Do you know Alarming color of your Baby's POOP
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22nd Feb 2012, 11:27 PM #1
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Do you know Alarming color of your Baby's POOPHow often should your baby poop, and what should it look like? Most new parents don't know what to expect, and find baby poop quite surprising! It has so many shades and consistencies that even experienced parents may not have seen them all.
This complete guide to baby poop walks you through the various types of baby stool and explains what's normal and what's not as your newborn grows, drinks breast milk or formula, and starts eating solids. You'll find out when not to worry and when it's wise to be concerned.
There's a wide variety of normal pooping behavior among babies: Some poop after every meal and some only once or twice a week. What's most important is that your baby's poop is coming out reasonably soft. (If it's hard and dry, your baby may be constipated and need some help getting her pooping process back on track.)
Breastfed newborns often poop after every feeding (roughly six to 10 times a day), but after three to six weeks or so, they can slow down and start having less frequent bowel movements.
Other than that common slowdown, there's no need to worry if your baby's pooping pattern stays fairly consistent and she's acting like her usual self. But if there's a sudden change or you notice signs that she's uncomfortable or unhappy, give your doctor a ring.
Newborn poop: Meconium
Expect to find a greenish-black, tarry, sticky poop that looks like motor oil in your newborn's diaper. Since meconium is made of amniotic fluid, mucus, skin cells, and other stuff ingested in utero, it doesn't really smell – so you may not realize it's time for a diaper change.
Newborn poop: Transitional stool
When your baby is 2 to 4 days old, his poop will become lighter in color – sort of an army green – and less sticky. This transitional stool is a sign that he's started digesting early breast milk or formula and that his intestinal tract is A-okay.
Healthy breastfed poop
If your baby is exclusively breastfed, her poop will be yellow or slightly green and have a mushy or creamy consistency. It may be runny enough to resemble diarrhea. Breastfed poop typically looks like Dijon mustard and cottage cheese mixed together and may be dotted with little seed-like flecks. Interestingly, its smell isn't half bad.
There are many shades of normal when it comes to breastfed poop. One you might see is a greener hue, which could signify that you ate something different than you normally do. If your baby isn't experiencing any other symptoms, there's no need to worry.
Low-calorie breastfed poop
If you see bright green and frothy poop in your baby's diaper, almost like algae, she's probably getting too much foremilk – the low-calorie milk that comes first in a feeding – and not enough hindmilk, the good higher-fat stuff. It could mean that you're not feeding her long enough on each breast. To remedy this, start each feeding on the breast you ended on last time.
Healthy formula-fed poop
Formula-fed babies have pasty, peanut butter-like poop on the brown color spectrum: tan-brown, yellow-brown, or green-brown. It's more pungent than poop from breastfed babies and a little less pungent than poop from babies who are eating solid food, but you'll recognize the smell.
If you give your baby an iron supplement, his poop may turn dark green or almost black. This doesn't happen often, but it's a completely normal variation that would make Popeye proud.
One thing: If your baby's poop looks blackish and he's not taking an iron supplement, it's a good idea to call the doctor to make sure it's not melena, or digested blood.
Once you start changing your baby's input to solid foods – rice cereal, pureed bananas, and so on – you'll almost instantly notice a change in her output, especially if she's breastfed.
Solid-food poop tends to be brown or dark brown and thicker than peanut butter, but still mushy. It's also smellier.
Poop with partially digested food
Occasionally your baby's poop will have identifiable chunks of food in it or be tinged with a surprising hue of the rainbow, like red, orange, or dark blue. Red could mean beets, orange suggests carrots, and dark blue implies blueberries (you may see pieces of blueberry skin in there, too).
Not to worry! You're probably seeing this because certain foods are only partially digestible or travel so quickly through the intestines that they don't have time to completely break down. It also happens when your baby eats a lot of one type of food or doesn't chew a mouthful completely before he swallows.
The time to call the doctor is if your baby's poop consistently has undigested food in it. The doctor will check to make sure your baby's intestines are absorbing food and nutrients properly.
22nd Feb 2012, 11:28 PM #2
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Re: Do you know Alarming color of your Baby's POOP
In babies, diarrhea is very runny and appears to be made up of water more than solids. It can be yellow, green, or brown and can seep or "explode" out of the diaper.
Diarrhea can be a sign of an infection or allergy, and if it lasts for a while without being treated, can lead to dehydration. Call the doctor if your baby is 3 months old or younger, has more than two or three diarrhea-filled diapers, or continues having diarrhea for more than a day or two.
It's also wise to call the doctor if your baby's diarrhea contains visible blood or mucus.
If your baby's poop is hard and looks like little pebbles, she's probably constipated. Your baby may be visibly uncomfortable when she's pooping, and the poop may even be tinged with blood from irritating the anus on the way out.
One or two pebbly diapers isn't a concern, but if your baby has three or more (or if you see blood), it's best to call the doctor. Constipation often happens in babies who are being introduced to solid foods, or it can be a sign of milk or soy protein sensitivity or a lack of tolerance to something in breast milk or formula. Your doctor may recommend giving your baby water, pear juice, or prune juice to help move things along.
Poop with mucus
Does your baby's diaper look like it's been slimed? Greenish poop streaked with shiny, glistening strings means there's mucus in it. This sometimes happens when a baby is especially drooly, since mucus in saliva often goes undigested.
But mucus in poop is also a telltale sign of an infection or allergy. If it's accompanied by any other symptoms or shows up in your baby's diaper for two days or more, call the doctor to rule out any problems.
Bloody poop: Bright red blood
Bright red blood can show up in baby poop for a few different reasons. Call your doctor if you notice:
- Normal poop tinged with red blood, which is often a sign of a milk protein allergy
- Constipated poop with a hint of red blood, likely a result of tears in the anus or tiny hemorrhoids.
- Diarrhea mixed with red blood, which can indicate a bacterial infection.
Sometimes the blood in a baby's poop looks black, which means it's been digested. When this digested blood appears in a baby's diaper – usually in little flecks that look like black poppy or sesame seeds – it's often because the baby is breastfed and swallowing blood from Mom's cracked and bleeding nipples.
While this is a sign that you need some pain relief, it doesn't pose a threat to your baby. Still, you should call the doctor to make sure it's not something more serious, like bleeding from your baby's upper intestinal tract.
As a general rule, if you see anything completely out of the ordinary in your baby's diaper, call the doctor. There are several surprising (but, thankfully, rare!) variations on poop that suggest a serious problem:
These kinds of poop rarely show up, but if they do, get medical attention right away.
- Thick black poop made up mostly of digested blood (called melena). It's dark and tarry like meconium but a bit firmer and less sticky.
- Poop consisting almost entirely of red blood, known as "currant jelly poop," which indicates a severe intestinal problem.
- Pale, chalky, clay-colored poop (acholic poop) that signals liver or gallbladder failure. It looks and feels similar to tan or whitish clay or Play-Doh.