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What Does the Color of Your Babies Poop Mean?

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Not all parts of parenting are fun ...

Not all parts of parenting are fun ...

Newborns bring many challenges into the lives of their parents. Some of them are expected, and parents have time to prepare for them. Others, like worrying if their poop is a normal color, blind side us, and it leaves us wondering where to turn for answers. Luckily, we have you covered. Read on to find out what the color of your infant's poop really means, and when you should start to worry.

Why is my babies poop dark green or black?

Color: dark green, olive green, or black.

Consistency: thick, sticky, or tar-like substance.

Reason: Your baby spent months floating in a sack of amniotic fluid, mucus, bile, water, and the skin/hair that they shed. That's exactly what this sticky substance is, and it should start to change within a couple of days.

These first bowel movements can be tested for the presence of drugs in a babies system. It will alert doctors to the use of drugs by the mother while she was carrying the child.

If a fetus expels this before they're born it will stain the amniotic fluid a darker color. Health care professionals are trained to look for signs of this since it could mean the baby is in distress. If an infant inhales the tainted amniotic fluid it could cause major complications, such as blocking their airway.

If you do not notice a transition in color and consistency within the first few days after your child's birth, you should check with your pediatrician.

Why is My Babies Poop Mustard Yellow?

Color: mustard yellow, orange.

Consistency: mushy, runny, or pasty.

Reason: once your baby has expelled the meconium their poop will start to change, depending on what they're being fed. Typically, a child who is primarily eating breast-milk will have bowels that are mustard yellow in color. This is completely normal and should not be worried about. Luckily, there is almost no odor associated with poop of this color.

What to do when your baby is pooping green.

What to do when your baby is pooping green.

Why is My Babies Poop Green?

Color: greenish brown color, light green.

Consistency: runny, squishy, mushy.

Reason: If your child is 3-5 days old, their bodies are still transitioning between meconium and formula based poop. This can result in bowels that look greenish in color.Within a few weeks, this color will change again because the meconium will be totally out of their system.

In older babies, green poop could be a result of something you, or they, have eaten. If you're breastfeeding, what you eat will impact your child's digestive system. A child who eats a lot of green foods may also end up with green poops.

Another theory is the type of breast milk your baby is getting. If you're supplying a lot of fore-milk your babies poop may turn a frothy green color. This is common when mothers have a strong letdown.

If you have not changed your or your child's diet but have noticed green poop, it could be a sign that your child is sick. Green bowels may signal an infection.

Green, slimy streaks could be a sign of a more serious infection in the intestines and should be talked about with your babies doctor.

Why is My Babies Poop Light Brown?

Color: light brown, brown.

Consistency: mushy, runny, chunky.

Reason: this is typical for a formula fed infant, and should not be any reason for alarm. The consistency can run from watery to mushy, but it will become more firm as your baby eats more solid foods. If you notice blood or mucus mixed into the brown stool, you should contact your doctor.

Why is My Babies Poop Dark Yellow?

Color: dark yellow, light brown or brown.

Consistency: any consistency.

Reason: this color is most common for babies who are being fed breast-milk and formula at the same time. The fats in the breast milk give it the yellow color, while the formula is the reason it is brown. The combination of the two can result in a range of brown-yellow colors.

Knowing what to look for in your babies diaper can alert you to problems sooner.

Knowing what to look for in your babies diaper can alert you to problems sooner.

Why is My Babies Poop Frothy?

Color: green toned, yellow, orange, brown and frothy.

Consistency: frothy or foamy.

Reason: the most common reason for this is a lack of higher calorie hind-milk. As mentioned above, when a baby is filling up on fore-milk before they can get enough hind-milk, their stool can become a frothy consistency. The remedy for this is simple. If you believe your child is getting to much fore-milk, try feeding for longer on each breast.

Pumping before a feeding can also help reduce this problem, but should only be done when you know for a fact you'll still have enough supply left to satisfy your baby's hunger.

Why is My Babies Poop Watery?

Color: any.

Consistency: runny, loose, watery.

Reason: diarrhea is caused by numerous things, but allergies or infections are the most common culprits. It's characterized by its runny consistency and way that it soaks into a diaper. Diarrhea is not always cause for alarm, and can sometimes be a simple reaction to something that was eaten.

However, if your little one experiences quite a few runny diapers, or it seems they're pooping more than they're eating, you need to be cautious about dehydration.

Why Is My Babies Poop Hard and Look Like Rocks?

Color: any.

Consistency: hard and pebbled.

Reason: This is a tell-tale sign of constipation and can be extremely uncomfortable for your baby. When a baby is constipated it commonly has to do with their diet. If you notice this a lot in a short amount of time, or it doesn't seem to stop, talk to the doctor about switching formula.

How Much Should My Baby Poop?

Breastfed: your baby should be pooping up to four times a day for the first couple of months. At 2 months your baby may start pooping daily, or weekly, and as long as they're not uncomfortable this is okay. Breast milk is mostly absorbed into their system, which doesn't leave much waste leftover.

Formula: babies on a strict diet of formula may keep the 1-4 times a day pace for months, because formula is much thicker then breast milk. If you notice a decline in their pooping frquency, keep an eye on texture to make sure they're not constipated. If your child is having problems with this you may have to change formulas.

What Does the Color of My Babies Poop Mean?

© 2018 Meagan Ireland


Ginastopthecycle from Detroit on April 25, 2018:

Good stuff to know if you're an over worried first time mommy! Obviously we all want whats best for our babies, but lets just say the obvious..babies dont talk! So we have to figure things out ourselves or with a doctors help. This little guide is quite helpful to us parents who over worry and over annalyze (now i can say) literally everything! Overrall, poop can give you a lot of information!

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