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Newborn Care Topics..

You are here : home > Newborn Care > Bowel and Bladder Movements > Frequency And Texture of Stools

Frequency And Texture of Stools

Frequency And Texture of Stools

Babies very frequently pass stools. This is normal and is no cause of concern. The colour and texture of stools vary in newborns and this is due to various reasons. How to know, what and how much is normal? Read on.

I seem to be obsessed with bowel movements!

The number of bowel movements their newborn has in a single day often surprises parents. How does so much come out of such a tiny creature? What if she has got diarrhoea? Like most things about babies, there is no established pattern for the frequency of bowel movements.

How many bowel movements are normal and what should they look like?

Breastfed newborns may have a movement after every feed, sometimes as many as a dozen a day. The number of movements should decrease progressively over the next month and may dwindle to just one a day, or every other day. Some babies have several movements a day for the entire first year.

It is also normal for breastfed infants to have soft, sometimes even watery stools. Diarrhoea seldom occurs in breastfed babies. Frequent stools that are liquidy, smelly, and may contain mucus, often accompanied by fever and/or weight loss mark the onset of diarrhoea.

Can I tell if my baby is not getting enough food?

Any breastfeeding mother whose newborn has five or more movements daily can be assured that her baby is getting sufficient nourishment. If your breastfed baby has very infrequent bowel movements and is not gaining weight well, check with the doctor. It is possible that she is not getting enough to eat and thus has not much to eliminate.

What is the colour of normal stools?

A newborn baby’s first stools may look greenish-black in colour which is quite normal. It is a sign that the meconium filled in baby’s intestine when she was in the womb is getting cleared. The subsequent stools after first 24 hours of the birth of the baby may also look dark greenish-yellow in colour which is normal as well.

Thereafter, the exclusively breastfeed babies may pass stools that are yellow, brown or green in colour and formula fed babies may pass stools that are brown in colour. Formula fed babies may even pass stools that are black in colour if the formula is iron-fortified. Black stools are also observed in babies who are given iron drops.

When solids are introduced to babies the colour and texture of stools may vary depending on what is fed to her. For example, the stools may look reddish in colour if beetroot is fed to the baby.

What is the texture of normal stools like?

The texture of normal stools passed by exclusively breastfed babies may look pasty or seedy in consistency. Whereas, babies who are formula fed may pass stools that are pasty in consistency.

Can my baby get constipated?

The chance of a baby getting constipated is very low when she is exclusively breastfed. Due to the presence of natural laxative in breastmilk, breastfed babies do not face any problem while passing stools. Babies who are formula fed have more chances of suffering from constipation.

When should I be concerned about my baby’s stools?

If you find that your baby is passing hard stools which look pebbly; it can be a sign of constipation. You must bring it to the notice of your doctor immediately. As mentioned above if your baby is passing stools of liquid-like consistency which are smelly and are accompanied by fever then it can be sign of diarrhoea. You must report to your doctor immediately in this case. If your find blood stains in the stools of your baby, it can be a matter of concern. Such signs should be brought the notice of doctor immediately.

In order to make sure that the baby’s stools are normal and she grows in a healthy manner, she must be breastfed exclusively for the first six months of her life.

You may also be interested in:

Different Types of Stools
Normal Urine Flow
Constipation in Babies
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Shehnaz.9 years ago
this is really very informative article.
Avamommy.9 years ago
my 6 week old baby hasnt had a bowel movement in 2 1/2 days. is this normal. she seems fine in all other ways. what can i do?
reallyagem.9 years ago
feed the baby more fruit juice or fruits to help it go to the bathroom
Seema.9 years ago
occasionally mothers that do use cloth diapers with rubber pants will find a roundish type, pinkish coloured stain right at the seat area of their baby's rubber pants. this is a sign of a runny bowel movement and although the staining cannot be removed, it is a good indication that the child is getting fed properly.
hhamharm.9 years ago
this is to avamommy, you might try gently massaging babys' belly to loosen things up a little bit. i hope this place will be a helpful place where people will hear and gain knowledge from hearing of others' expieriences. i think it is good for new mothers esspecialy but, really for all mothers to have several resources to obtain a diverse selection to turn to. to speak of any obsticles overcome, or to hear some one with the same problem or concern may be if nothing else reasuring to them.
nics.9 years ago
my baby started having black stools when he is already 3 months old. he previously had yellow to light brown stools, thus i eliminated infant formula as the culprit. we stopped giving him his multivitamins but still black stools occur. is this still meconium? he's gaining weight and sleeps well.
Nano.9 years ago
hi .. my baby is 3 month has mucus in her stool since about 3 weeks, she doesent have dearrhea , the stool culture seems normal ,is that normal ?
BRENDA.9 years ago
my son is 31/2 yrs old..he has for the past 3 weeks has had a "bright" greenish blue is firm.. his diet has not changed at all..he is a very picky eater so i know exactly what he eats..and its nothing green..he does drink alot of milk..what is wrong??
Asereht.9 years ago
my 3 month old has had 2 bowel movements in the past 3 days that are very loose and a strange green color. the formula hasn't changed, what does this mean?
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