You’ve paid your diaper-duty dues and changed your sister’s baby, friends’ kids and those adorable twins you used to babysit … and although you probably remember how gross and awkward it was to change those diapers, it’s harder to recall exactly what was in them. Things are about to change, though, as you peer into your own babe’s bum-wrap.
Your baby’s first bowel movements and those thereafter will be different depending on whether you breast or bottle-feed your new bundle of joy.
This is your baby’s first bowel movement. (Pictures are not necessarily scrapbook-worthy!) Meconium is the substance that has been building in your little one’s intestines as she has been growing inside you. It is a mixture of amniotic fluid, bile and mucus. As you will see, it is sticky, tar-like and dark green.
The meconium is generally passed within the first 12 hours of her brand new life, though it can take up to 24 hours (your physician should be contacted if it takes any longer). This phase should last only a few days while her system is being cleared out as she feeds on your colostrum. Your “first milk” acts as a laxative during this time and helps the meconium to pass, letting you know that her bowels are healthy and working properly!
Breastfed baby poop
After the first few days during the Meconium phase, the surprise awaiting you in the diaper will start turning a mustard-like yellow if you are breastfeeding. These feces tend to be grainy, runny and sometimes mistaken for diarrhea. Breastfed babies generally have more bowel movements than those who are bottle-fed. Their stool also tends to be less offensive in smell and it’s even described as sweet in scent.
Don’t be shocked if you are changing your little piece of perfection’s poopy diaper after every feeding—but don’t be concerned if she only goes once or twice a day, either. This is perfectly normal! Just as you are getting used to your new one, she is getting used to herself.
Bottle-fed baby poop
If you choose to bottle feed your baby, you’ll still have your fair share of diapers to change. On average, your baby should go at least once a day so that her digestive system doesn’t get backed up. However, even though your bottle-fed bambina won’t usually have a bowel movement after every feeding, she could potentially have up to four or five a day.
Overall, bottle-fed babies don’t go as much as breastfed babies because they don’t absorb as many nutrients. The stool will be thicker than if she is breastfed, but should not be much thicker than the consistency of peanut butter. It also smells more like adult stool than that of breastfed babies and is usually yellow-brown or light yellow in color.
Solid food baby poop
As solid foods are introduced into your baby’s diet, her poop will become more uniform and often contain undigested food until her system gets used to the change in consistency. The color will depend on what she is eating. They will also become thicker, darker and—yep, you guessed it—smellier!
Poop happens—remember not to drive yourself crazy over-analyzing or comparing every number two. Your beautiful new munchkin is getting used to how everything works; after all, these are brand new parts! As long as she is gaining weight and staying healthy, changes in her poop are perfectly acceptable. You probably never thought you would become so obsessed with bowel movements or that they could make you so happy. With all of the impending diaper changes, welcome to the world of baby poo!