Did you ever, in your wildest dreams think that poop could be the subject of so much discussion?
Before having children, the topic of poop would not have been on your list of great conversation starters. Now that a little baby has entered your life, it seems that at any time or place, when in the company of other parents, and sometimes not, it is ok to talk about poop. Not only is it ok, it seems to be expected.
We become obsessed with it. The colour, the frequency, the consistency, is it normal…….ew?
So what is all the fuss about? I imagine that we relate the poop history of our babies as a direct link to their behaviour. Is the content of the diaper an indication as to why my baby is unsettled, uncomfortable or crying? Is my baby sick? Perhaps, but is it just normal?
What is normal baby poop?
Black/Green-(Meconium) this is the first bowel movement after birth .It is thick and tarry.
Green/Brown- As baby begins to drink and digest breast milk, the colour and consistency changes to a brownish and soft poop.
Yellow- Seedy yellow, mustard like is the usual stool of a breast fed baby from about day 4-5.It can be a little watery and sometimes be tinged with green.
Brown- Light brown and pasty is common for babies who are fed on formula.
Multiple colours- This is common when you introduce solids to your baby’s diet. You may even find the odd surprise when changing the diaper. Sometimes undigested foods appear in the nappy. Corn, peas and evidence of banana are common additions to the mix. It is normal to see these ingredients initially.
What is not normal poop?
Constipation- Hard pebble consistency is definitely constipation. However, a firm or formed stool in a very young baby is not ideal either. Ensure baby is well hydrated and that if you are using a formula that you follow the instructions on how to make it up correctly. You may need to change formulas so discuss this with your health care professional.
Diarrhoea- Frequent, watery, often foul smelling. This requires a consultation with your doctor or early childhood health nurse.
Other unusual colours
Black – if it continues more than a few days after birth or at any other time in life.
Other unusual textures
Watery- if consistently watery, see your doctor
Hard and large – if you baby finds it difficult to pass, you will need to consult with your doctor or early childhood health nurse.
You might find this unusual or unpleasant but taking a sample along for your doctor or early childhood health nurse to examine can be very useful. I have even had parents email me photos of their baby’s diaper when they have been worried. Remember we are health care professionals and deal with these things every day.
Baby poop. It is something that becomes common to discuss the contents of your baby’s nappy. It is reassuring to know what is normal and when it is time to consult your health care professional.