22 Aug 2022 | 9 min Read
Author | 614 Articles
As new parents, you might have several questions regarding your baby’s stool. Most new parents also commonly ask – how many times does a newborn poop? The answer is about one to four bowel movements per day which are completely normal. Be prepared to witness different colours like blackish green stool, green stool and other colours if you’re first-time parents and are still figuring things out. Read on to find out more about a baby’s poop colour and what each of them means.
Here’s a rough guide to what you’re likely to find in your little one’s poop over the first few days, weeks, and months after he or she is born.
The first few diapers of your baby will usually contain a gooey, dark-green, tar-like substance, with hardly any smell. The green poop in babies is completely a normal colour of stool and is called meconium.
This poop is made up of skin cells, mucus, lanugo hairs and other particles that your baby has swallowed while he or she was in the womb along with amniotic fluid.
It usually takes a few days to pass out all the meconium from the baby’s system. After that, they begin to have regular baby poops. The baby poop’s colour will shift from a very dark brown stool almost black colour to a yellowy green and the mucus present is also less.
Here is what you’ll probably find in your little one’s poop:
If your child is eating finger foods, their poop might have undigested bits of food like the skins of peas or tomatoes. This is because your child’s digestive system is still new to processing all these new foods. The poop starts to smell stronger during the weaning period too due to sugars and extra fats consumed.
Black, mustard and bright yellow colour can be when your baby is breastfeeding or is on formula milk.
You might be surprised by a change in the colour of your baby’s poop, which can range from the mustardy hues of breast-milk poop and the yellow-tan of formula-fed baby poop to various other shades of yellow, brown, and even green. You might also find mucus in baby poop, which can create a translucent or milky colouring.
Green poop can be alarming the first time you see it, but it’s usually harmless. All sorts of things can cause it, from certain medicines (taken by your baby, or by you if you’re breastfeeding) to green foods eaten by your baby directly or passed on through your breast milk. Sometimes, what you see is simply a product of your little one’s normal digestion.
Generally, all the earth tones (yellow through green and brown) are OK, but if you ever need reassurance about the colour of your baby’s poop, don’t be shy about reaching out to your baby’s healthcare provider for advice.
Dark Red or Black Baby Poop
If your baby’s stool is dark red or black in colour, it might indicate gastrointestinal bleeding. Blood in baby poop should always be consulted by a doctor.
This could indicate digestive issues and needs a doctor’s advice.
Overly runny consistency could be a sign of diarrhoea.
Silver, Wine-red Maroon, or Raspberry Gel-like Poop
All of these poop colours need immediate medical attention.
If your baby is breastfeeding, about two to five bowel movements are normal. However, in the case of formula feeding, it can be once a day.
However, if your infant has stools that are very runny or larger — maybe even leaking out of their diaper — and are more frequent than usual, then they have diarrhoea.
If your baby is partly or completely formula-fed, it might have less watery or loose poops. Formula milk usually gives babies firmer poops that are light tan in colour. Diarrhoea in formula-fed babies will still be a bit watery, though the colour can vary just as with normal stool.
Keep your baby hydrated as much as possible. If your baby is still breastfeeding, ensure that they feed enough.
No poop or constipation is common in babies after they’re introduced to solid foods but it can occur in younger children too. Constipation in newborn babies is hard/firm stool which comes less than once a day. In older children and toddlers, the hard stool comes once in three to four days. If your child or baby strains for more than ten minutes to pass stool, it can indicate constipation.
Talk to your doctor if your child has any of these symptoms-
If your baby has a bloody stool, diarrhoea or any signs of constipation, see your doctor immediately.
A baby’s stool comes in many colours and most variations are considered normal. However, if your baby is pooping colours like red, white, black or pale yellow make an appointment with your doctor.
If your little one has a milk allergy, you may see diarrhoea. The undigested milk in baby stool can even lead to bloody diarrhoea and mucus in the stool. Plus, your baby may also experience vomiting, rash, eczema or abdominal pain. Symptoms of this intolerance tend to develop within the first week of exposure.
Sometimes your child might pass loose, watery, yellow and green coloured stools after two hours of consuming milk or any other dairy product. This could be a sign of lactose intolerance in the baby.
Some children may go number two several times a day, while others may go once every other day or every two to three days. If you’ve noticed that your child seems to be pooping a few times each day, that’s not to worry for.
A baby’s stool that is dark green or greenish-black may be caused by a reaction of bacteria in the intestines to the iron sulfate in a supplement or iron-fortified formula. The poop will remain this colour as long as your baby is on the formula.
A healthy baby poop colour in the first few months may look a little like Dijon mustard which has a slightly runny consistency. It might also have whiteish and seed-like fat particles.
Cover image credit – Flo Health