Baby poop - What’s normal and what’s not
You will probably remember that first poop; the dark sticky texture that was very difficult to remove from your baby's bum.
That first poop is called meconium and generally appears within 24 hours after birth.
Meconium is the waste product of amniotic fluid that your baby swallowed when in the womb which contained skin cells, tiny hairs and other little particles.
Over the first few days of life your babies poop tends to change colour and moves to a more greenish brown colour and it tends to be that your baby will poop very frequently.
Around 1 week old everything starts to settle down a little and it may be that the frequency will slow and poop may then be either brown, orange or yellow in colour.
Babies poop colour and texture can also depend on whether you are breastfeeding or formula feeding.
Breastfeeding poop colour, texture and how often?
Breastfeeding poop tends to be more yellow (mustard) in colour and can be a little loose but not watery.
Breastfed babies do tend to poop more frequently in the first few days, this may be after every feed and they may then miss a few days. At around 6 weeks old the frequency at which your baby has a poo should settle down and is likely to be once or twice a day.
Breastfed poop may also have a sweet smell.
Formula fed babies poop colour, texture and how often?
Formula fed babies poop will tend to be a little thicker (mousse texture) and more of a beige colour.
Formula fed babies also poop frequently within the first few days after birth and will then typically move to once per day after around 6 weeks old.
Normal poop colour when baby is taking a prescribed formula
Green poop - if your baby has been prescribed formula for suspected cow's milk protein allergy then it is very common for poop to be green - this is nothing to worry about.
Other Differences you may see in your babies poop
Very loose/explosive poop - If you find that your baby is having very loose/explosive stools after around 4-6 weeks of age, then it may be that they have a tummy bug. You may find that you are changing their nappies and clothes frequently throughout the day. Your baby's poop will also generally be unpleasant smelling if they have a tummy bug. Very loose/explosive stools can however also be a symptom of a milk allergy.
Toddler Diarrhoea - If your baby is a little older (12-18 months) they may be experiencing something called 'Toddler Diarrhoea' if their poop is loose. This is when too much fluid is taken and can cause poop to be very loose. If you feel this might be the cause then make sure you monitor how much your little one is drinking. Speak with your dietitian as they can advise on normal fluid intake for age.
Red stained poop - This may be an indication of a milk allergy, but if your baby is a little older then remember it could be due to the foods that they have eaten. Beetroot for example can make poop red in colour!
Mucous in poop - This could be a sign of a milk allergy - monitor for a few weeks and if it continues with other symptoms speak to your GP. Mucous can however be also present on occasion in the poop of breastfed babies.
Very hard poop that is difficult to pass - this could be a sign that your baby is constipated and could be related to their fluid intake or if eating solid foods, not enough fibre in the diet. Some little ones can however experience constipation and may need support with short term laxatives from your GP. Constipation is also a symptoms of a delayed food allergy but would also been accompanied by another symptom as constipation on it's own is not generally enough to indicate a food allergy.
Green poop - is normal for babies who are provided with a formula for suspected milk allergy, however if your baby is breastfed and has green poop then speak with your GP or dietitian
White poop - This is very rare but if you find that your baby has white poop or it is very pale in colour then speak with your GP.
Black poop - Sometimes poop can look darker in colour if your baby is constipated, it could also be due to foods that they have eaten. In some rare cases dark colour stools can be due to a tummy problem. If your baby is having repeated black stools then I would always advise you to speak with your GP.
Every baby is different and this means that each baby's poop is different. It’s important to understand what is normal for your baby. Remember that poop should be generally more frequent in the first few weeks of life and also when weaning starts it can become a little harder as your baby has only ever had formula or breastmilk. Their body is now having to learn to digest more solid foods. Poop should also be easy to pass and typically is a green, brown or yellow colour depending on whether they are breast or formula fed.
If your baby is gaining weight well and is hydrated, and there are no other worries, then it is likely that they are doing just fine!
If you are concerned about your baby's poop then speak with your dietitian or GP.
If you have any questions or queries or are worried about your babies poop then let me know.