As a new parent, you probably never expected to be so invested in poop: How often is it happening? What color is it? Is it my turn to clean it up?
In the weeks following Baby’s birth, you’ll find yourself recording every detail of your child’s bowel movements. Why? Because poop can convey a lot about what’s going on inside your baby. Below is a color guide to deciphering the meaning of Baby’s poop.
The Typical Range Of Colors
Black to Green-Black: Baby’s first bowel movements, known as meconium, are a collection of fluid, bile and cells that she ingested while inside of you. Meconium is a tar-like, greenish-black color, and it’s what you should expect to see in her diaper the first few days after birth.
Green-Brown: As baby begins to digest breast milk or formula, his poop may switch to green-brown.
Yellow to Yellow-Green: After the first week, breastfed babies will produce runny, mustard-colored stools that sometimes contain what look like tiny white “seeds.” This is perfectly normal. Breastfed babies tend to poop quite frequently—sometimes after every feeding—in the early weeks.
Yellow-Green to Tan: Formula-fed babies have bowel movements that tend toward a tan color, although a yellow-green color is normal too. Their stools are pasty—of a peanut butter consistency—and are usually less frequent than breastfed babies.
A note on poop consistency: Be on the lookout for super watery stools that may indicate diarrhea or hard, pebble-like stools that could signal constipation. Constipation is more common among formula-fed babies. Be sure to consult your doctor if you note such changes in your baby’s diaper.
Brown: Once Baby is introduced to solid food, her stool will become a darker brown, rather like the poop color we are used to seeing. Hooray for brown poop! This means all systems are functioning normally. It also means that diaper changes get a lot stinkier.
Other Colors: Depending upon what food he is eating, your baby may produce brown poop that tends toward one of the colors of the rainbow. Carrots, for example, may turn poop orange while blueberries can make it blue. Frequent changes in your baby’s poop color are natural and often relate to diet. Overall, green, orange and yellow stools are rarely signs of any problems.
Colors For Concern
Lime Green: Often accompanied by a frothy texture, a lime green stool can mean several things.
In breastfed babies, it may mean your child is receiving an imbalance of foremilk (the sweeter milk that comes out first) vs. hindmilk (the fattier, nutrient-rich milk that follows). This can be regulated by nursing Baby on one breast longer, until the hindmilk comes through.
Lime green poop could also indicate a virus or an allergy to dairy. In both cases, you should consult your pediatrician.
Dark Green: Aside from the first days of meconium, a forest green shade of poop (often accompanied by thick stools) could be linked to an excess of iron in your baby’s system. Iron is necessary for Baby’s growth and development, but if she is also showing signs of constipation, talk to your doctor.
Red: Seeing red in your child’s stool isn’t necessarily cause for concern. If you or Baby has just pigged out on a beet salad, the red tinged poop is likely a result of that.
If Baby’s poop is a normal brown consistency but includes some red flecks, it may be a sign of an allergy to cow’s milk. Try cutting dairy from your diet for a week or switching to a soy-based formula.
A constipated baby might produce harder poops with reddish streaks. These streaks are likely blood from tears in the anus caused by straining. Check with your pediatrician about what to do. He may suggest trying water, diluted juice or glycerin suppositories with an older baby (never a newborn).
Watery, red-streaked poop might signify a bacterial infection. A raspberry-colored poop that looks like congealed fat may mean a serious intestinal problem. In either case, call your doctor right away.
White or Gray: Contact your doctor immediately as this may indicate a lack of bile being produced.
Black: Beyond the meconium stage, tarry black poop warrants a call to the doctor. It may mean blood in the digestive track.
An App for Tracking Baby’s Poop
Most doctors ask that you track your baby’s bowel movements for the first few months to make sure your little one is healthy. You can log this information on paper or use a more convenient app. With Mammmababy mobile App and Web App, you can easily track and log your baby’s daily poops whether you’re at home or on the go. It also provides a friendly poop decoder.
Click on the image below to find out more!
Are you looking for a baby logging App? MammaBaby is a fully-synchronized App-Web environment to enable “meaningful use” of baby logs. Here’s how you can use MammaBaby to improve parenting experiences.
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