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Your Baby's Poop

I get so many questions about baby poop!!  It is interesting that most new parents (me included) are VERY interested in poop and a daily question is “did the baby...

I get so many questions about baby poop!!  It is interesting that most new parents (me included) are VERY interested in poop and a daily question is “did the baby poop?”  Pooping is very important in the initial newborn days as a baby begins to get milk and their stools change from the sticky dark meconium to “normal” baby poop. 

Once the meconium is passed baby stools can look much like diarrhea as they are often a bit watery, and are all sorts of different colors. If your baby is breast fed the stools are typically yellow, like mustard, and watery and have some “seedy bits” in the poop. I had a Dad who recently asked me, “what is the seedy part of the poop?” and I had to admit, no clue, that is just what they look like!  Formula fed babies have a bit less watery stools but they are still soft, like soft serve yogurt.  

Baby poop also comes in a myriad of colors with yellow, brown, green and orange all being normal.  A medical student once described it as “fall colors”.  Your baby’s poop should never have bright red blood, be tarry black or stark white. If you ever see that poop you need to save the diaper to show your doctor. 

Most babies will poop multiple times a day anywhere from 2-8 stools may be normal. But, with that being said, some babies are just efficient and only poop once every several days and are just fine. Everyone has a different poop schedule, right?!  As long as your baby is gaining weight, is comfortable and does not have a distended tummy and has soft stools it rarely matters how often they poop.  Many babies will grunt, groan, strain and turn bright red before they poop - but then out comes soft stool, so you don’t need to worry.

Parents will often keep track of how often a baby poops in the initial newborn period, but once you have seen your pediatrician and your baby is gaining weight it is not really important to write down every stool or feeding.  Take the time you would spend “charting” and either talk to your baby or take a quick nap. Both are more important than keeping a poop diary.

Just wait until your child is older.....then all you want to do is quit talking about poop and get them potty trained!

 

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About Sue Hubbard, M.D.

Dr. Sue Hubbard is an award winning pediatrician and medical editor for www.kidsdr.com.  She is a native of Washington, D.C. who travelled south to attend the University of Texas at Austin and never left.Read More

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