If there is one thing that will get new parents talking, it's baby poo. How often? What colour is it? What about the texture?
All babies are different. Some poo every time they feed; others can go days without a poo. This is all normal.
A lot will depend on how old your child is, whether they are breast or formula fed, or whether they have moved to eating solid foods. But certain kinds of poo can be a sign that your baby might be sick or that something is missing from their diet.
As your newborn settles into a routine, it won't take long for you to recognise patterns in their feeding, sleeping - and in how often you need to change nappies.
New parents are usually quite surprised by the variety of colours they find in their baby's nappy!
Baby's first poo
You might be a bit shocked by what comes out of your baby the first time they do a poo. It’s a sticky, greenish black poo that looks like tar but is perfectly normal. This is called 'meconium' and is the by-product of your baby being in the womb for 9 months. It should only take a day or two for this to go away and for the next colour poo to arrive. If your baby continues to have black or very dark poo after 4 to 5 days, speak to your doctor.
Baby poo guide
Your baby's poo can tell you a lot about their health.
The first 6 weeks
During their first 6 weeks of life, both breast-fed and formula-fed babies will have generally have poo that is either yellow or green. Breast-fed babies tend to have softer, runnier poo while formula-fed baby poo is a little bit firmer.
In the next few weeks, you can expect the colour and shape, as well as how often they poo, to change.
Breastfeeding mums might find a bit more variety in the nappy because your diet and any medication you are taking can affect your baby's poo.
Why is my baby's poo green?
Parents sometimes find varying shades of green in their baby’s nappy.
Breast-fed babies can produce bright, frothy green poo, usually because they are getting too much foremilk or because mum is swapping from breast to breast during feeds. Try feeding from just one breast at a time until the breast is drained to make sure your baby is also getting the rich hindmilk.
If your formula-fed baby’s poo is green, it could just mean they are getting a lot of iron in their feed. Check the formula to see if it contains an iron supplement and speak to your child health nurse or doctor about possibly adjusting which formula you use.
Moving to solids
At around 6 months, when you start to introduce solids to your baby’s diet, you’ll notice a change both in colour and texture. The colour tends to be more of a greenish brown to orange, although the type of food your baby eats will affect it. Many babies start off eating pureed carrots, pumpkin and sweet potato, so don’t be surprised if their poo is almost the same colour!
Most babies will go through about 6 to 8 nappies a day - that can be almost 3,000 in your baby's first year!
Listen to Dianne Zalitis, midwife, talk about baby poo on the podcast Feed Play Love.
Constipation versus diarrhoea
Because babies can’t tell you when they are sick, it’s important not only to check their nappies but to take note of other behaviours that could be a sign your baby is unwell.
Many parents often think that their baby might be constipated, either because they haven't passed anything for a few days or because they might look like they are straining when they go.
As long as your baby's poo is soft, it's perfectly normal to go for a few days without doing one. You will also find that babies often strain, make noises, go red in the face and even cry when they are doing a normal poo.
Signs of constipation include:
hard and dry poo
poo that is firm and pebble-like
your baby being upset
a small streak of blood
Seeing a streak of blood might be alarming, but if they are constipated, they might have a little tear in their anus. You should see your doctor or child health nurse to have them checked out.
Fully breast-fed babies shouldn't get constipated. Even if they are not feeding as often, their poo should still be quite soft. Constipation is more common in babies who are formula-fed, so it's important to follow the directions on the container to make sure the mix of powder and water is correct.
When it comes to diarrhoea, baby poo is already quite soft and runny, particularly before the baby starts on solids. But if it becomes more runny and more frequent than usual, it could be diarrhoea.
Some signs to look out for include:
poo that is quite watery
doing more than usual
your baby is being unwell, especially if they are vomiting
your baby not wanting to feed
If you think your baby has diarrhoea, speak to your doctor or child health nurse since babies can easily become dehydrated if they don't get enough fluids.
Although you can expect to see many different colours of poo in your baby’s nappy, there are some colours that indicate there might be a problem.
White, chalky poo is never normal and could be a sign your baby has jaundice or a problem with their liver. You should see your doctor immediately if you notice that your baby’s poo is white.
While a single streak of blood in your baby’s poo could be a sign of constipation, if you discover more than one streak, you should see your doctor immediately.
It’s also a good idea to take your baby’s nappy, or a poo sample, to show the doctor.
The bottom line
Most babies will go through about 6 to 8 nappies a day - that can be almost 3,000 in your baby's first year! And whether you use cloth or disposable nappies you'll be spending a lot of time looking at what comes out of your baby. Just remember that all babies are different and you will soon settle into a routine of feed, poo, sleep, repeat.
If you are unsure whether your baby is unwell, visit your doctor or call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 to speak to a maternal child health nurse.
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Green Baby Poop Formula Fed ✅ Causes & Remedies ✅ GHT Kids
Green poop is not a cause for an emergency. It is usually caused by too much bile in the stool, commonly associated with diarrhea. When food is moving too quickly through the GI tract, bile doesn’t have time to break everything down completely. The poop may have solids in it as food may not have been digested fully. Green stool can also be caused by an excess of iron.
Green poop is more common in formula-fed babies than breastfed infants.
However, if the unusual color lasts for more than 5 days, there may be some other problem with your child’s GI tract.
Red, black or white stool are causes for concern. Contact your healthcare provider if you see red, black, or white stool in your child’s diaper or the toilet. Dark green stool can appear black but isn’t likely serious.
Green Poop & Diarrhea
Infants or children with diarrhea typically produce stool the color of whatever they have eaten. For example, if your kid ate blue Jell-O and then had diarrhea, the toilet or diaper contents will likely be blue.
Babies with poop issues, like diarrhea, are more likely to be dehydrated. Dehydration is a threat to little ones, so be sure they are getting plenty of fluids.
It’s important not to impose dietary restrictions on your baby without first consulting your pediatric provider. Babies require appropriate nutrition for healthy growth. Limiting them because you think they’re gaining too much weight, or because you think they need to “diet” is a mistake. Every child needs access to a plentiful, healthy, balanced diet.
Breastfed babies typically have looser stools than formula-fed babies. Constipation is rare in breastfed babies. Constipated babies have small, pellet-like poop that is difficult to pass.
In the first few days of life, your brand new infant will have black poop. This is completely normal. If the black poop occurs for over a week, consult your pediatric healthcare provider.
For persisting green-poop-problems that aren’t serious, try probiotics. Breastfeeding moms and babies should take probiotics to help boost a community of beneficial bacterial flora. We recommend finding a probiotic with Bifida factor and acidophilus. A good community of bacteria makes all the difference in your baby’s digestion!
The Poop Rainbow
Black poop is considered a serious problem as this could indicate that part of the higher up digestive system is bleeding. Breastfeeding can sometimes cause cracked and bleeding nipples. Black flecks in breastfed babies may simply be blood from you. Dark green stool can sometimes be confused for black, so get your flashlight out.
Chalky white poop is also serious. This means that your baby is not producing enough bile and has some issue in the liver or gallbladder. Bile is what turns poop brown, so white poop could mean that your baby isn’t producing bile or there is a bile obstruction.
Bright Red Poop
Bright red or raspberry-colored poop that looks like mucus (similar to congealed fat) could be evidence of a serious intestinal problem. Contact your pediatric healthcare provider and collect a sample for the lab.
Dark Red Poop
If the poop appears normal with specks of dark red, this is typically caused by a milk allergy.
Dark red poop in hard pellets may indicate that your baby is constipated. The red is blood (streaked or spotted throughout) and is likely due to small tears in the anus. Add a little bit of prune juice (1 teaspoon for newborns, 1 tablespoon for babies) to the next bottle to soften things up.
Watery poop that is streaked with dark red is also a sign of a bacterial infection.
Dark Green Poop
Dark green poop results from extra iron floating through your baby’s system. This usually creates thick, constipated stools. Don’t stop giving your baby iron if your practitioner has recommended iron supplementation. Iron is necessary for brain growth and development and green stool is worth the benefits of iron.
However, some dark green stool can also be a sign of a protein allergy, likely due to milk.
Light Green Poop
Light green or lime green poop may be accompanied by a frothy, bubbly texture. This color is indicative of a foremilk and hindmilk balance from breast milk. Foremilk is the first milk from the breast and is sweet and thin. Hindmilk is richer and contains more fat as well as most of the nutrients your baby needs. Lime green means that the baby is snacking too much on the sweet foremilk. Keep your baby on the breast longer so they pull out the hindmilk. Another way to measure this is by weight gain. Babies who are getting hindmilk will gain weight faster.
If you are breastfeeding for at least 20 minutes per breast and the problem persists, lime green can be a sign of a virus. Save some of the stool for testing and contact your pediatric provider.
Rosey pink is usually harmless and due to something your baby has eaten (i. e. beets, cranberries, tomatoes, fruit loops, cherry popsicles).
Light Brown Poop
Light brown poop that looks like hummus is normal for formula-fed babies. Thick poop that seems more like peanut butter could mean that your baby is constipated. If the “hummus” poop has a greenish tinge like guacamole, this is normal, especially if you’ve started solid foods.
Dark Brown Poop
90% of all diaper changes will be dirt-brown. This is a good sign that your baby’s microbes are functioning properly, especially after you’ve introduced solid food.
Mustard yellow is the most common breastfed baby poop color and is totally normal. In addition, partially digested milk solids are normal and appear as little yellow-white seeds in the poop.
When to Contact your Pediatric Provider
Blood or mucus in the poop
Refusal to eat
Signs of dehydration (Decreased or dark-colored urine, not producing tears, sunken fontanelle)
Finally, respond to this blog or contact us with questions or comments!
Green feces in a child - why a child has green stools
Articles › Green poop in a child - why a baby has green poop
The appearance of a green stool in a child can cause real panic in parents. However, you should not worry: a change in the shade of feces can depend on many factors, most of which are in no way related to pathological processes in the body. For example, in a child who has not reached the age of one, green feces are very common, which is associated with the physiological characteristics of the baby's digestive system.
Why a child has green stools
The following factors can lead to a change in the color of feces in a child:
normal adaptation to a new way of eating. As a rule, parents discover green stools in a child five days after his birth;
the intestines have not yet had time to settle with bacteria that are necessary for a normal digestive process;
often a green stool appears in a child who has caught a viral infection. If the baby does not feel well, coughs, he has a fever, you should call a pediatrician as soon as possible, who will prescribe the necessary treatment;
dysbacteriosis. With dysbacteriosis, the stool not only changes color, but also acquires an unpleasant sour smell. Also, dysbacteriosis is indicated by symptoms such as colic, increased regurgitation and the appearance of a rash on the baby's skin;
the baby is teething. During teething, the child experiences an unpleasant itch, which he tries to relieve by dragging literally everything that catches his eye into his mouth.
Naturally, this often leads to disorders of the digestive process.
What food can affect the greenish color of the baby's stool
Sometimes the conclusion about the child's malnutrition can be made by the consistency and shade of the stool:
with indigestion, traces of mucus become visible in the stool;
liquid green stool in breastfed babies indicates that the mother either eats too many foods that include flavorings and preservatives, or does not include enough dairy products in the diet;
if the mother has food poisoning, the baby's feces will most likely turn green;
stool turns green if the child gets too much iron. This happens especially often with babies who eat predominantly nutrient mixtures;
Complementary foods are introduced into the child's diet, as a result of which his digestion is disturbed;
the baby is "lazy" to suckle until fatty milk appears and feeds mainly on the so-called foremilk;
breastfeeding mother eats a lot of green foods.
Newborn's first stool
In the first few days of life, the baby passes only meconium. Meconium is dark green, almost black, and has a thick consistency. Meconium does not smell. After this comes the turn of the transitional stool, which also has a slightly greenish tint. Sometimes lumps of curdled milk can be seen in the transitional stool. Only after five days can one evaluate by feces how the child's digestive system functions. However, a slightly greenish tint of feces remains until about the tenth day of the baby's life. This should not cause anxiety (of course, if there are no other symptoms of indigestion).
Greenish tint of feces in a breastfed baby
As a rule, the color of poop of a breastfed baby directly depends on the nutrition of his mother. If a child is fed only breast milk, he often has green stools. The following causes lead to green feces:
excessive secretion of bilirubin;
hormones that are present in the milk of a nursing mother. Hormonal changes can occur for no apparent reason, especially in women who have recently given birth;
the liver produces too few enzymes that are responsible for the digestive process;
the intestines have not yet had time to populate beneficial bacteria that “help” the body process incoming food;
if the mother has enough fatty milk, the baby's stool has a brownish color. If the milk is liquid or the baby is too lazy to suckle the breast, receiving only foremilk, the feces turn green.
Sometimes the stool turns green as a result of oxidation in air.
If the baby is on formula, his stool turns green for the same reasons as listed above (except for the last one). Also, changes in stool color may be due to the transition to a new type of mixture or an excess in the diet of foods high in iron. Perhaps, after you select the optimal mixture, the child's digestion will return to normal.
Green stool in older children
In older children, stool can also change color when there are problems with the digestive process. For example, the stool turns green during indigestion or at the moment when the child switches to "adult" food and tries new foods for himself. Greenish stools come from green foods, such as broccoli or pears. Often green feces appear due to excessive consumption of sweet foods.
Green stool in a child should not be a cause for panic. Most likely, the discoloration is caused by natural causes. Stool shade cannot be the only diagnostic feature. Parents should watch for other symptoms, such as whether the baby grinds his teeth in his sleep, whether he has become lethargic, or if he has a fever. If this does not happen, you should not worry: most likely, in a couple of days everything will return to normal.
Green loose stools in a child - causes and treatment however, most often parents pay attention to a change in stool. Often a situation arises when the baby's feces become green. Let's talk about the causes of this condition and whether it is dangerous for the child.
Causes of green stools
Sometimes there are situations when a child's stool becomes green. The stool acquires this color due to the presence of a special pigment in them - biliverdin, contained in bile. Biliverdin is formed as a result of the breakdown of red blood cells and contains oxidized iron.
The presence of biliverdin in the intestine can lead to a rather bright coloration of the infant's stool. This condition is an indirect sign of pathology, but can be observed even in perfectly healthy babies. If you are faced with a similar phenomenon, show the child to a pediatrician or pediatric gastroenterologist.
Effect of nutrition on baby's stool
A breastfed baby's stool can be very different from artificial stool. The feces of a baby receiving mother's milk are yellowish in color. This color is due to the presence of the bile pigment stercobilin, which is a breakdown product of bilirubin. The stool itself has a mushy texture and may contain small lumps. The smell is sour milk. A breastfed infant can empty the bowels up to 4-5 times a day. However, for this, the mother of the baby must eat right, and the child himself should not have health problems.
Formula-fed babies have thicker, more formed stools. The color of the feces varies from light brown to darker. There is a characteristic fecal odor. Bowel movements occur less frequently, about 2-3 times a day.
Most often, green stools are observed in babies who are bottle-fed. Much depends on the type of mixture chosen. If a child has health problems, such as milk protein intolerance, special nutrition is prescribed for him. Mixtures based on hydrolyzed protein or amino acids most often cause green stools.
The introduction of vegetable complementary foods
Green stools in children older than six months can be observed against the background of the introduction of complementary foods. Most often, such a reaction occurs on vegetables, such as broccoli, zucchini, green peas, etc. In addition to the uncharacteristic color, a large number of semi-digested lumps are found in the feces. This happens due to the peculiarities of the work of the children's intestines, which cannot fully digest coarse food. As a result, dietary fiber comes out with the stool. In the presence of this problem, it is worth reducing the amount of complementary foods and give the body time to get used to it. The help of a pediatrician in this situation is not required.
Switching from breastfeeding to artificial feeding
The baby's digestive system is adjusting to a new product that is very different from mother's milk. In the first few days of the transition, there may be a change in the color of the stool to greenish. However, this condition quickly returns to normal.
Pathological causes of green feces
The predominance of pathogenic microflora in the intestine can be one of the reasons for staining feces in an uncharacteristic color. In the process of decay and fermentation, specific protein compounds are formed that give the feces a greenish color and an unpleasant odor. In the presence of dysbacteriosis, the baby's feces become liquid, mucus impurities may be present in the masses. In addition, the baby may experience symptoms such as bloating, increased gas formation, and pain.
Bacterial and viral infections
Infants are very vulnerable to viruses and bacteria. Some pathologies can provoke disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. In this case, the baby's stool becomes green. In addition, the child also has other symptoms: fever, anxiety, diarrhea, etc. The consistency of the feces is liquid, foamy. If you have these symptoms, seek urgent medical attention.
Sometimes green stool indicates the presence of allergens in the body. This may be a reaction to a specific product: complementary foods, vitamin supplements, new mixtures, etc. Also, allergens can be found in breast milk. With allergies on the baby's body, a rash, lacrimation, etc. may form. In rare cases, the temperature rises. The child's condition returns to normal immediately after the allergen is removed from the diet. Sometimes the help of an allergist and the introduction of special mixtures are required to detect a problem.
Occurs in children of the first year of life, but may also appear at a later age. With this disease, the child's body does not absorb milk sugar (lactose), which leads to quite serious complications. In addition to green stools, the baby has colic, grumbling in the stomach, frequent regurgitation, and poor weight gain. A comprehensive examination is required to make an accurate diagnosis.
Green stool is not a direct sign of pathology. This is a fairly common occurrence for babies. If, in addition to this symptom, the child is not worried about anything, do not worry about this. However, you can always seek the advice of a pediatrician.