My apologies for the following images – DO NOT LOOK IF BABY POO GROSSES YOU OUT there IS POO! ACTUAL POO!! The reason for this blog post is because after having a baby I found myself worried of their bowel movements whether too much too little and could never find anything that showed me what was normal, so I’ve compiled some images and information to show you it’s all okay! Whatever you call it – stools, poo, poop, bowel movements, poopy, s*** – we all do it! Baby poo often sends new parents into a tizz! What SHOULD a baby’s poo smell and look like? Please always see a doctor if you are worried.
Expect to find a greenish-black, tarry, sticky stool that looks like oil in your newborn’s nappy. Since Meconium is made of amniotic fluid, mucus, skin cells and other stuff ingested in the womb, it doesn’t really smell – so you may not realise it’s time for a nappy change. When your baby is two days to four days old, their stools will become lighter in colour – sort of an army green, and less sticky. This transitional stool is a sign that they’ve started digesting early breastmilk or formula and that his intestinal tract is fine.
Consistently greenish stools in the breastfed baby can indicate – an imbalance of foremilk/hindmilk, often resulting in frothy green stools, colic, a sensitivity to something in the mother’s diet, such as cow’s milk products. Teething can also bring about green stools due to increased saliva (can also cause tummy upset).
Healthy breastfed stools – your baby is exclusively breastfed, their stools will be yellow and have a mushy or creamy consistency – it may even be runny enough to resemble diarrhoea. Breastfed stools typically looks like Dijon mustard and cottage cheese mixed together and may be dotted with little seed-like flecks. Its smell isn’t too bad (I think!) There are many shades of normal when it comes to breastfed stools – one you might see is a greener hue which could signify that you have eaten something different to what you normally do or colic. If your baby isn’t experiencing any other symptoms, there’s no need to worry but if you see bright green and frothy stools in your baby’s nappy, almost like algae, their perhaps getting too much foremilk – the low calorie milk that comes first in a feeding – and not enough hindmilk, the good higher fat stuff so it could mean that you’re not feeding them long enough on each breast – to remedy this perhaps start each feed on the breast you ended on last time.
Healthy formula fed babies have pasty, peanut butter like stools on the brown colour spectrum: brown, yellow-brown or green-brown. It’s more pungent than stools from breastfed babies and a little less pungent than stools from babies who are eating solid food but you’ll recognise the smell.
Diarrhoea in babies is very runny and appears to be made up of water more than solids. It can be yellow, green-gold or brown and can seep or explode out of the nappy. The runs can be a sign of an infection or allergy and if it lasts for a while without being treated, can lead to dehydration. Call the doctor if your baby is three months old or younger and has more than two or three diarrhoea filled nappies or continues having diarrhoea for more than a day or two.
If your baby’s poo is green with slimy, glistening streaks, this normally means there is mucus in the poo. This is quite common in babies that drool a lot, but can also be a tell-tale sign of infection, so if this fills your baby’s nappy for a couple of days, or appears with other symptoms, call your doctor.
A white discharge in your baby’s nappy a few days after birth is perfectly normal and is triggered when hormones cross from the placenta into your baby. These hormones can cause a discharge, or mini-period, but will soon disappear from their system
Your baby’s normal, healthy poos will often be mushy and creamy, so it’s important to recognise the signs of diarrhoea. These nappies will be runnier and waterier than normal and will often explode out of the nappy completely. Often a sign of infection, if your baby is younger than three months, or you change more than two or three diarrhoea filled nappies, it’s a good idea to contact your doctor.
Stools with partially digested food – occasionally your baby’s stools will have identifiable chunks of food in it or be tinged with a surprising colour, such as red, orange, or dark blue. Orange suggests carrots and dark blue implies blueberries (you may see pieces of blueberry skin in there too!) You’re probably seeing this because certain foods are only partially digestible or travel so quickly through the intestines that they don’t have time to completely break down. It also happens when your baby eats a lot of one type of food or doesn’t chew a mouthful completely before they swallow.
Solid food stools is once you start changing your baby’s input to solid foods – rice cereal, pureed bananas etc – you’ll quickly notice a change in their output, especially if they’re breastfed. Solid food stools tend to be brown or dark brown and thicker than peanut butter, but still mushy and also smells more. Please note the recommended weaning age is 6 months although obviously you know your own baby and all babies have different requirements.
Also discover on the NHS when diarrhoea and vomiting becomes a cause for concern and find out what’s normal when it comes getting to know your baby.