Poop is something that you are going to become an expert in when you have a baby. You are going to use the frequency, color and consistency of your baby’s poop as a gauge for their overall health. While it may sound gross you will become very interested in examining baby poop after feeding your baby. As you get used to the sights and smells of this natural health litmus test you will be able to quickly diagnose problems that your baby is having based on what’s in the diaper.
Many new parents don’t know what to expect when it comes to how often a baby poops. When a baby is newborn their digestive system is still maturing and growing, and because of this they poop a lot. You should not be surprised if your baby has a bowel movement after eating each meal. Babies that breastfeed in particular will poop after feeding each time. Formula fed babies will poop slightly less often, but still about five or six bowel movements each day during the first month.
After the first month of life your baby will poop less often. Babies that breastfeed may go several days to a week between bowel movements sometimes, while formula fed babies will frequently go a few days without having a bowel movement. You don’t need to worry about constipation unless your baby seems to be excessively gassy or in pain. Then you will want to talk to your pediatrician.
Color and Consistency
The color and consistency of your baby’s poop is going to tell you a lot about the health of your baby. Generally a healthy baby will produce a mustardy poop during their first month if they are breastfed and a loose peanut buttery poop if they are formula fed. After about a month their stools will firm up slightly.
Color changes in baby poop usually means that their body is responding to something in their diet. Green and black stools can be caused by high iron levels in the baby’s formula or as a result of taking an iron supplement. If the baby is breastfed and they have green poop that is also mucousy then this may indicate that the baby is responding badly to dairy products that the mother has eaten. This is usually an indicator of food sensitivities or food allergies so you need to pay attention to when it occurs. Green poop from a breastfed baby can also indicate that they are not getting enough hindmilk. To correct this problem pump out a little breastmilk before you start to nurse. When it thickens into hindmilk start nursing your baby. Finally if a breastfed baby has tarry black poop this could indicate that they have intestinal bleeding and you need to call your pediatrician immediately.