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Your Baby's Poop


Changing a diaper every 2 to 3 hours can make you an expert on what is going on in your baby's body. Here is what some of those bowel movements may mean and if you need to call the doctor.

You know something is going on in your baby's body every time you change the diaper. For the first few months, you may find yourself changing up to 20 diapers a day. Most of them are wet and it keeps you updated on hydration. Some are deposits that will change in size, shape, and, of course, smell. If you look in the diaper and have questions, here are some things that you may wonder the next time you two are bonding at the changing table.

Poop Consistency

Hard stool that resembles clay can occur when your baby is dehydrated or constipated. Since your baby may be nursing or formula-fed, this is the source of their hydration for many months. You are more likely to see a more firm poop when your little one starts solids. Do not add more water to the formula mix because it can impact nutrients and give them too much water for their body. Instead, you may want to nurse a little more or make two extra ounces in a feeding.

Poop Frequency

Do not be alarmed if your baby is not having a bowel movement for several days. Discomfort or pain is associated with constipation, so if your little one is still in good spirits, there is little to be concerned with. You can stimulate bowel movements with belly rubs and pumping those little legs with bicycle circles.

Poop Color

Your newborn goes through many forms of poop in the first few months of life. At first there is meconium, a tar-like, black nugget that is your baby's first bowel movement. Babies who are exclusively or primarily breastfed will have thin, greenish, slightly seedy and goopy poop. Formula-fed babies have poop that is more like peanut butter. Its color can range from tan and yellow to green and light brown.

What makes poop green? Diet can be a big contributor to green poop. Those who have a plant-based diet will find that their poop can be more green in color because of the amount of chlorophyll that is consumed. Green poop is also a result of the bile from the digestive system. Bile which is produced in the liver is green or yellowish, but it will change colors the longer it is in the gut. If your baby has green diarrhea, this means that the stool moved through the bowels faster than normal. Also, some medications can affect poop color.

When to Worry about Baby Poop

If your baby has not pooped for more than three days in a row or poop has mucus or blood within it, call your doctor. Also contact your pediatrician if your newborn has diarrhea as it may be a sign of a virus or illness that needs attention. Poop colors of concern are white, black, and red. You can always ask your doctor if you are not sure or there are changes that you can explain yourself.  

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