it may be normal for a breastfed baby to have a bowel movement every week, but it is also normal for a baby to poop after every feeding. (In other words, as long as a breastfed baby poops at least once a week, he's probably fine.)

Formula-lined baby stoolsit usually differs from the stool of breastfed babies. This is because formula-fed stool moves more slowly through the intestines, causing babies to have a bowel movement once or twice a day every day after the first few months. Keep in mind, however, that some formula-fed babies initially have as many as three or four bowel movements a day.

Meanwhile, babies who areCombination of formula and breast milk.go somewhere between several times a day and once a week.

Breastfed Baby Poop: How It's Different and What's Normal

How Baby Poop Changes After Casting Solids

As soon as your baby starts eating solid foods(usually between 4 and 6 months), your poop schedule starts to change. You will pass less often, and the stool itself will have a thicker consistency. “Certain foods pass undigested. This is normal, as babies don't chew their food well and tend to process food quickly in their digestive tract," explains Dr. Pittman.

It is often recommended that your baby's first meal benaturally rich in iron or fortified with iron. As a result, many parents feed iron-fortified rice flakes, which can lead to constipation. Both rice and iron are known to hold things back, so to speak.

If this is the case for your baby, you may want to switch or cut down on iron-fortified baby oatmeal.Ingestion of rice once a day and mix with a little prune puree. You can also opt for other sources of iron such as meat, eggs or beans.

Baby's first foods: how to introduce solid foods

Around your baby's first birthday, when he starts eating a wider variety of solid foods, his stools start to change again. You may notice that the smell, color, and texture of the stool varies throughout the day, depending on what your child has eaten, says Dr. Brown. In general, it will start to become more brown and thicker and will look more like adult stool.

Is my baby constipated?

If your baby feels uncomfortable and fills her diaper with something thicker than toothpaste or looks like logs or marbles, that's are probably constipated. This problem occurs for several reasons. for smaller babiesFour monthsThis is usually because your child isn't drinking enough fluids; therefore, resolve the situation by encouraging more breast milk or formula. Ask your doctor for specific advice and treatment options.

Does my baby have diarrhea?

If your baby's poop is getting thin, watery, or slimy, and he's passing a lot more than usual, he's likely having diarrhea. Diarrhea can be caused by antibiotics; lots of fruit juice (whatnot recommendedfor babies under 1 year old);Milk allergies (which are quite rare); or gastroenteritis, a viral illness that causes vomiting and diarrhea.

Baby Diarrhea: A Parent's Guide to Causes and Treatments

If your baby has loose stools or mucus in the stool, "it's important to keep him hydrated with breast milk, formula, or pediatric electrolyte solutions," explains Dr. Pittman. But if you notice signs of dehydration, such as dry lips, sunken eyes, or sunken fontanels (the soft spots on a baby's head), call your doctor right away.

Your baby's digestive health

When to call the doctor

When it comes to baby poop, parents should call their doctor for the following reasons:

  • Your stools are white (a sign that your baby is not making enough bile), black (indicating that blood from your stomach or small intestine is being digested), or streaked with red (could mean blood from your large intestine or rectum).
  • Your child screams in pain or bleeds when he poops
  • You see mucus in your baby's stool, which could be a sign of an infection or intolerance.
  • Your child's bowel movements change dramatically after introducing a new food (whichmay indicate a food allergy)
  • Your child's stool will still be very watery at the age of 1 year (if your child has diarrhea, watery stools, tell your doctor more than 5 times a day too).
  • Your child has diarrhea andsymptoms of dehydration
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