Baby poop color solid food

Baby poop: Pictures of healthy and unhealthy stools

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Photo credit: © Luke Mattson / Stocksy United

Baby poop comes in a variety of colors, and those colors can change depending on your baby's diet. Your newborn's very first poop, called meconium, is greenish-black and tarry. Breastfed poop is yellowish, soft, and seedy; while formula-fed poop is thicker and brownish in color. Solid food poop has more substance and a stronger odor. Babies can be constipated and have diarrhea, just like adults, which will make their poop look different than usual. These photos give you the full scoop on newborn poop. (A note for the squeamish: This gallery contains real photos.

What should baby poop look like?

Baby poop comes in a wide range of colors and a variety of textures, and deciphering what's normal and what's not can be puzzling to a new parent. If you're spending more time than you'd ever imagined staring quizzically at the contents of your baby's diaper, you're not alone! Bowel movements are one of the most common concerns parents ask their child's doctor about.

This baby poop chart will give you the full scoop on your newborn's bowel movements. The following photos and information will help you understand which baby poop colors are normal and which ones warrant a call to the doctor as your newborn grows, drinks breast milk or formula, and starts eating solids. You'll find out what's harmless, and when there may be a cause for concern.

If you still have questions about your baby's bowel movements after reading this guide, don't hesitate to call or email photos of any questionable baby stools to your child's provider.   (And for more helpful tips on when to call your baby's pediatrician, as well as other great safety info, check out the Infant CPR, Choking, and Safety class from BabyCenter Courses.)

Note: These are pictures of real baby poop! Please view only if you're comfortable looking at them. If not, you can read this description without photos instead, or watch this animated video.

Newborn poop (meconium)

You may be surprised to learn that normal newborn poop doesn't look very normal at all. For your baby's first couple of bowel movements, expect to find a greenish-black, tarry, sticky sludge that kind of looks like motor oil when you open your newborn's diaper. Since meconium is made of mucus, amniotic fluid, dead cells, and other stuff your baby ingested in utero, it doesn't really smell – so you may not realize it's time for a diaper change.

When your baby is 2 to 4 days old, their poop will become lighter in color – sort of a yellowish green – and less sticky. This so-called transitional stool is a sign that they've started digesting early breast milk or formula and their intestinal tract is working just fine.

Photo credit: marima /

Breastfed baby poop

Normal breastfed baby poop, like as seen in this photo, is yellow or slightly green, and has a mushy or creamy consistency. It may be runny enough to resemble diarrhea, though baby diarrhea is usually very liquid in consistency. Breastfed poop typically looks like Dijon mustard and may be dotted with little seed-like flecks. Interestingly, it smells slightly sweet.

There are many shades of normal when it comes to breastfed baby poop. One you might see is a greener tone, which could signify that you ate something different than you normally do. If your baby isn't experiencing any other symptoms, there's no need to worry.

If you see bright green and frothy poop in your baby's diaper that almost looks like algae, they're probably getting too much foremilk – the low-calorie milk that comes first in a feeding – and not enough hindmilk, the higher-fat, super-nutritious stuff that comes near the end. It could mean that you're not feeding your baby long enough on each breast. To remedy this, start each new breastfeeding session on the breast you ended on the last time.

Formula-fed baby poop

Formula-fed babies have thick, pasty, peanut butter-like poop on the brown color spectrum. Its color ranges from tan-brown to yellow-brown or even greenish-brown.

The thicker consistency of formula is slightly harder to digest than breast milk, so some of its ingredients end up passing right through your baby's digestive system. Formula-fed baby poop is also more pungent than poop from breastfed babies, yet a little less pungent than poop from babies who are eating solid food, but you'll recognize the smell.

If at some point you decide to switch formula brands, expect the look – and feel – of your baby's poop to change. Its aroma might change, too.

Iron-fortified baby poop

Green baby poop is a sign of iron in your baby's formula. The iron in formula doesn't absorb as well as the iron in breast milk – hence the greenish hue. If you give your baby an iron supplement, their poop may turn dark green or almost black. This doesn't happen often, but it's normal.

One thing: If your baby's poop looks blackish and they're not taking an iron supplement, it's a good idea to call their doctor. Rarely, blood in infant stool can turn poop a black color, which is called melena. Your child's doctor can make sure there's no stomach bleeding to worry about.

Solid food baby stool

Once you start introducing your baby to solid foods – infant cereal, pureed bananas, and so on – you'll almost instantly notice a change in their output, especially if your baby is breastfed. Solid-food poop tends to be brown or dark brown and thicker than peanut butter, but still mushy. Get ready: It's also much smellier than exclusively breastfed poop.

Expect the consistency of your baby's poop to change depending on what they've recently eaten. Some bowel movements may look hard and pebble-like, while others can have that runny, mustard-like consistency of breastfed poops. There's nothing to worry about unless your baby seems to be straining or goes more than a few days without going at all.

Baby stool with partially digested food

Occasionally your baby's poop will have identifiable chunks of food in it or be tinged with a surprising hue of the rainbow, like red, orange, or dark blue – this isn't something you need to worry about. Red could mean beets, orange suggests carrots, and dark blue implies blueberries (you may even see tiny pieces of blueberry skin in there, too). 

You're likely seeing this because certain foods are only partially digestible or travel so quickly through the intestines that they don't have time to completely break down. It also happens when your baby eats a lot of one food or doesn't chew a mouthful completely before they swallow.

The time to call the doctor is if your baby's poop consistently has undigested food in it. Your baby's doctor will check to make sure their intestines are properly absorbing food and nutrients.

Photo credit: Original Shutter /

Baby diarrhea

Newborn diarrhea is very runny and looks like it's made up of more water than solid food. It can be yellow, green, or brown, and often can seep or "explode" out of their diaper.

Diarrhea can be a sign of an infection or allergy. If it lasts for a while without being treated, it can lead to dehydration. Call the doctor if your baby:

  • Has signs of dehydration, such as crying without tears, dry lips, peeing less often than usual, or excess sleepiness
  • Has diarrhea that doesn't go away after a few days
  • Has visible blood or mucus in their diarrhea
  • Has a fever along with the diarrhea

Photo credit: nutthapol Samjai /

Constipated baby poop

If your baby's poop is hard and looks like little pebbles, they're probably constipated. Your baby may look visibly uncomfortable when they're pooping, and the poop may be tinged with blood from irritating the anus on the way out. One or two pebbly diapers isn't a concern, but if the constipation doesn't improve, your baby is irritable, or you see blood in their stool, it's best to call their doctor.

Constipation often happens in babies who are being introduced to solid foods, or it can be a sign that your baby isn't getting enough fiber in their diet. Your doctor may recommend giving your baby water, pear, or prune juice to help move things along.

Baby poop with mucus

Does your baby's diaper look like it's been slimed? Greenish poop streaked with shiny, glistening strings means there's mucus in it. This sometimes happens when a baby is especially drooly, since mucus in saliva often goes undigested. Drooling can be a sign that a tooth is about to pop.

Mucus in poop can also be a telltale sign of an infection or food allergy. Rarely, it could mean your baby isn't absorbing enough nutrients from breast milk or formula. If the mucus is accompanied by any other symptoms (such as diarrhea or a fever) or it shows up in your baby's diaper for two days or more, call their doctor to rule out any problems.

Photo credit: Katarzyna Uroda /

Blood in baby's poop

Seeing red in your baby's diaper can be frightening, to say the least. Many of the possible causes of blood in baby stool aren't serious, like small tears in the baby's anus from passing large poops, or a cow's milk allergy. (Despite its name, a cow's milk allergy is more of an intolerance, and most babies grow out of this by age 1. It will require you eliminating cow's milk from your diet, if you're breastfeeding, or switching your baby to a formula without cow's milk.)

Sometimes the blood in infant stool is bright red from bleeding closer to the surface, and sometimes it's black (which means it's been digested). Sometimes, red dye in food or medication can also turn stool slightly red.

Call your doctor if you notice:

  • Normal poop tinged with red blood, which is often a sign of a cow's milk allergy
  • Constipated poop with a hint of red blood, likely a result of tears in the anus or hemorrhoids
  • Diarrhea mixed with red blood, which can signal a bacterial infection

When black blood appears in a baby's diaper – usually in little flecks that look like black poppy or sesame seeds – it's often because your baby is breastfed and swallowing blood from your cracked and bleeding nipples. While this is a sign that you need some pain relief, it doesn't pose a threat to your baby. Still, it's best to call your baby's doctor to make sure it's not something more serious, like bleeding from their intestines.

Photo credit: Vadi Fuoco /

Chalky or white baby poop

Lots of seemingly frightening signs in your newborn's poop are nothing to worry about. Others, like white, grey, or pale-yellow stools, are good reason for concern. Pale stools can be a sign of biliary atresia – a blockage in the tubes that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder. Bile is the greenish fluid that helps us digest food and gives poop its brown color.

If your baby's stool looks especially pale, call their doctor right away. Biliary atresia is rare, but babies diagnosed with it need surgery to fix the blockage. The procedure works best when it's done before a baby reaches the 2-month mark.

Photo credit: © Holly Clark / Stocksy United

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BabyCenter's editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you're seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.

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Cleveland Clinic. 2020. The color of baby poop and what it means. [Accessed May 2022]

Healthy Child Manitoba. Undated. The scoop on poop. [Accessed May 2022]

John Hopkins Children’s Center. Undated. Stool color guide. [Accessed May 2022]

Johns Hopkins Children's Center. Undated. What can your child's poop color tell you? [Accessed May 2022]

Johns Hopkins Medicine. Undated. Biliary atresia. [Accessed May 2022]

La Leche League Canada. 2015. Thursday tip: Explaining green breastmilk and green baby poop. [Accessed May 2022]

Mayo Clinic. 2022. I’m breastfeeding my newborn and her bowel movements are yellow and mushy. Is this normal for baby poop? [Accessed May 2022]

National Library of Medicine Medline Plus. 2020. Constipation in infants and children. [Accessed May 2022]

Nationwide Children's Hospital. 2021. Newborn poop: Meconium and beyond. [Accessed May 2022]

Nemours KidsHealth. 2021. Diarrhea. [Accessed May 2022]

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby (Australia). 2019. All about baby poo. [Accessed May 2022]

Providence. Undated. Baby poop: What's normal? [Accessed May 2022]

Seattle Children's. 2022. Diarrhea (0-12 months). [Accessed May 2022]

Seattle Children's. 2022. Stools – blood in. [Accessed May 2022]

Seattle Children's. 2022. Stools – unusual color. [Accessed May 2022]

University of Utah Health. 2018. The poop on poop: Constipation in kids. [Accessed May 2022]

Stephanie Watson

Stephanie Watson is a freelance health and lifestyle writer based in Rhode Island. When she’s not busy writing, Watson loves to travel, try new cuisines, and attend as many concerts, shows, and plays as she can fit into her busy schedule.

Your baby's poop - what's normal and what's not?

Bet you never thought you’d become someone that’s obsessed with poop, did ya?? Well, as a parent, this is just one of those things that we worry about and pay A LOT of attention to! 

“Why’s my baby’s poop this colour?”

“My baby hasn’t pooped in days, is that normal?”

“My baby’s poop is really runny, is that diarrhea? How do I tell – it’s always liquid-like?” 

These are just some of the questions I know swirl around in your head when you’re doing yet another diaper change. I know because I’ve been there! 

And, while it may not be the most fun topic out there, it’s certainly an important one – so let’s go over everything you need to know about your baby’s poop!

What does your baby’s poop tell us about their health?

Since babies aren’t yet able to tell us how they’re feeling, we have to use certain indicators to collect information about their health and wellness – one of these is poop. We can use things such as the colour of your baby’s poop, the frequency, and the texture, to determine many different things. Including…

  • Illness – sometimes your baby’s poop can be the first, or only, indicator of an illness, such as a gastrointestinal bug.
  • Nutrition – certain colours can indicate issues with nutrient absorption, plus we can use the colours to tell us whether they’re taking in breastmilk/formula, and later on, if solids are being swallowed.
  • Hydration – sometimes constipation can be a sign that more fluids are needed.
  • Allergies/intolerances – there are certain signs to look out for that could indicate that your baby has an allergy or an intolerance to something they ate, and some of those signs show up in their diaper!

Knowing what is considered normal for your baby, based on what they’re consuming, is important so that you can determine when their poop is out of the ordinary, and then determine whether that change is to be expected, or warrants a call to their pediatrician.  

What affects the type of poop my baby has?

There are a lot of different factors that could affect your baby’s poop, namely age, diet, and illness. So it’s normal to expect that your baby’s poop is going to continue to change as they grow. A newborn’s poop is going to look drastically different from a 6 month old baby’s poop, which will look different from your baby’s poop at 1 year old, in large because as their diet changes, their poop changes. And diet typically changes with age. Let’s review some major changes that happen:


Newborns have black, sticky, tar like poops that happen in the first 24 hours following birth. These poops are called meconium, and are basically a build up of ingested mucus, amniotic fluid, and other material from the womb. However, if they last longer than a few days, or go away and come back, you need to take your baby to their pediatrician ASAP. Black poops are not considered normal after the initial days following birth.  

1-5 days after birth:

Typically, you’ll notice the meconium will change into what is referred to as “transitional poops”. These are a mixture of meconium and breastfed/formula fed poops that are expected once your baby begins to digest their milk feeds. These will continue to decrease in meconium, and change to what we expect breastfed/formula fed poops to look like, after a few days. We would expect babies to have 2 poops on day 2, and 3 poops on days 3-5. The colour will change from black, to green, to brown, and after a few more days, will change to adjust to whatever poops are characteristic of their main diet.

Breastfed baby’s poop:

If your baby is being exclusively breastfed, after those first meconium poops, they’ll have poops that are clearly identifiable as breastfed baby poop. 

  • Colour: Yellow – often bright or pale mustard coloured. Sometimes it can be bright green and frothy if babies are nursing for only short periods of time on each breast, and getting more foremilk than hindmilk.
  • Texture – Loose. They’ll be on the runnier side, but not like what would be considered diarrhea either. May contain seed-like or lumpy pieces – you’ll most likely notice tiny white spots or clumps within the yellow poop. This is normal.
  • Frequency: Babies that are exclusively breastfed can go days without pooping, or they could poop with every single nursing session – both are considered normal. 
Formula-fed baby’s poop:

If you’re feeding your baby formula, their poops are going to look different than that of a breastfed baby. This is because formula is digested differently than breastmilk is, and it has different properties. So, if you’re exclusively formula feeding, your baby’s poops will take on the following characteristics listed below. It’s important to note that it may take 1-2 weeks after introducing formula exclusively for your baby’s diapers to change. 

  • Colour: Yellow-brown, green-tan, or brown. With formula there’s a bit more of a range as far as the colour of poops, but any of these colours are considered normal.
  • Texture: Thick and firm – typically it has a consistency similar to toothpaste, which is thicker than the poop of a breastfed baby.
  • Frequency: Formula-fed babies don’t typically poop after each feed (as is common for some breastfed babies) because formula takes longer to process through the digestive tract. However, they should be going at least once per day, maybe even every other day. Anything less than that could be a sign of constipation. I’ll explain more about the other signs in a little bit, but this would warrant a call to their pediatrician. 
Combination-fed baby’s poop:

Some babies are given both breastmilk and formula throughout the day, which is referred to as combination feeding. In these cases, your baby’s poop could vary and be seen as anything between the two types described above.

After starting solids:

Once you begin feeding your baby solids, typically around the 6 month mark and once they’ve shown all the signs of readiness, your baby’s poop will change due to their new diet. After all, what goes in, must come out! However, I want to note that this doesn’t mean that your baby’s poop will begin to look like adult poop – their poop will continue to have certain characteristics that make it very clearly baby poop. Here are the main things to look for in normal poop.

  • Texture: If your baby was exclusively breastfed, you’re probably familiar with the more loose stools they were used to having (note: not diarrhea, but loose for sure). Once your baby starts solid foods, you’ll see a pretty significant change in stool texture – namely, they’ll get way firmer. This might not be as obvious if your baby was exclusively formula fed before, but generally, we want the texture of their poop to be like the texture of a cooked sweet potato – sort of pasty.

You might also notice bits of undigested food in your baby’s diaper. Is this a concern? No, it’s actually completely normal! See, your baby’s digestive tract is much shorter than an adult’s, and therefore there isn’t always enough time for their body to break down all of the food that they’re eating. This is especially true for foods higher in fibre, such as corn, carrots, blueberries, etc. It also can happen if your baby isn’t chewing their food a lot before swallowing, which is to be expected when they’re first starting out with solids. But hey, it’s a great indicator that they’ve actually ingested some food! 

  • Smell: Solid food produces smellier poop. Babies on a milk only diet usually have milder smelling poop, especially when it’s breastmilk only.
  • Colour: Before starting solids, your baby’s poop colour was likely fairly consistent. A mustard colour if they were exclusively breastfed, a brownish colour if they were formula fed, and somewhere in between if they were…well…somewhere in between those two. Once your baby starts solids, you’ll see that it’s likely your baby’s poop will take on a broader variation in colour, and may even take on the colour of the latest coloured food they ate!Here are some examples of normal colour changes you might notice:

Brown – this is kind of the standard colour, and happens naturally when they begin eating solids.

Dark green – common when starting solids that are green in colour, like spinach or peas. This can also happen if  your baby is taking iron supplements, or eating a lot of iron rich foods (as is recommended for babies).

Blue – this sounds concerning but is a result of eating foods of this colour. One main culprit for producing this colour of poop is blueberries!

Orange – again, this could be from eating foods of this colour. Remember that baby’s digestive tracts are shorter, with less time to digest the food in its entirety, so it is easier to tell what they ate by looking at their poops. In babies that haven’t started solids, this can also happen because the poop absorbs pigments from the digestive tract, which is also considered normal.

Red – you may notice a deep red colour if they ate something of that colour recently, for example beets (I will say, from experience, it can look like a deep red, almost maroon colour!)

  • Frequency: Once you go from an all liquid diet to introducing solids, you’re usually going to see the frequency of bowel movements go down. This is because solids bulk the stool up, there is usually less fluid being taken in, and sometimes it can take a while for a baby’s digestive system to adjust. 
What type of poop do we not want to see?

Diarrhea can happen when your baby is sick with a virus, bacteria, or perhaps taking antibiotics. 

The key change in stools you’ll see is in the consistency – watery, loose and possibly mucousy – and the frequency – 3 or more of these watery, loose stools in a row.

I know your baby’s poop is naturally liquidy if they’re exclusively breastfed, and so it may seem difficult to distinguish diarrhea from their normal. But that’s why we need to observe their normal, because I’m telling you, you’ll know diarrhea! I’ve changed a diaper that was best described as coloured water, it pooled in their diaper and the diaper couldn’t even soak all of it up fast enough, so when I opened it, there was a literal puddle (not a pleasant image I know!). It may not be that drastic, but a watery poop explosion up your baby’s back, is another good sign. Basically, my point is, that you’ll know, you’ll open the diaper and say: “Uh-oh, that’s not normal!”, and if you find yourself doing this, don’t second guess, your instinct is probably right!

If your baby is experiencing diarrhea, it’s not necessarily an emergency, but your main goal is going to be to keep them hydrated! You need to ensure that they’re drinking enough formula/breastmilk. If they’re older and eating solids, try to serve foods with a high water content, such as watermelon, or cucumbers, along with encouraging them to drink water from an open cup with meals.  

If your baby is also experiencing fever, irritability, or appears to be in pain, seek medical attention right away. Babies can dehydrate much faster than adults do, and it’s best to get them seen at the onset of these symptoms.

Also watch for other signs of dehydration, particularly if the diarrhea is ongoing and lasts for several days. The other signs you need to look for are:

  • Decreased tears or crying without tears
  • Lack of saliva
  • Sunken eyes
  • Sunken fontanel (soft spot on your baby’s head)
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Less playful than usual

Finally, if diarrhea is recurring, it can also be a sign of a food allergy (most likely cow’s milk allergy or lactose intolerance), so be sure to speak with your doctor if you suspect that.  


Constipation is not simply a reduction in the amount of dirty diapers. The more important factors to look at to see if your baby is constipated is if they have…

  • Extremely hard and difficult to pass poop
  • Poop that appears pebble-like and is in small pellets or marbles
  • Poop that is a thicker consistency than toothpaste (specifically for younger infants)
  • Pain when pooping

Note: a red face while pooping is not a sign of constipation in young infants. They simply haven’t learned how to activate the correct muscles to push their poop out, and as they get closer to 1 year old, you’ll notice this won’t happen as often, if at all.

Constipation can happen when your baby is dehydrated and isn’t taking in enough fluids, or isn’t getting in enough of the right types of fiber, or has an imbalance in gut bacteria. You can learn more about my strategies for managing constipation here. And if you’re unsure about what types of food to serve your baby, and how to safely introduce solids and finger foods – my Baby Led Feeding course is for you!

When to seek help

Here’s the thing, poop is going to vary with each baby, and you are going to notice changes in consistency, frequency, and colour fairly frequently, especially as their diet changes with introducing solids. The key to remember is that their poop should be soft, your baby should be gaining weight and eating well, but frequency will vary with each child.

However, there are certain times when I want you to seek help from your pediatrician right away. If you notice…

Red/Black poop

Generally, we don’t want to see red in your baby’s diaper as this indicates bleeding of some sort, somewhere along the digestive tract. Bright red blood in the diaper typically indicates some bleeding somewhere closer to the end of the tract. It could be an infection, an anal fissure from excessive pushing due to constipation, a milk allergy, or sometimes flecks of red appear in a breastfed baby’s diaper if their mom has cracked, bleeding nipples. And once a baby begins solids, it may happen from ingesting certain red-coloured foods. However, we really want to err on the side of caution with red poop. So if you cannot say with 100% certainty that your baby’s poop has a red tinge due to eating a lot of beets, it’s best to call their doctor and discuss it. They may have you wait to see if the next poop is the same colour, or they may want to check it out right away. Dark red and black poops indicate a very serious problem – specifically internal bleeding, as this is digested blood. So, if the poop is at all borderline, as in you’re having a difficult time deciding if it’s the colour of beets or a dark red/black colour, it’s absolutely best to get your baby checked out, just in case.

White or gray poop

These colours can happen, and they may have a chalky texture as well. White indicates that there is an issue with your baby’s liver, and basically there isn’t enough bile being produced to properly digest food. It needs to be addressed immediately. Gray could also indicate an issue with the liver in that food isn’t being digested properly, or it could also mean that your baby’s body isn’t absorbing the nutrients in their food. Again, it needs to be addressed right away.


Although some mucus can be normal, consistently having mucusy poop can also be a sign of an allergy or an infection, so again, if you’re unsure of the cause, it’s best to speak with your baby’s doctor.

Dramatic changes after introducing solids

If you notice any drastic changes after introducing solids to your baby, either with regards to consistency, frequency, pain, etc. speak with your baby’s pediatrician. This can indicate a possible food allergy and should be addressed before offering that food again.

Runny/liquid poops at 1 year old

If your baby’s poops continue to be runny and liquid-like leading up to their first birthday (not diarrhea), be sure to discuss this with your baby’s pediatrician. By this age, their diet should consist of mainly solid foods, and therefore, their poops will reflect that and should have a thicker consistency than when they were on a liquid diet of breastmilk or formula. 

I know that was a lot of info about poop, so I hope you were able to stick with me, because this is really an important topic. Taking notice of your baby’s normal, when it comes to so many things, is crucial in being able to recognize and react when something happens that’s outside of their normal. Poop is no exception.

If you’re feeling stressed about all the information you need to process and retain regarding starting solids with your baby, I have a solution! My Baby Led Feeding course is the most comprehensive online course on feeding out there, and provides you with step-by-step guidance into this new world of serving solids and finger foods to your baby. Plus, you have access to it for a lifetime! Check back in whenever you need a question answered or a refresher on a specific topic, and never feel like you need to search the depths of the internet to find a trusted answer. Enroll today!

What a child's surprise will tell about - ON Clinic's blog

Unfortunately, children are not born with instructions for use, but they leave clues about their health. A baby's diaper hides a huge amount of information that you just need to be able to decipher.

So that young parents do not waste time, today the doctors of the children's departments of the ON Clinic network of medical centers will tell you what the color, consistency and amount of children's bowel movements say.

How many times a day does an infant poop?

When a child appears in a family, parents have many questions, and one of them is how often does a baby poop? Maryana Litvinova, pediatrician at the ON Clinic Kharkiv medical center, will answer it:

“The baby poops very often. It is difficult to say specifically how many times a day this happens, because the number of bowel movements is very individual and partly depends on the nutrition of the baby. The stools of breastfed babies are usually larger and thinner than those of formula fed babies. But 5-6 times a day is the average for all babies.”

It is worth noting that newborns defecate often, but over time, the number of trips to the toilet is greatly reduced. This situation makes many mothers nervous, but in fact there is nothing frightening. This is largely due to the fact that mother's milk becomes more mature, and the baby's body absorbs nutrients better, as a result of which there is less leftovers from the digestive process.

The main thing is that the child eats and gains weight, and his stools are soft and regular.

The consistency of baby feces: norms and deviations

The first baby poop is called meconium. They look like a thick, sticky, greenish-black mixture and should normally only be seen in the first 3 days of a baby's life, until their digestive tract adapts to the need to digest food.

Then the child's stool becomes more formed and looks like thick mustard with granular inclusions. In children on IV, the liquid in the feces is much larger, and the blotches are smaller, while in babies on the IV, on the contrary, the blotches are larger and the liquid is less.

However, the consistency of feces can change, and parents should pay attention to this in order not to miss the body's signals that the child is not feeling well.


Because children's feces are loose, sometimes parents mistake normal stools for diarrhea. Natalia Ovcharenko, a pediatrician at ON Clinic Nikolaev Medical Center, will tell you more about how to distinguish diarrhea:

“Believe me, you are unlikely to miss the onset of diarrhea: frequent and abundant discharge of liquid feces testifies to it. Sometimes diarrhea can be accompanied by vomiting, weakness, fever, and a darker, reddish color of the feces.”

If your child has diarrhea, you need to prevent dehydration. To do this, let the child drink water, often and in small portions. It is also necessary to contact your pediatrician immediately, as diarrhea may indicate the presence of a virus in the body or a systemic disease that is dangerous for babies.


The opposite is true of constipation: parents sometimes miss it, mistakenly believing that constipation is always the absence of a bowel movement. However, a change in the consistency of feces may also indicate it. How to recognize constipation in a small child, Olga Chvertka, a pediatrician at the ON Clinic Poltava medical center, will tell:

“Children's stools are normally soft, so granular stools may already be a sign of constipation. Very hard and stony feces require a visit to a doctor, as they may indicate dehydration in a child's body. Other signs of dehydration include decreased tears and saliva, sunken eyes and crowns.

Some parents believe that the absence of a stool in a child for 2-3 days is already constipation. In fact, the regularity of bowel movements is individual for everyone and largely depends on the structure of the intestine. Constipation is primarily indicated by pain and the need to push hard during bowel movements. If your baby goes to the toilet for the most part every 3 days without pain and straining, and his feces are soft, there is no reason to worry.

What color of baby stool is considered normal?

Children's stools can take on a different color, and this is a fairly common cause of parental anxiety. But they often worry in vain, because the color of feces directly depends on the time it takes for food to pass through the digestive tract.

Here is what Lidia Garkovenko, a pediatric gastroenterologist at the ON Clinic Poltava medical center, says about the color scale of children's feces:

“The color of a child's feces can vary from yellow to brown. So, yellow feces only indicate that milk or a mixture quickly passes through the digestive tract. When this process slows down a little, the poop can turn greenish, and if digestion slows down even more, they turn brown.

If your child's feces are slightly darker or yellowish, but there are no other symptoms, there is no need to worry.

How does food affect the appearance of baby stool?

The presence of a child directly affects the contents of his diaper. So, the feces of children on breast milk and formula can differ significantly.

The child's body is designed in such a way as to assimilate the maximum of useful components from mother's milk. Because of this, some babies may not go to the toilet for many days. But at the same time, in many children on breastfeeding, almost after each feeding, mustard soft feces are excreted. Formula-fed babies tend to have darker stools and fewer stools.

When you start introducing complementary foods into your baby's diet, the nature of his bowel movements may change. Olga Mikusko-Petrova, a pediatric gastroenterologist at the ON Clinic Nikolaev medical center, will tell you exactly how:

“When a baby starts eating solid food, his feces become harder, and his stool becomes less frequent. This is due to the nature of the products that enter the body. With milk and liquid formula, baby poop was soft and watery, with solid food, this pattern works in exactly the same way.

In addition, the introduction of complementary foods can also affect the color of stools. For example, eating dark berries by a child will make the stool darker. In fact, the color of the stool is determined by the amount of a particular pigment in the baby's diet.

As for kindergarten children and schoolchildren, food affects their feces in the same way as in an adult. For example, a large amount of fibrous foods can cause undigested food to be present in the stool. Some foods may cause constipation or diarrhea. To avoid this, it is recommended not to give the child the same food in large quantities, especially new and exotic foods.

When is it time to worry?

As you can see, small changes in the consistency and color of children's feces often do not indicate serious problems in the body. However, there are situations when feces can signal problems and the need to see a doctor.

Primary stool colors to alert parents:

  • chalky white - may indicate bile problems. Probably, the liver produces it in an amount insufficient for the digestion of food;
  • pitch black indicates the presence of digested blood in the gastrointestinal tract;
  • scarlet red - indicates the presence of fresh blood in the stool, which comes from the colon or rectum;
  • green mucous - such changes in the color and nature of the stool may indicate the development of the virus in the child's body.

If you notice any of these signs, we recommend that you contact your pediatrician. He will ask you about the child's nutrition, the nature of the bowel movements and prescribe additional studies to rule out the development of serious gastrointestinal pathologies.

Baby poop can really tell a lot about a baby's health and diet. But you can not diagnose a child on your own, based only on a change in the nature of the bowel movements. If you're worried about the color or consistency of baby stool, it's best to make an appointment with your pediatrician.

Have you tried to decipher the clues in the toilet yourself?

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Author: Coton

Normal stool of newborns and children up to the first six months of life

The contents of a diaper excite every young mother. Any change or change in the frequency of bowel movements causes her to panic and forces her to look for diseases in the child. We understand how the gastrointestinal tract works in infants and what the baby's stool should be like.

Peculiarities of digestion in an infant

Despite the long intrauterine development, many systems and organs of a newborn child cannot fully perform their functions. The gastrointestinal tract is no exception. Babies don't have teeth to chew solid food, and their livers and pancreas don't produce enough enzymes.

In addition, the baby is born with a sterile intestine. Its settlement with beneficial microflora occurs in the first weeks of life, and full development can last up to a year. Children of the first half of the year eat only breast milk or a milk mixture adapted for their intestines. Feeding whole milk or fermented milk products is dangerous to his health.

The baby's stool is also different. In the first days of life, a newborn baby passes meconium - the original feces are usually dark green or black. Then it gradually changes color, smell and texture. What exactly it will be depends on the type of feeding and the characteristics of the child himself.

Stool norm in newborns and children up to a year

Normal stool indicators depend on how the mother feeds the child, whether he has congenital gastrointestinal diseases, allergies or intolerances. The frequency of stool in a newborn and children in the first half of life also depends on this.

Type of


Chair in newborns while breastfeeding

In the first six months, the stool is mushy, soft, blotches and inclusions may occur. The first months does not smell strongly, then the smell changes. May be completely absent for several days.

Chair in infants with artificial feeding

The chair is regular from one to 6 times a day. Often associated with feeding (a bowel movement occurs before or during it). Thicker, pasty, smells stronger than breastfed babies

With mixed feeding, the frequency and appearance of the stool depends on the proportion in which the child receives breast milk and an adapted formula.

At first, the baby can defecate after each feeding. Over time, stool frequency decreases and volume increases. This can be scary for new parents. Our doctors remotely and at any time of the day will answer all questions about the health of the child and help determine when stool changes indicate pathology.

Newborn stool color

The second parameter, after the frequency, to which mothers pay the closest attention, is the color of the child's stool. Normally it is yellow or orange. It can be plain or with white patches. This color is typical for fresh stools when the baby has just gone to the toilet.

When exposed to air, the feces oxidize and become greenish in color. This is not a pathology. This color of the stool does not require treatment or medical attention. However, a sharp change in color, consistency or frequency of bowel movements, the appearance of foam, blood and streaks in the feces can indicate digestive problems - lactase deficiency, constipation, allergies, dysbacteriosis.

What problems does stool disorder indicate?

It is believed that the feces of a newborn should depart daily and not cause him any inconvenience. However, in children who are fully breastfed, stools may be completely absent up to 6 days. If after that the baby defecates without problems, and the feces themselves remain soft, this is considered a variant of the norm.

However, in some cases, a violation or change in bowel movements can indicate problems with digestion. The main ones are:

  • constipation;
  • diarrhea;
  • allergy;
  • intolerance to certain products;
  • lactase deficiency;
  • bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract;
  • cracks.

The main symptoms to look out for include the following:

  • the child becomes restless and capricious;
  • he draws his legs to his stomach;
  • the chair becomes rare and dense;
  • the stool becomes too liquid and frequent;
  • mucus, blood streaks, black blotches appear in the feces;
  • stool immediately green;
  • he smells bad;
  • foam is visible in the feces.

These symptoms should be reported to the health visitor or pediatrician during the preventive visit. If blood is found in the diaper, you should immediately call an ambulance and hospitalize the child.

Changes in stool may indicate problems with the gastrointestinal tract in a child. It can be difficult for young parents to distinguish the norm from the pathology, so if you have any concerns, you should consult a pediatrician. Our doctors will answer all your questions about your baby's health, help you find the problem and tell you what to do in case of illness.

How to help your baby with stool problems

To help the baby, you need to understand why there are problems with the stool. To do this, the pediatrician will offer to undergo diagnostics - take blood tests, check feces, sign up for an ultrasound scan, colonoscopy or gastroscopy. The latter in young children are performed under general anesthesia and require temporary hospitalization.

After making a diagnosis, the doctor will suggest treatment and related activities:

  1. If an allergy is suspected, a nursing mother will be offered to follow a hypoallergenic diet. If the baby is bottle-fed, they will offer to change the mixture.
  2. Also, the doctor will give recommendations on the diet of the child. Breastfeed your baby freely, but less than once every two hours. Formula-fed babies can tolerate long intervals.
  3. In case of allergies, the child may be recommended to take antihistamines and sorbents.
  4. With confirmed lactase deficiency, the child is either transferred to a lactose-free mixture, or it is recommended to give special enzymes before feeding.
  5. If constipation, diarrhea and dysbacteriosis are suspected, the child may be prescribed drugs to improve the stool or special mixtures with lacto- and bifidobacteria.
  6. If an infection is suspected, against which diarrhea began, the baby may be prescribed antibiotics and antiviral agents.

If congenital pathologies of the development of the gastrointestinal tract are detected during the examination, the doctor takes appropriate therapeutic and preventive measures. Which ones and for how long depends on the type of disease and its degree.

Important! Abdominal problems are often associated with increased gas or colic. In this case, it is recommended to massage the abdomen, put a warm heating pad on it, or put the bare tummy against the mother's stomach.


How many times a day should a newborn have a stool?


In the first days of life, the child passes meconium. After that, the chair can be after each feeding. In a month-old baby, the frequency of stools is removed and varies from 1 to 6 times a day. In children who are fully breastfed, it can recede up to 6 days.

What does feces look like in newborns?


Newborn babies have black or dark green stools. Over time, it brightens, becomes yellow-orange. It may contain white blotches and heterogeneities.

What are the problems with the chair?


The problems are indicated by the absence of stool against the background of the child’s anxiety and a change in the consistency of feces, too frequent stools, bad smell, foam, green color of feces immediately after a bowel movement, the appearance of streaks and inclusions of red and black or mucus in it.

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