The icky mommy guide to baby poop

So my dear readers, as promised on my last post, I have decided to share with you my personal experiences with breastfed baby poop and some additional information I researched on formula fed baby poop.

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It all started one beautiful chilly December morning, when my Kyra was just a few days old. I hadn’t been sleeping too well, was sore in ohhhhh so many places after having just given birth not too long ago, and was too tired to move. Little Kyra started whining and squirming, so I went through my personal baby checklist to figure out what was wrong with her: Hungry? No. Too hot or too cold? Nope. Diaper? AHA, let me check! So as I sat in bed, I placed a changing mat under her and opened her diaper (100th one within a few days), but nothing was there. And while I sat there with a puzzled look on my face, wondering why my baby could be uncomfortable, the answer hit me right in the face, literally!!! Yup, you guessed it, flying poop.

As far as I knew, baby poop was smelly, brownish, and sticky, but all the poop diapers I had seen (not too many) were those of formula fed babies. Now I had learned while attending a breastfeeding seminar, that my baby will most likely pass “meconium” for the first few days until my milk comes in. Now for those of you who have been lucky enough not to know what that is; meconium is a greenish black tarry poop, that funny enough (based on personal experience) comes out like bubbles. It normally lasts between 3-5 days, usually coinciding with mommy’s milk coming in, or basically baby eating more and getting more out.

Now breastfed baby poop apparently had super powers, at least with Kyra it did. First of all it could fly (just ask my mother in law’s cheek), it was a different color than I thought it would be, (mustard yellow), and a different texture as well (runny liquid and seedy). But the awesome, awesome thing about it was, wait for it…NO SMELL! Can you imagine? This was beyond amazing to me! A bit confusing I have to admit, cause it took me a while to figure out that Kyra needed a change, but after a while, I could just feel her full diaper or smell the “no smell” poop and change her.

Now after months and months of discussing baby poop with mommy friends, disgusted single friends, and being asked by new moms if their baby’s poop was normal, I decided that it was time to share with you all a little of what I’ve learned about breastfed baby poop, and what Dr. Google has to say about formula fed baby poop (sorry no first hand expertise there).

Father Changing Baby's Diaper --- Image by © Paul Barton/Corbis

Breastfed baby poop – smell, color, texture, frequency: 

  • If your baby is exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life, it has NO smell (or a veryyyy mild one). Once solids are introduced, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!
  • After meconium is passed, transitional poop is a light green color, meaning that baby has started digesting milk.
  • Healthy breastfed poop has a creamy or liquid consistency and is a mustardy yellow color. It could turn just slightly green depending on what you ate.
  • Green frothy poop or one that has mucus could be either that your baby hasn’t finished one breast before you move him to the next (had too much foremilk), or has some type of food sensitivity. In the case of food allergies (sensitivity to mom’s consumption of cow milk products, peanuts, eggs,etc.) other symptoms would appear as well such as colic, rash, wheezing, or some blood in the stool.
  • Breastfed babies in the early days usually poop often; sometimes after every feeding, but after 3 to 6 weeks this pattern might change. Kyra used to poop up to 10 times a day until around 2 months, after which she decided to save daddy’s money and poop once every 3 or 4 days. This is also totally normal, as some breastfed babies could go up to 7-10 days without pooping. So as long as your baby is acting normally, it’s not a real cause for concern.
  • After solids are introduced, you may see bits and pieces of what your baby has eaten in the liquid poop (carrots come to mind here), but once your baby starts eating more and digestion starts, put on some gloves, a clothespin on your nose, and get ready for a smellier, thicker more brownish poop (and much smellier farts).

Formula fed baby poop – smell, color, textures, frequency:

  • According to Dr. Google, formula fed babies have stronger smelling poop than breastfed babies but slightly less smelly than that of babies who are eating solid foods (see I told you it smelled that bad!)
  • The color is usually more on the brownish side (tan, yellow or green-brown poop) and is pasty and sticky, sort of like peanut butter.
  • In the case of formula fed baby poop frequency, it is almost similar to that of breastfed babies except its consistency is a bit firmer, and in case of constipation it will become even harder, which is what you should be looking for if you suspect constipation.

Now there are different types of poop, other than the 2 common types I’ve discussed which are:

  • Iron fortified poop: dark green or blackish
  • Poop with mucus: discussed above in the breastfed baby poop section, but could also be due to excessive saliva (maturing of salivary glands/teething) or could be a sign of infection or allergy. If you suspect the latter, please consult your baby’s pediatrician.
  • Bloody poop: bright red or blackish blood poop can show up for several reasons (milk protein allergy, hemorrhoids or a tear in baby’s anus, digested blood from mom’s nipples or in case of diarrhea with blood could be due to a bacterial infection.
  • Melena (thick black poop similar to meconium), currant jelly poop (almost entirely made of red blood) or acholic poop (pale, chalky, clay-colored poop) rarely show up, but in case they do, call your baby’s doctor right away.
  • Constipation is not the lack of poop, but the hardening of poop into small pebbles (more than 3 diapers).
  • Diarrhea is not like the liquid breastfed baby poop, but has more water in it, and can be explosive (is that poop in my eye?) also more than 2-3 diapers should be reported to your baby’s doctor.

In any case, this is not a medical report, but my own summary on baby poop for anyone who is interested. Should you feel that your baby is not doing well, please call the doctor immediately. When Kyra’s poop frequency changed, the first thing I did was call her doctor, who reassured me that due to a change in climate after we travelled from Lebanon to Dubai, it was completely normal for things to change. So join me next time, as I tell you all about my adventure of traveling with a newborn and share with you some of my tips in case you ever need them.


-Kyra’s diapers


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