Baby poop, as a first time parent you are going to be dealing with countless diapers filled with all that stuff. As a nurse I constantly worry about my patient’s pooping patters, consistency and color, who knew that this would be a skill also important for a parent? Baby poop goes through a ton of changes as they age and eventually start solids. This makes it hard to know what is normal and what isn’t. But don’t worry this baby poop guide will get down and dirty with all the details you need to know!
Why do I need to learn all about my babies poop?
A babies poop can alert you to various health issues such as a stomach bug, allergy or even more serious medical conditions.
This guide is not a substitute for an assessment from a medical professional. Please seek the advice of your healthcare professional if you have any concerns about your baby!
How often will my baby poop?
Breastfed babies can poop anywhere from after every feed to once in 7 days. This is totally normal. Formula fed babies will poop more often, usually after every single feed. This will continue for both breastfeeding and formula fed babies until about 6 weeks when their digestive systems mature.
Please discuss with your health care provider what they expect in terms of frequency.
So not only is the color of babies poop important to recognizing any issues but the consistency can also be indicative of a problem. Here are some textures you may come accross:
Babies normal poop is soft, slightly runny in texture. If you are breastfeeding it may also have a seedy appearance.
Mucous in Poop
This can be indicative of an allergy or an infection. In babies who are teething and swallowing excessive drool it may be normal.
My daughter actually had a sensitivity to egg and dairy while I was breastfeeding and her poop VERY VERY noticeably contained large amount of mucous. Please seek the help of a physician if this is occuring.
Loose Baby Poop
Diarrhea is a main concern in babies because they can very easily become dehydrated. Unfortunately it can be somewhat difficult to pick up in newborns as their stool is already quite loose.
If your baby is having a much more liquid stool than usual, especially if accompanied by an increased frequency (3 or more times in 24 hours is a good rule of thumb) please seek the advice of your physician.
Think your baby might be sick? Check out my NEWBORN MEDICINE CABINET ESSENTIALS post for some things that may help!
Constipated Baby Poop
Young infants can sometimes appear to be struggling to poop. Sometimes this can be normal as their digestive tracts are not yet mature.
If your baby has hard, pellet bunny rabit poop, it could be indication of constipation. Please speak to your physician as this could have various causes.
Babies First Poop
Your babies first poop is known as meconium and usually occurs in the first 24 hours after birth. Sometimes a baby can poop while in the uterus, and your baby will need to be monitored closely by the health care team once after being born in case they inhailed any of it into their lungs. This sounds scary, but is actually a fairly common occurence – it happened to my daughter!
Check out my 31 Hour Birth Story for more details on that!
What does meconium look like?
Meconium is a very dark green, almost black, tarry stool. It is very sticky and hard to get off when you wipe.
Pro Tip: Putting Vaseline on your babies bottom before they have their first poop will help make the clean up process a bit easier. Plus it will save their little bum from irritation caused by rubbing the area.
How long does meconium last?
Meconium will only last for a few days at most and then it will transition to babies normal poop.
Pro Tip: Apply baby Vaseline or another ointment to your babies bottom before they have their first poop. Meconium is so sticky it can be hard to get off and all that rubbing action can irritate your babies skin, this makes it SO much easier!
Poop By Color
Now that we have the first poop out of the way, the easiest way to discuss the different possible poops your baby may have is by color. Sort of paint by poop color guide if you will. We will start this color guide based on the normal types of poops and then move on from there.
Mustard yellow baby poop
This poop color is the normal and expected color of breastfed babies. It can also be seen in formula fed babies and is considered normal.
Just starting your breastfeeding journey or planning to breastfeed? Check out my post on HOW TO BECOME A BREASTFEEDING EXPERT!
Thinking of breastfeeding but not sure? THIS POST has all the reasons to breastfeed for mom that have nothing to do with the benefits for baby!
Brown – Orange Baby poop
This color is normal and expected for formula fed babies. It can also be seen in breastfed babies if mom has eaten a lot of orange/red dye containing foods. A baby who has started eating solids orange in color may also experience this.
Dark Green Baby Poop
A baby who is taking iron will often have dark green poop – similar to adults who take iron supplements. A baby who is on formula that is fortified with iron may also experience dark green poop.
Green – tan baby poop
There are many reasons for green-tan baby poop that can be normal:
- breastfeeding or formula feeding baby if the consistency remains the same
- teething babies
Sometimes green- tan baby poop can indicate:
- a stomach infection
- a allergy, especially if accompanied by mucous
Bright yellow Baby Poop
Certain medications baby might be on can make a babies poop bright yellow. If mom is taking certain medications and breastfeeding it can have the same effect. Please make sure to check with your healthcare provider that any medication you are taking is safe for a breastfed baby.
Bright yellow can also be indicative of a stomach bug.
Check out my post on all the essentials you need in your baby medicine kit for when your baby gets sick HERE.
Bright Green Baby Poop
In breastfeeding babies it can mean that your baby is getting too much foremilk and not enough of the fatty hind milk. To correct this completely empty the breast when feeding, express some milk before feeding baby to get rid of some of the foremilk and start with the same breast you finished with on the previous feed before switching sides.
Black or Very Dark Baby Poop
This color is normal for a baby on iron or drinking iron fortified formula. This color is also normal for meconium as discussed above, but if it continues for more than 3-4 days you need to speak with your physician.
Dark stools can also be a sign of a GI bleed, so be sure to discuss with your physician if your baby is over 4 days old and not taking any iron.
Red Baby Poop
While alarming it can actually be normal in some circumstances such as:
- A breastfed baby where mom is experiencing bleeding nipples
- A constipated baby – altho constipation is not normal and needs to be corrected it can lead to small flecks of blood in the babies poop
Red poop accompanied by mucus can be indicative of an allergy.
If your baby is experiencing large amounts of red coloring in their stool, it could be indicative of an active bleed along their GI tract. Please seek medical attention promptly.
White Baby Poop
Chalky white stool needs to be assessed by a medical physician promptly. It can be indicative of gallbladder and liver diseases.
Grey Baby Poop
Grey baby poop also needs to be assessed by a medical physician promptly as it can be indicative of gallbladder and liver diseases.
This may be normal if your baby has just started to eat solids and will correct itself as their digestive tract matures.
There you have it…
Everything you could possibly have wanted to know… okay probably more than you wanted to know… about your babies poop!
I know it sounds overwhelming reading it all on here but don’t worry after about a week or two you will become familiar with your babies normal and it will be easier to notice any changes. Just save this post to pinterest to reference for later!
Have you experienced abnormal baby poop? I would love to hear more about your experience. Leave me a comment below!