Sunday, July 25, 2021

Normal Infant Stooling

This is an INFORMATION page, verified by physician

With feeding goes poo… (or poop in American English)

Baby poo colour and texture can be one indicator of your baby’s health. Your baby will go through a variety of poo colours. Especially in the first year when their diet changes.

What is normal for an adult stool does not necessarily apply for baby poo. So, understanding stool colour and consistency will help reduce your anxiety.

Here is what you need to know about baby stooling:

Newborn Poo

It is called meconium and contains mucous, skin cells and amniotic fluid. Meconium is sterile. It tends to be greenish/black with a tar like or sticky consistency and should not last more than couple of days. Contact your paediatrician if your baby does not pass meconium in the first 48 hours. It may indicate an underlying condition.

Breast Fed Baby Poo

Considered normal anywhere from mustard yellow to green and brown. With a consistency of a paste or a bit runnier and may contain seed-like substances. Breast fed babies may poo few times a day or once every few days to a week.

Counting your baby’s nappies (poo and pee) in the first week can be a helpful tool. It can show whether they are getting enough of your breast milk. In general babies will increase the volume and the frequency of stool and urine as they are able to take more breastmilk. The composition of the breastmilk changes to meet their needs:

Formula Fed Baby Poo

Tends to be a shade of yellow or brown with a consistency of paste or peanut butter. Formula fed babies poo once a day or once every 2 days.

Weaning Onto Solids Baby Poo

During weaning, baby poo can have a tinge of red, orange, or dark green. Especially, if food with this colour has been recently introduced. Iron supplements can make baby poop dark green, too. You can also notice food pieces appearing in the poop. This is because some foods aren’t digestible and will quickly pass through your baby’s system.

When to Call Your Paediatrician:

  • Black poo beyond the newborn period. This may indicate bleeding from the upper parts in the digestive system.
  • Red coloured poo if no red food has been introduced. May indicate bleeding from the lower parts of the digestive system.
  • White, chalk like or gray poo with no noticeable pigment. May indicate liver problem.
  • Blood mixed with poo. May indicate food allergy or constipation.
  • Hard and infrequent stools or pebble-like drops. Especially if they cause your baby to strain during bowel movement. May indicate constipation.
  • Watery stools that occur more than once every feeding. May indicate diarrhea.
  • Mucousy or frothy stool. May be due to teething related drooling, or infection.

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about the author

Dr Jasmina Marinova

MRCPCH, MD

SPECIALIST PAEDIATRICIAN & NEONATOLOGIST

Dr Marinova is an experienced paediatrician with a special interest in neonatal medicine, having been trained in both paediatrics and neonatal medicine in Europe before spending 15 years in the United Kingdom, both at the world-renowned John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and in the busy district hospital in Kettering.



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