Believe it or not, your little one’s poo will become deeply fascinating to you in the coming months. So much so that you’ll find yourself wanting to talk about nothing else with other parents. That’s because the contents of your baby’s nappies will vary dramatically from day to day and even hour to hour. There’ll be times when you’ll be taken aback by the colour and texture, and you’ll probably find yourself asking ‘Is this normal?’ on a daily basis. The answer, of course, will undoubtedly be yes. Here’s what to look out for…
Your newborn’s first bowel movement is a greenish-blackish substance that looks like a cross between tar and Marmite. It will take a day or two to pass, and after that it will take on a green/yellowish appearance.
If you breastfeed, your baby will have mustardy-yellow poo that smells quite sweet, a bit like apricots, and have a highly variable consistency, sometimes looking like curdy scrambled eggs, sometimes looking grainy. Very watery nappies in breastfed babies might look like diarrhoea to the untrained eye but are actually perfectly normal.
The contents of formula-fed babies’ nappies are usually more brown or tan in colour, and smellier. The texture and consistency is also highly variable.
Solid food will make your baby’s poo change radically. Nappies will become less sloppy, until the poo starts to look like, well, proper poo! You’ll also notice a lot of what he eats reappearing in his nappy and his movements may be highly irregular as his intestines learn to digest new foods. Make sure he drinks plenty of water to avoid constipation.
How often should your baby poo?
Try not to get hung up on your baby having ‘regular’ bowel movements. Generally speaking, if your baby’s happy and acting normally, he’s going to the toilet the right number of times. This might mean explosive bowel movements every 15 minutes, or no poo for over a week (beware when it finally comes!).
Some babies poo in their sleep, some as they feed. Some worry their parents for weeks and then do five explosive super-stinky poos in half an hour. As your baby’s intestines mature, he will probably go less frequently and there should be fewer surprises.