When you were single, the idea of examining poo was probably as far away from your mind as flying to the moon! But once you enter parenthood, whether you like it or not, smelling for poo and examining it, becomes a very important activity. Changing nappies – can be compared to unwrapping birthday presents: you have a pretty good idea what’s inside, but once in a while, you get a big surprise. So, here’s the low down on the 8 shades of your baby’s poo.
Dark Olive Green/almost black – Baby poo this colour is normal within the first 48 hours after your baby is born. But for older babies, this could mean that they have eaten something dark (like liquorice or dark chocolates), or in very rare cases it could be due to a more worrying reason, that needs to investigated and eliminated. If your baby‘s poo is black and you do not think it’s done to the food they have eaten, see your GP or or speak to your Health Visitor.
Bright red – Again, the colour change may be due to red foods such as beets, raisins, cherries, or even certain medication. If food is not the culprit, your baby’s poo should start to go back to normal, when he has food of different colours. If it doesn’t change within 24 hours, it is a warning sign and you need to consult your GP.
Red streaks – This could be a sign of bleeding around your baby’s anus due to skin breaks around the area when your baby passes large hard stools. This is more likely to appear in babies who are on solids. Babies who are still exclusively on milk don’t tend to have very hard stools. You can help soften your baby’s poo by feeding her apricots, prunes, raisins or any high-fibre food like porridge.
Green – This is normal for breastfed babies during the first 3 months. Babies who are on solids may also have green poo if they eat food that are green, like spinach or broccoli or food high in iron. Green poo may also signal the presence of bile, which can be caused by an intestinal infection. However, in case of an infection, your baby will also exhibit other symptoms apart from the change in the colour of his poo. As long as your baby is comfortable and happy, green is nothing to worry about.
Yellow/ Brown – This is also a normal colour for babies, unless it is watery and accompanied by other symptoms like tummy cramps.
Chalky white – This could mean that your baby’s bile duct is blocked and there is no bile in the liver to digest his food.