Baby Poop: What’s Normal And What’s Not?

Baby Poop: What’s Normal And What’s Not?

It can be a daunting experience being a new parent.

Many new parents have lots of questions related to their baby’s feeding, sleep, skin etc.

One common question is revolves around baby poop – what’s normal and what’s not?

Parents with young babies are typically reminded of poop multiple times each day.

This isn't just with each nappy change; every health professional who sees your baby has questions about your baby’s poop! What colour is it? What texture? How often? How much?

Indeed, this nappy changing thing can be a real business. Hence, you need to be prepared and know these 10 facts about what's normal and what’s not when it comes to baby poop.

#1: Your Baby’s First Poop

Meconium is the first poop your baby passes after birth. The look and consistency of meconium is pretty distinctive and not difficult for you to notice.

It’s a black, sticky, tar-like poop and is made up of amniotic fluid, mucus and cells from the lining of the baby’s gut.

#2: Healthy Breastfed Baby Poop

An exclusively breastfed baby’s poop is typically a yellow or mustardy colour. Sometimes, it may be greenish or even bright orange!

It’s typically runny with little seedy bits in it. A breastfed baby’s poop doesn’t usually smell bad.

#3: The Poop After Too Much Breastmilk

If your exclusively breastfed baby is having copious wet and dirty nappies and the poop is green and frothy, it may be that he is drinking too much breastmilk.

This can occur if a mother has an oversupply of breastmilk. For more information, check out Oversupply Of Breast Milk – 7 Signs Of An Oversupply.

#4: Formula-Fed Baby Poop

Formula-fed baby poop often looks a bit like peanut butter. It tends to be thicker in consistency than breastfed baby poop.

The colour of formula-fed baby poop is usually brown in colour and this can be tinged with tan, yellow or green. The poop of a formula-fed baby also tends to smell stronger than a breastfed baby’s poop.

#5: Hard And Pebbly Poop

If your baby’s poop is hard and pebbly, this suggests she may be constipated. It’s rare for exclusively breastfed babies to be constipated.

If you think your baby is constipated, you should seek medical advice. You can read more in Constipation – Remedies And Causes.

#6: Dark Coloured Poop

If you are giving your baby an iron supplement, this can cause dark green or black poop. It is benign and not a concern.

However, if your baby is passing dark coloured poop and you aren't giving iron supplements, you should seek medical advice.

#7: Solid Food Poop Can Be A Variety Of Colours

Once your baby starts eating solid food, you will see a change in her poop. Often the poop will become thicker and darker but still quite mushy.

It’s not uncommon to occasionally even notice partially digested food in your baby's nappy! You might see many different colours and hues, depending on what your baby eats. Some foods are passed through the digestive system so quickly they don't have time to full break down.

If partially digested food appears in your baby's nappy consistently, seek medical advice.

#8: Mucus In Baby Poop

If your baby's nappy appears to have parts that are coated in slime, it could indicate mucus is there. Sometimes this is nothing to worry about. For example, a baby who is swallowing excess saliva (e.g. when teething) may produce nappies like this.

However, mucus in the nappy could also indicate infection or allergy. Seeing a doctor is a good idea.

#9: Blood In Your Baby’s Poop

Blood in a baby’s poop could appear bright red or black. Black blood indicates blood which has been digested. Bright red blood may be due to a food allergy, a bacterial infection, or a small tear in the anus (usually due to haemorrhoids).

You should seek medical advice if you see blood in your baby’s poop.

#10: Baby’s Poop Is White

Pale or white poop can indicate a rare disease of the liver and bile ducts called biliary atresia. It’s important that medical advice is sought immediately if you notice pale or white poop in your baby's nappy.

So, hopefully you now feel much more informed about what’s normal and what’s not about your baby’s poop. If you’re ever in doubt, be sure to seek medical advice.

 

CONTRIBUTOR

Renee Kam is mother to Jessica and Lara, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), a physiotherapist, author of 'The Newborn Baby Manual' and an Australian Breastfeeding Association Counsellor. In her spare time, Renee enjoys spending time with family and friends, horse riding, running and reading.


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