Breastfed Baby Poop: How is It Different?

Table of Contents

Breastfed Baby Poop

Table of Contents

During your baby’s early life, you may worry about their health and if they are sensitive to breastmilk or formula. Your baby may pass tar-like poop a few days after delivery. 

A healthy, breastfed baby’s poop is seedy but runny and brownish, green, or yellow. Meconium, the stool passed after birth, disappears within days. 

What is normal breastfed baby poop?

What is Normal Breastfed Baby Poop like?

Your baby’s eating and pooping routines are still developing. Parents or caregivers can tell if a baby is healthy and getting enough food by monitoring their stool. 

To monitor a baby’s poop, observe their usual pattern. If this pattern changes, it may indicate a problem or a change in the baby’s or breastfeeding mother’s diet.

Can You Breastfeed With Nipple Piercings: Related Issues

1. Color

Normally, breastfed baby poop is light-to-medium yellow, green, or brown. Some babies have yellowish or whitish seed-like crumbs in their stool. The color of baby poop tends to be fairly bright which might cause some caregivers or parents to worry about their baby having diarrhea. This is a common worry especially when the meconium transitions to normal poop.

The color of breastfed baby poop must not be very dark after the passing meconium. Therefore, black poop can be the signal of an issue.

2. Texture

The texture of normal breastfed baby poop is occasionally runny and soft. Runny poop is not an issue as long as your baby is being fed well and has no other issues like bloody stool. Certain breastfed baby poop looks like grains or seeds floating in fluid or water. This is absolutely normal.

Babies fed with baby formula usually have thicker poop. If your baby is being fed with baby formula or breastmilk, their poop might be thicker and may resemble peanut butter. Breastfed babies may sometimes have mucus in their stool which is not a cause of concern. It is abnormal for their stool to be very hard or have the consistency of adult poop because this may indicate that your baby is constipated. On the other hand, a watery poop might indicate diarrhea.

3. Smell

Normal breastfed baby poop has a very mild smell. Some caregivers and parents fail to notice an odor at all while some say it smells like cheese or milk. If your baby is formula-fed along with breastmilk, the scent of poop could be strong. When your baby transitions to solid food, the smell of poop might get stronger and more unpleasant.

4. Frequency

During the first 6 weeks of your baby’s life, there could be frequent bowel movements that show that they are being fed enough food. Many babies pass stool 2 to 5 times per day or after being fed. If your baby is passing poop less than that or if they do not poop for most days it means they may not be getting enough breastmilk. Then you need to breastfeed your baby more frequently or you could consult a lactation consultant to assess milk supply.

For babies older than 6 weeks, their pooping schedule may vary. Some might poop daily right after being fed while others poop only a couple of times every week. Caregivers and parents may want to pay attention to the baby’s normal pooping routine. Any sudden and/or unexplained change is a warning of an issue such as constipation even though it is a rare occurrence in breastfed babies.

How Baby Poop May Change With Solid Foods

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests introducing solid foods once your baby is about 6 months of age and shows signs of being ready to eat solids. You need to continue breastfeeding even after introducing solid foods. On a solid food diet, your baby’s poop will change and will resemble the food that they consumed recently. Some unusual but harmless colors that caregivers and parents might use are:

  • Blue: If your baby eats food with blue food coloring or naturally blue-colored foods such as blueberries, their poop will be blue.
  • Green: When your baby eats large amounts of vegetables or any green foods, your baby will pass stool that is green in color.
  • Orange: Babies eating foods rich in beta carotene such as carrots will pass poop that is orange in color.

Breastfed baby poop can feature a streak of different colors like black, white, green, red, orange, yellow, and brown.

  • Brown: Brown or orange poop is normal in babies fed with baby formula.
  • White: White-colored poop is a sign of a liver issue and you need to seek immediate medical attention for your baby.
  • Yellow: Yellow poop is normal for breastfed babies.
  • Red: Red-colored poop is blood residue in poop and medical advice needs to be sought.
  • Black: Black poop is normal in newborns who are under 1 week of age. Black poop in older babies may indicate internal bleeding.

When to See a Doctor About Baby Poop

It is not unusual for your breastfed baby’s poop to change from day to day. These variations do not typically indicate any issues. However, it is advisable to get medical attention if,

  • Your baby is too old for meconium but is passing black stool
  • Your baby’s poop is extremely pale as it may indicate liver or pancreatic issues
  • Your baby has stopped pooping according to their usual poop schedule and appears to be in pain or constipated
  • Your baby seems to have diarrhea for more than a day, more so if they are not eating well
  • Your baby’s poop is very hard for a consistent amount of time even with frequent baby formula or breastmilk

Caregivers and parents need to get in touch with a pediatrician right away if their baby has poop with bright red streaks or has blood in them.

The Bottom Line: How is Breastfed Baby Poop Normal?

Breastfed baby poop changes as the baby grow. The changes could be random and the baby’s, as well as the mother’s eating habits, affect the baby’s poop. However, fret not because we have brought you the red and green signals of normal breastfed baby poop.

Green signals? Blue, green, orange, or brown. This colored poop occurs because of the food coloring, presence of carotene, or green vegetables. Red signals? Black, yellow, red, and white as these could indicate liver issues, blood in stool, diarrhea, and constipation. Black poop in babies under 1 week of age is fine as it is meconium but babies older than that are at risk if they pass black stool.

Breastfed Baby Poop FAQs:

1. How often should a breastfed baby poop?

Under general guidelines, a breastfed newborn should poop at least 5 to 12 times a day. They should poop almost after every feeding for a few weeks after which the frequency will lower to 3 to 4 times a day. Babies who are older than 6 weeks may poop even fewer times like maybe once a week.

2. Why do breastfed babies poop more?

Breastfed babies’ poop schedules depend on their unique development but, indeed, they poop more often than babies who are fed on baby formula. Immunoglobulins present in breastmilk are the reason for the breastfed babies’ frequent poop times.

3. Why is my breastfed baby not pooping as much?

If you feed your baby only breastmilk, they may not poop every day as their body uses up almost all the constituents of breastmilk for nutrition. There remains very little to be excreted out. After the first six weeks, they may go a week or two without pooping.

4. Do breastfed babies have explosive poops?

By the age of 10 days, babies who are breastfed will have yellow-colored poop. It is, however, common to have ‘explosive’ poops which may take you by surprise because it may happen during a nappy change.

5. Who poops more formula-fed babies or breastfed babies?

Breastfed babies poop more than formula-fed babies. They have a liquid stool with some or no bowel movements for several days or even weeks.
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