What is it black? What is it yellow? Why can’t I seem to get this poop off my baby’s butt?
You will never be more interested in someone’s bowel movements then when you have a new baby. You know you will have to change their diaper, but it will be so much more! The frequency is different, the colors are different, even the odor is different than you might expect. So what is the scoop on the newborn poop?
FIRST POOP/ MECONIUM
When your baby is born, they will have dark brown/black/ green stools. This bowel movement is called meconium.
Your baby’s first poops are from materials your baby ingested in utero, like skin cells that have been shed, mucus, amniotic fluid, bile, water, and lanugo (those tiny hairs that cover their body).
This poo is also completely smell-less, yet incredibly sticky. It will take about 8 zillion baby wipes and an act of God to rid all the meconium bowels off of your baby’s bottom. Be gentle and don’t be afraid to use lots of wipes.
This type of dark sticky poop only lasts for the first few days and then it will slowly turn into a more mustard like yellow poo that may look like it has sesame seeds in the bowel movement. It can also very possibly look watery and/ or runny.
Your baby may pass their first meconium poo while they’re still inside of you. When this act happens and your “water breaks” during labor, this is called meconium-stained fluid, this will make your fluids appear yellow, green, or even brown. If your baby does pass their first bowel movement in utero, the hospital will have their NICU team standing by to make sure baby doesn’t breathe in the poo filled water. If your baby is doing well, the NICU team heads out of the room, and you continue cuddling with your sweet baby. However, if your baby does seems to have some breathing struggles, the NICU team is ready to help baby out and get baby some great oxygen to help clear out their lungs.
Once your baby is a few days old, and they have been learning to breastfeeding, your newborn’s bowels will turn from the darker black/brown to a yellow appearance and often have what looks like sesame seeds mixed in the poo. The poo also can appear gooey and even watery. If you continue to breastfeed your baby’s poop will remain this mustard appearance until they begin to eat solids. The smell you notice may range anywhere from a sweet smell to a sour odor and may change depending on what the breastfeeding mother has been eating. Breastfed babies typically poop more often than formula fed babies because the mother’s milk moves quicker through their intestines than formula typically does.
FORMULA FED POOP
If you choose to formula feed your baby, their bowels will look more pasty than gooey or watery and can be a darker yellow, tan or even brown in color. Sometimes, babies that can’t quite digest the formula nutrients well, will have more firm poos and possibly have some constipation. If your little one does become slight constipated, you may want to check with their pediatrician to see if you should be giving them a little more formula to boost their liquids to help the stools pass easier. You can also give tummy rubs to encourage the bowels to move easier. The smells you notice with formula fed babies will be of stronger odor typically that only breastmilk babies, and similar to the odor of when they add solids to their diets.
There are so many different things that parents are typically concerned about when it comes to their baby’s bowels so hopefully this list of ideas above helped you gain a little education on the scoop of your newborn’s poop.