It's part of the initiation to becoming a new parent.
Some of us may hate it, some of us may be indifferent to it and maybe some of us even enjoy it?!
I'm talking about changing nappies!
When I am speaking with parents on the breastfeeding helpline or at private lactation consultancy visits, it usually ends up being the father or other support person (not the mother) who gives me the information about what they’ve been seeing in their baby’s nappies.
Why is this so?
Baby Poo Facts For Parents
So, dads and other support people, make sure you read these 11 facts below so you can get the scoop about poop!
#1: Your Baby’s First Poo Is Called Meconium
The first poo a baby does is black and sticky. This is called meconium and is present inside a baby’s gut before they are born.
Your baby should have at least one poo on day one and two. By day two, your baby’s poo should be softer, but still dark in colour.
#2: Pinkish Stains In Your Baby’s Nappy Is Normal — At First
Over the first few days, uric acid crystals in your baby's wee may leave a rusty, pinkish, orange-red stain on the nappy.
This is normal during the first few days but if you see this after day 4, contact a health professional.
#3: By Day Three, Baby Poo Should Be Lighter In Colour
By day three, babies should be doing poo that is lighter in colour (e.g. green).
If your baby still has black poos by day three, consult a health professional.
#4: Around Day Five, Baby Poo Should Be Mustard-Yellow
By around day five, your baby’s poos should be a mustard-yellow colour (or a very light green or orange colour).
As the colour of the poo gets lighter they become runnier in consistency and larger in amount.
#5: Your Baby Should Have One More Wet Nappy Each Day For The First Five Days
For the first five days, a baby will have at least as many wet nappies as the number of days old they are. For example, at least 1 wet nappy on day 1, at least 2 wet nappies on day 2 and so on.
#6: Your Baby Should Have Five Very Wet Disposable Nappies From Day Five
From day five onwards, a baby should have at least five very wet disposable nappies every 24 hours, or at least 6-8 very wet cloth nappies every 24 hours.
The wee should be pale in colour and non-offensive smelling.
#7: Your Baby Should Have At Least Three Yellow-Mustardy Poos By Day Five
From around day five onwards, a baby should do at least three poos every day. Many breastfed babies will do many more than this!
Breastfed baby poo is commonly yellow-mustardy in colour, seedy, and runny.
Formula fed babies tend to poo less often and have poos that are brown, thicker and smell quite different.
#8: Copious Amounts Of Green Frothy Poo May Indicate Oversupply
Sometimes, copious amounts of green frothy poos can indicate that the breastfeeding mother has an oversupply of milk.
If your baby has the following signs speak with an ABA breastfeeding counsellor or a lactation consultant:
- Has many more than 5 very wet disposable nappies, or more than 8 heavy wet cloth nappies, in 24 hours
- Has many poos, often one or more with each breastfeed, which are often explosive, green and frothy; the breastmilk seems to literally ‘go in one end and out the other’
- Is quite unsettled between most breastfeeds; you feel that your baby is very ‘gassy’ or ‘windy’
- Has large weight gains
- Spits up quite a bit of breastmilk after feeds
#9: Your Baby Might Not Poo As Often After About 6 Weeks
After 6 weeks or so, some breastfed babies don’t poo as often. Some may only poo every few days or so.
As long as the poo is runny and there’s a lot of it, there should be no cause for concern.
#10: What About When Solid Food Starts?
When your baby is around six months of age and starts to eat solid food, what you see in her nappy can change quite a bit. The poos tend to become thicker in consistency and can be a range of colours, depending on what your baby eats.
For example, if your baby fancies orange coloured vegetables such as carrot or pumpkin, you may see poos that are bright orange. Or if blueberries are more to your baby’s liking, you may see purple poo! You may also see bits of undigested foods some through, such as corn kernels.
#11: Report The Following Unusual Poos
If you see the following things in your baby’s nappy, be sure to contact your health professional:
- Blood stained poo
- Mucus in the poo
- Black poo (apart from the first couple of days)
- White poo
What To Do If Your Baby Isn't Having A Poo
If you're seeing no baby poo, see our article about constipation in babies. Please do not put anything in your baby's bottle (or on a spoon etc) without medical advice. If you're breastfeeding, find an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) in your area, or if you formula feed, see your child's paediatrician. Here are 7 things you need to avoid adding to your baby's bottle to fix constipation, colic, wind or anything else.
Why It’s Important To Observe and Monitor Your Baby’s Poo
You may be curious as to why those of us who work with babies are so keen to know about your baby’s poo. The main reason is that it gives us some idea about whether the baby is getting enough milk or not.
Please be aware that wide variation does exist in terms of a baby’s poos. These facts are intended to serve as a general guide only. If you have any questions or concerns about your baby’s health and wellbeing, it is advisable that you consult a health professional such as your GP, child health nurse or lactation consultant.