New parents are possibly happier than any other person to talk about poo. When it comes to changing nappies, parents spend quite a lot of time inspecting their newborns poo and can be both fascinated and worried with what they find.
Common questions from new parents:
How often should my baby poo?
It depends on how old your baby is. During the first six weeks, babies are gaining weight and will usually poo at least three to four times a day. There is no such thing as too much poo in infants. The more your baby feeds and consumes breastmilk, the more dirty nappies they will make.
After six weeks of age your baby may start to produce less poo. For some babies, they will process breastmilk so well that they only provide one dirty nappy per week.
Is it normal for my baby’s poo to be changing colour?
Day 1: Your baby’s first poo will be what is called meconium. Meconium is a black tar like paste. During pregnancy the meconium has built up in your baby’s intestines. Each baby is different, however the meconium should all be gone by the time your baby is three days old.
Day 3: If breastfeeding has been established, your baby’s poo will then start to change to a dark greenish colour.
Day 5: Your baby’s poo should now start to change to a yellow colour.
When it comes to baby poo, yellow, green and brown are all in the normal range of poo colours and are usually not a reason for you to worry, especially if your baby seems well and is gaining weight.
Remember that the colour of your baby’s poo may change depending on the food that a breastfeeding Mum consumes.
What consistency should my baby’s poo be?
By day 5 the consistency of your baby’s poo (and until your baby begins consuming anything other than your milk) may look like a thick soup, or a liquid with seedy bits in it. However, if your baby’s poo is all liquid and no seeds, this is perfectly normal as well.
Should I be worried about the changes in my baby’s poo?
Please seek help:
- If your baby seems unwell or has a temperature and there seems to be a change in stool colour or consistency, you should see a doctor.
- For baby’s who are under six weeks of age, if they have fewer than three dirty nappies a day or if their poo has not changed to a yellowish colour by day 5-6 your doctor may just weigh your baby to ensure they are getting enough nutrition.
- If your newborn baby is not putting on weight and you are concerned about the colour and consistency of their stools, it is possible that your baby is not breastfeeding correctly. Our Lactation Consultants can help to ensure that you and your baby are feeding well.
- If your baby does not have many soiled nappies, remember to mention this to your maternal child health nurse when you are having your baby weighed and measured. It is possible that your baby is not receiving quite enough milk.
- Some Mums are able to produce a lot of breastmilk and can have an oversupply of milk. This can mean your baby consumes more of the high sugar first milk which can cause watery green stools. If this occurs and you need assistance you can speak to the Maternal and Child Health Nurse or call the St Vincent’s Private Breastfeeding Clinic for advice (patients only).
Changes to frequency, colour and consistency depend on the age of your baby. In most cases, baby poo, whether it be black, yellow or green isn’t something that you should be concerned about. It does help to know what’s normal, the possible causes, and some of the common myths about this experience. If your baby is healthy and thriving, that is the most important thing you need to know.