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What to Expect from Baby Poop?

Posted Oct 27 2009 12:26pm 1 Comment
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I like to chat with other moms on BabyCenter and lately I’ve seen a lot of questions from parents having to do with baby poop (or the lack of it!). It’s also a popular topic among the calls we get on the Neocate help line. No wonder – when babies have milk allergies and other GI issues, there’s can be a lot going on in that diaper. Every child is different, but here are some general guidelines that we thought might help. Remember, if you have any concerns, it is always best to check in with your doctors.

What to expect if you are:
  • Breastfeeding: If you are breastfeeding your baby, a mustard yellow color is common and it may be seedy and runny. You can also expect to be changing a lot of diapers, because babies usually poop a lot before they reach the one month mark!
  • Formula feeding: Formula fed babies usually have firmer poops, with a peanut butter-like consistency. Normal colors range from brown to green to yellow.

It might be an allergic/GI condition if you see:

  • Mucous – This looks like what comes out of your nose and is sticky when you open the diaper. A little bit can be normal, but if you see a lot and for an extended period of time, it can be a sign of a food allergy.
  • Diarrhea – If your baby is having runnier than normal poops 2-4 times per day for more than 5 days, this is a sign that something is wrong.
  • Blood – Red or black poops can both be a sign of blood in the digestive tract and are often signs of an allergy or uncontrolled reflux.

Note: Remember that some babies’ milk protein allergy exhibits itself in other ways, like eczema, extreme fussiness or reflux. A baby with a milk protein allergy might have just one of these symptoms or any combination of them. If you see any of the symptoms, talk with your child’s pediatrician.

What to expect from an elemental formula (like Neocate):

  • When babies first start on an elemental diet such as Neocate, it may take up to 2-3 weeks for their systems to adjust and have consistent stools. If they seem to be constipated, massaging your baby’s belly or moving their legs around can help get things moving.
  • Also, Neocate babies often have poops that can change in consistency and color when they first start on the formula. This is because Neocate is a low residue formula. Low residue formulas lower the number of bacteria in the gut leading to reduced breakdown of bile. More bile is present in the poop making it darker in color.

Any other questions? Give us a shout!


Comments (1)
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My one month old son has been constipated for a few weeks now. When he was first born he was having bowel movements very frequently and before we left the hospital he was having a bowel movement about every hour. His feces went from the black tarry color to the yellowish mustard color within a day and since we have been home he has been constipated. We asked our pediatrician about this and he had said to try and give him baby apple/prune juice twice a day and see if this helps and if not then we will have to switch him to a soy-based formula. I am concerned now because when he does pass a bowel movement on his own it is only about once a day and it is dark green, when we have to help him it has been a blueish grey color. From what I have been reading online that color could indicate a liver problem or possible GI problem. Could it possibly be due to him having an allergy to the the lactose in his formula? When he was first born he was on Enfamil Lipil and we have swicthed him to Carnation Good Start, which seems to help a little but he still doesnt have more then one poopy diaper a day....I am very concerened and have a doctors appointment today but I sometimes feel that our pediatrician doesnt fully take into account our fears regarding the health of our newborn. He is an amazing doctor dont get me wrong but sometimes makes me feel as if I worry too much. Any help or information would be greatly appreciated.

 Adam and Lisa (Chicago, IL)

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