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Quick Dose: When's Your Baby's Poop a Problem?

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New to parenthood? You’ll be surprised to find how intensely you’ll be studying your little one’s poop. Cue the diapers because we’re going to give you the scoop on your baby’s poop!

A newborn baby typically poops several times a day. But don’t worry, this won’t last forever. Within a few weeks, the amount decreases to one or two times per day.

As for the appearance of baby poop, it depends on your baby’s food. Babies on breast milk will have stools that are loose and seedy; babies on formula will have mushy stools. As long as your baby’s poop is not firm or bloody, it’s likely normal, regardless of color.

Over time, with the introduction of different foods, you may notice some changes in the color and appearance of your little one’s diaper contents. Here’s what the color might be trying to tell you:

  • Black: Black is normal! This is typical in the first few days after birth.
  • Light green: Consistent green stools in a breastfed baby can indicate an imbalance of foremilk/hindmilk. Foremilk is the low-calorie milk that comes first in a feeding. Hindmilk, which is high in fat, comes second in a feeding. Try feeding longer on each breast. Teething may also lead to green stools due to increased saliva.
  • Orange, yellow or brown: These colors are completely normal in breastfed and formula-fed babies.

When to Seek Medical Opinion

  • Bloody stools: Blood can indicate a few things. Normal poop tinged with blood could indicate a milk protein allergy. Constipated poop with a hint of blood could indicate a tiny tear or hemorrhoids. Diarrhea mixed with blood can indicate an infection.
  • White stools: White or gray, chalk-like baby poop can indicate that your baby is not properly digesting food.
  • Red, jelly-like stools: This type of poop can be a sign of a serious intestinal problem.

Speak with your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your baby’s poop and her health.

- Anita Chandra-Puri, MD, Northwestern Medical Group, Pediatrics

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