Baby Poop - Color, Texture, and What it means
Whether you are a first-time mommy or caregiver or whether you have been at it for quite some time now, baby poop is a definite topic of discussion, and you will absolutely spend a considerable amount of time during the day either talking about whether your baby has pooped or not, cleaning your baby’s poop, or even taking a close look at it to make sure that it is as healthy as can be. In fact, don’t hesitate to do the latter every time your baby poops. Baby poop is indicative of many health-related concerns.
The color of your baby's poop is one approach to learn about their health. As your child's food varies, they will have a range of poop colors and textures, especially throughout the first year of life. Hence, it's critical to understand what constitutes normal poop texture and when you should contact your child's pediatrician.
So, what does your baby’s poop color and texture say about your baby’s health?
Baby Poop Colors
Here is a run-down of different poop colors2:
1. Black Baby Poop
The first stool of a newborn will most likely be black and tar-like. Mucus, skin cells, and amniotic fluid are all present in meconium. The black stool should only be present for a few days.
2. Yellow Baby Poop
Mustard Yellow: A newborn's stool may turn mustard yellow after the meconium has passed. Breastfed babies are more likely to have these colored feces.
Light Yellow: Poop that is bright yellow is common in breastfed newborns. However, bright yellow baby poop that is significantly more frequent and runny than usual could be diarrhea. Dehydration can be exacerbated by diarrhea.
3. Orange Baby Poop
Pigments taken up in your baby's digestive tract cause orange poop. Both breastfed and formula-fed babies are susceptible to having orange baby poop.
4. Red Baby Poop
Your baby's poop may turn red as a result of dark red meals and beverages they've consumed, such as tomato juice, beets, or even Jell-O3. Blood in your baby's bowel motions could indicate an intestinal infection, among other things, which include milk allergy or an anal fissure. When your baby’s poop is red, it is best that this be handled by a pediatrician.
5. Green Baby Poop
Greenish Tan: Poop from formula-fed babies may be a mix of greenish-brown and yellow. Their poop is also harder than a baby who has been breastfed.
Dark Green: Poop that is dark green in hue is particularly typical in babies who are starting solid green foods, like spinach and peas. Your baby's stool may become green as a result of taking iron supplements, too.
6. White or Grey Baby Poop
White or grey stool can signal that your baby's liver isn't creating enough bile to aid in appropriate digestion. A pediatrician should be consulted about white or grey poop at any stage.
Baby Poop Textures
Here is another run-down of different poop textures4:
1. Newborn’s Poop
The consistency of newborn poop is thick and tar-like. This is normal, and a newborn's poop will alter in color and texture within the first few days of life. If your baby's poop hasn't shifted to being looser and yellow within a few days of birth, consult your child's pediatrician. This could indicate that they're not getting enough milk.
2. Breastfed Baby’s Poop
Breast-fed babies' poops are looser and may contain seed-like particles. This does not necessarily imply that your child is suffering from diarrhea. Because breast milk is processed more quickly, they may have more bowel movements.
3. Formula-fed Baby Poop
Poop from formula-fed babies is harder in texture and tan to brown in color, with occasional green and yellow. If your infant strains during bowel motions and has infrequent, firm stools, they may be constipated.
4. Weaning Stage Baby Poop
The weaning stage is when you switch from primarily nursing to feeding your infant additional fluids and solid foods. Your baby's poop may grow firmer during this stage. You may also notice stools with a stronger odor.
5. Introducing Solids
When you start introducing solid meals to your baby's diet, their poop will begin to bulk up, much like adult poop.
Diarrhea is defined as loose, watery feces that occur more than once every meal in a newborn. Diarrhea is a cause of concern as it might lead to dehydration.
7. Baby Poop with Mucus
Whether it's mucus or frothy stool, it's a sign that something is wrong. When your infant drools from teething and swallows the drool, it might have a mucus-like or frothy texture. If your baby's stool has this texture, but they aren't drooling, it could be as a result of an infection that requires medical attention.
Following a proper hygiene routine and regular bathing can help keep your baby and his digestive system healthy, besides maintaining a normal bowel movement. Taking care of hygiene is essential, especially when it comes to your baby’s hands, as babies tend to put their hands in their mouths, and grab everything they can grab, which may be contaminated with types of bacteria and germs. Wiping your child’s hands with wet wipes or washing them with baby body wash frequently helps prevent ingestion of germs that can affect your baby’s health and digestive system.
In conclusion, for a variety of reasons, the color and texture of newborn baby poop changes. The overall color and consistency can also be affected by feeding and age. As a general rule of thumb, experts in the field of newborn care suggest the following rule of thumb to help you distinguish between the healthy pooper and those newborns pooping beyond the limits of acceptable pooping: Any time a newborn's poop becomes progressively waterier or outpaces feeding frequency, it's time to seek medical advice5.