As your baby grows and his diet changes, the colour and consistency of his poop also changes often. It can get hard to understand what’s healthy and what isn’t. But it is certainly very important to know about the bowel movements of your little one, especially, if they are irregular. Many a times, introducing formula feeding or solid foods, may upset your little one's tummy. Likewise, for a breastfed baby, most of the times, a mushy yellow coloured poop is normal. Let's figure out if there could be some warning signs in your baby's poop and how you can rectify them at once!
Poop Colours and Types That Are Abnormal in Babies
It is important to check the colour and texture of your baby's potty regularly. If you find inconsistency over a long period of time, you should share this information with your doctor. It is always best to consult a physician when you find anything abnormal with the bowel movement of your baby. But if you observe the following types of baby poops, you should seek expert help immediately:
Mucous-streaked or slimy poop
This is usually common in teething babies who tend to drool more, especially if they have a cold as well. This results in mucous-streaked or slimy poop. But sometimes, this type of poop indicates an infection if also accompanied by a funny odour.
White, chalky or gray poop is not normal and means that your baby’s digestive system isn’t functioning properly. It could also be a sign of rare undiagnosed liver disease. Get your paediatrician to address this as soon as possible.
Bloody or red, having blood in stool
If your little one’s poop is red or has blood mixed in it, it is definitely not be a good sign. Depending on the texture of the poop, you can figure out what could possibly be wrong with your little one. If the poop is hard or pebbly, it could mean a torn anus or piles. With normal texture, red poop could be a sign of milk protein allergy. Red tinged diarrhea could mean a bacterial infection.
Black, even after a few days after their birth
Meconium is the black tar like poop that is consistently seen for the first few days. However, if you see black poop or black-tinged poop even after this period, there could be a possible gastrointestinal bleeding in your little one and you should consult the doctor right away!
Hard, large or pebbly and difficult to pass stool
Hard, pebbly stools are a sign of constipation, however constipation is common in the initial stages of your baby starting solid food. But if the constipation is persistent, try changing his diet and maybe switch his cereal since rice cereal is more constipating than barley or oatmeal. Don’t shy away from giving your doctor a call either.
Grape jelly like consistency
This type of poop could mean your little one has intestinal blockage due to a rare condition called intussusception. You need to immediately consult your doctor as early treatment is key here. If not caught early, it could lead to tearing of the intestine through inflammation and swelling.
Consistently light and watery poop lacking substances or frequent diarrhea
A couple runny diapers here and there is nothing to worry about, but consistent diarrhea can be a sign of infection or allergy. If it goes on for too long, diarrhea can lead to dehydration too.
But these poop types are just fine...
Now that you know what to watch out for in your baby's poop, lets's also understand what changes in your little one’s bowel movement are normal. This will ensure that you avoid false alarms and unrequited worry!
Your baby may pass a green-brown type of stool when he starts digesting the breast milk. It happens when the initial meconium type of poop does not come out anymore and is replaced with this new kind of poop.
Newborns start pooping yellowish or tanned stool about five days after birth. The breastfed babies generally pass loose, seedy, and soft stool that maintains yellow-green or yellowish appearance.
Green black stools are common with just born babies. These are some of those very first bowel movements of a newborn. This type of poop is known as meconium.
Brown poops are common among formula fed babies. Not to worry!
Other poop colours:
Your baby could pass stool of other colours too when you introduce solid foods to him for the first time. This time his poops may become brownish or dark brown. It may also change with his diet. Do not be afraid if his poop is a bit reddish after a smashed carrot diet, for example.
Irritable or abnormal bowel syndromes in newborn babies can be set right within a few days through the right medicines. Thus, do not worry and take your little one to a good doctor if you spot these signs. While baby poop is a pain to clean up, the fact that your baby has normal bowel movements is a happy sign and something you should work towards.
Finally, keep in mind that each baby is different. The simplest way to know if your baby is fine is a smile. A healthy baby is a happy baby, but these signs on the back of your mind are smart moves just in case!