Baby Poo Guide

Baby poo is an important tool in gauging your child’s overall health. Baby’s first poo (known as meconium) will be black. Within a few days, the dark newborn poo you noticed at first will begin to turn lighter, starting with a light greenish colour. She might even have a sort of blue poo at first. This colour is a good sign as it shows the baby’s digestive system is working well. Once she’s big enough to enjoy solid foods, her poo will shift to a dark brown colour. Regardless of your baby’s stage of development, you’re likely to notice some surprising variations when it comes to baby poo, and it’s important to understand what these variations indicate.

What does normal newborn poo look like?

Most new mums will be warned about the tarry black poo of newborns, called meconium. Typically, your baby’s first poo will be sticky, messy, and odorless. However, don’t worry: This won’t last more than two to three days.

How often should a newborn poop?

In general, a newborn baby will poo an average of two to five times per day in the first six weeks and then less frequently after that. If a baby poos less or more often than that, it does not necessarily indicate a health concern.

A breastfed baby will poo more often than bottle-fed babies, typically. That’s because breast milk contains immunoglobulins, or antibodies, which work like natural laxatives.

When should I be worried about the frequency of my baby’s pooping?

If your child’s baby poo is hard and dry or she hasn’t gone in several days, consult your child’s pediatrician; these could all be signs that your baby is constipated.

Is yellow poo in babies normal?

Yellow poo is pretty common among breastfed babies, and the consistency is usually pretty mushy. This typically means milk is moving through their system quickly. The yellow colour comes from natural gut bacteria and bile. Yellow poo is especially common a few days after the baby is born, and it may present itself as pure yellow, yellow-orange, or yellow-green.

What causes foamy poo in babies, and should I be worried?

Frothy green poo is a sign that your baby is not getting enough hindmilk, the high-fat substance that comes out of the breast at the end of a feeding. If your baby’s poo looks anything like this, you need to make sure to add a little more feeding time on each breast. Reach out to your baby’s paediatrician, or a lactation consultant, for advice.

My baby’s poo looks like peanut butter. What’s going on?

A healthy formula-fed baby will usually have a light tan or darker-colored poo with the consistency of creamy peanut butter. Don’t worry, it’s totally normal!

Why is my baby’s poo green?

Right after birth, newborn poo might appear as a dark green or black. This is just meconium, and it’s nothing to worry about. As the baby gets bigger, green poo is usually just a sign of slow digestion. In addition, babies on iron supplements or added vitamins will often have dark green poo similar to the colour of meconium, but the consistency won’t be as sticky or tarry. Green baby poo is usually only a cause for concern if it’s watery like diarrhea as this may indicate an allergy. You may also want to visit your baby’s pediatrician if the green poo is accompanied by mucus or lasts for several days or weeks at a time.

When does baby poo start looking normal, i.e. brown in color?

Baby poo begins to transition to a dark brown, thicker substance once babies start eating solid food at around 6 months old. You’ll also start to notice a stronger smell.

What do I do when my baby has diarrhea?

Just like adults, babies can have bouts of diarrhea, and in most cases, it’s best to just let it run its course. It will usually go away on its own within 5 to 14 days. Call your pediatrician if the diarrhea is accompanied by any of these symptoms:

• Fever

• Symptoms of dehydration (such as dry mouth, dry eyes when crying, or fewer wet nappys)

• Blood or mucus in the poo

When should I be concerned about the colour or consistency of baby poop?

Babies, just like adults, will have differences in the consistency and frequency of their poo with diet changes. You should only be concerned if the colour of your child’s baby poo changes to a pale or chalky colour or if they have gray poo, which could indicate a liver problem or serious condition, or if you see consistently black poo, which could indicate blood in the stool.

Take a look at the most common questions about newborns that pediatricians hear all the time, with answers.