How to identify healthy new baby poo
It’s amazing how much time parents spend inspecting babies’ nappies! You tend to worry that your baby’s poo is the wrong colour or texture, or that he’s pooing too often, or not enough. Huggies® expert and midwife, Lynne Bluff, sheds some light on healthy baby poo and what to look out for.
Different types of baby poo and what they look like?
Meconium is a baby’s first poo. This is usually a dark greenish or black colour and is very sticky. This newborn poo is actually bile, mucous, amniotic fluid and dead skin cells that have collected in baby’s intestines while they were growing in your tummy. It may be difficult to wipe off their tiny bottom because it is so sticky, but it is a good sign and shows that your baby’s bowels are working normally. Meconium is usually passed within 12 hours after birth. This process is speeded up by colostrum. Colostrum is the first secretion from a woman’s breasts after giving birth. It is rich in antibodies and has a laxative effect, so the more you breastfeed the faster this meconium will be excreted. By the second day or so baby’s poo will be green and then will move to a mustard yellow colour with a soft to a liquid texture which is a typical breastfed stool.
Bright or mustard yellow. This yellow poo may smell slightly sweet. It is loose in texture. The poo may seem grainy at times and curdled at others. In the early weeks, your baby may poo during or after every feed. Some moms might be worried that their baby has diarrhoea, but a runny poo is perfectly normal in breastfed babies.
Formula fed poo
Formula fed babies normally need to poo every day to feel comfortable and avoid constipation.
Lots of baby’s strain and cry a bit when they poo, but it doesn’t mean there’s a problem. As long as your baby’s poo is soft and easy to pass, there’s no cause for concern. Formula fed babies poos are bulkier in texture than breastfed babies (a bit like the texture of toothpaste). This is because formula milk can’t be digested as fully as breast milk. They may be pale yellow or yellowish-brown in colour and strong smelling. Formula fed babies are more prone to constipation than breastfed babies and usually poo about 5 times per day in the beginning and after a few months, it decreases to about one poo per day.
When to worry?
Call the doctor if you notice the following:
• Normal poop tinged with red blood, which can be a sign of a milk protein allergy or the mother has got cracked nipples and blood from that is taken in by the baby when breastfeeding
• Constipated poop with a hint of red blood, likely a result of a tear in the anus
• Diarrhoea mixed with red blood, which can indicate a bacterial infection
Identifying poo is one thing. Another thing is how to ensure your baby is always comfortable. One of the fundamental principles to adhere to with a baby is when the nappy is wet or soiled, change the nappy immediately to ensure you keep the baby’s bottom area dry and healthy. The combination of urine and poo can soon break down the healthy skin barrier in the nappy area. So, changing your baby’s nappy frequently is important as well as using a nappy that has absorbent, soft material to keep the baby’s nappy area as dry and comfortable as possible.
Huggies® has a New Baby range which offers Huggies® Gold My First Nappy – a size 0 disposable nappy (up to 4kg) specifically designed for newborns. Special features include an umbilical cord cut-out to allow for easier cleaning and protection of this delicate area, a wetness indicator that changes from yellow to green when the nappy is wet, fasten anywhere outer tabs to help provide the perfect fit; cottony soft breathable materials and a triple absorbent core with a quilted liner for optimal absorption and skin protection. Huggies® Gold My First Nappy also offers a special runny poo pocket to help prevent runny messes at the back of the nappy, especially when it comes to those runny poos.
Being a parent is filled with many different special moments but is also filled with concerns and worries, don’t let your little ones poos be one of them. Trust your instincts as a parent, Huggies® will be right there with you every step of the way.