Baby stools and their differences
Baby poo guide: colour and texture differences
Let's talk about baby poo!
Baby poo. Once you become a parent, it’s hard to remember a time when your baby’s toilet habits weren’t such an important topic of conversation. But the fact of the matter is, you’ll find yourself talking about poo. A lot.
With an average of 1820 nappy changes in your baby’s first year, you’re going to become very familiar with your baby’s pooing habits. And that’s a good thing, because you’ll be able to notice if there’s anything unusual.
Deja-poo - what to expect
Baby poo raises a lot of questions, such as how often should babies poo? What are the different types of poos? And why is my baby’s poo green?
All babies are different, so what’s ‘normal’ for your baby isn’t necessarily the same for another baby.
Let’s take a look at what to expect when it comes to the colour, frequency and volume of that all important baby poo. Take a look at our handy baby poo chart to get started!
Baby poo - it’s got your baby’s back!
The poonami isn’t the stuff of legend - the struggle is real! That moment when you realise that your baby’s poo has escaped their nappy and can now be found all the way up their back.
The best way to avoid this happening is to ensure that your baby’s nappies fit well around their bum and legs, and are the correct size.
It might sound strange, but the sight of your baby’s first poo will be something you welcome! It’s called meconium, and will be dark, greenish black in colour, but this will change as your baby grows. Over the next few days it will start to turn brown, orange or yellow, depending on whether your baby is breast or formula fed.
Breastfed baby poo tends to be a yellow-mustard colour, whereas formula fed baby poo can be yellow-green or a pale brown. Once your baby starts eating solid food, their poo is likely to turn into a darker colour.
Green baby poo might look strange, but it’s usually nothing to worry about. Some formula milks designed to help with digestion problems can cause green baby poo, but if it persists, talk to your public health nurse or GP to rule out any underlying issues.
You should always speak to a healthcare professional if your baby’s poo is black (after the first poo), red, grey or white, as these could indicate a health problem that needs to be treated.
Take a look at our baby poo colour chart to get a better idea of what to look out for.
Did you know?
Some babies have their first poo during or straight after birth! If your baby hasn’t had a poo within 24 hours of their arrival, check in with your midwife (if you’re still in hospital) or GP or public health nurse (if you’re at home) who can take a look at your baby and make sure that everything’s OK.
When your baby does a poo for the first time, it will have a sticky, tar-like consistency. Be warned, this can be very stubborn to remove from baby clothes, not to mention your actual baby! It’s best to use cotton wool and warm water to clean your baby for the first 4 weeks.
As your tiny tot grows, the consistency of their poo will change. Breastfed baby poo can be quite runny, and might have what looks like seeds in it - this is completely normal. Formula fed baby poo on the other hand, is likely to be firmer or more paste-like.
Baby poo when weaning. Change is ahead!
Once your baby starts to enjoy their first tastes of solid food, their poo may become more solid in texture.
If you’ve noticed a change to your baby’s pooing habits, and you’ve recently switched from breast to formula feeding, then chances are your baby’s poo will be different in terms of texture, smell and appearance. This is completely normal.
So just how often should your baby poo?
Some babies poo at every feed and other babies poo once a day. Some babies may poo every day, others may only poo every few days. You’ll soon notice a pattern for your baby.
The important thing to remember here is that all babies are different. So what’s normal for one baby may not be the same for yours. Ultimately, if your baby is gaining weight, not in distress and feeding well, there’s usually no cause for concern. Another consideration is their diet, as the frequency of baby poo when weaning might be different to how often breast and formula fed babies do a poo.
There’s no getting away from it, your baby’s going to create a stink! Particularly if they’re formula fed, as this tends to result in stronger smelling poos. Breastfed baby poo doesn’t really have a strong aroma, beyond smelling a little sweet.
Once your baby embarks on their weaning journey, the variety of foods will change the way their poo smells (spoiler alert: it’s more than likely going to be much stronger!).
If you notice that your baby is producing consistently foul smelling poos, it’s always best to have a chat with your GP or public health nurse to check that everything’s OK and put your mind at ease.
The bottom line
Baby poo is par for the course when it comes to being a parent. But whether it’s understanding your baby’s first poo, or guiding them through the potty training process, remember that you know your baby better than anyone. Just take things one day at a time and follow your baby’s lead.
If you’ve got any questions, or want to talk about what to expect when it comes to all things baby poo, our team of baby experts is available to offer reassurance and advice. We’re here whenever you need us, so just give us a call.
Any more questions?
Our specialist baby advisors and experienced mums are here to talk and ready to help whenever you need them. You can call us or reach us on Live Chat 8.30am-5.30pm Monday-Friday.