Baby Poo Essentials: What baby poo tells you

Wondering if your newborn is pooing enough? Know that it does vary from baby to baby. After a month, breast-fed babies may go a few days or even a week without a bowel movement. But if your baby is pooing less than once a day during her first month, it could mean that she isn’t getting enough food.

Formula-fed babies, however, tend to have a bowel movement on most days. Whether your baby is breast-fed or formula-fed, as long as what you’re seeing in your baby’s nappy is consistent with what you’re now accustomed to, rest assured that there’s no need to panic about her poos.

What’s Normal?

Don’t be shocked when you change your newborn’s first nappy – your baby’s initial stool will be a greenish-black, tar-like substance known as meconium.

However, after that passes, she’ll start having normal poos – or whatever 'normal' will be for her system!

At this point, the appearance is completely dependent on what you feed her. If you breast-feed your newborn, her initial bowel movements will be greenish-brown or yellowish-brown. After about five days, they will turn tan or yellowish and have a grainy consistency.

This is completely normal, and is a sign of a healthy baby.

Formula-fed babies, on the other hand, might have stools that are pasty and yellow or tan in colour.

What Your Baby’s Poo Could Mean

If the colour of your newborn’s stools changes a bit between bowel movements, don’t be alarmed. However, the two shades you don’t want to see in your baby’s dirty nappy are white (which could be a sign of liver disease) or red (which could be a sign of bleeding).

Consult with your GP if you notice either. In terms of consistency, you’re likely to see some variations, but be alert for particularly watery stools (which could indicate diarrhoea) or pebble-like poo (which could be a sign of constipation).

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