Wondering whether your baby’s poop is normal? This is your ultimate guide to baby poo in the first year, from that newborn black poo to the first poo after eating solids!
Your baby can pretty much poop the rainbow during the first year.
It’s one of the only ways to tell whether your baby is happy and healthy in the early weeks, when their communication is otherwise limited to crying.
So it’s important to know when that strange colour filling your baby’s nappy is something to worry about or totally normal for a baby in the first year!
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This guide is intended to give you an idea of your baby’s poop in the first year. You’ll find out what’s normal, how it can change plus what to look for if you are genuinely worried.
Remember, no matter what, always see your doctor if you are worried about your baby. Nobody knows your baby better than you, so seek medical guidance whenever you think something may be wrong.
How many dirty nappies should your baby produce per day?
First of all let’s have a look at how much poop your baby should be producing on a normal day.
In the first week your baby is likely to do four poos per day. After this, your baby may poop after every feed and then this may decrease to one or two poops per day.
If you suspect your baby is constipated, then you can ease this by gently rubbing their tummy in a circular motion and bicycling their legs.
Signs of constipation in your baby will include crying as if in pain, passing more gas and a change to their usual poop schedule!
Don’t forget that in addition to poop your baby should be producing roughly five wet nappies per day.
Different colours of baby poop and what it means
Your baby’s very first poo will be black, maybe a little green, and tar-like in appearance. It generally appears within hours after being born, and will be helped along by the first feed!
This poop can be very tricky to clean off baby’s bottom, so have lots of cotton wool balls and a bowl of water to clean it up or gentle wipes.
Although this poo looks alarming, it is completely normal and every baby does it!
After the black poop is done, your baby’s poo is likely to be a greenish-yellow colour. The exact colour and consistency will depend on whether your baby is breast of formula fed.
A breastfed baby’s poo will transition from green to a mustard yellow type colour within the first week. The poo will be quite runny, as your baby is on a liquid-only diet, so don’t be too alarmed by the runny consistency. Breastfed baby poops do not smell unpleasant, whereas formula fed baby’s poop tends to be a bit stinkier.
A formula fed baby will produce poops that are light brown to dark brown in colour. It may be slightly thicker in texture than breastfed poo. Some formula brands can cause the poop to be green, so don’t be alarmed by this!
A breastfed baby will typically make mustard yellow poos. These will be roughly the size of a £2 coin and may have a grainy texture, with what looks like tiny seeds mixed in. This is totally normal.
Brown, orange, pink!
When your baby starts solids their poop will change dramatically, and it may change day to day.
If your baby eats carrots, you may see bright orange poop!
The texture of their poo will become more solid too. Certain foods won’t be fully digested just yet, so you may find whole raisins, sweetcorn and chunks of peas passing their way out into your baby’s poop.
Don’t worry about this, it’s all normal.
When your baby transitions to eating more solids, moving on to three meals per day, their poos will become firmer and smellier. Sorry!
Brown with black worms
Poop that contains what looks like little black worms is nothing to be alarmed about! It’s actually what happens when your baby eats banana.
A pale poop can be a cause for concern. It can indicate your baby is not digesting their food properly. It may also be combined with other issues, such as your baby lacking in energy and them developing jaundice, where the skin changes colour.
Go and see your doctor if you do notice grey or white poop.
Black or red
Your baby’s first poop will be black, so that’s no cause for concern.
But a black or dark red poop from a baby may indicate blood in the poo. Do go and have them checked out by a doctor!
When else to be concerned about your baby’s poo
Although your newborn’s stools will certainly be loose, as they are on a liquid diet, they won’t be watery.
If your baby is showing signs of diarrhoea then do get them checked out by a doctor.
Try to keep track of how often your baby poops, especially in the early days, so that you can get an idea of what is “normal” for them.
If your baby’s poops are small, hard and almost like little droppings then that is a sign they are constipated. Try to add in some extra breastfeeds, and double check you are mixing up the formula with the correct water to powder ratio.
Young babies can get all of the liquids they need from milk alone and do not need to be supplemented with water as well.
Teething and baby poop
When your baby is teething you may notice their nappy is slightly runnier than usual, but teething will not cause diarrhoea.
A teething baby may have slightly frothy poop due to the amount of mucus and drool they are swallowing. You’re likely to notice the symptoms of teething such as your baby being fussy, chewing on their hands and drooling before you see a teething nappy.
Treating nappy rash
The most common cause of nappy rash is when poo and wee has been on your baby’s bottom for too long. It irritates the skin and causes spots, a red rash, pimples and sore patches to break out.
The best way to treat nappy rash is with a barrier cream and frequent changing of your baby’s nappy. It’s also a good idea to give your baby some time without a nappy on every single day, so that the skin gets some air.
Remember to put down a towel, and be aware that your baby can fire poo quite some distance so have towels extended out in front of them just in case.
When your baby is sore down there, you may find they are very sensitive to having their bottom wiped. Either choose sensitive skin wipes or opt for simple water and cotton wool to cleanse their bottom instead.