Baby Poo Colour and What it Means

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As a new parent you maybe quite shocked at your little one’s baby poo colour. We’re not sure anything quite prepares you for the range of colours that can come out of your precious, innocent little baby. However there are a range of baby poo colours which are quite normal, and other colours to look out for.

All babies poo, but every baby will develop a different routine. Some will poo after every feed, and some will only poo after a couple of days. Your baby poo colour is affected by your baby’s age and diet, and your diet if you are breastfeeding.

Checking your baby’s nappy can tell you a lot about your baby’s health. In addition, using our baby poo colour chart will help you to distinguish normal baby poo colour from when you need to seek help.

baby poo colour chart

While the above guide is a useful tool, here we provide some other helpful tips:

Newborn Poo Colour

You maybe surprised to find that in the first few days your newborn’s poo colour is a dark green/blackish colour and very sticky in texture. This is due to the meconium it contains which is a by product of being in your womb for nine months. Don’t worry this should change within the first 2-3 days. If your baby poo colour does not change from his after 4-5 days you must consult your doctor.

Breastfed Baby Poo

Breastfed baby poo is normally mustard yellow or light brown in colour. The texture may be soft, runny and almost resemble diarrhoea. However, a healthy breastfed baby’s poo should also smell quite sweet. There may be a wider variety in the nappy of a breastfed baby as this can depend on what mum is eating and if you are taking any medication. Always check with your doctor about breastfeeding and any medication you may be taking.

Formula Fed Baby Poo

Formula fed baby poo tends to be darker than breastfed baby poo. Some types of formula can also cause green baby poo colour. The texture is usually firmer, but can vary. Formula fed babies also tend to pass fewer but smellier poos than breastfed babies. However, if your baby seems otherwise well, this is nothing to worry about.

Why is My Baby’s Poo Green?

If you have discovered green poo in your baby’s nappy, don’t worry it is perfectly normal!

Firstly, for breastfed babies, the occasional frothy green poo could mean an imbalance in your baby receiving too much fore-milk and not enough hind-milk. This may be caused by mum swapping breasts too often, and can be remedied simply by feeding from one breast at each feed only.

Secondly, for formula fed babies, green poo can mean that there is too much iron in the formula. Try switching to a different brand containing less iron, or talk to your health worker or doctor about the formula your are using.

The third reason can occur at 4-6 months, or when you are introducing solids. If you give your baby green purees containing green beans, peas or spinach you may also notice green poo in your baby’s nappy.

Occasionally, green, mucus-like poop is caused by a virus commonly seen in babies. If your baby has green poo and symptoms of diarrhoea, fever, or irritability, call your health worker or doctor for advice.

Other Warning Colours:

Red and Black

Red or black baby poo can be a sign that there is blood in your baby’s poo. If it is a streak of red blood it may have been caused by your baby straining and there may be a slight tear in your baby’s rectum.

Red blood found in normal poo could be a sign of a milk protein allergy. While red blood in diarrhea could mean your baby has a bacterial infection. Sometimes, however, a new mothers’ breast skin may split around the nipple. This can cause the breastfed baby to swallow a small amount their mother’s blood while feeding. Black poo is usually a sign of ingested blood.

White

White, grey or chalky baby poo is never normal. It could be a warning sign that your baby’s liver is not working properly. This could be a sign they are not properly digesting food.

If you find red, black or white poo in your baby’s nappy always consult with your baby’s doctor or health worker. Plus it’s a good idea to take along a sample, or the soiled nappy, with you.

Other Baby Poo Problems

Diarrhoea

It can be quite tricky to determine whether your baby has diarrhoea. In general, baby poo does tend to be quite runny. This is particularly true for breastfed babies. However, if your baby’s poo is more runny and more frequent than usual it could be a sign they have diarrhoea.

Constipation

Constipation is rare in exclusively breastfed babies, but fairly common among babies who are formula-fed or on solids. If your baby strains, goes red or cries when they do a poo, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are constipated. As long as her poos are soft, there’s no cause for concern. However, if your baby gets upset and produces hard, dry, pebble-like poos and there are streaks of blood, it may be a sign they are constipated.

If your baby is showing signs of either of the above you should consult your doctor or health care worker.

Introducing Solids and the Changes They Bring

When you start introducing solid foods expect a change in the colour and the consistency in your baby’s poo. Your baby’s poo is affected by what you give them to eat. It’s a good idea to keep checking your baby’s nappy. But don’t get a fright if you feed your baby a carrot puree and then your baby’s poo is bright orange!

As your baby progresses onto a variety of different foods, you can expect the colour to become darker. The texture will become thicker and they will become more smelly – just like the rest of the family!

References:

All About Baby Poo – Pregnancy, Health & Baby

Poos and Wees – Raisingchildren.net.au

12 Types of Baby Poo and What They Mean – Blank Children’s Hospital

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