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The Scoop On Infant & Newborn Poop: A Guide For New Parents

The Scoop On Infant & Newborn Poop: A Guide For New Parents

As a new mom, you're faced with a myriad of new experiences and challenges, and one of the most perplexing might be dealing with your baby's poop. It's a topic that's rarely discussed but is an essential part of caring for your little one. Don't worry; you're not alone in feeling confused or overwhelmed by it all. It's okay to feel overwhelmed—trust your instincts and consult your pediatrician if you are feeling unsure.  Parenthood is a journey, and we're here to support you every step of the way. Let's dive into everything you need to know about baby poop. 

What's Normal For Baby Poop? 

When it comes to a newborn or infant, their poop habits are constantly changing and it’s important to note that there is a wide array of things that can be considered normal. A lot of factors contribute to the color, consistency & frequency of your baby’s poops - specifically what they are fed. What is “normal” will vary for each baby and will change as your baby grows, but always consult your doctor if you are concerned about your infant’s bowel movements.

Newborn’s First Stool

In the first few days after birth, your baby will pass meconium, a thick, sticky, greenish-black substance. Meconium is made up of everything your baby ingested while in the womb, such as amniotic fluid, mucus, and skin cells. It's a normal part of your baby's digestive system and a sign that their intestines are working correctly.

Meconium can be difficult to wash off, but you can use petroleum jelly or mineral oil to help clean your baby’s bum.

Something called colostrum has laxatives in it and is found in breastmilk. That means the more a newborn breastfeeds in their early days, the more colostrum they receive and the faster the meconium clears. Formula-fed babies may take longer to pass meconium.

As your baby's digestive system matures and they begin to feed, the color, consistency, and frequency of their poop will change.

Infant Poop Color Chart

As a general rule of thumb, earth tones (yellow, green, and brown) are typical colors for baby poop, but contact your pediatrician if you are ever concerned. Below is a baby stool color chart that can help you identify what’s normal and what’s not in both breastfed and formula-fed infants.

Stool Color
Is it Normal?
Green

Dark or light green baby poop is usually nothing to worry about. After meconium passes, stool can typically appear very dark green for a few days. 

Breastfed babies may experience green poops if the mother eats a lot of green vegetables like spinach.

Formula-fed babies may see poop that is more greenish-tan or dark green due to iron in formula.

Once a baby starts solid foods (around 6 months), dark green poop is very common. Iron supplements can also lead to dark green stool.

Yellow

After the meconium passes and about a week after birth darker mustard yellow stool is most common in breastfed babies.

Bright yellow stool can be common in breastfed or formula-fed babies, but if it is very runny or more frequent than usual it could be diarrhea which can increase the risk of dehydration in your infant.

Orange

Poop that is orange is typically no cause for concern and it can occur in both breastfed or formula-fed babies.

A breastfeeding mother who is on medication or eats artificially colored foods can result in dye in the breast milk which can make an infant’s poop orange.

When solid foods are introduced (around 6 months), this could result in orange poop.

Brown

Brown poop is no cause for concern but is most common when solid foods are introduced into a baby’s diet (around 6 months).

Black

After the meconium passes, there should no longer be black in an infant’s stool. 

If your newborn’s poop still appears black by day 3, it may be a sign that they are not getting the nutrients they need or they may not be digesting milk properly.

If your baby’s poop still appears black after 5 days, contact your baby’s doctor as it could be a sign that there is blood in their stool.

Red

If your baby has started solid foods (around 6 months) and has consumed red foods such as beets or tomato juice, red stool may be no cause for concern and their next stool should look more normal. If your baby has other symptoms like vomiting or stomach pain, contact your doctor immediately.

For breastfed babies, if the mother eats red food, the baby’s stool could appear red.

Certain medications can result in red stool.

Red poop could be cause for concern as it could indicate blood in their stool so a pediatrician should be consulted immediately (especially if none of the above factors apply)..

White or Gray

If your baby has a white, gray or chalky bowel movement it could indicate trouble with their liver and that they aren’t digesting food properly. Any stools of this color should lead to a call to your baby’s pediatrician.

    Introduction of Solid Foods

    As you introduce solid foods into your baby's diet, typically around 4 to 6 months of age, their poop will change again. It may become thicker, darker, and more odorous, resembling adult poop. This is a sign that their digestive system is adapting to new foods and textures.

    When to Be Concerned About Your Baby’s Poop

    While changes in your baby's poop are normal, there are times when you should consult your pediatrician:
    • Blood in the stool: This could indicate a food allergy or other medical issue.
    • White or pale-colored stool: This could be a sign of liver or gallbladder problems.
    • Black, tarry stool: This could indicate gastrointestinal bleeding.

    Parenting is a Journey

    Remember, parenting is a journey filled with unknowns, and it's okay to feel overwhelmed or confused, especially when it comes to baby poop. Trust your instincts, but don't hesitate to reach out to your pediatrician if you have concerns. You're doing an amazing job, and your baby is lucky to have you!

    Who is Maty's?

    Maty's is a wellness-focused brand committed to providing clean and effective remedies and supplements for the entire family. Specializing in digestive health, Maty's offers gentle formulas crafted with clean ingredients such as ginger, turmeric, and chamomile. Maty's petroleum-free products cater to specific age groups, including babies ages 3 months and older and children aged 2 years and older. Maty's emphasizes the healing properties of its ingredients, providing soothing relief from digestive discomfort without compromising safety. With a commitment to clean alternatives and a focus on promoting digestive health, Maty's strives to enhance the well-being of families by offering clean solutions for common digestive challenges. Explore Matys.com to discover many of Maty's other great products for the entire family, including supplements, cough syrups, baby essentials, and more!
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