Before becoming a parent, not many people ponder over baby poo and the myriad of questions surrounding it. Unless you are watching a movie starring a child in an explosive nappy, or if your friend, sister, or cousin is complaining about their child’s poos, it wouldn’t necessarily be on the forefront of your mind. The all new Nutricia FAQ content hub is a resource to assist new parents in the transition period from B.C: Before Child to ‘Now what?’ It is common for parents to worry about their child’s poo and whether it is normal.
Yes, your child’s poo can look like that.
Every baby is different and their poops will be different too.
There is such a variation between each child and their bowel movements, what is normal for one might be different for another, despite both being healthy.
If your friend’s kid is pooping after every feed, but yours isn’t going until later, that is normal and totally okay. It all comes down to their little bodies and what they are consuming, whether it be milk or solid foods.
Because of their brand-new digestive system, babies do not process foods as much as adults, therefore their poop generally is the colour of the foods and liquids they are consuming.
Baby poo can come in many different shades, here is the breakdown:
As a new parent, it is unsurprisingly alarming when you look at your child’s first poop and think ‘What on Earth is this?’. You are not alone.
A baby’s first poo is known as meconium. This is normally black, however it is sometimes a shade of dark green.
This is normal and can last for the first few days.
It is recommended to seek medical attention if it persists. If your baby doesn’t have its first bowel movements within 24 hours after birth, notify your doctor.
This shade is normal and to be expected, nothing out of the ordinary here!
If your baby is pooping bright yellow, it could be a sign of diarrhea. Monitor your child’s symptoms and contact your doctor if it persists.
Orange or Red
This is often caused by the child consuming foods of a similar colour, for example, tomatoes and beetroot. If your child is newborn and not consuming solids then this will not be applicable.
If there is a strong red hue in your baby’s stool, there could be a chance it is caused by blood in the stool. This is common for newborns as they can swallow blood during birth. Another cause could be a sign of infection, in which it would be best to seek medical advice.
If not meconium, this is also fairly normal, especially if they are consuming dark leafy greens (like spinach and kale) or peas.
The older they get, the more ‘normal’ their poop will look like compared to that of adults.
White or Grey
This is cause for concern, seek medical attention immediately. This could be a sign of a liver condition.
If their bowel movements are painless and soft in texture then the frequency of the movements should not be a major concern. Irregularities are very common, especially with newborns, as they adjust to their new environment. Also, babies who are transitioning to a diet consisting of solids also experience irregularities in their bowel movements.
As they grow, their poops will become more solid and develop formation, compared to their initial consistency.
However, if their stools seem loose and watery, this could be a sign your child is struggling with the absorption of nutrients. If your baby seems unwell, contact medical professionals.
On the flip side, if their stools are firm and pebble like, this is a sign of constipation.
Babies have varied bowel movements, especially for the first month or so of life. Constipation often occurs when you begin introducing solids into their diet, and here are more signs to look out for:
- Difficulty moving bowels
- Poops seem larger than usual
- Differing odours
- Less than three poops per week
- Poo that is firm, dry, pellet-like
- Firm stomach
- No appetite
- Not passing any wind
If your baby’s symptoms persist seek medical attention as there could be an underlying reason, however try these tips and tricks at home to alleviate them in the meanwhile:
- Gentle tummy massage to release the pressure
- Lay your child on their back and gently move their legs in circular, cycling motions
- Give them a warm bath to help them relax
- Do not give your child prune juice if they are younger than 9 months
- Monitor fluid intake and monitor for signs of dehydration
- Consult with a pediatrician regarding intake of fiber
Often, baby poo is on the runnier side, usually before solids are introduced. If your child’s poo seems runnier and is occurring more frequently than usual, they could have diarrhoea. Look out for the following symptoms:
- Watery poos
- Increased frequency of bowel movements
- No appetite
- Baby seems unwell
- Mucus in the stool
- Blood in the stool
When is there cause for concern?
It might take a while to gauge your baby’s bowel movements. As routines are established, you can begin to see their reactions and response times when it comes to things like eating, pooping and sleeping.
White or Grey Poop
The biggest concern to keep an eye out for are white or grey poop, as this could be a sign of jaundice or liver issues. Seek medical attention immediately if you notice this.
Blood in Stool
This could be a sign of constipation or an allergy for your baby, however it is always best to play it safe and seek advice from your health care professional.
At the end of the day, you know your baby the best and if you believe something is wrong the best course of action is to contact your doctor, midwife, pediatrician or other medical healthcare professional.
We at Nutricia believe in providing the best nutrition for babies, which is why we recognise breast milk as uniquely superior for babies, it provides many benefits. It is important that mums have a healthy diet to support breastfeeding. A decision not to breastfeed, or partial bottle feed, may reduce breast milk supply making it difficult to reverse. The cost and social implications of using a feeding method should be considered. Always seek a professional for advice about feeding your baby. Ensure formula is used as directed as improper use can affect baby’s health.
Please be advised this is not intended to replace professional advice. You should not use the information contained in this site to diagnose a health or medical condition or problem, or alter, commence or delay any medical treatment.