Peanut butter coloured poop? Mustard coloured poop? Chocolate coloured poop? Go ahead and accept these are three food items you won’t be eating anytime soon after you’re done reading this.
So many parents come to us with the ever-daunting task of figuring out how often should a newborn poop, what their baby’s poop colour means, and whether they should be worried. Hopefully with the use of Dr Shruti Nathwani, our visual guide and a few handy facts below, you’ll be a baby poop expert in no time!
WARNING! Messy content follows!
How Often Should a Newborn Poop?
Asking how often should a newborn poop is one of the most common new parent questions. At the minimum, you should expect about three bowel movements a day, though some newborns will have anywhere from 4-12 per day and others will only poop once every few days. Bowel movements will change as your baby ages, especially as they start eating more solids.
If no stool passed more than 7-10 days, or earlier if baby appears unwell note this is not normals and you need to consult with your doctor.
If you’re concerned about your baby’s bowel movement frequency don't hesitate to ask your doctor any questions!
The Poo Colour Chart
Though healthy baby poop can vary in colour and shade, there are some colours that are never a good sign. The following warrant a timely review of your newborn baby by a medical professional.
Chalky White Baby Poo
Chalky white/grey baby poo can sometimes be a sign there is a liver function issue. If you notice this, call your doctor.
Mustard yellow Baby Poo
If your baby's poo changes to a runny, odourless, yellow/mustard this is totally normal especially if they are being breastfed. If they are beinf formula fed it will be likely solid, smelly and lighter brown.
Pink or Red Baby Poo
Streaks of pink or red can sometimes occur when a baby is constipated and straining too hard to poo. Therefore, the red can be tiny amounts of blood caused by this strain.
If the red streaks are very bright red in colour this may have been caused by infection, allergies or another medical problem. Make sure you address this immediately with your local GP.
Bright Green and Watery Poo
If you see a brighter, frothy, green stool and you’re breastfeeding, this is because your baby is receiving more foremilk (low-calorie milk that passes first during the feed) and less hindmilk (higher fat content).
Try either feeding for around 20 minutes on each breast or start new feeds on the breast you ended on last.
Brown or Dark Brown Baby Poo
Once solids start to be introduced (~6 months of age) into your baby's diet their poop becomes thicker, more smelly and darker brown. This is totally normal and expected.
It's not a totally pretty sight but expect your little ones poo to become more adult-like as they develop!
Dark Green or Black Sticky Baby Poo
For the newborns, your baby’s first poop, called meconium, is sticky and greenish-black in colour, and can either be passed during labour or within the first 72 hours.
If this is after your little one's first three days of life, sometimes formula-fed babies may have dark green stools due to the iron content. Iron is an essential nutrient and component in formula milk, and as long as your baby seems happy and well, it can continue to be their primary source of nutrition.
If your baby is not taking an iron supplement, it could be a sign of something more serious. See a doctor.
Dry hard pellets
Hard pellet shaped poo is usually an indication of constipation, if you notice your baby is also uncomfortable or in any pain, you must then address this with your doctor.
Mamamade’s Final Thoughts
Don’t obsess too much with questions like how often should a newborn baby poop. The most important thing is that your baby is eating well and gaining weight. And if your baby is well and happy overall, then take comfort that you’re on the right track!