As a new parent, your list of things to worry about it probably endless.
One thing that always ranks high on the list, however, is poop. Each time you change your baby's nappy, you will look for signs of nappy/diaper rash, and inspect the colour, smell and texture of the poo. You might think you won't, but, at some point, you will.
There are so many variations of what you might find inside that nappy, that you may find yourself worrying when you come across something unusual. So, what's normal when it comes to baby poop?
Baby Poop #1: Meconium
This black, tar-like stuff will probably be the first type of poo you ever worry about. It's newborn poo. and is made up of amniotic fluid, mucus and skin cells. It doesn't smell very strong, but it's sticky and can be hard to clean off. Keep a washable wipe handy, and use water (at room temperature) to gently wipe off this sticky substance.
Baby Poop #2: Healthy Breastfed Poo
A healthy baby enjoying a diet made up entirely of breast milk, will produce yellow poo. It may at times have a green tinge to it, and it will appear creamy in texture. It may be dotted with what appear to be little seeds. The poo of breastfed babies doesn't have an overly strong smell.
Baby Poop #3: Too Much Breastmilk
If your exclusively breastfed baby is producing nappies containing bright green, frothy poo, your baby may be consuming too much breastmilk. This may be the case where you have an oversupply and baby has lactose overload.
Here are 7 signs of an oversupply.
Baby Poop #4: Healthy Formula-Fed Poo
Formula fed babies produce poo that looks a little like peanut butter. It will be brown in colour, though may appear tinged with tan, yellow or green. It will have a distinct smell, stronger than the smell of a breastfed baby's poo.
Baby Poop #5: Constipation
If your baby's poo is hard and pebbly, she may be suffering from constipation. Constipation can be very uncomfortable for babies, so you may notice her struggling to poo. If your baby produces three or more nappies of pebbly poo, you should contact your healthcare provider. You should also contact your healthcare provider if you notice blood in your baby's nappy. Constipation can occur when solid food is being introduced, but it can also be caused by an intolerance to something in breast or formula milk. However it is not normal for a healthy breastfed baby to get constipated.
Baby Poop #6: Diarrhoea
This watery, runny poo can be yellow, green or brown. It may leak out of the legs of the nappy, or seem to explode out the top of the nappy. If your baby is younger than three months, you should inform your healthcare provider if your baby has three or more nappies filled with diarrhoea. You should also contact your healthcare provider if the diarrhoea continues for over 48 hours.
Baby Poop #7: Iron Fortified Poo
If you have given your baby iron supplements, his poo may be dark green or black. If your baby is producing dark green or black poo but has not taken iron supplements, you should contact your healthcare provider for advice.
Baby Poop #8: Solid Food Poo
As soon as your baby starts eating solid food, you will notice a change in her nappies. This change will be particularly noticeable if your baby is breastfed, because your baby's poo will suddenly acquire a strong odour. Once your baby starts eating solids, her poo will be thicker and darker, but still mushy.
You may even notice partially digested food in your baby's nappy from time to time. What you feed your baby will affect her poo. Eating beetroots can turn your baby's poo red, blueberries can turn it dark blue, and you may notice small chunks of orange carrot or yellow sweetcorn in there too.
It's normal to see bits of food in your baby's nappy every now and then, but if it happens consistently it could indicate a problem. Speak to your healthcare provider if you are worried about partially digested food.
Baby Poop #9: Mucus Poo
If your baby's nappy is green, glistening and appears to be coated in slime, you're dealing with a mucus nappy. A particularly drooly baby may produce these during bouts of teething pains, and they're nothing to worry about. Mucus in the nappy can also be a sign of infection or allergy, so if your baby has any other symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider for advice.
Baby Poop #10: Bloody Poo
If your baby has blood in his nappy, it could be bright red or black. Black blood has been digested. You should contact your healthcare provider if you notice blood in your baby's nappy. Bright red blood may be caused by a food allergy, a bacterial infection, or a small tear in the anus (usually caused by haemorrhoids).
Baby Poop #11: White Poo
Pale or white poo can be caused by a very rare condition called biliary atresia. This condition can be serious so you must inform your healthcare provider immediately if you notice pale or white poo in your baby's nappy.
You will probably see all kinds of things in your baby's nappy during that first year, but always trust your intuition. If your baby seems unwell, or if you are worried about the contents of his nappy, ring your healthcare provider for a second opinion.