Baby Poop 101

Wondering if your newborn is pooping enough, or if what's coming out is normal? Know that poop frequency and appearance does vary from baby to baby. After a month, breastfed babies may go a few days or even a week without a bowel movement. 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 diaper is consistent with what you're now accustomed to, rest assured that there's no need to panic about her poops.

What’s Normal?

You may be surprised when you change your newborn's first diapers. 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 poops — or whatever "normal" will be for her system!

Once the meconium has passed, what the poop looks like is affected by what you feed your baby. If you breastfeed 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. Formula-fed babies, on the other hand, might have stools that are pasty and yellow or brownish in color.

What Your Baby's Poop Could Mean

If the color 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 diaper are white (which could be a sign of liver disease) or red (which could be a sign of bleeding). Consult with your pediatrician if you notice either. In terms of poop consistency, you're likely to see some variations, but be alert for particularly watery stools (which could indicate diarrhea) or pebble-like poop (which could be a sign of constipation).

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