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The ultimate guide to baby poop


Look, we’re going to say ‘poop’ a lot in this article. But if you’re a FTM (first time mom), it’s about time we start the process of desensitizing you to it anyway. You’re going to be looking at poop a LOT over the coming years, and it may come as a surprise just how much there is to learn.

This guide is the poop crash course you didn’t even know you needed. It’ll transform you into a baby poop aficionado, so you know exactly what you’re in for at the change table. And sadly sometimes in the car seat. 

Warning: We’ve included some fo’ shiz images of poop from around the ‘net. It may get a bit graphic, but it’s also damn helpful.

Enjoy!

Baby Poop Guide: What to expect at different stages

Your baby’s first poop

It’s not uncommon to be greeted by your newborn with a slimy, blackish-dark green baby poop all over you. It’s their way of saying, “Hey, mom. Thanks for making me.” 

Because they don’t have anything in their tiny stomachs yet, this is a mixture of amniotic fluid, mucus and skin cells. It’s called ‘meconium’ and is (thankfully) odorless. 

What it looks like: Green-black, sticky, ‘tarry’.

meconium green-black sticky tarry baby poo

Source: Midwife Thinking

How often: At least once during the first 24 hours after delivery. Once your baby starts to feed, they’ll poop more often and it will lighten in color. Meconium may be present for a few days.

Newborn baby poop

Over your baby’s first week of life, their poop will transition from dark greeney-black, to a brownish-yellow color. Their diet is purely liquid at this stage, so loose and even watery baby poop is to be expected.

What it looks like: Breastfed baby poop will be yellowish-brown, and may even appear ‘seedy’. Not too indifferent from a fancy bottle of mustard. 

breastfed baby poo

Source: BabyCenter

Formula fed baby poop may be a bit more tan or brown in color (closer to peanut butter, which this author is stupidly eating with apple slices while writing this).

formula fed baby poo

Source: BabyCenter

How often: In the first few weeks it’s normal to see five to 10 newborn poops per day, sometimes after every feed. After three to four weeks, when your baby’s digestive system and body is more developed, bowel movements may not occur every day. 

Poop when babies eat solids

When your baby starts eating solid foods, it definitely changes the poop game. Stools become more solid, smelly and… surprising. What you find in the diaper can vary significantly based on what your babe has been nibbling on.

Hang in there, mama. Your diaper-changing days will come to an end in a few short years, once you nail potty training!

What it looks like: There’s a HUGE range of normal when it comes to baby poop when they’re eating food. Certain foods will change the color of the poop (brace yourself for the shock of post-beet poops), and you may even find some foods only partially digested. Corn, for example, may come out exactly as it went in.

starting solids poo

Source: BabyCenter

How often: Again, this is hugely variable. Some babies poop several times a day, while some only poop a few times a week. 

Poop troubleshoot

What does this color mean? (Quick Guide)

Green baby poop

green baby poo

Source: Healthy Children Manitoba

  • Your baby is transitioning from meconium to milk/formula poops.
  • Your baby has eaten green vegetables or food coloring.
  • You’ve eaten green foods which have passed onto your baby through your breast milk.

Orange baby poop 

orange baby poo

Source: BabyCenter Community

  • Normal for breastfed babies.
  • Your baby may have eaten orange foods (pumpkin!) or food colorings.
  • You’ve eaten orange foods that have passed into your breast milk.

White baby poop 

white baby poo

Source: Netmums

  • Could signal a liver problem. Contact your pediatrician if your baby seems unwell or you’re concerned.
  • Could be a result of medicines your baby is on, or a milk-only diet.
  • White flecks in poop could be undigested food or breast milk fat (harmless).

Light gray baby poop 

light gray baby poo

Source: What To Expect Community

  • Could be a sign of problems with your baby’s liver or gallbladder. See your pediatrician if you’re concerned.


Black baby poop 

black baby poo

Source: Emma’s Diary

  • Normal in the first few days of life.
  • Could be a result of your baby being on iron supplements.
  • Could be a sign of bleeding in the digestive tract. Contact your doctor if you’re concerned.

Yellow baby poop

yellow baby poo

Source: Emma’s Diary

  • Probably normal!


Diarrhea

baby poo Diarrhea

Source: Emma’s Diary

Runny or watery baby poop is common with babies who are only feeding on liquids. But if you’ve noticed an increase in poopsplosions, or your baby seems unwell, it could be a sign of diarrhea. 

Diarrhea can be related to infection, and may lead to dehydration if not treated. Check in with your pediatrician and offer your baby more feeds to keep their fluids up.

Constipation

constipation baby poo

Source: BabyCenter


It can be stressful when your baby hasn’t pooped in two days straight (or longer). This isn’t unusual, but if they seem to be straining or in pain, or if they pass little ‘pebbles’ of hard poop, it could mean they’re constipated.

Check in with your doctor if you’re concerned. There are a few things you can try to help your baby poop.

How to make a baby poop

  • Check that they’re getting enough milk. A lactation consultant can assess your breastfeeding latch and milk supply to ensure it’s all in order.
  • Give them a meal. Babies often poop during or after eating.
  • Lie your baby on their back and ‘cycle’ their legs around. This can encourage the digestive system to kick into gear.

Foods to help baby poop

  • Extra fruit and veggies
  • Prunes
  • Peas.

(Avoid excess cow’s milk or cheese.)

A note on infection: Slimy, green streaks of mucus in your baby’s poop could be a sign of infection. See your pediatrician if you notice this.

Troubleshoot: Baby cries when pooping

There are a few reasons this could be happening:

  1. They’re getting used to the feeling of pooping. (It’s pretty weird.)
  2. They’re constipated.
  3. They’re unwell, in pain or just plain tired.
  4. They’re sitting in their own poop and it’s uncomfortable. Wouldn’t YOU be upset too?

Troubleshoot: Blood in baby poop

Blood in your baby’s diaper may or may not be cause for concern. But as it’s a red flag (quite literally) for some conditions that need treatment, it’s best to mention it to your pediatrician.

Blood in baby poop could be caused by a few things:

  • False menstruation – Newborn girls may bleed a tiny bit due to the transfer of hormones after birth.

  • Ingested blood – They could swallow blood from your own bleeding nipples, or from blood in your breast milk.

  • Intestinal complications – Your baby may have a disorder or infection that leads to blood in poop.

  • Anal fissures – These small tears in the anus are common in babies that have chronic constipation and have to strain to get poop out.

  • Food allergy – If a certain type of food inflames your baby’s colon, it can lead to blood in their poop. If you’re breastfeeding, you may need to alter your diet so they’re not exposed to it.


You’re probably feeling pooped yourself after reading all this poop info. It’s a lot to take on. If you’d rather just look at a bunch of poop pics to see what is and isn’t ideal (warning: abort plans for peanut butter snacking), check out this gross great baby poop chart from C&G Baby Club.

Now, as wild as it may sound, your work colleagues or local cafe owner may not share your newfound enthusiasm for baby poop trivia. But on Mumli you’ll find people who truly, truly do. Download it today.

American Academy of Pediatrics, Baby’s First Bowel Movements

Raising Children Network, Poos and wees

HealthLink BC, Bowel Movements in Babies

Verywell Family, A Guide to Your Newborn or Infant’s Poop

Flo Health, White Baby Poop: What Does It Tell You?

Raising Children Network, Diarrhoea

Verywell Family, Advice for Blood in a Baby’s Stool

NCT First 1,000 Days, Common questions about newborn baby poo

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