One of the greatest joys of being a parent is changing your child’s diaper. Okay, even I couldn’t say that without laughing. Who am I kidding? Every parent hates changing diapers, and that chore is made worse when the diaper is filled with something we’ve never seen before.
How many of you have found yourselves examining your baby’s poop and wondering “is this normal?” I know I have, which usually resulted in me snapping a picture of it and sending it to my closest friends and family. I think most of them still cringe when they get a text from me.
Luckily, you can find a list of what’s normal and what’s not below.
When a child is first-born, their digestive tract is filled with the amniotic fluid, shed hair, shed skin cells, and other materials they ingested while they were in the womb. It’s totally normal to see this thick, sticky, tar-like substance in your newborn’s diaper for the first 2-3 days.
NOTE: it is messy stuff and sticks to everything. Apply a thin coat of Vaseline to your baby’s bottom to make it easier to wipe off the meconium. If you don’t notice a change in color or consistency after three days, consult with your baby’s doctor.
Black stool in an older child’s diaper could mean something as harmless as too much iron in their diet. However, black poop could also be a sign of internal bleeding because blood will turn black when digested. Either way, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor.
When food passes through the digestive system quickly it results in a greenish color poop because our body didn’t have time to absorb all the water from the waste. This typically happens when we have diarrhea or a stomach bug.
If your child is getting a lot of iron rich, leafy food in their diet – either from solid foods, or from your breast milk – it can cause them to poop green as well.
Bright green could be a sign that your child is not getting enough hind milk when they nurse. Foremilk is thinner, and not as nutritious, so when your baby fills up on this milk, before getting a good amount of hind milk, it can cause their poop to be frothy and green. You can remedy this by nursing longer on one side, or pumping just a TINY amount before nursing.
Brown is the color most commonly found in a diaper, and typically means everything is going as planned. There are numerous shades of brown, and you’ll end up seeing them all before your child is potty trained.
Formula-fed babies will often have soft brown bowels mixed with various shades of yellow. When they begin to eat solid food, the consistency will change from mushy to more firm.
It’s common to find bits of undigested food mixed in, but if you are seeing this constantly it could be a sign your child is not chewing properly.
When our poop is yellow, it means we are getting a lot of fat in our diet. In fact, because fat floats, yellow bowels typically will too. Yellow stool is most common among breast-fed babies. You may notice it has a chunky or seedy consistency, and this is normal as well. Luckily, it should not smell bad and some parents have even said it has a sweet aroma.
You should continue to see this in your baby’s diaper until they either start supplementing with formula or eat solid foods. When an infant is being fed both breast milk and formula, their bowels will have a slightly yellowish-brown color. This is also normal and nothing to worry about unless you notice blood or mucus in there as well.
Blood in Poop
Sometimes blood is a sign of a less concernable problem, but other times it could mean something much worse. It depends on how the blood is presented in the bowels.
If your baby’s poop is hard and rocky, with a tiny amount of blood streaked through it, it could be a sign that your child is constipated. They may have torn their bum while straining to poop, and that is where the small amount of blood came from. In this situation, you should try to determine what’s causing the problem and change their diet. You may have to avoid certain foods, or introduce new ones to their diet. If the constipation persists regardless of dietary changes, you should contact your pediatrician for tailored advice about how to remedy it.
If you notice small flecks of blood that look very dark, almost black, in color it might be because your baby in ingesting it while breast feeding. This is especially true if mom’s nipples are cracked and sore.
Mucus-like blood could be a symptom of an internal problem, and it’s always a good idea to consult with a doctor if you find this in your baby’s diaper.
White or Pale poop
Colorless stool is typically a sign of a much bigger problem in the digestive system. It could mean there is a lack of bile in the stomach, or that the liver is not functioning properly. Contact your doctor, and save the diaper in question, in case they ask for a stool sample.
As gross as it can sometimes be, poop is a good indicator that everything is working the way it should be. It’s important to keep an eye on what’s in your infants diaper, because abnormal stool could alert you to a problem before other symptoms become noticeable.
Tell Us What You Think
Your opinion is valuable to us and we want to hear from you! Tell us your poop related stories, or comment on what you’ve just read. Thank you all!
Donation to MommyDaddyKids
Donate today to help MommyDaddyKids keep creating awesome content and upgrade the site to make it even better! Help us add the bells and whistles!