From Green to Yellow: The Spectrum of Baby Poo Colours and What They Mean
You can find a change in colour and consistency in an infant’s poop depending on several different factors. The faeces are supposed to be different as the infant goes through different phases and diets.
In this article, we’ll discuss what changes baby poo colour over time, and what’s normal and what’s not. So, let’s get started!
Baby Poop Colours and What Causes Them
In this section, we’ll go through the colours that you can expect the infant’s faeces to be chronologically from his birth.
While black faeces is rare and wouldn’t be considered normal for an adult, it’s definitely normal for an infant to have black faeces right after birth. This is normal only in the case of infants younger than a week.
This kind of stool is labelled as meconium. Newborns tend to discharge meconium mostly in the first 24 hours since birth. This stool is usually very thick because it mostly comprises amniotic fluid, bile, mucus, and cells that the baby has ingested during his time in the womb. However, it’s completely sterile and has no smell at all.
Meconium is initially wholly black. However, over time the color changes to green, and finally to yellow. You should see this transition in colors within the first week.
After a week, you shouldn’t see the black colour anymore. If you do, it’s important to seek advice from experts.
After a week, the colour of the faeces is supposed to turn yellow. This mainly happens because of the massive shift in the baby’s diet. If your baby is on breast milk, dark yellow or yellow faeces is completely natural. There may be flecks on the poo but that’s nothing to be concerned about.
The flecks that you find mainly come from breast milk. Generally, the flecky faeces are characterized as “Seedy”. They may resemble curd slightly but will be yellow in colour.
In some cases, the poop of the infant can be naturally green, and it’s nothing to worry about. However, there may be several possibilities that’s causing the poop to be green. It’s important to figure out what’s actually causing them. The reason may be among the following:
- Sometimes it can be caused due to slow digestion. Your baby has limited capabilities in terms of digestion. So, if the baby eats more than his stomach can handle at a time, the poop might turn greenish.
- If the baby is fed green food along with breast milk, the faeces is likely to turn green.
- A stomach problem or common cold may be causing the green colour. In such cases, it’s advised you visit a doctor.
- If your baby is intolerant to a certain food item, the faeces may be of green colour.
- Sometimes the antibiotics present in breast milk might be causing the green colour.
- If your baby is being treated for jaundice, the faeces might turn out green.
Apart from these reasons, the colour of the poop may be green just naturally. In some cases, obesity can trigger this. However, these aren’t concerning.
If your infant’s poop is red in colour, that might be something to worry about. The red colour indicates a health issue and in this case, the parents must consult experts.
While there are several things that may be causing this, sometimes an issue with the breastfeeding mother can cause this. If the mother has cracked or bleeding nipples, the baby may end up swallowing a small amount of blood. This can eventually lead to red stool.
Also, if the baby has a bleeding rectum, the poop can turn red. Regardless of the underlying cause, this issue requires expert counsel as soon as possible.
While white poop is relatively common in babies, it’s not healthy. In most cases, it indicates a liver problem. For example, jaundice can cause this. What’s alarming is the majority of newborns tend to suffer from Jaundice in their early days. However, it usually goes away within two weeks.
If you find white stool after two weeks, then you can assume that the jaundice hasn’t gone away, and it requires some form of medical intervention. Another indicator that can help you ascertain if the baby has jaundice or not is the colour of urine, which will be dark yellow.
If Jaundice isn’t the case, the reason may be a high level of bilirubin. There are two kinds of bilirubins and if one type gets excess, it triggers white stool.
Depending on the diet, the texture of the poop can be drastically different as well. For example, if the baby is fed liquid food only, then the poop is supposed to be very soft. Then again, the texture will differ based on the type of food. If you’re breastfeeding your baby, the poop is likely to be runny. On the other hand, formula milk results in firmer stools.
You’re also likely to find mucus in the baby’s stool. While it shouldn’t cause concern, you should seek out experts if your baby is showing signs of illness or discomfort.
If the baby’s stool is very watery, then you should get it checked for diarrhoea. In this case, the stool is also likely to have a high temperature. Diarrhoea can dehydrate your baby, so it requires medical attention fast.
When Should You Seek an Expert’s Attention?
As you can see, your baby’s stool can be of different colours and textures. In certain cases, the colour may be extremely unusual, such as green. These colours don’t necessarily indicate a health problem.
On the other hand, if you find the poo to be white or red, you should contact a physician as soon as possible. Furthermore, while black stool is very common the first week, it’s a problem if the colour retains even after you start feeding your baby breast milk or even formula milk.
As your infant grows, you’re likely to see major shifts in the colour and texture of the poo. What’s important is to keep track so you can take action as soon as possible in case of an emergency.