For all the Instagram-worthy moments that your baby’s first year on this earth will bring, it’ll also bring a whole lot of things that will have you wondering how your life changed so much. Like for example reading an article about baby poo and its various colours now seems totally normal, right?
Don’t stress you’re definitely not the first parent to ask yourself whether or not your baby’s poo is normal. Here’s everything you need to know about baby poo.
How often do they go?
Feeling like you’re changing nappies alllll day long? If you’ve got a newborn and you’re feeling like all they do is sleep, eat, poop, repeat then you’re not far wrong – It’s quite normal for a breastfed newborn to go anywhere from three to 12 times a day.
For formula-fed bubs, this can be more like one to four times per day, as formula takes a bit longer for their tummies to digest. As they get towards the six-week-old mark, don’t stress too much if they miss a day here or there, this is also totally normal.
Once baby starts solids you can expect them to even out to more like two poops per day. For breastfed babies, poo volume will also increase with the introduction of solids.
What colour should baby poo be?
If you were expecting your baby’s poo to be a fairly reliable colour (much like your own) then think again. There’s actually a whole rainbow of colours that are considered normal.
They can include:
- Black: Normal for the first few days of life, this is call meconium and is bub’s first poo. What a milestone!
- Yellow and orange: This is the colour you usually see coming from breastfed bubs.
- Tan or Olive: Normal for babies who are formula-fed, or fed a combination of formula and breast milk.
- Green: Formula-fed babies often do green poos. If your bub is older, certain foods and supplements can also cause green poo.
- Red: Normal if your baby is on solids and has been eating red food (like beetroot). If this continues, or you haven’t fed bub anything red, you may want to check in with your doctor as it could indicate something else.
Is the consistency of baby’s poo normal?
Consistency is another thing that can tends to be not very consistent.
Newborn poo will be quite thick and tarry but this should start to loosen up in the first few days. If it stays super thick like this, it can be a sign that bub isn’t getting enough milk. Assuming everything is going well though, you’ll find that bub will start to produce looser yellow-coloured stools pretty quickly. Also, don’t be surprised if your breastfed bub has some small seedy looking bits in their poo. This is normal too.
Alternatively, if you’re formula or mixed feeding your baby, they’ll have a slightly firmer poo. Babies can sometimes get constipated when they start on formula. If your bub is straining, or is producing hard and infrequent stools on formula, check with your health provider about how to give them a hand getting things moving.
Once you start solids, you’ll find that your baby’s poo will start to look a bit more like adult poo, complete with the occasional chunk of corn, or something else that looks a bit the same as it did when it when in their mouth.
If they’re passing dark pebbly-looking poo, they could be constipated. Likewise, if your baby is passing really runny poos that are occurring with more frequency than normal, they may have a bit of diarrhoea. If in doubt you should always contact your doctor.
Is it normal to see blood or mucus in baby poo?
Sometimes, yes, but it’s also worth keeping a close eye on.
If you know your bub is constipated, the straining from this can cause a little bit of bleeding. If you’re breastfeeding and have cracked nipples, this could also pass straight through into your baby’s poo.
Mucus is normal in meconium (bub’s first poos), and also in babies who are drooling a lot, like when they’re teething.
If your baby doesn’t fit any of the above categories, or the blood or mucus continues over a number of poos, once again it’s probably worth checking in with your doctor or paediatrician.
When should I worry?
According to Raising Children, white or grey poos are definitely concerning at any age and could be a sign of a digestive problem, so if you ever notice this in your baby, call your doctor straight away.
Outside of this, it’s just important to be aware that the types of poops your baby does will fluctuate. Colour and consistency changes over the short term are usually very normal. If you’re ever in any way concerned, it never hurts to check with your doctor, paediatrician or midwife.
Keeping an eye on your bub’s bowel movements is a really good way to monitor their health. Talking about poo is very normal for them, and they’d much rather reassure you than have you worrying unnecessarily.
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