Get the scoop on baby poop!
We’ve dug deep to discover all you need to know about your infant’s poop- including what’s normal and what’s not.
Yes, it’s a bit of a gross topic, but baby poo can be an indicator of bub’s health. And because baby can go through a rainbow of poop colours, particularly in the first year, it can be important to understand what the different colours mean.
So, we’ve done the hard yards for you to find out what’s completely normal and what’s not. Colour, consistency, smell, frequency—find out what it reveals in our ultimate baby poop guide.
A Rainbow of baby poop colour
Black – You can expect baby’s first poop to be black, gooey and almost like tar. This is called meconium and is basically a combination of mucus, skin cells and amniotic fluid (*gag*). It’s pretty yucky but it won’t last more than a couple of days.
Mustard yellow – This is a common baby poop colour for breastfed babies and formula fed babies.
Bright yellow – Although a bit alarming, bright yellow poop is also normal for breastfed babies.
Orange – Although most babies’ poop won’t be bright orange, there may be some orange scatterings in the nappy. This is normal and can occur in both breastfed and formula fed babies. Apparently, it just means that more of the food pigment has been picked up during the digestive process.
Green – Another weird colour for poop, green baby poop can also be normal. It can happen if bub is given an iron-supplement or it might be green if you’ve eaten greeny foods. Green poop can also occur if bub has been eating green foods such as pureed peas, beans or spinach. However, green poop (especially if it’s slimy – more on that below), can indicate an infection, food allergy or intolerance. If bub is pooping green slime and seems unsettled, it’s best to take bub and bub’s dirty nappy to the GP to check.
Brown or tan – Brown is a common colour for formula-fed babies. Nothing to worry about here.
Red – Like green poop, red poop may be a cause for concern or it may be simply something you’ve (or bub has) eaten, such as tomatoes or beets. But it could also mean there’s blood in baby’s bowel movements which requires a check from your GP.
White or grey – White and grey are both warning signs for baby poop. It could mean they’re not digesting food properly. If you see white or grey poop, follow up with your GP.
Let’s talk about baby poop consistency
Peanut butter paste-like – This is the typical baby poop texture of a formula-fed bubba.
Loose and seedy – This is the typical baby poop texture of a breastfed baby.
Small, pebble-like droppings – These indicate bub might be a little bit constipated and may need some help in the pooping department. There are drops you can try or look at adding more fibre-rich food to his or her diet, such as prunes and pears. Give bananas and baby rice a miss for a little while as these can cause constipation.
Speckled with food pieces – Partially undigested food bits in baby’s poop is also normal once you’ve introduced solids.
Mucusy – Mucus in poop can indicate a few things. It may suggest your baby is teething but it may also indicate something more serious, such as infection. If your baby’s stool does have mucus in it and he’s not teething (or drooling), then it may be worth visiting a GP to check.
Diarrhea – Watery stools that occur more than once every feeding can indicate diarrhea which is a problem, especially for little babies. However, it can be tricky to tell if it’s diarrhea or just normal breastfeed baby poops which are also quite loose. If you are concerned, especially if bub is running a fever or just isn’t himself, call your GP.
Bloody – Blood in stools generally suggests straining from constipation or infection. Call your GP.
What about baby poop smell?
Breastfed – Expect the smell to be somewhat sweet and not nearly as knarly-smelling at formula-fed babies.
Formula Fed – Infants on formula will have pungent poops. Get the gas mask ready!
Started on solids – Once bub moves to solids, you can expect the smells to follow!
Baby farts – Some babies’ farts smell like sweet nothings. Others, WOWSERS! Sometimes baby’s farts will seriously clear the room. And, although a bit odd, this is normal. Babies’ farts that smell like sulfur, similar to a rotten egg, is simply a healthy by-product of breaking down compounds found in breast milk or formula. Ah, the joys (and smells) of #mumlife!
Sour-smell – A super foul or sour smelling poop can indicate an intolerance or allergy.
How often should my baby poo?
Excellent question. The answer is not as simple as you might have hoped though. Because babies like to keep us on our toes, some babies will poop after every feed. Others will go a week (or more) in between poops. So what’s normal?
For breastfed babies, pooping anywhere from after every feed to once every two weeks is considered normal. For formula fed babies, pooping anywhere from twice a day to once every four days is considered normal.
It’s more about what your baby regularly does. If she’s out of her regular pooping routine, it could be worth a chat to the GP. But, more likely than not, it’s simply her body’s way of regulating her bowel movements.
For older infants (six months and up), anywhere between three poops a day and one poop a week is considered normal. If bub is pooping more than four times a day, then this may mean he’s not absorbing the food and nutrition. If bub is only pooping once every 10 days or so, it could be due to constipation.
So, there you go – everything you didn’t think you needed to know about baby poop. In case you’re looking to add to your knowledge of all-things-baby, check out 9 Easy Ways to Tell if Your Baby is Teething (+ a Handy Teething Chart!).