What’s normal when it comes to baby poo?
Your baby’s poo – what’s normal and what’s not?
When it comes to baby poo, there are many different colours, texture and frequency – and most of them are normal. Your baby’s poo depends on their age, whether they are breastfed or formula-fed, and if they have started on solids. Here’s a guide on how to tell if your baby’s poo is normal?
The first poo
Your newborn’s first poo will be a dark greenish-black colour with a smooth, tar-like and sticky consistency. This poo, called meconium, will consist of all the intestinal substances that your baby ingests after being in the womb for nine whole months! In the first few days after your baby is born, the stools change in colour and texture – this is known as a transitional stool.
After the transitional stool, there’s a big range of normal when it comes to the frequency, look and smell of your baby’s poo.
Some babies will poo shortly after they feed, others will poo several times a day and some only poo a few times a week – it’s all normal. Breastfed babies generally poo more frequently than formula-fed babies.
The colour of breastfed babies’ poo is often a mustard, yellow-orange colour, but sometimes it can be green. Formula-fed babies’ poo can be grey-yellow (or even grey-blue), or some shades of brown.
Breastfed babies’ poo will be a soft, unformed and may be runny. A formula-fed baby’s poo is generally firmer in consistency. When your baby starts solids at around six months, the motions become more solid and some food will remain undigested. This is because your baby’s digestive system is still developing.
Breastfed baby poo can smell quite sweet, and the smell can be affected by what is mum is eating. Expect the bowel motions to become smellier once you introduce formula and solids. This is normal!
Introducing formula or changing between brands
If your baby transitions from breastfeeding to formula or between formula brands, it is normal for there to be changes in bowel motion including the poo texture, colour and frequency.
If you are using a combination of breastfeeding and infant formula, your baby’s poo will vary depending on the proportion of breast milk to formula.
Your baby’s poo will also be affected by illness, infection and medication.
If your baby’s poo is black, red or white, see your healthcare professional.
And, if you have any concerns about your baby’s poo at any time, always speak to your doctor or child health nurse.
- National Health and Medical Research Council. (2013). Eat for Health – Infant Feeding Guidelines Information for Health Workers. Available from: https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/publications/infant-feeding-guidelines-information-health-workers