Believe it or not, like it or not, your baby’s poop is actually a good indication of your baby’s health. Yes, you heard that right–your baby’s poop. As is normal, your baby’s poop is also an indication of his or her diet. Whether you are feeding your newborn formula or breastfeeding, their stools may have different colors. Understanding your child’s poop can be pretty challenging, especially for new moms, but that’s why we’re here. Check out the list below, and don’t forget to keep it for future reference!
Your baby’s first poop will usually be a greenish black. It’s actually called meconium, and is made up of what your baby digested while he was still in your womb. Think: amniotic fluid, bile pigments, fatty acids, etc. Usually, babies secrete meconium one to three days after birth. If your baby still hasn’t pooped out a greenish black, thick and sticky substance, then you might want to call your doctor. Unbelievably, this motor oil like substance doesn’t have much smell, so you might not be aware of it the moment your baby poops!
Once your baby has pooped meconium, it’s normal for his or her next poop to be an army green color. This is just the stool transitioning color, and is a sign that your baby is starting to digest early milk. This is also a sign that your baby’s intestinal tract is working perfectly. Babies typically have army green stools within two to four days of birth.
Here’s where the baby’s diet comes in. If your baby’s poop is mustard yellow, then this usually means that your baby is exclusively breastfed. The colors can also change to a bright and sometimes slightly orange color, with a seedy, soft, and squishy texture. Breastfed babies usually have sweet smelling poop too.
If your baby is formula-fed on the other hand, expect a tan hue in your baby’s poop. The consistency of poop for formula-fed babies is also different, being slightly more solid (think peanut sauce and hummus) and more viscous. It also has a less appealing smell compared to the poop of breastfed babies.
Orange isn’t a color we’re generally used to seeing in poop, but for babies, it’s totally normal. This could just reflect either yours or your baby’s diet. If you or your baby eat carrots, sweet potatoes, or other orange foods, then it’s probably just the pigments being picked up in your baby’s digestive tract. This color of poop is generally not something you need to worry about.
Like orange poop, this also good be a reflection of you or your baby’s diet. Highly pigmented foods like beets could be a cause of red-speckled poop. If your baby’s poop looks normal with flecks of red in it, it could also mean that your baby has is allergic to dairy. You can try eliminating dairy from both your diets to double check. If the poop is hard and dry with red streaks, this could be a sign of constipation, and is caused by small tears in the skin due to strained pooping. If the poop is thin, watery, raspberry-red, and looks like congealed fat, then this is a sign to call your docor immediately, as it might mean a bacterial infection.
Dark green poop isn’t something to worry about. Babies who usually have forest green poop are taking iron supplements, or have eaten green foods like spinach, kale, beans, peas, etc. recently. Alternatively, it’s also not very unusual for your baby’s transitional stool to be dark green either.
Breastfed babies are more prone to having bright green poop. What this means is that your baby is not getting enough foremilk, and as a result ends up digesting a lot of hindmilk. Foremilk is usually the first milk that is let down when your baby is nursing, while hindmilk is usually let down towards the end of your nursing session, and is higher in lactose (sugar) and fat. Too much lactose can cause a slightly green tinge in your baby’s poop. Why does this happen? One reason could be a bad latch, another could be a too fast letdown or an oversupply of milk. Don’t worry, this should normalize over the course of a few days. If not, it’s best to consult a lactation consultant.
Now brown poop is something we’re all familiar with, aren’t we? For babies, this means that they’re starting to eat more solids. The stool also gets thicker and firmer, and smellier, so be warned!
After meconium, you shouldn’t be seeing black-colored poop in your baby’s diaper any longer. If you do, this could either mean two things. One, is a sign of internal bleeding. If this is the case, call your doctor immediately. Two, is if you are breastfeeding with bleeding and cracked nipples. If this is the case, finding black specks in your baby’s normal poop is fine. This just means that they ingested some of your blood, which might sound a bit vampire-ish, but in this case, is totally normal.
If you see white or some pale gray poop in your baby’s diaper that resembles chalk dust, then call your doctor ASAP! This could either mean that you baby is having trouble digesting his or her food, or has a problem with his or her liver.
- Amos, Sarah. “The Complete Baby Poop Color Chart.” Mom Tricks. Last updated February 20, 2018.
- Baby Center. “Baby Poop: A Complete Guide.” Baby Center. Last updated July 2017.
- Cherney, Kristeen. “What Does Your Baby’s Poop Color Say About Their Health?” Health Line. Last updated June 25, 2018.
- Davies, Anna. “Baby Poop 101: A Comprehensive Guide to Newborn Poop.” The Bump. Date accessed October 2, 2018.
- Howland, Genevieve. “Baby Poop–What’s Normal and What Ain’t!” Last updated October 6, 2018.
- Today’s Parent. “Baby Poop Colour Guide.” Today’s Parent. Last updated January 11, 2017.