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Baby Sh*t: What to Expect & When to Worry About Your Baby’s Poop

Jan 02, 2022

You wouldn’t believe the sh*t I hear about in my office … sometimes it’s seedy and yellow. Sometimes it’s mucousy or even a little bloody. Sometimes it’s runny but other times it’s a little too solid.

I’m talking about baby poop.

The number of poop pics I see is not something I was prepared for! It’s a common topic parents bring up, and it’s an understandable concern. So let’s go over different types, timing, and when to worry!

You can expect your baby’s first poop to happen within the first 24 to 48 hours. It will look dark and tarry; the term for it is meconium. It’s gross but totally normal for those first few poops. Baby will likely poop about two to four times in the first three days. Around Day 3 or 4, your baby’s poops will transition to more of a mustard color and seedy texture. What do I mean by seedy? Picture butterscotch pudding with a bunch of chia seeds mixed in. 

Anyone want a snack?! No? OK, I’ll go on.

So how often should baby poop beyond that first week? There’s a wide range of “normal.” Just like some babies sleep more than others and some babies eat more than others, some babies poop more than others, so don’t worry too much if you feel like your baby is pooping a lot or a little. If you think your baby might be on one extreme or the other, bring it up at your next pediatrician appointment. 

Bloody stools would be another thing to bring up to your pediatrician. Streaks of red could indicate a rash or sore, but in other cases they indicate a food allergy or protein intolerance. Otherwise, mucousy stools do happen in healthy babies, so there is no cause for concern.

Frequency of pooping is another concern I hear about from many parents. Again, there is a  w i d e  range of normal here, just like in adults. Food type or food amount or little tummy bugs or even weather or nerves can all contribute to frequency of bowel movements in adults and babies. A fussy baby is a normal baby—you don’t need to assume something is wrong, like constipation. But, constipation can happen with anyone, so if your baby goes a few days without having a bowel movement and seems uncomfortable or not like him or herself, check with your pediatrician about potential solutions. Staying well-hydrated typically helps poop, so having plenty of wet diapers (the amount depends on age) will be a good indicator of adequate hydration. I find babies tend to poop within a few minutes of a worried parent calling the pediatrician. ;)

Potty talk in my office goes beyond the baby stage, too.

Constipation is super common for toddlers and big kids, especially as their diet changes from breastmilk to solids. I tend to refer to the Bristol Stool Chart, so Google that for a helpful tool in determining whether your child might be constipated. 

Or, you can refer to the “decor” found at the resort where I stayed in Jamaica! I’d classify it as a Type 2 Stool, which does indicate constipation!

What did I miss—anymore poop questions or did I cover all the shit you needed? 

For more about your newborn, check out my Brand New Baby course that covers the first 8 weeks with babe. For toddlers and big kids, you might be more interested in my Unpicky Eaters, where I go over my best feeding tips for all ages. 

Dr. B

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