Baby Poop Guide

One thing you might have thought would never happen when you became a parent is getting “certified” as a poop expert. Your baby’s poop colour, odour and texture is one indicator of their health. If you are away from your baby for long hours at a time you will often find yourself asking “amekula?” (“has s/he eaten?”), “amepoopoo?” (has s/he pooped?”). Below is a guide to some of the different variations of baby poop:

1) Meconium (baby’s first poop): This is greenish-black in colour and has a sticky tar like texture. It is the first poop your baby will make and comprises of amniotic fluid, skin cells, mucus and other substances ingested while in the womb.

2) Transitional poop: This is a lighter less sticky version of the meconium poop almost army green. It appears around the first 2-4 days of life.

3) Healthy Breastfed Baby Poop: This is yellowish in colour and has a sweet smell with a grainy texture.

4) Healthy formula-fed Baby Poop: This is tan-brown or yellow-brown in colour and has a toothpaste or peanut butter like texture. It is more pungent that the poop of a breastfeed baby.

5) Healthy Weaning Baby Poop: This is brown or dark brown in colour and is thicker but still mushy. It is also more pungent than the breastfed or formula-fed healthy baby poop.

6) Baby Poop with partially digested food: Once your baby starts eating solid food you might find traces of this in their diaper, for example the skin of a fruit. Once in a while this is normal as it means that your baby might be swallowing before they completely finish chewing. It could also mean that the food is passing too quickly through their intestines before it can be fully digested. If it persists, however or if majority of their poop is pieces of partially digested food it is important to call your doctor.

7) Low-calorie Baby Poop: This is bright green in colour and frothy. It may indicate that your baby is getting too much fore-milk and not enough hind-milk. You can mitigate this by leaving you baby on one breast for longer and/or in the next feeding cycle begin on the breast you ended with last time.

8) Iron-fortified Baby Poop: This is dark green in colour and is often present for baby’s who are taking an iron supplement. If you baby’s poop is dark green and they are not taking an iron supplement it is important to call your doctor.

9) Diarrhoea: This is runny, watery baby poop. If it persists or has blood or mucus it is important to call your doctor as it might be a sign of an infection.

10) Constipation: This hard baby poop either as one big chunk/ball or many small pebbles like goat droppings. Similar to diarrhoea, if it persists or appears bloody it is important to call your doctor as it might be a sign of an allergy and/or anal tears or tiny hemorrhoids.

11) Mucus filled Baby Poop: This is greenish in colour and streaked with shiny glistering strings (mucus). Mucus usually appears in babies who are teething and is caused by the high intake of mucus-filled saliva which is often not digested. Should it persist it is important to call your doctor.

12) Chalky or pale Baby Poop: This is whitish in colour and might signify liver or gall bladder failure. It is important to contact your doctor immediately.

13) Bright Red Bloody Baby Poop: This poop might be tinged with red elements of blood or be completely covered. It might be a sign of anything from a protein allergy to a bacterial infection. It is important to contact your doctor immediately.

14) Very Dark Red (Black) Bloody Baby Poop: This is blackish in colour and might appear as small streaks or the entire poop could be blackish in colour. It could be a sign of anything from ingested blood from a mothers cracked and bleeding nipple to internal bleeding. It is important to contact your doctor immediately.

It is important to remember, that when in doubt or should your baby’s poop differ from the norm it’s best to consult your doctor to rule out any serious conditions.

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