A beginners guide to baby poo

The look, texture and smell of your baby’s poo will differ depending upon your baby’s age and how he/she is being fed.

What should my baby’s poo look like?

A newborns poo is made up of something called meconium. Meconium is a thick, sticky greenish-black substance. It is made up of amniotic fluid, mucus, lanugo (the fine hairs that cover the baby’s body), bile and cells that have been shed from the skin and the intestinal tract.

  • After approximately 4-5 days your baby’s poo will change to a yellow or mustard colour.
  • Breastfed babies poo is runny and doesn’t smell where as formula fed infants poo is firmer, a darker brown and smellier.
  • Some formula milk can turn your baby’s poo more of a dark green. This is completely normal.
  • If you change from breast feeding to bottle feeding, your baby’s poo will change too.
  • How often should my baby poo?

    It is completely normal for a baby to poo at around every feed time just as it is normal to go a few days without any bowel movement. There really is no hard and fast rule. As long as your baby’s poos are soft, there is no need for you to worry about constipation. The same can be said if your little one seems to be struggling, or even in pain when he poos, as long as the poo is soft, this is a good sign that he is not constipated.

    If your baby is under 8 weeks old and hasn’t had any bowel movement for 2-3 days, you should discuss this with your midwife, health visitor or GP. If your baby isn’t following the same weigh centile as logged in your baby’s red book (ie gaining weight too slowly) then you should make contact with one of the above mentioned medical professionals as soon as possible; your baby should be gaining weight and having both wet and dirty nappies.

    What if my baby’s poo changes colour or the texture is different?

    Poo will and can vary from day to day or week to week. You should contact your GP if you notice that your baby’s poo has become very watery or harder, particularly if blood is present, if it is extremely smelly or if it is a pale colour as this may be a sign of jaundice. If you are worried for any reason about your newborns poo or have any other health concerns you should always speak to your health visitor or GP.

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