Let’s be honest, it is something we never talk about pre baby and then once baby is here it is a topic we all talk about when we meet up our parent friends in the park for walks, playgroups and to our partners!
Baby poop is a hot topic and quite a serious one as well. Your baby’s poop is a porthole into their bowel system, a bit like a telescope.
In this article I am going to explain to you the different types of poop you will and may see from your little one.
Your baby’s poo is such an important part of their health and development it is worth taking a proper look at it before we dispose of it into that nappy sack and out the door faster than that coyote roadrunner we all used to watch when we were little! The colour and consistency can tell us a lot of information and is a sign of any allergies, intolerances, bacterial imbalances, if they are getting too much milk or indeed too little. For example a formula fed baby poop, if it is hard and nugget like this is a sign there is too much powder in the formula so it is worth honing in on how you are preparing the milk.
Make sure you put the water in the bottle 1st. then add the powder. Make sure that scoop is levelled off correctly with the back of a straight knife. If some scoops are packed tightly and some loose this will have an effect also.
Why? Well if you put the powder in 1st this takes up volume space n the bottle and when you add the water the amount will be inaccurate. Even just a very small amount can and will make a difference and if this is how you make the bottles every day every week, that is a lot less water than actually required. So What Should Your Baby’s Poop Look Like? At birth your baby will have a thick tar like gooey poop that is black. This is the first bowel movement you will see and it is sticky! Get ready for it! It is worth layering on some coconut oil or Paw Paw ointment so it does not stick so much to their tiny bottom and easier for you to clean. You will see 3-4 of these dirty nappies after birth. Then comes the bright yellow poop! For those babies exclusively breast fed, up to 6 weeks your baby will poop about twice a day. It will be a thick liquid, let’s be honest here, like a curry sauce! There will about a tablespoon. It may appear during or after a feed. You will feel like you are spending your days feeding and changing nappies – there is no end! RED FLAGS – not changing many pooey nappies each day, the colour is not so bright yellow? Perhaps the bowel movements are infrequent? Green / Stringy/ Mucousy and or blood in the poop then it is worth speaking to your health care provider promptly and as weird as this sounds, keep that dirty nappy to show them. They will know more by seeing than hearing! After 6 weeks the bowel movements may start to slow down a little as long as growth continues. It will be the same yellow, thick sauce like consistency.
The Formula Fed Baby Formula will affect the bowels. This we know. Don’t be worried about this. I am a huge advocate for either breast of bottle fed, your baby needs warmth, love and fed. If that feed is formula then so be it. That is your choice as a parent. No one else’s. So what does formula poop look like? Well, for a start it will be thicker than that of the breast fed baby, more spreadable butter like…! Formula has a higher content of iron so will be slightly darker yellow than that bright yellow breast milk poop. If your baby is struggling to poop and producing hard nuggets it may be worth checking the power water ratio as I mentioned above or changing the formula. Runny poop is also normal and okay.
Mixed Fed Baby
The poop will change day to day and depending on how much of either feed they have this will determine the consistency and colour.
When your baby starts to eat solids the poop will start to look different and become more “adult like”! By 12 months your baby will have a bowel movement approximately once a day.
If you have ANY concerns please speak to your health care provider promptly. This may be your health visitor or G/P. Take that poop all wrapped up in the nappy as they may like to take a swab.
Babies who suffer from reflux, as we know reflux is a symptom of an underlying issue, the poop may provide answer to what. It may show up an allergy, intolerance or imbalance.
Lactation consultants are all able to help you. A lactation consultant can do a feeding assessment whether you are formula or breast feeding. You can find a certified IBCLC close to you on THIS WEBSITE
Another great support and resource is the BABY POO GALLERY on Facebook! They have an abundance of albums and categories for babies from birth through to 12 months old. Whether your baby is breastfed, formula fed or mixed fed you can find information and guidance on your baby’s poop there! You can even submit photos if you like!
As always peaceful nights to you all,
Your paediatric sleep Consultant