All parents will agree that their baby’s health is of utmost importance and how frustrating it can be when your little one is at an age too young to be able to describe their symptoms when they feel unwell. Checking the inside of your baby’s diaper can be one of the most valuable tools in understanding the health of your baby. Here at SmartMom, we have created the perfect ‘Baby Poop Decoder’ to keep you in the know…
Color can be a great indicator of your child’s health. Initially after birth, your baby’s poop should be an almost black color. This is a collection of all the fluid, bile & cells your baby ingested while inside of you and is completely normal. As they get a little older, breastfed babies will produce a more yellow and seedy stool. This is what you want. It should have a mild smell and a yellow, curdled milk look about it. Formula fed babies will take on a more tan colored poop, although a yellow to green color is normal too. Stool colors to look out for are bright, almost lime green. This can indicate that the baby is receiving more foremilk than hindmilk and needs to nurse for longer on each breast. It can also mean your baby could have a virus or an allergic reaction to dairy and it is always best to seek medical advice in this instance. Red streaks in your baby’s stool could mean that they are constipated and could be a result of small tears around the anus. Again you should consult your doctor if this happens. However, if you find the contents of your baby’s diaper to be of a dark green nature then there is most likely no reason to panic. This is usually caused by an excess of iron in your baby’s system. Iron is necessary for a healthy baby and unless the baby seems constipated as well then there is no reason to consult your doctor. A white stool is very rare, but if you see it then please contact a health care professional straight away as this can indicate that a lack of bile is being produced.
In terms of frequency, all baby’s are different and some will produce stools more regularly than others. However you will find that it is completely normal for breastfeeding baby’s to go up to a few days between stools and there is no cause for concern here. So long as each time the stool is soft and easy to pass. Bottle fed baby’s are more likely to need to produce a dirty diaper daily in order to avoid constipation and if you are bottle feeding and your baby is not opening their bowels daily you might find that a mild laxative from your doctor is necessary to get things moving.
Finally, the consistency of your baby’s stool can be invaluable in letting you know how your little one is feeling. The occasional loose baby stool is fine. But if it is frequently loose then your baby is suffering from diarrhea. This can cause dehydration so it is always best to consult your doctor in this instance. Anything can cause diarrhea from infection, to teething, to allergies. On the other hand, if your baby’s poop has the appearance of dry looking pellets, then they are almost definitely constipated. Other signs to look out for along with dry, hard stools are a baby that strains when trying to poop and has a tummy that is hard to the touch. In this instance it also always advisable to contact a health care provider.
So if you are concerned about the health of your little one, or are concerned that maybe they are feeling a little unwell, then using our Baby Poop Decoder to check the frequency, color and consistency of your baby’s nappy could be a valuable way of diagnosing the problem.