Baby Poop Guide

Baby poop is an important tool in gauging your child’s overall health. Baby’s first poop (known as meconium) will be black. Within a few days, the dark newborn poop you noticed at first will begin to turn lighter, starting with a light greenish color. She might even have a sort of blue poop at first. This color is a good sign as it shows the baby’s digestive system is working well. Once she’s big enough to enjoy solid foods, her poop will shift to a dark brown color. Regardless of your baby’s stage of development, you’re likely to notice some surprising variations when it comes to baby poop, and it’s important to understand what these variations indicate.

What does normal newborn poop look like?

Most new moms will be warned about the tarry black poop of newborns, called meconium. Typically, your baby’s first poop will be sticky, messy, and odorless. However, don’t worry: This won’t last more than two to three days.

How often should a newborn poop?

In general, a newborn baby will poop an average of two to five times per day in the first six weeks and then less frequently after that. If a baby poops less or more often than that, it does not necessarily indicate a health concern.

A breastfed baby will poop more often than bottle-fed babies, typically. That’s because breast milk contains immunoglobulins, or antibodies, which work like natural laxatives.

When should I be worried about the frequency of my baby’s pooping?

If your child’s baby poop is hard and dry or she hasn’t gone in several days, consult your child’s pediatrician; these could all be signs that your baby is constipated.

Is yellow poop in babies normal?

Yellow poop is pretty common among breastfed babies, and the consistency is usually pretty mushy. This typically means milk is moving through their system quickly. The yellow color comes from natural gut bacteria and bile. Yellow poop is especially common a few days after the baby is born, and it may present itself as pure yellow, yellow-orange, or yellow-green.

What causes foamy poop in babies, and should I be worried?

Frothy green poop is a sign that your baby is not getting enough hindmilk, the high-fat substance that comes out of the breast at the end of a feeding. If your baby’s poop looks anything like this, you need to make sure to add a little more feeding time on each breast. Reach out to your baby’s pediatrician, or a lactation consultant, for advice.

My baby’s poop looks like peanut butter. What’s going on?

A healthy formula-fed baby will usually have a light tan or darker-colored poop with the consistency of creamy peanut butter. Don’t worry, it’s totally normal!

Why is my baby’s poop green?

Right after birth, newborn poop might appear as a dark green or black. This is just meconium, and it’s nothing to worry about. As the baby gets bigger, green poop is usually just a sign of slow digestion. In addition, babies on iron supplements or added vitamins will often have dark green poop similar to the color of meconium, but the consistency won’t be as sticky or tarry. Green baby poop is usually only a cause for concern if it’s watery like diarrhea as this may indicate an allergy. You may also want to visit your baby’s pediatrician if the green poop is accompanied by mucus or lasts for several days or weeks at a time.

When does baby poop start looking normal, i.e. brown in color?

Baby poop begins to transition to a dark brown, thicker substance once babies start eating solid food at around 6 months old. You’ll also start to notice a stronger smell.

What do I do when my baby has diarrhea?

Just like adults, babies can have bouts of diarrhea, and in most cases, it’s best to just let it run its course. It will usually go away on its own within 5 to 14 days. Call your pediatrician if the diarrhea is accompanied by any of these symptoms:

• Fever
• Symptoms of dehydration (such as dry mouth, dry eyes when crying, or fewer wet diapers)
• Blood or mucus in the poop

When should I be concerned about the color or consistency of baby poop?

Babies, just like adults, will have differences in the consistency and frequency of their poop with diet changes. You should only be concerned if the color of your child’s baby poop changes to a pale or chalky color or if they have gray poop, which could indicate a liver problem or serious condition, or if you see consistently black poop, which could indicate blood in the stool.