I poop, you poop, everybody poop, poop!
When I became a mom I had no idea how often and how freely I would start talking about poop. Every mommy group or forum I visited in that first year had at least one (and usually more) ongoing thread about poop. We compared notes about color, texture and smell. Nothing is taboo when it comes to babies and body functions or secretions. Seriously, nothing will cure you quicker of being uptight about bodily fluids than having a kid. I have yet to meet a parent that hasn’t dealt with at least a couple of good diaper blow outs. It’s just part for the parenting course and you soon develop a sense of humour about such things.
So what’s the scoop on poop? Wondering why your little one’s diaper is filled with green goop or how it’s possible for them to excrete what looks like bird seed when you’re pretty confident that’s not what you fed them? Well here are some general guidelines to help you out.
Dark, greenish and very sticky
This is the typical stuff (meconium) that you’re going to find in baby’s diaper for the first couple of days. If you see this after three days be sure to report it to your doctor. It may mean your baby is not getting enough to eat.
Yellow and grainy
This is completely normal, especially for babies that are breast fed. If it is more orange than yellow (which we encountered for the first while) well good news – that means your breast milk has a high fat content and your baby is getting lots of that good hind milk.
Again this is pretty normal, especially as your baby gets into solid foods. Unless there is an issue with consistency (watery or hard) no need to worry.
This is very common and very normal in babies that are receiving formula. It’s just the extra iron in the formula and is not harmful.
This one is very common in breast feeding babies. Most of the time it is completely normal but it might indicate that your baby is getting more foremilk than hind milk so you might want to try letting baby nurse longer on each breast. In some cases a virus can cause green stools so watch for signs that he isn’t feeling well and proceed accordingly.
Brown, Very Loose/Watery
Diarrhea is generally a sign that your little one has an infection or virus. If you have a newborn talk to your doctor right away. If your baby is at least a few months old then a couple of days of diarrhea isn’t something to worry too much about if he doesn’t seem too sick otherwise. Just make sure he’s getting plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and if it last more than a couple of days talk to your doctor.
Pinkish or Red (or other strange colors)
If your little one is eating solids consider what he’s been eating or drinking before you worry. Many fruits, vegetables and other foods (like popcicles, jello or fruit loops) can cause some odd colored stools. However, if your little one hasn’t been ingesting anything that might cause red or pink stools then it is time to call the doctor.
Brown, Dry and Hard
Lots of babies and kids go through occasional bouts of constipation. If your baby is very young talk to your doctor. It’s not normally recommended to give water to small babies but your doctor might recommend it if constipation is an issue. In older babies and kids make sure they are taking in adequate fluids. Water is the best for every day prevention of constipation but if it’s already a problem consider giving small amount of prune or pear juice. Also make sure they are getting adequate fiber (depending on their age). We have found probiotics to be useful for this (talk to your doctor first).
If your baby is more than a couple of days old and has black stool consult your doctor right away. This may be a sign of blood in the stool and needs to be looked into.
If your little one has been dealing with constipation you may find the stool has a few red streaks and possibly a little mucus. This is nothing to worry about as long as it goes away when the stools soften up. If it doesn’t clear up or your baby shows signs of being sick then talk to your doctor.
Chalky and White
This is pretty uncommon but if your little one has chalky white stool see your doctor right away. This could be an indication of a gallbladder or liver problem.
Well it’s not quite 50 shades but most of us have or will experience a pretty spectacular rainbow of excrement in our diapering days. Most of it is pretty normal – even if it doesn’t look like it possibly could be. Of course, like always, when in doubt talk to your doctor. It’s always best to err on the side of caution.
Do you have any good baby poop stories to share? Come on I know you do!!