Family Magazine

Guess What Color is My Poop Today? – All About Newborn Poop and What It Tells Us About Their Health!

By Shwetashetye

Newborn poop is not something to be taken lightly. In early days of motherhood, I used to rejoice everytime there was a soiled diaper. Looking at it with great interest to understand how the little belly was performing was a joyous occasion!

Parenting is funny. Seriously funny. It comes with so many schools and sub schools and rights and wrongs (in our heads of course). A lot of finger pointing and name calling goes on between all these ''camps''- breastfed vs formula fed, Natural birth vs choice C-sections, Working moms vs SAHM s...phew. But there's one thing I know all parents will stand united upon - that we all are an obsessive lot. We LOVE to obsess. We are obsessed about obsessing. We obsess about the baby's feed, sleep patterns, weight, milestones, teething, and what not. We fret over the excess of or lack of all of them.

In the advanced stages of my first pregnancy, I used to have strange visions, no not the premonitions of the psychic kind, but visions which ended up giving me panic attacks of all sorts. Vision one- I am giving a bath to the baby and baby slips from my hands, Vision two- I roll over in my sleep and the baby is crushed beneath me, Vision three- Newborn in my arms...all pink nosed and wrinkled and then it POOPS!! Well this vision in particular induced so much panic that I actually asked my mom how in the world can somebody, willingly clean another person's bio waste. And when my mother laughed it off, I found it very demeaning. Two babies and loads of diaper 911s later, I too can safely tch tch that vision but back then, those fears were REAL.

So a shout out to all those green horned parents or soon to be parents, here's all the newborn poop-decipher you'll need to wade through...erm...well, let's not get graphic on a family blog.

The criteria for deciding if the poop is normal or not depends on few things like whether the baby is breastfed, formula fed or on a solids diet. I have a cousin whose son is the same age as my son, she is always into diaper decipher mode...She will look at the poop and make comments like...hmm bright yellow ...must be the pumpkin soup he had yesterday, smelly eh? Must be the fish he had for dinner. So much so that I lost appetite during my stay with her.

As a parent, rest assured, you are bound to get deeply involved in the baby poo matters as early as day one. There's no running away from that. Here's what you will find yourself discussing or fretting over- The colour, the smell, the consistency, and the frequency. Though all these things may sound and at times are hilarious, you must know what's normal and what's not.

Color

The first poop of a baby post birth is called meconium. It is made up of amniotic fluids and mucus. It is usually odorless, black in color and tar like in consistency. As the baby starts taking feeds, the color becomes lighter and can be anywhere between greenish black to pale yellow.

Smell

A breastfed baby's poop is said to smell more ''milky'' than that of a formula fed baby. A formula fed baby's poop can be more adult like when it comes to smell. Also the gut lining has many bacteria that aid digestion by breaking down food. The longer the poop sits in the gut, the smellier it becomes. A baby already on solids will have a smelly poop if the food item he has eaten has a strong smell- like garlic or shell fish etc.

Consistency

From sticky to curdled to grainy to lumpy...everything is normal. However if the baby has diarrhoea, the motion will be extremely runny or in case of constipation, it'll hard enough to roll. If the baby has developed cold, the poop will contain mucus also.

Frequency

There are no hard and fast rules here too. For breastfed babies, passing stools 4 times a day to once in seven days is all considered normal. The formula fed babies normally have 1 bowel movement a day as not all the formula is fully absorbed by their bodies. It's good for them else they might get constipated.

What's not normal?

  • If the baby has Diarrhea - if the stools are runny, the baby is uncomfortable and gassy and the frequency of bowel movement increases means that the baby has diarrhea.
  • If the baby is constipated- If the baby is unable to pass stool, has stool which is very hard or cries while passing the stool might mean the baby is constipated.
  • If you spot blood in the stools- At times its normal for babies to pass some blood in stools that they might have gulped during the birthing. Also some foods might make the color of stools to look like as if containing blood like grape juice or beetroot.

When to call the doctor?

  • The baby is not constipated yet there is blood in the stool.
  • The stool is red and jelly like
  • The urine is dark, almost black or brown in color.
  • Constant or repetitive diarrhea

Although you need to be watchful about your baby's bowel movements, you need not go overboard with it like my cousin did. Relax and enjoy your bundle of joy else parenting will turn all work and no play for you. Remember it's all about going with the FLOW!! Do share your Diaper deciphers and adventures in the comments section.

Guess what color is my poop today? – All about newborn poop and what it tells us about their health!

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