You can tell a lot about you baby’s health by what’s in his or her diaper, by baby poop. It’s normal to see a number of changes in your baby’s stools as he or she grows, drinks breast milk or formula and starts eating solids, but there are cases in which color and consistency may indicate infection. Use this babyShopClub.com poop guide to distinguish natural changes from warning signs that require a visit to the doctor’s office.
How Often Should a Newborn Poop
In the first four to six weeks of life, regardless of whether your infant is breastfed or formula-fed, you should expect your newborn to poop after nearly every feeding, Swanson says. And depending on whether you’re breastfeeding, formula feeding or combination feeding, the stools will likely look different. Breastfed baby poop is often yellow, seedy and runny, while a formula-fed baby’s poop may be darker and thicker.
After six weeks, as baby’s digestive tract develops, her poop habits may change. How often should a newborn poop? It depends. While one to three times or more a day is a benchmark, it’s common for breastfed babies to not poop as frequently as formula-fed babies.
Types of Baby Poop
Newborn Baby Poop
Your baby’s poop will look drastically different during his or her first few days after birth. Newborn poop has a greenish-black, sticky consistency that looks like motor oil. This is call meconium and is made of ammoniac fluid, mucus, skin cells and other things ingested into de utero.
Breastfed Baby Poop
And brown color. It is typically seedy and pasty in texture and may be runny enough to resemble diarrhea. Healthy breastfed stools will smell sweet (unlike regular bowel-movement odor).
Formula Fed Baby Poop
Healthy formula fed baby poop is typically a shade of yellow or brown with a pasty consistency that is peanut butter like. Formula fed babies also pass fewer, but bigger and more odorous, stools than breastfed babies.
Partially Digested Food in Baby Poop
Not all food is completely digestible and some foods travel so quickly through the intestines that they don’t break down completely. This can cause chunks of food to appear in your baby’s poop or for it to have a surprising color.
Baby Poop by Color
Orange, Yellow and Brown Baby Poop
Baby poop that is orange, yellow or brown in color is completely normal in breastfed and bottle-fed babies.
Green Baby Poop
Babies that are given an iron-supplement will often have green baby poop. Green baby poop can also occur at 4 to 6 months when you introduce solid, green foods, such as pureed peas, spinach and beans, into your baby’s diet.
Black Blood in Baby Poop
If your baby’s poop has little specks of black blood in it, it means a baby has digested blood while breastfeeding on his or her mother’s cracked and bleeding nipples. Though this does not pose a threat to your baby, it’s a good idea to check with a doctor to make sure the blood is not a symptom of something more serious.
In the first few years, you will experience a full range of “normal” baby poop types that simply indicate your baby is healthfully growing and changing. When alarming changes occur, however, it’s important to contact your baby’s doctor as soon as symptoms arise.
BabyShopClub.com recommends you to call your baby’s doctor right away if you notice any of these warning signs in his or her stools:
Red Blood in Baby Poop
While your baby’s poop can turn red because of something he or she ate or drank, such as tomatoes or fruit punch, red baby poop can be a sign of blood in the stool. Red blood found in normal poop could be a sign of a milk protein allergy, while red blood in diarrhea could mean your baby has a bacterial infection.
White Baby Poop
Chalky white baby poop could be a warning sign that your baby is not properly digesting food. A white color may indicate a lack of bile from the liver to digest food.
Mucus in Baby Poop
Seeing slimy, green-colored streaks with glistening strings in your baby’s poop means mucus is present. Although it can happen when your baby is drooling, mucus in baby poop can also be a sign of infection.
Runny Baby Poop
A baby’s diarrhea will be green, yellow or brown and runny. It can be an indication of an infection or allergy. If it goes too long without treatment, it may lead to dehydration.
Hard, Pebble-like Baby Poop
Your baby may be constipated if his or her poop is hard and looks like pebbles. Babies can become constipated when they are being introduced to solid foods. This could also be a sign of sensitivity to milk or soy, or a lack of tolerance to something in breast milk or formula.