Before you had kids, you probably couldn’t imagine less appealing than discussing the rainbow of possible poop shades, types and textures.
But now you’re a parent, it seems to feature in your conversations on a daily basis!
Why is it that color?
Smooth or lumpy?
Read on to find out what the color of your baby’s diaper could reveal.
It’s probably not going to be your favorite baby “milestone,” but your newborn’s first poop will certainly be unlike any you’ve seen before!
Expect a greenish-black, tar-like poop when your baby is 2-4 days old. This poop is called ‘meconium.’ It will likely be thick and sticky with the appearance of motor oil! It’s made up of all the things ingested during baby’s nine months in the womb: amniotic fluid, mucus, skin cells, and other lovelies.
Although it looks pretty disgusting, surprisingly it actually doesn’t have much of a smell!
After a few poops of this appearance, your little one’s poop will start to change to a lighter color, starting with a deep green and progressing towards mustard yellow.
This shows he has started digesting his breast milk or formula and is a good sign.
This is the color your baby’s meconium poop will change to if you are exclusively breastfeeding. If you’re a fan of chicken korma, you may not be after seeing diaper upon diaper filled with this delight!
Don’t be alarmed by the bright yellow (or sometimes orange) tone; this is perfectly normal. It also tends to be fairly runny with a mustard-seed consistency.
Surprisingly (again!) it has little or no smell. Some parents even find that it has a slightly sweet scent!
Darker yellow or tan.
You can expect a slightly darker shade if your baby is on formula rather than breast milk. It is also likely to be slightly thicker in consistency and may possibly have a less appealing smell!
Don’t worry though, as this is completely normal and is just down to the way that formula and breastmilk are digested differently by your baby’s little tummy!
This is more likely to be observed in breastfed babies.
A common reason for this appearance is that baby is taking in too much of the foremilk and not enough of the more calorie- rich hindmilk. As baby feeds from the breast, the first milk they get is lactose (sugar). Too much of this can give poop a green tinge.
This can happen with mums who have a fast let down or an oversupply of milk. It could also be that baby has a bad latch, so definitely contact a breastfeeding consultant if you have any concerns.
In formula-fed babies, green poop could mean that the brand you are using disagrees with your baby.
Whether formula or breastfed, you don’t need to panic about the odd green poop. Try to decide which of the above reasons are causing it and, if it goes away on its own, medical advice is not normally required.
If however, it does not stop after a few days, it may be a sign of a stomach bug, so consult your doctor.
Apart from the green shade as meconium fades away, dark green poop can also be caused when baby is taking an iron supplement.
Babies should only be offered supplements only on the advice of your doctor.
Brown… but not always!
The color we all expect baby poop to be before we have a baby and realize the rainbow of poop that awaits us!
Baby poop will start to turn brown as they begin to eat more solid food.
However, you could expect a few more surprises in their diaper too! Especially if you’ve been exclusively breastfeeding, you could be in for a slightly stinky surprise!
The types of food your baby eats will impact on the content (and color!) of their diapers.
Pureed carrot may cause bright orange poop, for example!
Beetroot may cause a pinkish-reddish color!
There are certain colors of baby poop where you should seek medical advice immediately- just in case.
If your baby has white or pale gray poop with a chalky texture, this could be a sign that they are not digesting correctly. This can also indicate that their liver is not producing enough bile.
Apart from if they have eaten a red-coloured food, there are various reasons that baby’s poop may turn red.
A few flecks of red may indicate a dairy allergy. If you are breastfeeding, try eliminating this from your diet to see if there is any improvement. It is always best to take the advice of a doctor before cutting key food groups from your baby’s diet and to ensure that there is no other cause of the red feces.
Poop which is streaked with red and is dry or firm may indicate constipation. In this case, the red may be streaks of blood from tears caused by baby straining too hard.
This is likely to clear up but seek medical help if it continues.
Red-streaked poop which is thin or watery may indicate a bacterial infection. In some cases, it may also have a gloopy or fatty appearance. This also requires medical advice.
Although meconium can produce this color in the first few days of life, after this black poop could be a sign of bleeding.
In this instance, seek medical attention immediately.
The only instance when this does not apply is if baby has ingested a bit of mom’s blood when breastfeeding (if nipples have become sore and cracked). This isn’t harmful to baby, but do look at ways to help if breastfeeding is uncomfortable or painful.