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Guide to baby poop color | Understanding Newborn poop

Posted on August 20 2021

When you ask expecting parents what they’re looking forward to most about meeting their newborn baby, the answer is never to change their baby’s nappy. The thought of the regular everyday nappy changes might be unnerving for some new parents.

However, it’s important for parents to take the time to look and see what’s going on with their baby’s poop as it can tell them a lot about their child’s development and health. Your baby’s poop habits, the consistency of their stool, its colour and the amount they are pooping can give you a lot of information about your baby, so it is important to pay attention to it.


What does newborn poop look like?

When a newborn baby first poops, it gets rid of everything that it ingested whilst in the womb. This first poop even has its own name, it’s called meconium and consists mainly of amniotic fluid, skin cells and water.

As a guide to newborn poop, keep in mind that your baby’s first poop will likely look sticky in consistency and will be more of a dark green or black colour. As the days go on, your baby’s poop should start to become lighter and more watery in consistency.

If the baby stool does not appear to be changing or if your baby is not passing any stool at all, it might be an indicator that something is wrong or that your baby is not getting enough nutrients. If this is the case, you should consider contacting a healthcare professional or calling your doctor to get some advice.


Does breastfed baby poop look different from formula-fed poop?

Yes, babies who have been exclusively breast fed will have different looking poop to those who have been exclusively formula fed. This is because the source of their nutrients are coming from different things. Whilst breastfed babies' nutrients are essentially coming from whatever their mother has eaten, formula fed babies nutrients is more consistent as it contains whatever the formula contains.

As breastfed babies' poop is partially reliant on what their mother has eaten that day, it means that there might be slight changes and variations in their poop. However, on average, you can expect it to be more green or yellow in colour and have a mushy consistency. Breastfed babies usually have looser stool than formula fed babies but this is nothing to worry about. You also might see some seed-like bits in your baby’s poop which is just a sign of undigested food.

Formula fed babies on the other hand tend to have more of a brown hue to it and it also tends to have a firmer consistency. You can also expect formula fed babies to have poop that smells a bit more than breastfed babies poop. However, it does not smell as bad as when they start eating solids.


How often should my baby poop?

In addition to knowing what you should expect your baby’s poop to look like, it also helps to know how often your baby should be pooping. Just as there are differences between newborn baby poop, breastfed baby poop and formula fed baby poop appearance, there are also discrepancies in the amount of time you should expect your baby to poop.

Here is a baby poop guide to help you determine how often your baby should poop:


Newborn

The amount of poop that your baby produces in the first week of his/her life can be a shock to many. You may think they don't have that much to evacuate, but you are wrong. In the first week of life, you should be prepared and expect to change your baby’s nappy around four times a day. However, there are variations depending on the baby, and your newborn could poop up to twelve times a day, so make sure you have an adequate supply of nappies.


Breastfed baby

If your baby is breastfed it also affects the frequency at which you can expect your newborn to poop. Breastfed baby’s poop is far more erratic than formula fed baby’s poop. It is not uncommon for breastfed babies to go days without passing any stool. In some cases, a baby can go seven days without pooping and it is nothing to worry about. This is due to the fact that your baby might simply be making more room for the milk they are receiving.


Breastfeeding accessories

Formula fed baby

Formula fed babies have far more regular bowel movements. You should expect your formula fed baby to poop at least once a day. If you notice that they have gone a few days without pooping, it might be a sign of constipation.

Ultimately, whether your baby is breastfed or formula fed, babies all have different digestive systems and each individual's digestive tract is going to dictate the frequency of their bowel movements. If you are worried or have questions, you should consult your pediatrician or doctor.


What is the newborn baby poop smell?

Newborn baby poop smell is not as bad as you’re probably thinking it is going to be. People often like to scare first time parents about how badly their poop is going to smell and tell them horror stories about the whole experience. Luckily for you, that is not the case.

Newborn baby stool actually has a slightly sweet smell and does not smell that bad. If you are breastfeeding your baby, his poop will smell better. However, if you begin to formula feed your baby, you might notice a slight change in smell as breastfed babies tend to have poop that smells a bit worse. You only really need to start worrying about the smell of your baby's poop once they start eating solid foods!


Baby poop color and meaning

The colour of your baby’s poop is the thing that you should pay closest attention to because it can tell you a lot about their current health. In order to help you, we created this informative guide to baby poop colour so that you know exactly what each poop colour means.


Green

Many babies have naturally green poop, whether it be bright green or dark green. If your baby’s poop has always had a slightly green hue to it, it is probably just their normal poop colour and you don’t need to worry.

In most cases, even if your baby’s poop isn’t always green but you notice a change in colour to green, it is nothing serious. The green colour could be due to slow digestion or a change in the mother’s diet if they are breastfed.

However, if you are worried about this new green hue as it is accompanied by an unusual behaviour from your baby, it might be due to a cold or stomach bug or could be an infection or allergy. If this is the case, contact your doctor!


Brown

Brown is probably the colour you are expecting your baby’s poop to be. Brown poop is the sign of a healthy baby, especially if it is a formula fed baby as brown is the normal colour of poop for these babies. Your baby’s brown stool might also be mixed with a bit of orange, which is nothing to worry about.


Red

Red is not considered a normal poop colour, but it does not mean something is seriously wrong. If your baby’s poop is red, it likely means that there is blood in it and it should be checked out just in case.

Whilst bright red poop could have more serious medical origins, your baby could have just swallowed some blood. It could also be caused from a cracked nipple from a breastfeeding mother or a small cut near the baby's bottom. Stay calm and make sure your baby gets checked out as soon as possible.


White

This is not usually a normal poop colour so you should take your baby to see a doctor or pediatrician if you see white poop. This colour could indicate that your newborn is not producing enough bile in order to digest food properly.


Tips to choose your diaper bag

Types of baby poop

Colour and smell are not the only variations in poop, below are the different types of poop that you might experience whilst your baby is still in nappies.


Diarrhea

At some point in your baby's infancy, you are bound to experience diarrhea. Diarrhea could indicate a few different things, from a bug, to allergies, to teething problems. If your baby has diarrhea, make sure you give them plenty of fluids to keep them hydrated and call a doctor if they have any accompanying symptoms that you are worried about.


Pebble- like stool

If your baby’s poop is coming out in lots of small pebble-like pieces, it could be a sign of constipation. If you think your baby is constipated, start by trying some home remedies and go to the doctor if you still notice the problem after 24 hours.


Cloth Diapers Vs Disposable Diapers

How does baby poop change once we start solids?

When your baby starts eating solid foods, you will start to see a lot more variation in their poop due to the change in diet. Your baby’s poop might look different from day to day. However, in general, you can expect it to be thicker, darker and smell worse.


What changes in baby poop could signal a problem?

In most cases, a change in your baby’s poop won't be signalling a big problem. However, if you notice other changes along with your baby’s poop changing, such as a change in demeanor or an increased temperature, you should think about calling your doctor.


Tips to help your baby poop


Sometimes babies find it hard to poop. Here is some advice to help them poop:


Bicycle legs

This is exactly what it sounds like. If your baby is having trouble pooping, move their legs in a circular motion towards and outwards from their chest as this stimulates their digestive system and gets things moving.


Warm bath

A warm bath can often help as it will help to relax their muscles and encourage them to poop.


Food

Incorporating certain foods into your baby’s diet could be a more long term solution if your baby generally has a hard time pooping. Things such as prunes, peaches, wholegrains, high fibre vegetables and juice can help your baby poop.


Overview

Baby poop is a reality in every parent's life. Although in most cases, a change in poop colour, consistency or smell is nothing to worry about, knowing what to look out for is helpful just in case you suspect something is wrong.

What is certain, is that your baby is going to poop a lot, so you want to be completely prepared. Nothing is worse than running out of wipes or diapers at those crucial moments. To help make sure you never run out of anything, shop at Aux Ptits Cadeaux for all your baby needs!




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