What Should You Know About Newborn Stool Color?

What Should You Know About Newborn Stool Color

What Can You Learn About the Baby’s Health from his Stool Color?

Stool color reveals several important facts about your baby’s health. It changes throughout the first year of the baby’s life. It mainly depends on the diet you provide to your child. Baby poop color can indicate whether the baby is healthy or experiencing some health problems. Therefore, you should know why baby poop color changes and what that change indicates. This post will provide comprehensive information on baby stool color. So, continue reading to learn what is normal and what is a concerning situation!

What is Newborn Stool Color and What it Stands for?

The following are baby stool colors, which occur in different conditions:

1. Meconium

Newborn babies poop dark green stool for the first time. It is called meconium. That dark green color occurs mainly due to amniotic fluid which the baby consumes in the womb. It also occurs due to vellus, epithelial cells, bile, sebum, and intestinal secretions baby get in his mom’s womb.  

Newborns may poop dark green meconium after 6-12 hours of the birth. It may take extra time for premature babies to remove meconium. Babies get mother’s milk as their first diet and that meconium is pushed out of the baby’s body. Baby stool color gets lighter as the baby gets older.

2. Transitional stool

Newborns poop transitional poop after 2-4 days of their birth. Poop color slowly changes from dark green to yellow green. If you see this color in the baby’s diaper, understand that your baby is digesting the milk. It is the very first sign that the baby’s digestive system is working fine now.

Baby’s body functions start working properly within the first few days. Breastfeeding moms and formula milk feeding moms see this poop color change within the first four days. It is also a sign that meconium is cleared and baby is relying completely on the milk he consumes.

3. Breastfeeding stool

You may probably know that mother’s milk provides everything a newborn baby needs to grow rapidly. His poop can change into mushy stool after regular intake of breast milk. It will appear golden or light green due to change in the diet.  

Breast milk contains oligosaccharides, which are responsible for stimulating gastrointestinal peristalsis. Some babies poop hard stool and there won’t be any significant odor. Some newborns even poop ointment-like poop without foam. That’s happen because of consuming breast milk. The baby may also release seed-like particles occasionally, but it is not common.   

4. Formula milk stool

If you are feeding formula milk to your newborn baby, his poop color will be earthy yellow. The baby will release a bit dry and rough stool like hard plaster. Some babies find it tough to digest and they may experience health problems. Therefore, moms should avoid formula milk as long as possible.

You should know that the baby is fine, if he releases earthy yellow stool. If the poop has intense smell, it is a sign that you should switch to breast milk. Your baby is facing troubles in digesting that formula milk!

Why Does Newborn Baby Discharge Green Stool?

Newborn babies release green stool due to one of the following reasons:

  • Breastfeeding children discharge greenish poop. Newborns and breastfeeding babies release acidic poop due to bacteria in their intestines, which convert bilirubin into biliverdin. It is quite normal for all newborns and most breast milk-fed children. Your baby will poop greenish stool for a few days and that color will change with his growth.
  • The Baby’s stool also turns green due to cold. Suppose you feed your baby cold milk or his hands and feet get colder, the baby will discharge green stool. You should keep your child warm so that he can stay comfy and fit.
  • Babies can also discharge green stool if they are hungry. The peristalsis of the intestines increases on empty stomach. Consequently, the baby discharges green stool. You should ensure your baby is full and not hungry to change his stool color.
  • Your baby’s stool color can turn greenish if you are feeding him iron-rich formula milk. Newborns cannot digest their food perfectly if they fed iron-rich milk. It turns their stool green and it’s a sign that you should feed him breast milk.

Why Does the Newborn Baby Discharge Black Stool?

If your baby discharges black stool, iron-rich formula milk can be responsible for it. Newborn babies find it quite tough to absorb iron. That unabsorbed iron turns the baby’s poop into dark-black feces.

It is not a concerning condition for the baby. You can either breastfeed your baby or provide vitamin C-rich formulated milk to change stool color. Some babies also poop black stool because of gastrointestinal bleeding. That blood turns green when it goes through the digestive tract. Pediatric doctors ask parents to send stool for test. Thus, they determine what health issue is troubling the baby and then provide perfect cure.

What Most of the Moms Don’t Know About Baby Stool?

Pregnant ladies prepare for everything before becoming a mother. They learn about how to take care of the child, what to do and what to avoid. However, only a few mothers learn about baby’s poop and what it indicates. It is quite important to know because it tells a lot about the baby’s health and his diet. Continue reading if you want to learn about baby’s stool and how it changes.

1. Meconium

Even a newborn baby has feces accumulated in his intestine. It is known as Meconium, which gets within the first four days. Your newborn baby will discharge dark green stool within the first 12 hours. This process will continue for the next few days.

The baby can discharge black or dark green stool for the first few days!

It will be quite sticky!

Hence Meconium contains epithelial cells and amniotic fluid, it does not smell. It even doesn’t contain excess impurities and therefore no weird odor!

2. Stool discharged by breastfeeding child

Babies, who consume only breast milk, defecate more than formula milk fed children. Mother’s milk has a laxative effect and therefore the baby can defecate 8-12 times in a day. Newborn babies can easily digest mother’s milk. Their body can easily absorb all the essential nutrients obtained from the mother’s milk. The baby may poop daily or once or twice in a day if he is a few weeks old.

The baby will release pale green stool occasionally, but yellow or golden yellow most of the time!

Breastfeeding newborn babies release ointment-like stool or sometimes too thin!

There might be slightly sour odor or no odor at all!

3. Formula milk-fed baby stool

Formula milk is usually prepared from the cow’s milk. It contains more protein than the breast milk. Therefore, baby’s stool can turn grey yellow due to regular intake of formula milk. The baby will discharge stool once or twice in a day! It is not the best meal for your baby though. You should feed only breast milk to the baby if you want to make him fit and healthy.

Stool color will be light yellow or grayish!

Your baby will discharge a bit drier and harder stool than feces released by breastfed babies!

Baby stool will have a bit distinct smell due to excess protein content!

4. Baby stool after adding complementary food to the diet

Defecation frequency slowly decreases as the baby starts eating complimentary food. Newborn babies cannot digest food which adults eat. They consume only milk until then. Parents should start offering complementary food if the child is 1 year old. Once a day is enough for a 1-year old child. The baby will consume more as he grows older.

The baby will discharge brown or yellow stool most of the time. Stool’s color and shape will change as the baby consumes more complimentary food.

Stool smell will get intense due to diversified meal of the baby at this age. The smell can change frequently depending on what your baby consumes.

The baby will poop 1-2 times in a day.

Why Type of Baby Stool is a Sign of a Health Issue?

Your baby is healthy and there is nothing to worry if he has brown, yellow, green, or golden stools. These colors will change during the first year of the baby’s life. However, you should be alert and notice the way baby poops. The following four types of stools are a sign of a health issue:

Off-white: If the baby’s stool looks like chalk or its color is off-white, it can be a sign of a health issue related to gallbladder or your baby’s liver!

Blood red: If your baby’s stool color is blood red, it can be a sign of bleeding in your baby’s lower gastrointestinal tract. If you have a baby girl, do not presume that it is false menstruation. Go to the pediatric doctor to diagnose the health problem and treat it quickly.

Dark black: Dark black stool can also occur due to gastrointestinal bleeding!

Green stool with mucus: It is a sign of viral infection and your baby needs medical attention!


If your baby has diarrhea or severe constipation, you should take him to the hospital. Quick examination can and proper treatment will comfort your child.

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