As a new parent, one of the things you will quickly become familiar with is your baby’s poop. While it may not be the most glamorous topic, it is an important one as it can tell you a lot about your baby’s health and well-being. In this blog, we will cover everything you need to know about baby poop, including what it should look like, how often your baby should poop, and when you should contact your pediatrician about your baby’s poop.
What does the newborn poop look like?
In the first few days of life, your baby’s poop will be thick and dark, almost like tar. This is called meconium, and it is made up of everything your baby ingested in the womb, such as amniotic fluid and skin cells. After a few days, your baby’s poop will start to change as its digestive system begins to function properly. Breastfed baby poop typically looks mustard-yellow, with a seedy texture, while formula-fed baby poop is typically tan or yellow and has a thicker consistency.
Does breastfed baby poop look different than formula-fed poop?
Yes, breastfed baby poop is typically looser and seedier than formula-fed poop, which tends to be firmer and has a more formed shape. Breastfed babies also tend to poop more often than formula-fed babies.
How often should my baby poop?
The frequency of your baby’s bowel movements will vary depending on whether they are breastfed or formula-fed. Breastfed babies tend to poop more frequently than formula-fed babies, sometimes as often as after every feeding. This is because breast milk is easier for babies to digest than formula, so it moves through their system more quickly. Formula-fed babies may poop anywhere from once a day to once every few days. It’s important to note that as long as your baby is pooping regularly and their poop looks healthy, there is no need to worry about the frequency.
Why is there mucus in baby poop?
It’s not uncommon to see mucus in your baby’s poop, especially if they are teething or have a cold. Mucus can also be a sign of an allergy or infection, so if you notice a lot of mucus in your baby’s poop, it’s important to talk to your pediatrician.
Baby poop colors
The color of your baby’s poop can also provide important information about their health. Here are some common poop colors and what they might mean:
- Green: This can be normal for breastfed babies, especially if they are eating a lot of foremilk (the first milk that comes out during a feeding). However, if your baby’s poop is consistently green and frothy, it could be a sign that they are not getting enough hindmilk (the richer milk that comes later in a feeding).
- Yellow: This is the most common color for baby poop and is normal for both breastfed and formula-fed babies.
- Brown: This is also a normal color for baby poop and is common for formula-fed babies.
- Red: If you see red in your baby’s poop, it could be a sign of blood. This could be due to a small tear in the anus (common in babies who strain during bowel movements), or it could be a sign of a more serious problem, such as an infection or allergy.
- Black: Black poop is not normal and could be a sign of gastrointestinal bleeding. This is a serious issue and requires immediate medical attention.
- White or clay-colored: This could be a sign of a problem with the liver or bile ducts and requires medical attention.
How does baby poop change once we start solids?
Once you start introducing solid foods into your baby’s diet, their poop will start to change. Solid foods tend to produce poop that is more formed and has a stronger odor than breast milk or formula-fed poop. You may also notice some undigested food particles in your baby’s poop, which is normal as their digestive system adjusts to the new foods.
What changes in baby poop could signal a problem?
While it’s normal for your baby’s poop to vary in color and consistency, there are some changes that could signal a problem. Here are a few things to watch out for:
- Diarrhea: If your baby’s poop is very watery and occurs more frequently than usual, it could be a sign of diarrhea. This can lead to dehydration, so it’s important to keep your baby hydrated by offering them plenty of breast milk or formula.
- Constipation: If your baby is straining to poop or their poop is hard and dry, they may be constipated. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as a change in diet or not getting enough fluids. Talk to your pediatrician if you suspect your baby is constipated.
- Blood in poop: As mentioned earlier, seeing blood in your baby’s poop could be a sign of a problem. If you notice blood, contact your pediatrician right away.
- Excessive gas: While some gas is normal, excessive gas could be a sign of a problem. This could be caused by a food intolerance or other digestive issue.
When should I call the doctor about my baby’s poop?
If you notice any of the following changes in your baby’s poop, it’s a good idea to contact your pediatrician:
- Blood in poop
- Persistent diarrhea
- Constipation that lasts for several days
- Excessive gas or bloating
- Changes in poop color or consistency that last for several days
- Signs of dehydration (such as fewer wet diapers)
As a new parent, it’s important to pay attention to your baby’s poop as it can provide valuable insight into their health and well-being. While it may seem overwhelming at first, understanding what to expect when it comes to your baby’s poop can help you identify any potential problems early on. Remember to reach out to your pediatrician if you have any concerns or questions about your baby’s poop. By working together, you can help ensure that your baby stays healthy and happy.
Here are some additional sources for more information on baby poop
- American Academy of Pediatrics: This website is a great resource for parents, with a variety of articles and resources on baby health, including information on baby poop. You can find their page on baby poop here: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/diapers-clothing/Pages/Bowel-Movements.aspx
- Mayo Clinic: The Mayo Clinic is a well-respected healthcare organization, and its website has a comprehensive article on baby poop, including information on what’s normal and what’s not. You can find their article here: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/infant-poop/art-20045257
- Parents.com: This parenting website has an article specifically focused on the different colors of baby poop and what they mean. You can find their article here: https://www.parents.com/baby/diapers/dirty/baby-poop-color-chart/
- Healthline: This website has an informative article on baby poop consistency, with pictures to help parents identify what’s normal and what’s not. You can find their article here: https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/baby-poop-consistency
- WebMD: This website has an article on baby poop that covers topics like frequency, consistency, and color, as well as when to call the doctor. You can find their article here: https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/baby-poop#1