Your baby’s poo will change depending on what they’re eating, whether they’re well, and whether they’re a newborn or a growing baby. This article presents a guide to the different types – what’s normal and what’s not.
- Newborn babies – dark green or black, sticky poo.
- If it doesn’t appear in the first 24 hours after your baby’s birth, see your midwife, health visitor or doctor.
- Yellow, or slightly green. It has a creamy consistency, and looks a bit like mustard, or korma sauce!
Formula fed poo
- Formula fed poo will be stronger smelling than breastmilk poo, and generally has a browner colour , a bit like peanut butter.
- It is usually brown, thicker and smellier – like adult poo.
- Thin green poo.
- If it lasts longer than 24 hours, take your baby to the doctor to be checked. You can take a nappy full of the green poo to show the doctor.
- Babies with diarrhoea will usually pass poo more often. It can be yellow, green or brown and might be very watery.
- Go to your Doctor or midwife.
- Hard, impacted or pebbly poo. This can be quite dry.
- If your baby has been constipated for longer than a day or two go and see your doctor. If there is blood in the poo, go and see the doctor quickly.
Poo with blood or mucus
- Take your baby to the doctor (along with their nappy) if you see any blood or mucus in their poo.
Very pale poo
- Very pale poo can be a sign of jaundice, so do ask your doctor or midwife to have a look , keep the nappy full of pale poo so you can show them.
- In an older baby or toddler, pale poos that float can be a sign of illnesses like coeliac disease – go to the Doctor.
When you have a new baby you soon learn all about poo. It can be alarming to see the quantity, smell and colour of your baby’s dirty nappies and in our visual gallery we show you what’s normal and what’s not.
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Pale or white poo
If your baby has pale or white stools take her (along with a dirty nappy) along to see your GP immediately as there is a rare condition called biliary atresia when babies develop jaundice but are not unwell and have white or pale poo due to obstruction in the bile flow. This can be serious so must be reported immediately.
Green poo in a breastfed baby
Green poo can be completely normal for new babies. It’s more common in babies with colds as the mucus speeds up movement through the gut (which is the reason poo can be green). If your baby is growing well and the poo is the normal, soft texture there is probably nothing to worry about.
However, if your baby has other symptoms such as reflux or eczema and the green poo is persistent speak to your doctor. If your baby is having a reaction to dairy proteins you might expect to see that the poo is not only green but also contains a lot of mucous and has an unusual texture.
A lot of new mums worry that if their baby has green poos it means their milk isn’t fatty enough or that their baby is getting too much ‘foremilk’ – however, this would be reflected in low weight gain. So if you are worried monitor your baby’s weight gain with regular measurements at your local well baby clinic. Also, look out for green poo that is also frothy (with bubbles), contains mucous and may even have flecks of blood.
If your newborn baby is producing green poo and seems very unsettled it is important to make sure that your baby is latched on at the breast and feeding well. Visit your local drop in NHS breastfeeding clinic so they can watch you feed your baby.
It is also worth getting unusual green poo checked out to rule out other more serious problems such as a problem or blockage in your baby’s gut.
Breastfed baby poo is generally yellow coloured (like mustard) with a sweet, not unpleasant smell whereas babies who are formula fed have a browner more peanut butter like poo.
Meconium is the black tar like poo that your baby passes at first, paediatricians often want to know that a baby has successfully pooed meconium before they can be discharged after the birth. It is important to see the poo change to digested milk poo; either breastmilk or formula milk.
Questions the Baby Poo Colour section in the Care & Development online video course helps to answer:
- What is meconium?
- Why is my baby’s poo black and sticky?
- Is green poo okay in a baby?
- Is my baby constipated?
- Has my baby got diarrhoea?
- What should I do if there is blood in my baby’s poo?
- How can I cure constipation?