Poop is not just poop when it comes to babies. It changes from day one and can shock you at times with all the possibilities. Some experienced parents may not even have seen all the possible shades! Seriously though, poop may be an icky subject but it is one of the things you will use as a parent to find out if your baby is okay so prepare to begin faithfully checking your baby’s diaper contents.
As soon as your baby is born they will pass stool but not what you expect. It will be dark and sticky and definitely something you have never seen before, unless you were around another newborn. It is known as meconium and it is normal. It is a combination of mucus, amniotic fluid, skin cells and anything else that might have been ingested while in the uterus but thankfully it does not smell. After this things change and it becomes a diverse affair.
Breast milk is a complete food and has minimal waste products produced. As your baby begins breastfeeding she may poop after every feed but as ties time goes on, roughly three to six weeks, the frequency reduces. Some babies may even go twice a week and it is normal. For as long as your baby seems fine and comfortable then it is okay.
Baby poop should be soft and flow smoothly. If it is hard and dry then your baby is constipated and may need a little assistance to get things moving. You will know if your baby is constipated if she cries every time she has to go and the consistency of the stool.
After the dark meconium baby poop turns a lighter army green within the first four days. This is known as transitional stool. It shows that her digestive tract is working fine. Breastfed babies have yellow or slightly green poop that has a creamy or mushy consistency. It does not smell that bad and may have white specks.
If your baby’s poop is frothy and bright green it means that your baby is getting too much low-calorie milk which is produced at the beginning of a feed. That shows that you may not be feeding your baby long enough on one breast. You can remedy this by starting your next feed on the breast you fed her last on.
Formula-fed babies have poop that looks like peanut butter and smells a little more than a breastfed baby’s poop.
Dark green or black poop should only be found in babies that are taking an iron supplement. If not, it could be an indication of melena which is digested blood.
Once your baby starts on solid food you will see a change in the consistency of the poop. It may be brown, thicker and definitely smellier. You may even find bits of food in it if what they ate was not digested completely.
If there is bright red blood in your baby’s poop it could mean that there is an anal tear or hemorrhoids, an allergy to milk protein or a bacterial infection if the blood is found in diarrhea. Darker blood which may appear like dark specks of sesame or poppy seeds may be a sign that the baby is swallowing blood from a mother’s cracked nipples. This does no harm to the baby. It could however also be a sign that your baby is bleeding from the upper intestinal tract.
Mucus in poop could occur if your baby is drooling since the mucus found in saliva usually isn’t digested. It could however be a sign of an allergy or infection. If you see it for more than two days you should get the bay checked.