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A Complete Guide to Baby Poop

Changing a diaper? Pay attention! Baby poop can tell you a lot about the health of your child. Besides, it's your job.

Whether it’s white baby poop, green baby poop, yellow baby poop, white baby poop, newborn baby poop, morning poop, night poop, breastfed baby poop, a long-held poop, or formula-fed baby poop, there’s a rumor that dads can’t deal with dirty diapers. That’s a really shitty thing to suggest. Diapers are a thing you change and baby poop, a thing you have to deal with. No one every suggested it would be pleasant.

The truth is that baby poop and dirty diapers are disgusting to everyone — even your resilient spouse who secretly wants to puke during changes but never admits it. New parents don’t get a pass for being grossed out and everyone has to clean up their exploding babies. Still, parents can conquer their fear of dirty diapers by getting to know thy enemy: baby poop. No matter how brutal the load lurking beneath those diapers tabs may be, here’s what parents need to know about what they’re up against.

A Baby Poop Timeline

From infancy to potty training your sweet little nugget will be squeezing out their own on the regular. Look for about 10 a day for the first 2 months. Then about 4 a day from month 2 to 4. Those numbers are rough — it is normal for the number of poops to fluctuate wildly.

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The first baby poop is call meconium — and it is indeed a special one.

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The First Baby Poop

It’s called meconium and it’s brownish-green and super sticky. It contains swallowed amniotic fluid as well as the little hairs and waxy coating that protected your kid in the womb. And no way are you allowed to get grossed out by that.

Whether breastfed or formula-fed, the months when baby does not eats solids leads to baby poop that is mustard-colored and sweet smelling.

The Next Several Hundred Baby Poops

Between months 2 and 4, things get a little bit more colorful. That color will be different based on whether or not your kid is breastfed or formula-fed. In general, their cute little feculence is a shade of mustard-y taupe, but a bit darker for formula kids. The color of Grey Poop-on, perhaps.

Breastfed baby’s stool smells “sweeter” than a formula-fed baby’s stool. But both are somewhat grainy and loose with little milk-fat curds. Think, cottage cheese. Actually, no. Don’t think that.

Green baby poop? Orange baby poop? You’ll see it all once you introduce solids — assuming you give them a colorful variety of foods.

Green Baby Poop and Life After Solids

Once you’ve started giving the kid mashed banana and apples and cheerios, their poop will change. The biggest difference will be in color as their crapola takes on a hue more familiar to what you’re used to brown.

Don’t be surprised if these poops start getting even more colorful. Babies don’t have super long digestive tracts, so the transit time of what goes in their face is pretty short. You might see things show up fairly intact. Orange carrots. Green peas. Don’t be alarmed, unless there are purple horseshoes for no apparent reason.

The defining characteristic of toddler poops is, sorry, the smell.

Toddler Poops

At this point the mushy stools are going to get more solid and loaf-like. The consistency of their waste is what’s important here. Watery? That’s diarrhea. Dry and crumbly? You’re looking at constipation.

Sadly, this is when the smell starts really becoming a factor. You know your little nugget is growing up when their own little nuggets start smelling like the men’s restroom after your senior VP takes some time in the stall with the latest issue of the Wall Street Journal.

Black baby poop can be a sign of digested blood. Call your doctor.

Worrisome Baby Poop

There are circumstances when your kid’s poop is cause for actual concern. If you open the diaper and see any of the following, get the pediatrician on the phone:

  • White Poop: Your kid could be having trouble producing bile, or have an infection.
  • Black Poop: Might be a sign of digested blood. Never a good sign.
  • Red Poop: Your kids stool should never be red (unless they’ve been eating lots of beets), streaks of red especially indicate bleeding.
  • Mucusy Poop: If you see mucus-type substances in your kids poop it could be a sign of infection.
  • Up-The-Back Blowouts: These are almost always indicative of diarrhea. Diarrhea is particularly bad for newborn babies (and anyone sliding into first).

Unless beets were on the menu, your kids stool should never be red.