All babies poo - but how often and what it looks like is usually a mystery until the nappy comes off.
There is a variety of colours and textures when it comes to baby poo and most of them are normal. Some babies will poo every time they feed and others may go a few days without one. This will depend on their age, whether they are breastfed or formula fed, and if they have started on solids.
If you have any concerns about your baby’s health, speak to your doctor or child health nurse.
What is normal?
Green / black (sticky tar-like)
This is normal for your baby’s first poo. It’s called ‘meconium’ and will change in the first couple of days.
For a breastfed baby, this is normal. It will be loose and a bit runny.
Formula fed babies tend to have darker and slightly firmer poo.
Can happen with babies breastfed from both breasts frequently. Try feeding until one breast is drained before switching.
Sometimes found with babies on formula. Usually because of the iron found in the formula and nothing to worry about.
Green / brown
As you start to introduce solid food, this will be one of the many shades you can expect to see in your baby’s nappy.
Another example of the variety of colours solid foods can produce in your baby’s poo.
As they get older, your baby’s poo will be more like grown-up poo.
What is not normal?
If you see any of the following types of poo in your baby’s nappy, see your doctor and take a sample or the nappy with you.
Blood in your baby’s poo could be from constipation, if mum has cracked/bleeding nipples, or due to something more serious.
White or grey poo is not normal and could be a sign of a liver problem.
Baby poo should only be green or black during the first few days; after that it could be a sign of something more serious.
Constipation versus diarrhoea
Babies often strain, make noises and go red in the face when they are doing a normal poo, but signs of constipation can include:
- a hard and dry poo
- a firm and pebble-like poo
- your baby being upset
- poo with a streak of blood
Fully breastfed babies shouldn't get constipation. If you are feeding with formula, make sure the mix is correct.
Baby poo tends to be quite runny, particularly before they start on solids, but if they become more runny and more frequent than usual, it could be diarrhoea. Signs include:
- a watery poo
- more poo than usual
- baby is also unwell, particularly vomiting
- baby doesn't want to feed
If your baby is either constipated or has diarrhoea, visit your doctor or child health nurse.
Call us on 1800 882 436 or visit pregnancybirthbaby.org.au.
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Last reviewed: July 2019