How often have you been told by someone not to fuss too much around your baby? Or let the kid just be? That is because as parents we care too much for our children from the moment they are born. And, in the process, we begin fretting about every small thing like their food habits, sleep routines, clothes, hygiene, and even poop! And this list just keeps growing as the kids grow. While it is fine to put so much of stressing on the back-burner once in a while, keeping yourself well-informed also helps. For all you know, just when you’re about to dismiss something as a trivial issue, it might actually turn out to be serious. Take the case of the color of your baby/toddler’s poop, for instance. Haven’t you freaked out on finding it ‘green’ at times? Wondering what causes it? Well, let’s tell you why:
Your baby’s first stools soon after birth will have a hint of dark green or will be black in color. This is also known as meconium. Meconium is an excretion of everything that your baby might have ingested inside your womb before birth. This includes amniotic fluid, mucus, water, and epithelial cells. However, this stool will eventually change to a light green or yellow color after 3 or 4 days once your baby starts breastfeeding (1).
2. Mother’s Diet
A mother’s diet affects the quality of her breast milk. Likewise, it affects the color of breast milk too. Therefore, if you are eating too many green vegetables or foods that have artificial green color, then in all likelihood, it’ll make your baby’s poop turn green too.
3. Baby’s Diet
Your newborn baby will soon grow and move on from an only-milk diet to a more solid diet. This is when you’ll find yourself experimenting with a lot of healthy foods and textures. And introducing a good amount of green, leafy vegetables into your baby’s diet, even in later years, generally tops the list. However, such foods too make your baby’s poop turn green. So don’t be alarmed if your infant or toddler passes green poop out of the blue!
4. An Underlying Illness
If your baby has been recently unwell, especially due to an underlying bacterial or viral infection, chances are that this infection may seep into his/her gut. Such infections not only affect the color, but also the consistency of the poop, like in diarrhea or constipation (2).
5. Medication Intake
The effect of infections and medications on poop go hand-in-hand. Of course, a mother may not breastfeed her child when she’s unwell. However, if a mother is on a particular medication or oral supplements, it can still affect the quality of her breast milk, and in turn, the color of the baby’s poop. For toddlers too, certain antibiotics or oral supplement medications affect the color of their poop. However, such changes are short-term, generally until the course of the medications last.
6. Sensitivity Or Allergy
Sometimes babies and toddlers can pass green, mucus-like poop if they have a sensitivity or an allergy to some food. For breastfed babies, such an allergy can pass on from whatever the mother might have consumed. It can also be a medication or drug as well. However, if it is an allergy-related green poop, then it is generally accompanied by other indicators of an allergy, like skin rashes or shortness of breath. Seek your doctor’s help immediately if you notice such changes in your baby.
We hope this has given you a better insight into what to look for when your baby passes that slimy, green stool. However, let it not alarm you. It is important to keep calm and have your wits about you in such a situation. If there is anything that doesn’t make sense to you or your baby either starts behaving oddly or seems lethargic, please visit your doctor as soon as possible. A little bit of alertness and awareness will certainly go a long way in ensuring your baby’s good health and safety!