Ahh- babies… little bundles of joy, little sweet human beings that you just wanna hug and squeeze and lova-dove-dove…ew! What is that smell?! Oh, yeah- babies poop, too, a lot. Yuck! Hey, while you’re changing that diaper, you may as well check out that little poop that is stinking up the whole house, since your baby’s poop says a lot. Find out what your baby’s poop color really means.
Black poop in your newborn baby is a pretty normal thing the first few days after you bring them home. Black poop is your baby getting rid of a lot of excess nutrients and junk, and that thick tarry goop is a little gift from Heaven. After the first few days, though, that black poop could mean that your baby is bleeding internally (like how in adults tarry poop means a bleeding ulcer). To find out if you should be concerned, place a piece of paper over the poop so you get a tiny smear, then hold the smear up to the light. If it’s dark green rather than black, you should have no worries. Speaking of green poop…
Dark green/green baby poop means that your baby is a good old-fashioned breastfed baby. After that, it usually means your baby is getting their greens, like spinach. If you don’t breastfeed your baby and they’re not into solids yet, then the cause may be something more serious for your baby’s green poop- it could be an infection in your baby, made known by the bile (that is green in stool) in your baby’s poop. You may want to see your pediatrician, particularly if your baby is not updated on vaccines or appears to be ill.
Bright red poop looks scary (like clay) but it means that your baby has been given beets for dinner, or some other red-dye type of food. It doesn’t mean that your baby is bleeding (that shows up more in the black or red streaky poop). If you have recently given your baby anything red to eat, then voila! Colored poop – if not, then call your pediatrician, since red poop is normal but not if you are only milk-feeding your baby.
Yellowish brown poop is a sign that your baby may have irritable bowel syndrome, particularly if your baby has watery poop and cries a lot and has a lot of gas. See your pediatrician if your baby seems to get constipated or have watery poop a lot that is this color – stress may be messing up their digestion and making your baby uneasy. Listening to calming music, keeping a quieter home, or allowing your baby to rest in a calm area can keep their poopy woes at bay. This should cure itself within a week or so.
Poop with red streaks can mean constipation. Your poor baby is tearing their anus by trying to poop, and you’ll notice the poop is hard little rock-looking stools. See your pediatrician to see if giving your baby prune juice or other methods to cure their constipation (and to make sure the red streaks are blood from constipation) is OK. The red streaks are from tears in your baby trying to pass tough stools, and your pediatrician can help find out what is giving your baby such a hard time trying to poop.
What about white/gray poop? This odd-colored poop is usually a sign of a baby on a milk diet and how their stools often look. But call your pediatrician if the poop is also really greasy and stinks to high Heaven- this could mean a sensitivity or intolerance to gluten, which can be very serious in both babies and adults. Your doctor can tell you for sure.
Real Age: 7 Poop Colors and What They Mean