In this episode we talk about poop! Yes! Everything that has to do with your baby’s poop! What’s normal, what’s not and when to call your doc!
Hello, and welcome to first breast to first steps, a podcast resource developed to coach new parents and caregivers. My name is Beverly Garrison and I’m a physician assistant with over 20 years of pediatric care experience. For first time listeners. I’m the mother to three sons I’ve trained and worked primarily in Denver, Colorado, and I’m passionate about empowering new families with coaching and.
The information set forth in this podcast is not designed to diagnose, treat or take the place of guidance from your primary care provider. Should questions arise about content, please contact your PCP for further evaluation and discussion. Let’s get to.
So today we’re going to talk about baby poop. Everyone’s favorite topic, lots of questions about stool. And we talk about it a lot, especially with regards to newborns. So today I thought I would cover three kind of simple topics about poop. Specifically paying attention to frequency, consistency, and color.
So frequency, how often should my baby poop? Everyone thinks while we probably ought to poop every day, but initially, especially as newborns, it takes some time to get stool, started to get it regular and going. Most of this is because of feeding initially. If you’re breastfeeding, moms may not get milk in right away.
Therefore things are not moving through the gut and we’re not seeing stool regularly. It can be okay at first, not to have a stool every day, but as soon as feeding is established, you can see stool anywhere from one time, a day as infrequently as one time a week. Um, but commonly you’ll see once a good feeding pattern is established.
Newborn babies, especially can poop with almost every feed, as long as the stool is soft. It’s okay. No matter how long it takes, we wouldn’t like to see it greater than a week to 10 days and would advise that you contact your pediatrician for further instruction. And usually parents will notice at around two months of age that the stool is kind of getting consolidated.
We’re not pooping every feed, like we. When babies were brand new. And typically you’ll notice that it’s one time, a day on average consistency, kind of what the stool makeup is like. Initially newborns will start with a very dark sticky stool, um, kind of slimy, um, sometimes even described as hard to remove that initial.
We’ll change and become a little bit looser. So after we have that first thick stool, what we call meconium, it’ll usually transition to a stool. That’s a little bit more green and color, but not as sticky and as good milk supply is being offered. And baby is tolerating feeding. You’ll notice that stools get looser.
Breastfed stools are known to be quite loose, almost slimy with quote-unquote seeds in them. A lot of times is explained as a yellow slimy street. Little cottage cheese type pieces in it for lack of a better description, but it does give you a good visual formula. Fed babies tend to have stools that are brown to green in color.
May have a little bit more odor and can be firmer, but are still fairly loose. A lot of times parents have questions about constipation, things that we consider with constipation, or may make us a little bit more. Concern for constipation include infant straining to have a bowel movement being fussy. The quality of the stool being from pellets or large and caliper.
And especially if you’re eating solid foods, you can, um, definitely notice that stool can get much, much firmer and, or even constipated. Certain types of foods, rice cereal, which is something we start out with sometimes root vegetables, um, can also be known to be constipating foods. I do like to say, as far as treating constipation, especially if you have a solid food diet going in your baby.
You know, around four to six months, if you notice that the stool is getting very, very firm or rabbit pellet, like, and large, we do like you to get some movers into the diet. I always tell parents to think about using prunes, pears, or plums. All of these solids tend to get stools to be a little bit looser.
If your babies younger than. Solid food age, then you can try dark kero syrup or prune juice print. You shouldn’t exceed more than four ounces a day, but it can help to loosen that stool some providers and pediatric. Uh, specialists will recommend using probiotics, just for good gut health cycling legs, kind of moving them around 10 to 15 minutes before you’re going to feed.
I usually don’t recommend doing that right after feeding because you’re going to make them spit up, but cycling and moving those legs helps to get that bowel going. Sometimes it’s stated that cycling those legs or moving them can kind of reproduce that. Sensation and benefit of being in child’s pose of yoga, kind of massaging that lower part of the colon.
Sometimes the kids are continuing to be constipated, despite changes in diet, physical things, um, cycling, like. You know, maybe even adding a probiotic, you can consider a glycerins pository or an enema kind of more saved as a later resort. It’s not something you want to get used to having to use, to produce a bowel movement.
After solid foods are introduced. Just remember that most bowel movements start to bulk up and definitely they become a little bit more smelly. Um, As far as the last thing about consistency that I would mention is that sometimes you can notice that stools can be a little bit softer or a little bit more mucusy.
Sometimes that can be indicative of babies kind of drooling, or if there might be some sort. Infection. Lastly, let’s talk about color, lots of different colors of stool, and a majority of them are normal when you’re looking at initially, as I had mentioned before, still starts out almost black tar, like very sticky.
That stool as a newborn is called meconium. It’s made up of amniotic fluid and mucus skin cells, and it seen the first couple of days of. Now as feeding is established, either moms are breastfeeding and the milk is coming in, or we’re getting good ounces in with formula. You’ll notice that that stool will transition.
The next stage of stooling tends to be kind of green, maybe not quite slimy yet. Um, but definitely moving away from that sticky. Sort of consistency in an older child. If you saw a black stool, sometimes that can be indicative of bleeding in your gastrointestinal track and might be something that you would want to call your pediatrician and ask about the next color I’d like to talk about is kind of mustard yellow.
I would say this is probably one of the most common colors that we see stool. It tends to be kind of CD and slimy in most breasts. Infants, you can notice that any variation of yellow, even up to green can be normal. Sometimes people will also describe stools being orange in color. We can notice that being normal for breastfed, infants, or formula fed infants, and sometimes it can be a result.
If you’ve added solid food into the diet from food in the GI track, red can be. Also a color that we noticed was stool. I would say with a solid food diet, we definitely ask, is it something that the child has eaten previously? So if there’s something that’s really, really red, sometimes that pigment comes out and stool, but bright red can definitely be a sign of blood from the lower part of the GI track or externally definitely would be worth calling your pediatrician or primary care provider.
This. Can be caused by allergies. Sometimes externally kids can have a crack or a little Fisher. Um, if they’ve got some sort of irritation at kind of the rectal area, you may be seeing active blood. Sometimes you might even see it with just wiping, but anytime you see red stool, it’s probably not a bad idea to go ahead and call your provider.
White stools, uh, also called an acholic stool can indicate a problem with the liver or some sort of digestive problem. This is definitely a time where you would want to call your pediatrician. Usually it’s assigned that your body’s not producing bile for digestion. And so the stool can come very light, so white or grayish in color.
Again, good time to call your pediatrician. Um, in summary frequency is. More in the beginning, usually almost every feed and can consolidate around two months of age on average two once a day at that point in time, consistency, as long as it’s soft is okay, firmer, pellet or larger caliper stool can mean that maybe babies are getting constipated and we need to look at how to solve.
Color. I usually recommend that you’re not concerned unless it’s red, black, or white slash gray, brown, yellow, green, any sort of variation. There tend to be fairly normal for breastfed and formula fed infants red and black can be indicative of blood. And white can usually be assigned that. It’s a digestive issue.
So in summary poop, lots of it, especially that first year of life and you can’t believe how much stool one little person can make. It is important to look at frequency, make sure that stool is soft and makes sure that you’re not seeing any colors of concern, including black. Red white or gray. These are all good signs to follow up with your primary care provider or pediatrician.
Hope. This helps answer a lot of questions about newborn and baby poop until next time be well.