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What Does This Baby Poop Mean?


One of the, um, joys of parenthood is changing diapers and always being in the know about your baby's fecal output. Your baby's poop can vary wildly in color, smell, and consistency; it can also provide clues into her diet, health, and more.

Click through our poop guide to see what your baby's poop says about her! Warning: While this gallery doesn't contain any images of actual baby poop, it might not be the best lunch-time reading!

Also, of course: If you see any concerning poop, call your doctor, stat. This is not medical advice.

1. Looks like: Tar or Dark Molasses (Greenish-Black and Sticky)

a jar of dark looking tar

Newborn poop, aka meconium, is thick, dark, and super-sticky. It consists of blood cells, amniotic fluid and other things ingested while in utero, and is mostly odorless. Expect it to pass in about three days; then your baby will begin to produce poop that is less sticky and more of an army green color. That transition is a sign that your baby's digestive system and intestines are working correctly.

2. Looks like: Pureed Mustard Seeds (Yellowish/Greenish and Seedy)

yellow seeds and puree

According to WebMD, this is the norm for a breastfed baby. It might at times be quite runny—your baby is on a liquid diet, after all—but there's not much odor. Newborns might poop as many as six or eight times a day. This number will decrease as your little one's body becomes more efficient at processing your perfectly-balanced milk.

3. Looks like: A Spinach Smoothie (Green and Frothy)

a green smoothie

If you find something that looks like this in your breastfed baby's diaper, it may be a sign that your little is getting too much of the low-calorie foremilk and not enough of the fatty, high-calorie hindmilk. To remedy this situation, begin nursing your baby on the same side you finished on during the previous feeding. It might also indicate a dairy sensitivity. Talk to your pediatrician to be sure.

4. Looks Like: Peanut Butter (Tan and Thick)

peanut butter on toast

Formula-fed babies tend produce this kind of stool, per Similac. Both are totally normal and nothing to be concerned about. Formula-fed babies usually poop less than their breastfed peers, but their poop is a little more stinky.

5. Looks Like: Cooked Kale (Dark-Green or Black)

cooked kale

Babies receiving iron supplements can have this kind of poo, which might smell quite strongly of iron. If your baby is not on iron and deposits dark stool in his diaper, call your doctor ASAP.

6. Looks Like: Split Pea Puree (Greenish-Brown)

split pea soup

Generally speaking, this is introduction-to-solids poo. Your baby's diaper output will continue to change as he transitions to more table foods. Although the changes in color might seem like reason for alarm, it's just an indication of how quickly the food was processed, says WebMD: the yellow stool of newborns means it moved quickly, green is slower, and brown slower still. If you're seeing greenish-brown poop and your baby is not on solids, watch for symptoms of illness and ask your doctor.

7. Looks Like: Pureed Lentils or Peanut Butter (Tan or Brown and Thick)

puree lentil soup

Babies eating a consistent diet of table foods have this kind of poop. It's smellier than the stuff your baby produced when she was on a purely liquid diet. You might also notice some pieces of her lunch if your baby has moved beyond purees to finger foods. There's no need to worry about this unless your baby consistently has identifiable undigested food in her diaper; if so consult your doctor, who can make sure your baby's system is properly absorbing nutrients.

8. Looks Like: Split Pea Soup (Yellow, Green, or Brown, and Liquidy)

a bowl of pea soup

Diarrhea is watery, often stinky, and explosively messy, particularly for babies who usually blow it out their diapers. Diarrhea is a sign of infection of illness, and untreated it can lead to dehydration. A diarrhea diaper or two in an older baby isn't necessarily a cause for concern, according to Similac, but call your doctor if your baby is three months or younger, or has more than a few diarrhea-filled diapers. Any sign of blood in a diaper also warrants a call to your pediatrician.

9. Looks Like: Pebbles or Stones (Dark Brown and Hard)

a stack of black smooth stones

A constipated baby produces hard, pebble-y poop. It's not uncommon for babies starting on solids to have some constipation. You might even see a tiny amount of blood if your baby is really straining to go. Speak to your doctor if the problem persists beyond a few diapers; constipation can also be a sign of intolerance or allergy to milk, soy milk protein, or something in your breast milk caused by food you're eating.

10. Looks Like: Ketchup or Hot Sauce (Reddish and Bloody)

a bottle of red ketchup

A diaper displaying reddish, bloody poop could mean three things. If it's normal poop with blood, your baby might be suffering from a milk allergy. If it's constipated poop with blood, she might have made tiny tears in her anus from straining out the stool. Diarrhea poop with blood could be a sign of a bacterial infection. Always call your doctor if you see any blood in your little one's diapers.

11. Looks Like: Black Sesame or Poppy Seeds in Stool (Digested Blood)

a glass of water

Black blood in poop could mean that your baby is swallowing blood as the result of nursing from mama's bleeding nipples. It doesn't pose a threat to the baby. But if you're not breastfeeding or having any nipple soreness, black blood in stool might mean your baby is having some intestinal bleeding. Give your doctor a call.

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