Newborn Poop – Is THAT Normal?

A mom changing newborn poop diaper

As a new parent, amidst the continual diaper changes and sleepless nights you may find yourself obsessing over every little detail, including your baby’s poop. Yes, you read that right! Today, we’re diving into the world of baby poop, discussing its frequency, appearance, and even when to get medical advice. So, hold your nose and prepare for a  journey through the colorful spectrum of newborn poop!

How Often Does a Newborn Poop?

Newborns have tiny tummies and consume nothing but breast milk or formula. This means their digestive system works a bit differently than older children and adults. Newborns may poop a couple of times a day, every time they feed, or up to ten times a day! Yes, that is a lot of dirty diapers to change.

For the first few days your newborn should minimally have one stool for each day of life. One poopy diaper on day one, two poopy diapers on day two, etc. This pattern lasts for about four to five days. After that, during weeks two through six your newborn should have about three to four or more stools per day.

In general, breastfed babies tend to have more frequent bowel movements, sometimes after every feeding. Formula-fed babies may have fewer bowel movements, usually around one to three times a day. On the other hand, it is also true that after six weeks a breastfed baby may go several days or more without a bowel movement as her body becomes more efficient at using milk. This is normal.

It’s important to note that these are just general guidelines, and every baby is unique. As long as your baby seems content, gains weight appropriately, and has regular wet diapers (6 – 8 per day), there’s usually no cause for concern.

What Does Newborn Poop Look Like?

As the days go by, your baby’s poop will undergo a gradual transformation. It will change in both color and consistency, indicating that their digestive system is maturing. In the first few days, your baby’s poop will be thick, dark, and sticky, resembling tar. This is called meconium. It consists of things your baby ingested while in the womb, such as amniotic fluid, mucus, and skin cells. 

By around day three, as your baby is feeding frequently, the meconium will pass. Their poop will transition to a lighter greenish-brown color, becoming less sticky and more liquid. This is also around the time when your breast milk increases. 

Usually by day 5, the greenish-brown poop will give way to a mustard-yellow shade, which is considered normal for breastfed babies. The texture will become more seedy or curdled, resembling cottage cheese. Formula-fed babies may have stools that are slightly firmer and a lighter pale yellowish.

When To Contact Your Baby’s Healthcare Provider

While newborn poop can have a wide range of appearances, there are a few instances when you should contact your baby’s healthcare provider:

  • Persistent Diarrhea: If your baby has watery or extremely loose stools for an extended period, it may indicate an infection or a problem with digestion. Contact your healthcare provider for guidance.
  • Blood in Stool: If you notice streaks of blood or a significant amount of blood in your baby’s poop, seek medical attention. 
  • Constipation: If your baby is having difficulty passing stool or is experiencing hard, pellet-like poop, consult your healthcare provider for advice. 
  • Unusual Color: If your baby’s poop becomes consistently pale, white, black, or red, it could indicate a medical issue. Inform your healthcare provider to ensure your baby receives appropriate care.

As a new parent, it’s natural to wonder about every aspect of your baby’s well-being, including their poop. Remember that newborn poop can vary greatly in frequency, color, and texture. While some variations are entirely normal, it’s good to be aware of any changes that might indicate a problem. If you have any concerns or questions about your baby’s poop, don’t hesitate to reach out to your pediatrician for help. 

You may also be interested in this post: Breastmilk: Is My Baby Getting Enough?

About Christie Collbran

Christie believes in helping women recognize their own inner wisdom, strength and power. Having served as President of the Tampa Bay Birth Network for six years and with ten years serving families as a birth doula, she has a reputation for leadership, dedication and compassion. A childbirth educator, certified lactation counselor as well as a certified doula, she makes a point of ensuring mothers and their partners understand all their birthing options and what to expect on their journey.> keep reading