Baby Poo – What Is Normal?
Baby Poo and new parents obsession with it .. and how can they not be? After all, you get up close and personal with poop several times a day. Poo simply cannot help but take a place front and center in your mind! So it’s not surprising that I am frequently asked what is normal and what is not. Here’s my cheat sheet.
What Baby Poo Looks Like Depends On A Few Things:
- How old your baby is
- Whether they are breastfed or bottle fed or both
- Whether the baby is taking solid food
How often should my baby poo?
This is variable. Some babies will poo once a week (particularly breastfed babies) and some will poo 10 times a day. Breastfed babies tend to stool more often than formula fed ones.
Is it dangerous if my baby strains to poo?
Straining to stool is a normal baby phenomenon. This is a work out for some kids! If the poo comes out soft and mushy, I wouldn’t worry about constipation. If your baby is not stooling, but is vomiting or has a big, distended abdomen, please see your doctor.
What does normal baby poo in a newborn look like?
In the first two or three days of life baby stool is meconium – a thick green-black, tar like material. It’s made of mucus, amniotic fluid and whatever your baby ingested while you were pregnant. We want this to come out before your baby can start to poo normally.
What does breastfeeding poo look like?
After the meconium goes away the stool will start to change from black to brown-green to bright yellow, like mustard. Newborn breastfed baby stool is quite liquid in consistency. It may also be grainy or curdled in appearance. The average breastfed baby will poo 4-6 times a day. The number of stools typically decreases over time.
Some breastfed babies poo once a week or just once in 10 days. This is normal as long as they are feeding well, not vomiting and their stomach is flat and soft.
Formula fed baby poop
The stools of formula fed babies tend to be thicker and browner than breastfed baby stools. Picture the texture of toothpaste versus mustard. It also tends to have a stronger smell than breastfed baby poo. Formula fed babies are more likely to get constipated compared to breastfed babies.
Switching from breast to bottle
Try to wean gradually, to allow your baby to get used to the difference in nutrition and to prevent mastitis and blocked ducts in breastfeeding women.
Your baby’s stool will start to take on more form with the introduction of solid food. Often in the first months of starting solids, you will notice undigested food in the stool. This is normal and will become less frequent over time. This is due to babies’ difficulty in digesting fiber early on. The color of the food often changes the color of the poo. With more solids, the poo will become darker and smellier.
What poo is not normal baby poo?
Diarrhea – a very watery stool, often passed frequently and sometimes explosively. Diarrhea is usually caused by viruses. If you are worried about dehydration please see your doctor
Constipation – Kids with constipation will have difficulty passing small, hard and dry stools – think rabbit pellets. Alternatively, they may be hard and large in volume. Your baby will be uncomfortable with passing these stools. If you notice blood streaks, it may be a sign of an anal fissure, or little cut in the baby’s bum from trying to push out the hard stool. If your baby is constipated, consult your doctor.
What color poop is okay?
I like to tell parents that all poo colors are okay except those that are black, red or white. Black or red poos may signify bleeding, and need to be investigated by your physician. White stools can signify a liver abnormality and you should see your doctor about this as well. Green baby poo can be the result of breastfeeding, viruses or solid food intake. There is no compelling evidence that green stool signifies a foremilk-hindmilk imbalance as you may read elsewhere online. As long as you are breastfeeding for 10 min or longer per feed, this is unlikely to be an issue.
Dina is a wife, mother of 4, and adrenaline junky. She loves to share children’s health information from her professional and personal experience. More About Dr Dina.