- Baby Poop: What's Normal?
- Baby`s Poop Color
- Impurities in the Stool
- Baby`s poop in Case of Breastfeeding
- Baby`s Poop in Case of Formula-Fed Babies
Baby Poop: What's Normal?
The notion of a "normal bowel movement of a nursing infant" is treated ambiguously in Pediatrics, and has a wide range of standards. The general, the feces analysis of newborns and infants include such indicants as: color, texture, smell, the presence of various impurities. These indicants may vary for different reasons.
As a rule, they do not bear evidence of any serious diseases. Changes in the feces are usually associated with the type of feeding of a child, the period of adaptation of his digestive system to the new conditions. Still, the very first sign of any disorder in infant’s health is not baby`s feces, but his general state.
Baby`s Poop Color
Infants` feces may have different color: bright yellow, orange, light yellow, light green, dark green, light brown. And all these "rainbow colors" are within the norm. What determines the color of the feces?
- Feeding Type. If a baby is fed with breast milk, his poop will be greener.
- Sensitivity to a medication. It can be antibiotics, medicines, which have dyes, iron or activated carbon in their composition. After taking the drugs, the poop can become much darker than usual. The "Awesome" black poop of infants after drugs should not care if a baby feels good.
- Complementary feeding. With the introduction of complementary foods, feces become greener. This is due to the high concentration of bile.
- Poor digestion of breast milk. In this case, the baby`s poop will either green or orange.
- Sensitivity to bilirubin. Bilirubin is a bile pigment in yellow-brown color, which appears because of the destruction of blood proteins. The physiologic jaundice occurs in 70% of newborns and goes away without any treatment. Bilirubin is excreted from the body of a child with urine and feces. Therefore, yellow, brown, orange poop of infants often occurs during the first month of his life.
- Poop discoloration (white feces). It can be a dangerous symptom of hepatitis. This contagious disease in newborns and babies in the first year of life is rare, but has a poor prognosis.
- Dysbacteriosis. Light colored poop is possible in case of imbalance of the intestinal microflora of a baby. Feces becomes whitish while teething.
If your child has only a changing color of the feces, while the texture, the smell, the presence or absence of impurities remain the same, then most likely the problem is in the type of feeding, and not in any serious indigestion.
The following picturesque metaphors are widely started: "sour cream stool consistency "," pea soup stool "," mustard stool consistency", "doughy stool". It's all about normal stool in children up to one year. The following description is also possible: liquid, watery stool. This consistency (as opposed to the feces of children after a year and adults) is also considered a normal variant. After all, children get only liquid dairy food for the first six months of their life. How to distinguish liquid stool from diarrhea of a baby?
It can be done on the following grounds:
- The poop is not just liquid but watery;
- The frequency of bowel movements increases significantly;
- The smell of feces is quite unpleasant;
- It has an expressive yellow or green color;
- The increase of temperature takes place;
- There is much mucus, foam or blood streaks;
- Weakness and lethargy.
If a child has a liquid stool mixed with mucus or foam, you need to look at the state of the baby. If the baby gains weight, sleeps and awakes when it is necessary, don't worry. Poor sleep and appetite, colic and wind, moodiness, fever – all these indicants are a good reason to see a doctor.
Impurities in the Stool
Babies` poop can be heterogeneous, with various admixtures.
- White lumps in feces of infants. These are just particles of the hard milk curds. If there are too many of them — the baby overeats, his digestive system is unable to cope with the volume of food at feeding, it does not produce sufficient enzymes. Typically, such babies gain weight norm rapidly, and sometimes they even surpass it. The indigested food in the feces of a child may also appear after the beginning of the complementary feeding. This can be particles of indigested fiber.
- Mucus. The presence of a small quantity of mucus in the stool is the physiological norm. It is present in the stool of all children and adults. However, if an inflammatory process starts in the body, it can increase massively. The emergence of mucus may have different causes: an incorrect breastfeeding attachment, an inappropriate infant formula, the premature introduction of complementary foods, atopic dermatitis, allergies, intestinal infections, sensitivity to medications, lactase and gluten deficiency, goiter.
- Foam. Most often the foam in Calais — violation of functional, not associated with any abnormalities and serious diseases. Diarrhea of infants is often with foam. Its common cause can also be wind and colic of a infant, the sensitivity to anti-colic medications, food allergies. The abundant foam can be a symptom of intestinal infections, dysbacteriosis.
- Blood in the feces. This is already more serious symptom, which requires monitoring and treatment by a doctor. The reasons may be the following: rectal fissures, atopic dermatitis, allergic to cow's milk protein, inflammation of the intestines, lactase deficiency, intestinal pathology, polyps, helminth infestation, lack of vitamin K. Streaks or blood red clots in the stool can indicate bleeding from the lower parts of the digestive system.
When you see the impurities, you should monitor the general state of the child. If the temperature increases, the child loses appetite and weight, a visit to a doctor cannot be postponed.
Baby`s poop in Case of Breastfeeding
The baby`s poop while breastfeeding will vary depending on the nutrition of a lactating mother and maturation of the digestive system of a baby.
Breast milk has a laxative effect. Once the baby starts suckling, his feces is softened, becoming of the greenish color and much thinner than meconium. About the fifth day of life, the feces, which has consistency and color of mustard or of a thick pea soup, appears. The sour smell of a baby`s poop indicates the milk type of feeding. Sometimes it can be more pronounced, sometimes less. If the sour smell is added by a foamy and watery stool, it may indicate a dysbacteriosis or a lactase deficiency. The green liquid stool while breastfeeding is also the norm. This type of poop is called "hungry" by some pediatricians and experts on breastfeeding. In this case, the baby sucks only front low-fat milk, not getting to the rear one, which is fat and nutritious. To avoid this problem, it is recommended to keep baby near one breast for a long time and don't rush to change the breast at one feeding.
In case of breast feeding, a baby will empty the bowel at every meal. It can go on during the first month. The stool frequency of a two- months-old baby can be reduced to 4 times, the baby can start to poop in a day or two. This is due to the enzymatic crisis in the digestive system of infants. During the same period, the breast milk is updated. New enzymes, which help digest more complex composition of milk, is gradually produced in a baby. This may last for several weeks. The baby can act up in this period, actively sucking breast or abandon it; colic and wind appear. If a child poops in three days without any aid or discomfort, then it is his personal feature. The delay of stool in this case is not considered to be constipation.
Baby`s Poop in Case of Formula-Fed Babies
The poop of formula-fed babies may change when you shift to another infant formula and in the process of maturation of the digestive system.
The color of feces at a kid depends on the composition of the infant formula, it can be yellow, pale yellow and even brown. The green liquid stool of formula-fed babies can be associated with the introduction of complementary foods or transfer to another infant formula. The consistence of feces of a newborn will be denser. This is due to the fact that, unlike breast milk, infant formula does not have a laxative effect and it is digested much longer. The odor of feces is also different: It is more edgy and expressed.
The poop of formula-fed babies is sometimes irregular due to its density. Fecal masses can long remain in the intestine and harden. This leads to constipation. If a kid does not poop for 24 hours, it is already a sign of a stool retention, which cannot be said about a breastfed child. In general, formula-fed babies poop less frequently. You should not let frequent shift to another infant formula. This may cause a stool delay or retention or, conversely, a liquid stool. The body of the baby need time to adapt to the new composition of the infant formula, so the transition should be smooth, within a week.
What should be the poop of a newborn and an infant? It should be regular and independent. The feces should be of a soft consistency to provide a painless defecation. If the poop of the baby gets much mucus, foam, blood streaks, you should consult your doctor.