You as a parent don’t usually realise what an amusing yet important aspect it is to learn about your baby’s poop. The colours and textures as well as the frequency can sometimes catch you off guard. Considering it’s just another natural human tendency, it’s best to learn what could be considered normal and what needs a red flag to be raised.
Huggies Newborn diapers feature a wider waistband pocket to absorb runny bowel movements and that’s one problem we’ve solved for you. Wearing the right size of diaper is equally important to keep your baby from experiencing unnecessary leaks and unpleasant blowouts.
Dissecting The Contents
- You’re baby’s first poop (when you change his diaper) will look like a sticky, greenish-black tar. This is your baby's first bowel movement, which is known as meconium, a mixture of amniotic fluid, bile, and secretions from the intestinal glands.
- Expect this to pass in the first 24 hours and then the real stuff arrives a few days later. Your infant’s poop is nothing like yours. Babies that are breastfed will excrete poop that probably looks seedy and mustard-like and bottle-fed babies’ poop has a more toothpaste like consistency and is greenish in colour.
- Any variation within the colours yellow, green, or brown is totally normal.
- If your baby’s poop colour is red/black it is an indication of gastrointestinal bleeding and if it is white, it could represent liver disease and/or nutrient malabsoprtion.
- Since your baby is on an all-liquid diet, the poop excreted is usually soft and squishy, which again is perfectly normal.
- The bowel movement frequency is something that could bother some parents due to its extreme ways. A breastfeeding baby may have only one bowel movement a week or one bowel movement with each feeding… both are normal and you as a concerned parent shouldn’t worry about it. On the other hand, bottle-fed babies tend to average between one and four a day.
- The most important thing to watch out for is the consistency of the stool. Any discomfort shown by your baby when she poops something that is thicker than toothpaste or that looks like logs or marbles, then it’s a sign of constipation.
- This could happen due to multiple reasons. If your baby is under 4 months of age, it could be because your baby isn’t getting enough fluids. Make sure she is drinking more breast milk or formula to improve the situation. Certain doctors believe that consuming sugary water can help soften your baby’s stools too.
- Amongst toddlers, the problem of constipation happens due to fluctuating interests in food. A few teaspoons of prune juice or water should help. If the problem persists, some doctors recommend inserting a rectal thermometer for a minute to stimulate the bowel to get moving. A suppository can be prescribed by your paediatrician to move things along.
- On the other extreme hand, if your baby’s poop is thin, watery or streaked with mucus and the frequency is higher than usual, she mostly has diarrhoea. Causes could include the consumption of antibiotics, too much fruit juice, milk allergies (not common) or gastroenteritis which is a viral infection that results in vomiting and diarrhoea.
- Make sure you keep your baby well hydrated with breast milk, formula or paediatric electrolyte solutions. Any sign of dehydration like dry lips, sunken eyes or sunken fontanels (the soft spot on your baby’s head) and it’s best to immediately call your doctor.
The Switch To Solids
- Expect a change in your baby’s poop schedule once she begins to eat solid food which is normally between 4-6 months. The frequency will be lesser and the stools will become thicker in consistency.
- If your baby’s first food is usually rice cereal fortified with iron, there’s a strong chance of constipation. Switch over to iron-fortified oatmeal or mix in some pureed prunes to ease out the constipated feeling.
- Sometimes your baby’s stools can turn out to be techni-coloured. Yes, it’s a possibility and don’t be afraid when you see it. It could just mean her meals included a variety of vegetables and fruits and it’s usually evident in her poop.
- Another thing to not fret over is when you notice certain foods that pass through undigested – like corn. Since babies don’t always chew their food well, their systems tend to process food quickly through the digestive tract.
- Once your baby’s a year old, the wider range of solid foods tend to change the style of his poop too. The smell, colour and texture varies through the day depending on the food your child has eaten. Soon enough, it’ll get more brown and thicker and resemble more like grown-up poop.
Note: Your baby may not be pooping as often but that shouldn’t stop you from changing his diapers after meals and before naptime or bedtime. Your baby’s bottom ideally shouldn’t be exposed to wet diapers as it can cause rashes due to it being chronically moist.
Bathroom or Battlefield?
- Not all poop surprises are negative as such. As your toddler grows with every passing day, he will become more attuned to when he feels the need to go.
- The transition from inhibited pooping in a diaper to hiding in a corner due to privacy issues or wanting to quickly change the diaper soon after can be a tricky one.
- The need to seek privacy and a fresh diaper are the first signs of letting you as a parent know that your kid is ready to be potty-trained. Time to invest in a portable potty.
- It’s important you know that your child may approach poop differently than pee. Mastering the control over pee comes easily to your child, than control over pool. Look out for BM (bowel movement) cues such as grunting or becoming red-faced and you can tackle the issue with more ease. Eventually your child will understand and learn.
- A lot of toddlers experience awful pain as they tend to withhold their poop due to fear of control. Pooping invariably becomes an emotional battlefield for them, rather than just another bodily function. This in fact is considered to be a common occurrence.
- Try and tackle this in the gentlest manner as it can snowball into a bigger issue like painful constipation. To begin with, add fibre to your child’s diet. Next, start off with a regular bathroom schedule. Get your child to sit on the pot everyday at the same time. This will eventually condition him to understand what should happen next and of course, ease out the potty experience for your beloved child as well as the parent in you.
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