Is my baby pooing normally?
Young mothers often are very concerned that their baby is just not pooing like all the other babies. Normal can mean a whole range of things which can only cause more confusion.
Firstly it depends on whether the baby is bottle or breast fed. A breastfed baby would generally poo every day and when they are under 6 weeks old they will be pooing 4 to 6 times a day! Formula fed babies don’t poo anywhere near as often and can go up to 2 to 4 days in between bowel movements.
Babies who do not poo often can become irritable and go off their feeds. Their stomachs can swell and become firm and bloated. Babies can also start soiling their nappies but not pass a good motion. This is because often the pellets of poo get stuck in their colon and only a small amount of faeces seeps out into the nappy.
A constipated poo is like a clay pellet and can often look like a rabbit dropping. A good baby poo will be the consistency of wet putty. Colours can vary from mustard yellow for breast fed babies to browny green for formula fed babies.
Obviously, no parent or carer wants their baby to be constipated, so again it is important to see your health practitioner if you have any concerns. If your baby is starting to become a little constipated, and the stools look like rabbit droppings then there are some helpful tricks to help. Yet again though it comes down to how old baby is. If the baby is below the age of 4 weeks, you really need to visit your health practitioner for a check over as it would be unusual for a neonate to become constipated. This is because there are many physical causes for constipation in a newborn baby which include cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, under-active thyroid and genetic conditions.
Above the age of 4 weeks, breastfeeding mothers need to make sure the baby is very well hydrated, especially if it has been a hot and humid day. Other remedies that are commonly used are brown sugar in water – so ½ a teaspoon in 30mls of cooled boiled water can be given up to 3 times a day. But if the baby has not pooed after 4 days, the baby should be seen by a doctor.
It is important to also note that young babies below 6 months should not be given any medication without advice from a qualified health professional.
Any change in a breastfeeding mum’s diet will affect their baby’s poo. It is important to stay well hydrated – here in Australia it is important to have at least two litres a day and more when it is really hot. Food wise – high fibre is spot on – lots of fruit and vegetables, try to have at least 5 portions a day.
It can often seem a little funny to be so caught up in a little ones bowel habits but it is completely normal to compare yourself to how everyone else is going.
Below I have included an informative chart about what baby poo looks like at different stages of development.