Possible Early Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is very common problem that affects the large intestine. It can cause stomach pain, cramps, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. Doctors think that IBS is caused by the brain sending wrong messages to the bowels, such as during times of high stress, causing physical changes. The formal criteria for this diagnosis requires 3 months of symptoms. Therefore you may have an early presentation.
Top Symptoms: fatigue, abdominal pain , nausea or vomiting, stool changes, constipation
Urgency: Primary care doctor
More About Stool Coloration
The brown color of stool comes from bilirubin, a product produced by the liver when it routinely breaks down old blood cells. Bilirubin then enters the intestines, where it mixes with digested food, enzymes, and gut bacteria. If stool travels through the intestines at a healthy speed, bacteria interact with the stool content and turn it brown. Any changes to this process, such as during illness, can mean that stool is processed differently and will turn out to be a different color.
Breastfed Baby: Bright Green Poop
In babies a week old and older, a green poop, especially one thats bright green, may indicate digestive distress. A foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, caused by oversupply or a fast letdown, may be to blame. This just means that baby is getting too much of the lactose in the foremilk, which can cause an upset tummy. In most cases, babys poop eventually normalizes.
To help fix the problem:
- Make sure baby finishes one side before offering the other
- Try laid-back breast-feeding, which can help with a fast letdown
- Check babys latcha bad latch can be to blame for a milk imbalance
- Consult a lactation consultant if you need help
Other times babies have green poop because they are sensitive to something you are eating . An elimination diet can help you pinpoint or rule out food sensitivities.
Read Also: What Do I Need For A Newborn Baby Checklist
How To Tell If Your Baby Has Pooped
Your babyâs poop may not always smell much, especially in the first few weeks, so how can you tell when a diaper change is needed?
One tell-tale sign is straining: Passing a stool is hard work for small babies. You might notice your little one getting red in the face with the effort of pushing out that poop.
Youâll soon get to know your babyâs facial expression when theyâre having a bowel movement, orâwhen theyâre old enough to stand and walkâthe squatting pose that they adopt when they need to go.
Use our handy Diaper Size and Weight Chart to make sure your baby’s diapers always fit properly.
Other Causes Of Pale Greyish Stools
Medications used for diarrhea can give the stool a pale, greyish color, says Dr. Winkelmann.
Another possible cause is If a baby has had an X-ray procedure using barium . After the procedure, the baby will have several poops that are grey colored.
If your baby has not undergone this procedure, it cant be said enough: Get a doctors appointment as fast as possible.
A poop color that you can honestly describe with the word grey somewhere in there is simply NOT normal and requires a medical evaluation.
Does grey in a babys poop always mean something is wrong?
No, it is not a guarantee. It could be caused by what the baby is ingesting. Discuss this with your pediatrician.
But as long as serious diseases can also cause grey to appear in the poo, this fact qualifies your baby for a visit to the pediatrician to at least hopefully rule out anything serious. Why take a chance?
Dr. Winkelmann, known as Dr. Jacq, has a special interest in sports nutrition for young athletes, teen issues and the opioid epidemic, and baby and infant product consulting. Shes an award-winning pediatrician, national and international speaker and published author.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
Recommended Reading: How Much Sleep Should My Newborn Get
What Does Green Poop In Formula Fed Babies Indicate
Green poop in formula fed babies can be due to:
- The formula that is fortified with iron can cause green poop in babies
- Babies can develop allergies to certain brands of formula milk resulting in green poop. Changing the brand often can trigger green poop in babies
- In a bottle-fed baby, the green poop could also be a sign that they are not tolerating the formula well or maybe are lactose intolerance
Solid Food And The Changes They Bring
When your child begins eating solid food, expect a firmer consistency and a change in the color of your child’s poop, notes Wible.
“How it will change is unpredictable, but it will change,” he says.
In general, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the contents of your baby’s diaper, as long as you keep it in perspective, Steinmetz says. Typical signs of an issue of real concern — blood in the stool, vomiting blood, abdominal distention — are hard to miss.
Still, if an issue is keeping you up at night, don’t hesitate to call your doctor’s office.
Kenneth Wible, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, University of Missouri medical director and pediatric care center section chief, general pediatrics, Childrenâs Mercy Hospitals and Clinics.
Barry Steinmetz, MD, pediatric gastroenterologist, Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, Long Beach, Calif.
Also Check: What To Get For Newborn Baby Gift
How Often Should A Formula
Formula-fed babies tend to have poop thats a bit darker and firmer than breastfed baby poop. Their poop may be the consistency of hummus and color can range from yellow to greenish-brown or tan. Formula-fed babies will likely poop at least once a day if they dont poop for two or more days, it could signal constipation. Equally important is the consistency of babys poop. Log or pellet-like shapes could indicate constipation, Swanson says. Its important to address this with your pediatrician, since constipation could mean an allergy or be a sign that its time to try another brand of baby formula.
What If You See Mucus In Stool
The presence of mucus in the stool is standard in newborns as they pass meconium. Its also seen in babies who swallow their drool. However, mucus can also be caused by a bacterial infection or other trouble in your babys intestines.
As a rule of thumb, you should call your pediatrician if your baby is older than a few days, is not drooling, and has persistent mucus in their stool.
Recommended Reading: How To Clean A Newborn
Can Solid Foods Cause Green Poop In Babies
If you have just introduced solid food to your baby or have changed the food patterns of your baby the poop of the baby can turn green. Once the baby starts to digest new food properly, the poop gets back to its natural color. Also, the color of food baby had can influence the color of baby’s poop. If you give your baby spinach, his or her stool turns green. Just like a carrot puree can make the baby’s stool colored with a tinge of red or orange.
Coffee Spicy Foods And Alcohol
As bile moves through the small intestine to the large intestine, it changes color from green to yellow to brown. This is due to how bacteria in the large intestine acts on bile salts.
Coffee, alcohol, jalapeños, and chili pepper can make you have to poop more quickly. These foods cause a laxative effect that makes food rush through your intestines too fast for it to change from green to brown.
You May Like: How To Grocery Shop With Newborn
Breastfed Babies Green Poop
Breastfed babies can also be affected by green poop. In the beginning after baby’s birth, you first produce low-fat, high-sugar milk, or what’s called foremilk. Eventually, this type of milk transforms into breast milk that’s high-calorie and high-fat, or hindmilk. If baby has short nursing sessions, they may be getting more of that foremilk with less fat and more sugar, which can contribute to stool turning a greenish color. This can also happen if you switch breasts too quickly during feedings.
Poop from breastfed babies can also be mustard yellow or brown and is usually seedy or pasty in texture. It can even be runny enough to resemble diarrhea. Healthy breastfed stools also smell sweet, as opposed to regular stool odor.
Also keep in mind that breastfed babies poop a lot, especially at the beginning. It’s normal for them to have 4-6 bowel movements every day, sometimes even more. As your milk becomes more mature, the frequency of bowel movements may drop off, but this is normal due to your breast milk being so well-balanced for baby’s diet.
What Are The Different Types Of Baby Poop
There are five main types of baby poop: newborn, breastfed, formula-fed, solid-fed, and partially digested. Heres an overview of each type:
- Newborn poop: For the first few days, the poop tends to be tar-like and greenish-black. Some parents describe it as resembling motor oil. The poop then turns a more normal yellow-brown.
- Breastfed poop: Healthy breastfed baby poop is yellow and appears seedy, but can also appear slightly green. It should have more of a creamy, mushy consistency.
- Formula-fed poop: Compared to poop for a breastfed baby, poop for a formula-fed infant tends to be browner in color and denser in texture. Some parents compare it to peanut butter.
- Solid-fed poop: As you introduce solid food into your babys diet, youll notice a change in their poop. The colour will become darker or browner and the consistency will become thicker.
- Partially-digested poop: As your baby starts eating more solid food, you may notice chunks in their diaper. These are normal, as your babys stomach is still getting used to digestion. Your child may also be swallowing food without chewing it properly, which is also normal.
Don’t Miss: When To Call Pediatrician For Newborn
My Baby Has Diarrhoea
Your babys normal, healthy poos will often be mushy and creamy, so its important to recognise the signs of diarrhoea.
These nappies will be runnier and waterier than normal and will often explode out of the nappy completely.
Often a sign of infection, if your baby is younger than three months, or you change more than two or three diarrhoea filled nappies, its a good idea to contact your doctor as this may lead to dehydration.
If Youre Formula Feeding
If your little one is getting all or most of their daily nutrition through formula feeding, after the first few days they may start filling their diaper at least once a day, but itâs not out of the ordinary for them to sometimes go a day or two without a bowel movement. This is OK, provided their stools are soft when they do materialize.
If youâre ever concerned about how many poops your little one is passing, consult your babyâs healthcare provider.
Read Also: How Much Do Newborns Sleep First Week
Is It Normal For Baby To Grunt
If you hear baby making grunting noises, dont fret. Theyre just learning how to have a bowel movement. Infants let out moans and groans as they go their abdominal muscles arent very strong yet, so pooping requires more effort and energy and engages the diaphragm, resulting in some sound effects. Its not uncommon to see babies straining or making faces while theyre at it too. This is completely normal, and doesnt necessarily indicate a problem like constipation.
Babies Toddlers And Older Kids
An infant’s first poops tend to be green to black in color. This is known as “meconium.” It usually stops after they are three days old.
Dark green poop in babies may be caused by iron supplements and iron-enriched foods, like baby formula. If your babys poop looks black or dark, its a good idea to check with your doctor or pediatrician.
If a breastfed baby has green poop, it could be something in the mothers diet, like green veggies or food made with green or purple food coloring. In some cases, it could be that the mother or baby is sensitive or allergic to something in their diet.
Green poop in breastfed babies can be a sign that the baby is getting too much low-calorie, low-fat foremilk and not enough hindmilk, which is higher in fat.
It could also mean that the baby isn’t feeding long enough on each breast. The baby may not be draining the breast enough. Or, there could be an oversupply of breast milk. A lactation consultant may be able to help find the issue.
Kids often eat foods that have food dyes, including green, purple, blue and yellow, or red and blue coloring. They are found in grape Pedialyte and some kids breakfast cereals, drinks, candies, birthday cakes, and cookies.
You May Like: How To Apply For Social Security For A Newborn
When To Visit A Doctor
If your baby is eating normally and doesnt seem sick, changes in the colour and consistency of their poo is most likely normal. However, if you’re worried call PlunketLine, or speak with your midwife or doctor.
Take your baby to a doctor immediately if they show any signs of a rare but serious illness called intussusception. This can include:
- severe tummy pain
- crying and drawing their knees up
- blood in poos, which looks like red current jelly.
Accurate and reliable information about children’s health.
How To Help Baby Poop
Before having a baby, you probably never imagined youd wish for a dirty diaper. But a poop can provide sweet relief for an uncomfortable baby and a worried parent. There are a few common reasons why baby is not pooping: Dehydration, eating starchy foods like bananas, a time shift due to traveling or occasionally an allergy or intolerance. In older babies, especially those on the cusp of potty training, withholding poop can be psychologicalthey may be afraid of the potty or upset over an external issue, like a caregiver change or thrown-off schedule.
Luckily, many at-home remedies to help baby poop are simple, effective and recommended by pediatriciansbut its best to use them only occasionally. I warn parents not to become dependent on a trick to make a baby poop, Swanson says. If its a persistent problem, its something I like to see in the office.
Here are some ideas on how to get a newborn to poop, as well as what to do when an older baby is not pooping .
Bicycle legs. Peddling an infants legs to and from their chest, as if theyre riding a bicycle, can be a gentle way to stimulate your childs digestive system, Swanson says. Older babies generally dont need this trick, since crawling, climbing and pulling up to stand help keep things moving.
Warm bath. The warmth and stimulation of the water can relax muscles and help baby poop.
Veggies. The high-fiber content in vegetables makes them all-stars when it comes to dealing with constipation.
You May Like: How To Help Newborn Sleep Longer At Night
How Does Stool Turn Lime Green With Severe Diarrhea
Bile is a greenish substance secreted from your liver into the digestive tract .
Under normal conditions, bacteria that usually live inside your digestive tract will convert the green bilirubin into a brownish substance called which gives the stool its standard brown color.
With severe diarrhea, the rapid passage of contents of the gut tract will not allow enough time for the bile to turn brown.
Severe diarrhea often manifests with yellow watery diarrhea. In addition, patients with severe diarrhea may pass bright or lime green bile in stool.
What Does Normal Baby Poo Look Like
If you have chosen to breastfeed your baby, a normal, healthy poo will be a yellow/green colour and be mushy or creamy in texture.
Experts often refer to the shade as Dijon Mustard , and advise that it is perfectly normal to spot seed-like flecks these are nothing to worry about.
If youre feeding your baby formula, a normal, healthy poo will be a peanut butter brown colour and a little firmer than that of breastfed babies.
If youre swapping between the two, you might also notice formula-fed poos will be more pungent than breastfed poos.
According to Dr Yiannis Ioannou, Consultant Paediatrician at The Portland Hospital, part of HCA Healthcare UK, all babies are different, so there is no normal.
“Age, diet, and health are the main reasons for changes in babies stool colour. Newborn babies poo is almost black, while older babies tend to have yellow or brown poo.
“Breastfed and formula-fed babies frequently produce yellow or mustard-coloured stools, often with a seedy consistency too. Often formula-fed babies have poos which are slightly more solid than the stools of breastfed babies.
Don’t Miss: How Do I Know If My Newborn Has Acid Reflux
Thick Black Baby Poop
Thick, black stools when your baby is more than 3 days old may indicate bleeding in the digestive tract, which can be dangerous. Contact your pediatrician.
One thing to note: Iron supplements or iron-fortified formula can sometimes cause stool to turn dark brown or black, in which case theres no need to be concerned. Check with your doctor to be sure.
What Does Healthy Baby Poop Look And Smell Like
Healthy baby poop can vary in appearance. Again theres a wide range of normal here. For formula-fed infants, baby poop consistency tends to be about the same as toothpaste, with a tan colour. But its also normal for a formula-fed baby to have green poop.
Breastfed babies typically produce mustard-yellow stool, about the same consistency as actual mustard. Breastfed babies often have white curds in their poop as well, making it look seedy. But depending on what else you give your baby, healthy poop can also be orange, red, green, brown, or even black more on this below.
As for smell, when babies are still in the infant stage, their stool shouldnt smell too bad. Once you begin incorporating solid foods into your babys diet, you may notice a change with regard to odour.
You May Like: When Should You Start Bathing A Newborn