How much poop should we expect, what color is normal and what can poop tell us about the health of our baby?
Baby’s first poop should come within 24 hours of birth and is called meconium. This poop is black, tarry and difficult to clean.
Day 2 of life baby should have 2 stools that begin to look less black and more of a greenish color. This poop contains a mixture of leftover meconium and digested colostrum.
From about 3 days old until 6 weeks we should see 3 poops per day (a bit larger than the size of a quarter) and the poop should be yellowish/orange in color.
We expect to see 3 poops a day at 3 days old until 6+ weeks. This tells us our baby is getting enough milk. After 6 weeks+ some babies begin to go a few days between stools and this can be normal. However, baby should still be making 6-8 very wet diapers in 24 hours. Anything less than 6 very wet diapers can be a red flag that baby is not getting enough milk.
Three days after birth and on, the color of the poop doesn’t vary as much. Anything from a bright yellow or dark mustard color to even greenish in color is in the normal range. Some poops are seedy looking and some are smooth like hummus. Both are normal.
I’m often asked if greenish color poop is normal. Some babies have occasional green poop and it’s nothing to be concerned about. However, green poop can sometimes give us important information about our baby’s health. If your baby is gaining weight appropriately and seems to be acting normal, green poop is not worrisome. If you’re baby’s poop is consistent, abundant, frothy and/or slimy looking, this can be a sign that mom has an oversupply of milk. The milk is consumed so quickly and moving so fast through the digestive tract that it comes out green and slimy. An oversupply of milk can sometimes cause gas and discomfort for baby. (Contact me for tips to help with an oversupply).
Green poop can also be a sign that baby is fighting a virus or infection. If you see specks or red in the green poop, this could mean baby has an allergy or intolerance to something in the milk. Common culprits are dairy and soy.
If your baby is over 3 days old and having 3+ yellowish poops a day, this is a great sign that breastfeeding is going well. If baby’s poop is green we need to look at the overall health of baby. Is this a sudden change in color? Is she having trouble gaining weight? Is she fussy and irritable? Does she seem uncomfortable throughout the day? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, we will need to dig deeper into why baby is having green poop. If the answer is no, I’m not worried about green poop and you shouldn’t be either!