Your baby’s poop says a lot about your little one’s health. The color and texture of a baby’s poop can indicate if they are suffering from an illness or are healthy. Isn’t that amazing? You can become your baby’s poop doctor if you are aware of what’s normal and what’s not just by looking at it. So the next time when you change your little munchkin’s diaper, take a glance at their poop too. The things that you do in the name of parenting!
Black Or Dark Green
If you see black or tarry poop in your newborn’s first bowel movements, don’t panic. That’s completely normal. This baby poop which occurs soon after birth is known as meconium (1). So why the black color? It consists of residues from swallowed amniotic fluid, bile in the infant’s gut, and shedding gut epithelium. Delayed or non-passage of this stool might also indicate some health complications (2).
Yellow poop is seen in babies who are fed breastmilk. They usually have a loose, seedy texture of poop. It is considered normal and healthy. The mustard yellow poop indicates that the baby is able to absorb the nutrients in mommy’s milk well (3).
If your baby is formula-fed, their poop is likely to be a darker shade of yellow. It could also be in shades of brown or green in color. All these shades are completely normal for a formula-fed baby. It could also vary from light beige to dark green. What an interesting way to learn about colors- *LOL*! There are cases where the poop can be chunky or have whole pieces in them. And that’s because the food is not entirely digested by the baby (4).
If you notice a major volume of blood in your baby’s diaper, it could be indicating a health condition. Check if your child has developed a fever, vomiting, or looks sick. It might be because of an infection. There are other instances where blood might be seen in diapers such as allergies, fallen off polyps, or blood vessel malformations. You might not be able to figure out the right cause for a bloody poop, so it’s best to consult your doctor right away (5).
Tarry Poop After Few Days Of Birth
Your baby’s poop appears black and tarry in the first few days after birth. But if you see it again after their transition to breast milk or formula milk, it’s not normal. But keep in mind that some foods, iron supplements and medications can turn your baby’s poop black. Otherwise, it may suggest a serious gastrointestinal bleed. So it’s best to consult a pediatrician right away (6).
Green poop is normal among newborns and infants. The mother’s diet could also influence the color of the baby’s poop if the baby is breastfed. But if green poop is accompanied by diarrhea, it is dangerous. Diarrhea can make your baby dehydrated. Look for signs such as crying with no tears, dry lips and mouth, sunken eyes or cheeks (7). Consult a pediatrician if you notice these signs in your baby.
White poop can be caused by a lack of bile. Stools get their normal color from bile pigments. They come from the liver, gallbladder, and from the friendly bacteria in the gut. It could also indicate a liver infection or inflammation. They are usually followed by jaundice and dank urine (8). Other symptoms could be abdominal pain, nausea, fever, and itching. Some infants also have a constricted bile duct since birth (9).
Monitoring your little one’s poop can tell you about an underlying health problem. Your little humans won’t be able to tell you if they are feeling sick or suffering from anything else, but taking a glimpse at their bowel movements might tell you something. Also, don’t hesitate to consult a pediatrician if you have any concerns.