One thing that new parents are not told is that you will become a little obsessed over your baby’s poop. When your baby poops, you will check for the color and the texture of the poop. When your baby does not poop for two days, you will celebrate when they finally do.
Baby poop color and consistency can be good indicators of your child’s health. Here’s what they could mean.
Types of Baby Poop
There are different types of baby poop. They’re not all the same and they definitely do not look the same, smell the same, nor feel the same. Sometimes, it can be yellowish, greenish-black, brown, or light yellow. So, what should your baby’s poop look like?
Newborn Poop or Meconium
Meconium or what other people call newborn poop happens on the first 2 days after your baby is born. Meconium is made up of amniotic fluid, mucus, skin cells, and other stuff that your baby has ingested in utero or inside the womb which is why it looks like motor oil. It is a greenish-black and sticky poop but it does not have a smell.
After 2 to 4 days, your baby’s poop will transition to a more greenish hue. This signals that his intestinal tract is doing it’s job. Your baby’s poop will also be less sticky and will start to look a bit of an army green.
There is a small difference between a breastfed baby’s poop and that of a formula fed baby’s poop. Breastfed babies tend to have diarrhea looking like poop. It’s yellowish or slightly green and it will be mushy or creamy when it comes to texture. It may also be a little bit runny.
What you eat can affect the color of your baby’s poop since he feeds off of you. If the poop looks bright green and frothy, this means that you are not feeding her long enough on each breast. No need to worry, you just need to start your baby on the last breast that he last fed on. This ensures that your baby gets more of the hindmilk rather than just the foremilk.
A bottle fed baby’s poop has a smell compared to a breastfed baby. The odor is less pungent than a baby who has started eating solid food and it’ll be easy to recognize the smell. The poop will look like peanut butter but pasty and more yellow-brown or green brown compared to their breastfed counterpart which is more yellow-green.
Make sure that you call your doctor immediately if the baby’s poop turns white, black, or red.
Baby on Solid Food
The moment your baby starts on solid food, you can expect to see an immediate change in his poop. It will now look brown to dark brown and it will be thicker though still mushy. The smell will be the most significant change as the odor will now be smellier.
Sometimes, you may see chunks of the food that your baby ingested. This can be due to the following reasons:
- Baby’s digestive system may not have had enough time to completely digest everything.
- Your baby was not able to chew his food very well before swallowing.
- He may have had too much of the same type of food.
- He ate food that is not easily digestible.
Do call the doctor if this happens regularly so that the doctor can check your baby’s intestine to make sure that it is absorbing food, digesting it, and getting all the nutrients properly.
When a baby’s poop seems more watery than solids and is runny, he could be having diarrhea. The color may be yellow, green, or brown and will look like there was a small explosion. Sometimes, it can even leak out from the diaper.
If your baby has 3 – 4 diaper changes in a day with poop that looks like this or if this goes on for 2 days, you need to call the doctor. This might cause the baby to be dehydrated.
If the baby’s poop looks like tiny pebbles and he’s having a hard time with his bowel movement, your baby might be constipated. As long as it’s not more than 3x in a row that this has happened, there’s no need to call the doctor.
If your baby’s poop has blood on it, call the doctor immediately.
How often should baby poop?
Pooping patterns vary among babies. As long as the poop that is coming out is reasonably soft and your baby poops at least once a day. However, since it varies, some babies poop after every feeding especially if they are breastfed but formula-fed babies poop at least once a day. Other babies poop once or twice a week only. If this is the pooping pattern of your baby and he’s fairly consistent, then there’s no need to worry.
How to Help Baby Poop
Sometimes, your baby may have a hard time pooping. Here’s a few ways you can help baby poop but make sure that you don’t become dependent on these as baby might become dependent on these:
- Warm bath. The warm water relaxes the baby’s muscles and can help baby poop.
- Bicycle legs. Since babies are just on their back, they don’t have enough physical stimulation to their digestive system. Moving their legs in a gentle, cycling motion can help trigger their digestive system.
- Water or juice. Offering the baby a few ounces of water or pear juice can help move the digestion so that baby can poop.
- Massage. Stomach and lower abdomen massages stimulate the bowel so that the baby can poop. You can do a couple of massages a day as long as the baby is receptive and does not get more irritated until the baby finally poops.
Parents will always worry about when a baby poops, how often, what it looks like, and even how it smells. Knowing what is normal and when it’s time to call the doctor is very important so just remember that the pooping pattern differs for every baby and it can change when the baby changes their diet. As long as your baby remains active and does not seem to be bothered with his poop pattern, you shouldn’t be too. What matters is that the baby poops when the baby needs to poop.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.