Parents often wonder whether their baby’s poop is normal or not. The sight of strange looking poop can really make parents worried about their baby’s health. The fact is that a baby’s poop depends on what he eats or drinks. The bowel movement of a baby drinking breast-milk will differ from that of the one eating solid food.
Every baby follows a typical pattern in his bowel habits. During the first few days after birth, the baby will pass thick, black or dark green poop called meconium which was in his intestines before he was born. Once all the meconium is passed, the poop of the formula fed baby can be yellow, brown or green. Any color of poop is normal, as long as there is no blood in it.
How Does Formula Affect Baby’s Poop?
The poop of a baby who is formula-fed is different in color and texture from that of a breast-fed baby. The following differences may be noticed:
- Formula fed poop is usually a little more firm and bulky in texture because unlike breast milk, formula milk is not digested completely.
- It is often pale yellow or brownish in color.
- It has a stronger odor.
Formula-fed babies are more inclined to constipation as compared to breast-fed babies. If the stool is very hard, the baby’s doctor needs to be consulted before giving him any different kind of food.
While switching from breast milk to formula, make sure it is done very gradually. This gives the baby time to get used to the bottle and prevents constipation. Once he gets adapted to formula feeding, he will develop a completely different and more stable bowel routine.
What Kind of Poop is not Normal?
- If the poop is very runny and the baby is passing it more often than usual, then he is suffering from diarrhea.
- If the baby is finding it difficult to have a bowel movement, and the stool is very hard, he is suffering from constipation. This may be due to a change in diet or dehydration.
- If the poop is green in color, it implies that the baby is consuming a lot of lactose which may occur if the baby is fed too frequently or the formula is not mixed correctly.
A formula-fed baby is prone to infection and which is why all feeding equipment should be sterilized thoroughly. If your baby develops a reaction to his formula, you can switch brands after consulting the baby’s pediatrician. You have to be extra careful while preparing the feed; adding too much formula can cause constipation and adversely affects the baby’s health.
Babies usually go from having several poops in a day to going many days without any bowel movement. This is also normal during the first few months. It is not the frequency of the stool, but the texture that matters more. When switching from breast-feed to formula-feed and adding solid food to the baby’s diet, there can be drastic changes in the color, texture, smell of the poop. In case of any doubt, you can always come back and read our complete scoop on baby poop!