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The Baby’s Poo Guide For Parents

I pondered for a while on whether it was worthwhile to prepare a blog about baby’s poo, but what I discovered during my consultations is that stools are something that truly concerns parents. I believe one reason is the plethora of information available online, making it challenging to filter reliable sources from unreliable ones.Parents worry about the colour, smell, texture, and quantity of their baby’s poo.

Because there’s so much information online, I wondered how to make the blog more interesting and different from others. This time, I’m going to do something dissimilar and have a Q&A about the most common questions I’ve been asked during my consultations.

And, because you know I usually share my best tips about the topic I’m discussing, today is going to be different as well, and I’m going to share my top 5 alarming signs.


When do babies need a nappy change?

Babies need frequent nappy changes due to their very delicate skin. Young babies, especially in the first few days and weeks, will need changing as many as 10 or 12 times a day. However, my best advice is not to go crazy and change more nappies than your baby needs. Don’t wake up a baby to change their nappy unless they have a severe nappy rash or are suffering from acidic and explosive poos (especially breastfed babies). That could worsen things. I promise you that if your baby is uncomfortable, they will cry and let you know that they need to be changed.

How often should my baby do a poo?

Every baby is different, and it’s not the same for a newborn as for an older baby. Newborn babies who are breastfed may poo at each feed during the early weeks, then after about 6 to 8 weeks, they will slow down in terms of number, and they might not poo for several days. This doesn’t mean that your baby is constipated as long as the poos are soft. Formula-fed babies are a bit different; they can poo up to 5 times a day when newly born, but after a few months, this can go down to once a day.

My baby’s poos are very runny; are they suffering from diarrhoea?

Not really. Exclusive breastfed babies’ poo is normally very runny, but it doesn’t mean they have diarrhoea. Keep in mind that diarrhoea in babies, by definition, is an increase in the number of stools per day compared to the amount of poos that they normally do.

My baby’s poo is black; is that normal?

Yes, as long as your baby is a newborn. Your baby’s first stools are called meconium. This is a sticky and greenish-black stool that resembles petroleum. Meconium is the remaining amniotic liquid fluid that your baby has swallowed while in your womb. Some babies may produce this kind of poo during or after birth, or some time within the first 72h. Normally, you will change one or two nappies during the first day, 2 or 3 on your baby’s second day, and 2 or 3 more on the third day. If your baby didn’t poo meconium at all, go to the hospital and check with the paediatrician because they could be suffering some anomalies or diseases that need to be investigated.

My baby’s poo looks like mustard or curry; is that normal?

Yes, this is the colour that most parents describe when their babies are breastfed. It’s very typical to be semiliquid, with little lumps, a creamy texture, and a characteristic acid or sour smell. They are totally normal, and there’s nothing to worry about.

What happens if my baby’s poo is green?

Nothing, as long as it’s only one or two nappies every now and then. Sometimes when mothers eat lots of green leafy vegetables, we can see this green colour reflected in the baby’s poo. Also if your baby hasn’t been pooing for several days, the yellowish colour stools can oxidise after a while and turn greenish. But there’s nothing to be concerned about. If your baby has a lot of green stools and also feels unwell (spitting more than usual, vomiting, or showing other signs), it might be the possibility that they are ingesting too much lactose, which complicates their digestion, or they might be suffering from an intolerance or allergy.

There’s blood in my baby’s poo; is that an emergency?

It could be an emergency, but it’s not necessary to run to A&E. I know it could really scare you, but I recommend you to check first any of these options to avoid going to the hospital unnecessarily:

  • Check that there’s no injuries causing bleeding on your baby’s anus, like cuts due to your baby being constipated or bad nappy rashes. This could be the reason that you’re finding blood in your baby’s nappy.
  • Make sure that if you have any nipple cracks, they are not bleeding. If they are, it could be that your baby is swallowing a bit of blood from you, and you don’t need to do anything.
  • If the blood is after your baby was born, it could be that he swallowed some of your fluids during labour.

If everything is being checked, and you continue to find nappies with blood, it could also be an intolerance or allergy to cow’s milk, so I would recommend to check with your paediatrician.

Are white stools normal?

Definitely not; white stools are not normal and are a reason to go to the paediatrician. They are related to bad digestion due to a lack of bile. Also, we can associate them with liver problems.

My Top 5 Alarming Signs to consult and have your baby checked:
  1. If your baby seems in pain during bowel movements.
  2. If your baby has been doing lots of green poos after day 4-5.
  3. If your baby is fed with formula and he’s not pooing regularly.
  4. If your baby is doing bloody, white or yellow pale poos.
  5. If your baby didn’t expel the meconium within the first 24 hours, or he’s still pooing meconium after 72h.

As a parent, dealing with your baby’s poo becomes a routine part of caregiving. Embrace the messy marvels and use the information it provides as a guide to your baby’s health. As you can see, there are not so many situations where poos can be an emergency; however, because they could be scary, I recommend you to have your baby checked if necessary. My message here is do not panic, but if you are not sure about colour, texture, quantity, etc., I will always recommend consulting with the paediatrician.

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