A New Mom's Guide to Baby Poop

As a new parent, one of the most puzzling situations you may encounter is what you discover in your baby's diaper. There's a wide range of what's considered "normal" when it comes to baby poop, so don't be alarmed by what you see (or smell!) From breastmilk to formula to solid foods, here's the scoop on what might happen with your baby's poop!

11 Stock Up on Diapers and Supplies

Before you head to the hospital, you'll want to make sure you have all the things you need when you get home. You'll need diapers, obviously, but don't stock up on too many of the newborn size. Some babies grow out of them quickly! Make sure you have some size 1 diapers, so when it seems like your baby is ready to move up, you have some larger sizes on hand. You'll also need wipes, diaper cream, and other new baby hygiene essentials!

10 Meconium

Meconium is your baby's first poo. It will be dark greenish, black and sticky. (So sticky,  it may help to coat your baby's buns with petroleum jelly after diaper changes to make the next one a little easier to clean up!) Made of amniotic fluid, mucus, and skin cells, it doesn't really have a smell. It only lasts a day or two until you start breastfeeding or formula feeding.

9 Breastfed Poo

If you are nursing, your baby's poop will be a mustard yellow or greenish color, and be kind of mushy. It will also have seed-like flecks in there, making it look kind of like Dijon mustard. The breastfed baby poo doesn't really have much of a noticeable smell. If your baby's poo seems like it turns brighter green, it could signify that your baby is receiving more foremilk than hindmilk. Foremilk his higher in lactose and lower in calories. If this happens, try nursing the baby on one side a little longer to balance out the amount of foremilk and hindmilk she is getting. For the first 6-8 weeks, a breastfed baby may poo two or more times a day. As babies get older, they could poo once a day or even go a few days between poos.

8 Formula Fed Poo

If you're formula feeding your little one, you can expect their poo to be a little thicker or more formed in texture. Normal poo can be a range of colors from yellowish to tan to brown to green. Most often, formula fed baby poo can be dark green due to the iron added to baby formula.

7 Normal Poo Colors

Whether breastfed or formula fed, babies' poo can be a wide range of colors and be perfectly normal. It's normal for pooh to change color from time to time, too. Contrary to what you may think, it doesn't really have much to do with what the baby is eating, but rather, how long the food is in the digestive system.

Breast milk is absorbed into the body quickly and doesn't take very long to be processed, so breast milk poo comes out quickly, and it's more often yellow or lighter in color than formula poop. If the digestive system is slowed down (like when babies are given formula, which takes longer to digest), the baby's poo turns green, or even brown. All these colors are normal and not any cause for concern.

6 White Poo

You should be concerned if your baby's poo turns white. This could possibly mean the baby's liver isn't making enough bile to properly digest his or her food. Bile is what normally turns poo brown during the digestive process, so if you see your baby's poo is chalky white in color, call the doctor.

5 Red Poo

You also want to call the doctor if you notice red-streaked poo or poo that is black and streaked with red because it could be blood, an allergy, or a sign of an intestinal issue. If your baby has diarrhea and a reddish poo, it could be a sign of a bacterial infection. On the other hand, if your baby is constipated and has reddish poo, it could be that your baby has tiny hemorrhoids.

If your baby is breastfeeding and you have cracked or bleeding nipples, your baby could be swallowing and digesting blood.  Also, if your baby is eating solids, think about what they've eaten recently. Foods like beets or foods with artificial coloring can give poo a reddish tinge.

4 Solid Foods Poo

Once your baby starts to eat solid foods, you may notice changes in her bowel movements. Solid food can result in more solid poo. It may turn browner and will start to really smell bad. Occasionally, you may see bits of undigested food in your baby's poo, or it may even be different colors. Not to worry. This just means the foods your baby has been eating haven't been chewed thoroughly or didn't have enough time to break all the way down.

3 Diarrhea

Diarrhea is very watery and runny. It can leak or even explode out of your baby's diaper. Call your doctor if your baby has more than two or three diarrhea diapers, or if diarrhea seems to last for more than a day or two.

Diarrhea can be a sign of an infection, allergy, or food sensitivity and can also lead to dehydration if not treated promptly.

2 Constipation

Some babies don't make a sound when they make a poo; you don't know until you smell it. Other babies may turn red in the face and grunt when they poo. This is normal. It's even normal for older babies to go a few days in between poos, as long as the poo is still soft and mushy in texture. If, however, the poo is hard and dry, and the baby cries when making a poo, your baby is likely constipated.

Breastfed babies don't usually suffer from constipation as much as formula fed babies. If your formula fed baby is constipated, make sure you are following instructions when making a bottle. Fill the bottle with water first, and then add the formula powder. (Sometimes adding too much powder to the water can cause the baby to be constipated.)

As babies begin to eat solid foods, their digestive system may need time to adjust. If your baby seems to be regularly constipated, talk to your doctor about how you can help her.

1 Constipation Culprits and How to Help

Possible culprits for constipation can be the ABCs or the BRATs. The ABCs are apples, bananas, and cereal (rice) or carrots. The BRATs are bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Sometimes too much of these foods can cause constipation in little ones. However, every baby is different and may have different reactions to different foods.

If your baby is constipated, try offering a little water or pear or prune juice at mealtimes. If your baby is eating solids, offer foods that start with the letter P--pears, peaches, pumpkin, and, of course, prunes can all help the digestive system. Foods with fiber, like broccoli, can help get things moving, too. Ask your doctor for other suggestions before trying any medicines or over-the-counter remedies.



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