Baby Poop 101
It’s something you never thought about until you brought your little one home – but poop is about to become one of your most-talked about subjects. But, what’s normal?
Grunting and grimacing
First-time parents can be alarmed by their newborns grunts and frowns. Some fear that this means pooping is just too hard. But don’t worry, it’s rare for newborns to be truly constipated, especially if they are breastfed babies.
Newborns are commonly ‘grunters’ – unless your child is producing no poop, there’s usually not any need to worry. If your child seems to have pain with grunting, discuss some ways to help with your GP or public health nurse.
When the poop disappears, parents are often quick to become concerned, but in most cases constipation is just a result of a low fibre diet. In newborns and babies not yet eating solid foods, the wrong formula could be to blame.
If your child hasn’t pooped in more than a few days, impacted stool could be to blame. This is when a hard ball of stool forms in the rectum that has become too hard to pass. You should contact your doctor for advice.
Yellow, seedy poop
Poop that looks like mustard seeds is the norm for breastfed babies, but if you are a first-time mom the colour can be off-putting. You may also notice that your baby doesn’t poop every day, or that there is not a lot of poop with each bowel movement. This is common in breastfed babies and not a cause for concern. Breast milk is very easy to digest and often there is little to dispose of because the milk itself is so digestible.
Hard, round poops are the result of constipation. If you notice these in your child’s movements, increase their fibre content, as well as making sure that they are drinking enough water, as this can help return stools to normal, easier-to-pass poops.
When it comes to baby poop, there’s really no such thing as average. Every child has a different routine. If you are concerned about your baby’s bowel habits, consult your GP.