Medical City Healthcare - March 31, 2023

Infants don’t come with a manual, so parents often have to get creative to try and figure out what’s going on with baby. One of the ways to learn about your baby’s health is by looking at their poop color and texture. This can provide clues to help you decide if it’s time to call the doctor or put baby down for a nap. Here’s the scoop on baby poop by the colors.

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Normal baby poop colors

Normal, healthy baby poop spans a rainbow of colors that include shades of orange, yellow, green and brown. These differences in color and shade depend on a variety of factors, including what your baby ate or drank and any medications or supplements they may be taking. How often your baby poops isn’t as important as the consistency of the poop, which should be soft enough to pass easily but not too runny.

Orange Poop

Both breastfed and bottle-fed babies may have orange poop. The color occurs from pigments picked up in your baby’s digestive tract.

Yellow Poop

Yellow poop is totally normal in breastfed babies and is seen less often in bottle-fed babies. It may even look like mustard was squirted in the diaper! For older children, an occasional shade of yellow is fine. Let your pediatrician know if it persists and is associated with tummy pain or diarrhea, as this could be a sign of irritation, inflammation or infection in the intestines.

Green Poop

Green poop can be normal as long as your baby is gaining weight and developing. Green poop can also mean that the stool moved through your child's intestines faster than normal, so you may see green poop after your baby has eaten a lot of healthy, high-fiber foods, such as broccoli and other green veggies, or if your child has had a touch of a stomach bug, perhaps even with diarrhea. Sometimes the green color (which can look grass green or even neon green) may be from the dye in a food or beverage or from iron supplements.

Brown Poop

Just like the popular poop emoji, brown poop is normal in both breastfed and bottle-fed babies. You’ll likely start seeing more solid, brown stools as your child reaches toddlerhood.

Concerning baby poop colors

The following baby poop colors may indicate a serious health problem and you should call your pediatrician just to be safe. In addition to your baby’s poop color and consistency, look for other signs that something may be wrong. Any time your baby has trouble breathing, a high fever, fewer wet diapers, is crying inconsolably or is lethargic and unable to be awakened, seek emergency medical care immediately.

Red Poop

Red poop can sometimes indicate blood, so check with your pediatrician to make sure it isn't anything serious. If your baby is constipated, the hard stool may cause a tear on the inside of the anus and this may produce some blood. Your pediatrician may recommend using prunes, fluids, and other dietary changes to soften the stools and see if the blood disappears. Red poop can also result from antibiotics, food, or drink that may bind with iron, causing the stool to look red. Finally, some foods and drinks, such as beets or red juice, can turn the stool a pretty (or scary) shade of red. If the red stools continue or you haven’t recently introduced red foods into your baby’s diet, call your pediatrician.

Black Poop

Black, tar-like poop, known as meconium, is normal in the first few days of life. An occasional darker-than-normal stool that doesn't contain blood is often simply caused by your child's diet, vitamins or even a bit of constipation. True black poop, though, may be a sign that blood has entered your baby’s gastrointestinal tract. Call your pediatrician if your baby has dark black poop, as they will want to check the stool for blood and further evaluate if necessary.

White Poop

One white stool may be okay if it’s caused by something unusual your child ate. However, white, chalky poop may mean that your baby isn’t producing bile (which gives poop its characteristic color). This could indicate a serious liver or gallbladder problem and you should call your pediatrician.

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tags: baby