One of the most common questions we get from new Neocate Infant parents is “Is this normal?” Any difference from what they think a “normal" diaper should be can cause a lot of anxiety. So what exactly is a “normal” poop or bowel movement for a baby on Neocate? Every baby is different, so “normal” will vary from baby to baby. The color, consistency and frequency of bowel movements may differ. It can also be affected by the baby's medical condition and any solids she/he eats.
That said, we can give you some idea of what to expect. Below are some general guidelines to help you with your diaper expectations.
Color – Green is Glorious!
When a baby is on Neocate, the first stools tend to be green and can be dark - a lot of parents describe the color as hunter green (but contact your baby’s doctor if the stool looks black, which could be blood in the stool). Green is completely normal (Green is Glorious!) and is due to the special composition of Neocate and the way it is digested and absorbed in the body.
For most babies on Neocate, the green color will last for at least the first few days. It may fade after several weeks, but for some little ones stools will be green as long as they’re on Neocate. Often stools will change to a yellow/tan/khaki color if the green fades. This is normal, and is a result of the body adjusting to the way Neocate is digested and absorbed. Color can also change when solid foods are introduced into the diet.
The consistency of stools for babies on Neocate tends to be soft and somewhat pasty, though this can vary. For some babies the stools will be looser, and for others more solid or formed. Again, adding solid foods to the diet can affect consistency. Mucus in the stool is not typical so if you see this, you should let the physician know.
The frequency of bowel movements varies greatly from baby to baby. Some newborn babies may have a bowel movement after each feeding and others may have one daily or even once every two days. During the first weeks of life, before you have learned your baby’s stool pattern, the general advice is to call the doctor if the baby goes three or more days without a bowel movement.
Because Neocate is so broken down, it is very easily digested and there is very little waste leftover. Therefore it’s normal for bowel movements to be less frequent after a switch to Neocate. Most babies on Neocate have a bowel movement once every day or two, though again this varies. As long as stools aren’t overly hard and dry and the baby doesn’t seem to have trouble passing them, this is perfectly normal.
Regardless of whether your baby is on Neocate, hard or dry stools that are difficult to pass may indicate constipation. Talk with the doctor about what you can do to help. Sometimes the solution is as simple as providing extra fluid. Other times, the doctor may prescribe a laxative to make it easier for your baby to have bowel movements.
Because a newborn’s stools may be soft and slightly runny, it may be difficult to tell if they have diarrhea. A big increase in frequency or an extremely liquid bowel movement might indicate diarrhea. Severe diarrhea can cause dehydration so if you are concerned that your baby has diarrhea, contact the doctor.
With Baby Poop, Normal Depends on the Baby
The general message here is that every baby has their own “normal” poop and what’s normal for one Neocate baby may not be normal for another. The key is to look out for any sudden change in your baby’s normal bowel movements. Keep in mind that occasional variations are normal, especially once a baby begins taking solid foods.
Hopefully this gives you some idea of what to expect at diaper changing time. Keep in mind that you know your baby best, so if you’re ever concerned about your baby’s bowel movements, contact the doctor just in case.
What has your little one’s Neocate experience been like?