Dr. Jennifer Trachtenburg, a pediatrician, talks about different types and colors of the baby poop. She explains what to do with the certain stool pattern.
Read the full transcript »
Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg: Bowel movements are part of every baby's normal development and parents are always concerned about, what's normal and what's not. I am Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg, author of Good Kids, Bad Habits, the real age guys to raising help your children, and I'm going to ease parents' fears and concerns about baby food. Babies start having bowel movement within the first 24 hours and its called Meconium. It's is a thick black waste material that's already in their intestine prior to birth and then after the first 24 hours, they are still go to more normal color yellow, green consistency. When you saw me tell a lot of baby from there poop and so that's why parents always concerned in looking into the baby's poop. Certainly if it's hard you can see the baby constipate or may be not getting enough fluid or fiber, stools can help us tell the baby's having issues with malnutrition or malabsorption is there is any type of allergy or infection, so you can get really a lot of information from baby Poop. There is a big difference between stools between a breastfeed baby and a baby that's feed formula. Breastfeed babies typically have what we call seedy yellow mustard eat looking stools, so it's very soft, the consistency of watery scrambled eggs for breastfeed babies. For baby's that are feed formula there stool are usually darker in color, greenish brown and it can be even a thicker consistency more like a peanut butter consistency. The amount of times that newborn poops has bowel movement varies from infant to infant, but in general newborn babies that are breastfeed they may even have a bowel movement with each feed and that's actually from something called the gastro-colic reflex and as they eat and it makes their intestines move forward and they have a bowel movement. So breastfeed baby's typically at the beginning may have a bowel movement with every feed. Formula fed babies usually have bowel movement or poop less often. Again it starts out a few times a day two or three times a day, but as they get older and maybe only one time a day. Certainly a baby can get constipated if they're not taking in a formula or breastfeed then they can't get enough fluid in there system, they are not getting enough fiber, a baby can get constipated and what constipated is also not just not having a bowel movement for a day or two, because as breastfeed baby's get older they may not even actually pass a stool for up to a week and that's normal. What constipation is, is when the stool comes out that is hard and its small its looks like pallet and it can be painful. So its more what it looks like as opposed to the frequency and some times we do need to give baby laxatives and that can either be orally or some times it a suppository, depending on what the baby needs, but first its always important to speak with you pediatrician before giving any type of laxative to your baby. It's certainly very important to look out for Diarrhea in your baby and that's usually watery explosive stools that happen frequently through the day and yes this is very dangerous because the baby suddenly get dehydrated, they are so small, they can get dehydrated quickly. So if your baby's stool patterns is change and its very frequent, and then feeding well its certainly important to speak with your pediatrician. In summary, it's really important to know that there is a wide range of normal when it comes to baby poop, but if you really do see a significant defense in your bowel habits it's really important to contact your pediatrician.