Changing a dirty diaper becomes a big part of a parent’s daily routine, and this is also a meaningful way to monitor your baby’s health. Babies go through at least 2,000 diapers during the first year of their lives, so you’ll have a lot of time to examine their bowel movements. But being a first-time parent and during the initial newborn phase, it can be hard for you to know if your baby’s stool schedule is healthy. New parents always seek the answer to these questions: how often should a newborn poop, what their baby’s poop color means, and whether they should be worried or not.
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Your newborn baby’s bowel movements (also called “poop” and “stools”) will change a lot in the coming days, weeks, and months after birth. The stools can come in many different colors and textures. Many newborns poop at least 1 or 2 times a day. By the end of the first week, your baby may have as many as 5 to 10 a day. Your baby may pass a stool after each feeding. The frequency of pooping may go down as your baby eats more and matures during that first month. By 3-4 weeks of age, your baby may not have a bowel movement every day. This usually isn’t a problem as long as your baby seems comfortable, healthy, and growing, and the stools aren’t complicated.
How often breastfed babies poop:
If you are breastfeeding your baby, your baby will poop at least three times a day or maybe up to four to twelve times a day. The first stool your baby passes is thick, greenish-black, and sticky. It’s called meconium. The stools usually change from this thick, greenish-black to green or yellow by the end of the first week. The stools of breastfed babies tend to be more yellow than those of formula-fed babies. It’s normal for your baby’s stool to be runny or pasty. After this, a baby may only poop every few days.
How often formula-fed babies poop:
Formula-fed babies pass stool at least 1-4 times per day. After the first month, a baby may only pass stool every other day. The first stool of formula-fed babies will be the same as breastfed babies. After this, your baby will pass Light brown or greenish stool.
How often a growing baby poops:
As your baby grows and begins to eat solid foods, you will notice changes in your baby’s stool. When you start to give your baby solid foods, the stools will become firmer and may have a more pungent smell. You may even witness the pieces of food in the stool.
Is your baby constipated?
If your baby seems uncomfortable and is filling their diaper with something thicker in texture, then your baby is probably constipated. A baby with constipation cries a lot or shows other signs of straining. Some babies turn reddish. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that a baby might have constipation if they have one or fewer bowel movements per day with hard stool. In babies under four months of age, it’s usually because your child isn’t getting enough fluids, so remedy the situation by encouraging them to drink more breast milk or formula, or you can do gentle exercises to help a baby poop. Try laying the baby on their back and gently moving their legs. If your little one doesn’t get better, then see your pediatrician.
Does your baby have diarrhea?
If your baby’s poop becomes thin, watery, or streaked with mucus and they’re pooping a lot more often than usual, they probably have diarrhea. This can be caused by antibiotics or gastroenteritis, a viral illness that results in vomiting and diarrhea. It’s essential to keep them hydrated with breast milk or formula. Call your doctor immediately if you see the signs of dehydration, fever, stool that contains pus or blood, irritability and sleepiness, sunken cheeks or eyes, or dip in the soft spot on top of the head.
What does your baby poop color tell you?
Your newborn’s diapers can give you clues about your baby’s health because a baby’s stool does change a lot. It can be hard for you to know if your baby is suffering from a health problem. Below we are listing the different stool colors and what these colors tell about your baby’s health.
Greenish-black and sticky:
A newborn baby’s first poop is unique and has its particular name – meconium. It is greenish-black in appearance and will be very sticky. Meconium will be passed within 24 hours of delivery. Over the first three days after birth, your baby’s poop will likely be dark green.
Sometimes formula-fed babies can have dark green poop due to the high iron content in formula. If your baby seems otherwise healthy, then this is not a cause for concern. But, if your baby is not formula-fed or taking an iron supplement, then contacts your pediatrician immediately.
Over the next few days, your baby’s poop will usually change to a runny, odorless, yellow, or mustard color if they are being breastfed. If they are formula-fed, they will likely be a solid, smelly, and lighter brown. This type of poop is pretty standard in babies.
Bright green and watery:
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).
Once solids are introduced to your baby’s diet, their poop becomes thicker, smellier, and darker brown. This is normal.
White or grey:
Chalky white or grey baby poop can sometimes be a sign of a liver function issue. If you notice this, call your doctor immediately.
Pink or red:
Streaks of pink or red can sometimes occur when a baby is constipated and straining too hard to poop. Therefore, the red can be tiny amounts of blood caused by this strain. If you notice this, call your doctor immediately.
Call your doctor or seek medical help if:
· Your baby’s stools are maroon or very bloody.
· Your baby’s stool is black (and your baby has already passed meconium).
· Your baby’s stool is white or grey.
· Your baby has many more stools than usual or has a lot of liquid in stools. Either could be a sign of diarrhea. Explosive diarrhea may be a sign of infection with a virus or bacteria. A virus usually causes diarrhea, and medicines don’t help. Diarrhea may cause a loss of fluid (dehydration).
· Your baby is passing hard or dry stool; this could mean that your baby is not getting enough liquids or that your baby is losing liquids because of a fever or other illness.