12 Types of Baby Poop & What They Mean

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You can tell a lot about your baby’s health by what’s in their diaper. It’s normal to see stool changes as your baby grows, drinks breast milk or formula and starts eating solids, but some color and consistency changes may indicate a health issue. Pediatrician Lance Goodall, MD, UnityPoint Health, provides a baby poop guide to help parents distinguish natural changes from warning signs that require a doctor’s visit.

Baby Poop Types

The scope of baby poop types considered “normal” depend on your baby’s age and feeding method.

1. Newborn Baby Poop

Your baby’s poop looks different during their first few days after birth. Newborns have a greenish-black, tarry, sticky poop that resembles motor oil. It’s called meconium and is made up of amniotic fluid, mucus, skin cells and other things ingested in utero. Two to four days after birth, you’ll notice “transitional stools” that are green and less tacky than meconium.

2. Breastfed Baby Poop

Breastfed baby poop is normal when it’s a mustard yellow, green or brown color. It has a seedy, pasty texture and may resemble diarrhea. Healthy breastfed stools also smell sweet (unlike regular bowel-movement odor).

3. Formula Fed Baby Poop

Healthy formula fed baby poop is typically a shade of yellow or brown with a pasty consistency similar to peanut butter. Formula-fed babies also pass fewer, but bigger and smellier, stools than breastfed babies.

4. Partially Digested Food in Baby Poop

Not all food is completely digestible, and some travels so quickly through the intestines that is doesn't break down completely. This can cause your baby’s poop to have chunks of food or be a surprising color.

Baby Poop by Color

Changes in baby poop color are normal. Usually, a different shade means there’s more or less of a pigment picked up during the digestive process.

5. Green Baby Poop

Babies who receive an iron-supplement often have green poop. Green poop can also occur when your baby is 4 - 6 months when you introduce solid, green foods — such as pureed peas, spinach and beans — into their diet.

6. Orange, Yellow and Brown Baby Poop

Baby poop that’s orange, yellow or brown in color is completely normal in breastfed and bottle-fed babies.

7. Black Blood in Baby Poop

If your baby’s poop has little specks of black blood in it, it’s likely they digested blood while breastfeeding on cracked and bleeding nipples. This doesn’t pose a threat to your baby, but it’s a good idea to check with a doctor to make sure the blood isn’t a symptom of something more serious.

Baby Poop Warning Signs

Call your baby’s doctor right away if you notice any of these warning signs in their stools:

8. Runny Baby Poop

Diarrhea in babies is green, yellow or brown and runny. It can indicate an infection or allergy. If it goes too long without treatment, it may lead to dehydration.

9. Hard, Pebble-like Baby Poop

Your baby may be constipated if their poop is hard and looks like pebbles. Babies can get constipated when they’re introduced to solid foods. This could also be a sign of sensitivity to milk or soy or an in tolerance to something in breast milk or formula.

10. Red Blood in Baby Poop

Baby poop might be red due to medications or certain foods mom consumed. Red baby poop can be a sign of blood in the stool. Red blood in normal poop can be a sign of a milk protein allergy, while red blood in diarrhea could mean your baby has a bacterial infection.

11. Mucus in Baby Poop

Seeing slimy, green-colored streaks with glistening strings in your baby’s poop means mucus is present. Although it can happen when your baby is drooling, mucus in baby poop is also a sign of infection.

12. White Baby Poop

Chalky white baby poop is a warning sign that your baby isn’t properly digesting food and can indicate a lack of bile from the liver.

In the first few years of your child’s life, they’ll have a full range of “normal” poop that means your baby is healthy, growing and changing. When alarming changes occur, however, contact your baby’s doctor right away.

Baby Poop Infographic

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