How To Become a Baby Poop Expert

August 01, 2018

Yes, you have read correctly, today we will talk about everything you need to know regarding baby's poo. Why, you may ask? Because your baby’s poo is a great indicator of your baby’s nutritional health and as you know, at your baby's health is our biggest concern.

baby pooping

First and foremost it is important to mention that babies’ poo will differ by color, and smell depending on it being fed with breastmilk only or formula. We will talk a little bit more about this later in the article.

What will your baby's first poo look like?

After birth and the following few days, your baby will only pass meconium, which has a black to green color and a sticky texture. It is made out of everything that your baby has ingested while in the womb, from mucus to amniotic fluid. While it is a bit more difficult to clean from your newborn’s bottom, it is a sign that your baby's bowels are working correctly.

What will your baby's poo look like if you breastfeed?

If you are only breastfeeding, most likely your baby's poo will have an orange (ish) color and will have a sweet smell to it. Greenish color poo may be a sign of that your baby is getting too much Foremilk and not enough Hindmilk. Foremilk is the term that refers to the milk at the beginning of the feeding, while Hindmilk is the milk at the end of the feeding, which has a higher content of fat compared to the milk in the beginning. If your baby has a greenish looking poo it might be getting too much Foremilk, which has a higher content of lactose, and your baby might not have enough lactase to digest it.  Give your baby a day or two and if you see that it does not improve, always consult a pediatrician. If your baby has yellow to orange or even light brown poo, everything's in order.

What will your baby's poo look like if you formula feed?

Babies that feed on formula milk have a different form of stool than the ones breastfeeding. Usually, the texture of the stool is a little more bulky, kind of like toothpaste. The reason for this is that breastmilk usually is digested faster by the baby, while formula milk can take a bit more time. The average color for a healthy digestion should be yellowish to brown or even a pale yellow. The overall smell of formula stool is stronger than breastfeed poop and can resemble adult poop.

What colors to look out for?

Both for breastfed or formula-fed babies, there are some colors that you should investigate further.

Hard and/or dark poo

can mean constipation, which can be caused by different factors, one of the most common one is not being able to digest cow's milk or if breastfed something in their mother’s diet. If after a few days it does not get better consult a pediatrician.

Red / Very Dark/ Mucus

There can be many factors of why the poop comes in these colors or with mucus. It can be a signal of a possible allergy or gut irritation amongst others. We advise you to seek your pediatrician.

Baby poo chart
While some out there might find it a bit off-putting, getting to know your baby's poo can help you know more about your baby's health!

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