The Color of Baby Poop

Posted 8.28.08 | Nutrition Specialist

The First Poop

Your baby’s first poop is called meconium. It begins within 12 hours of birth and will be black or greenish, and very sticky.

The First Month

Up until your baby is a month old, if you are breastfeeding her poop will likely be a mustard color, seedy and runny. Oh, and you can expect a lot of it! If she is formula fed, her poop will likely be firmer, but not any firmer than peanut butter.

Beyond One Month

After the first month, she may have fewer bowel movements (3-4 times per day), but this is nothing to worry about! A little grunting is normal as well. You may see a variety of colors, some are perfectly normal while others should be red flags and reasons to phone the doc:

Brown: Perfectly Normal

Green: Usually nothing to worry about, more common if you have a lot of iron in your diet or are using an iron-fortified formula

Orange or Yellow: Also nothing to worry about, these colors are most common once you start introducing baby foods like those colorful strained carrots

White: Call the doctor, the chalky color indicates there may be no bile from the liver to digest the food, which needs to be addressed right away

Black: Consult the doctor, tarry black poop may be a sign of blood in the digestive tract that has turned dark black while moving down the intestines. Bloody stool can signal a variety of allergic/gastrointestinal conditions, including infant reflux and milk protein allergy.

Red: Reddish poop could come from a colorful last meal if you’ve just started baby food (think beets). But if you see bright red blood in the poop, call the doctor right away. That is a sign of bleeding around the anus, which is very painful for the baby and can be a sign of an allergic/gastrointestinal condition, such as reflux or milk protein allergy. If this is the case, you might be seeing other symptoms as well (like a very cranky baby), which you can check out here.

Also, don’t forget about the texture. Mucasy stool is reason to call the doc and diarrhea too, if it is persistent. The diarrhea can be a tough one because baby poop is soft, especially in a breastfed child. But, if it is runnier than normal and happens 2-4 times a day for more than 5 days, it’s something to bring up with the doc.

Read Comments (2)

  • 2011-09-14 | Todd Buning

    My 3month old kid has been on it for 15 days and his poop has turned to dark black while on it, is this normal?

  • 2011-09-19 | Mallory West

    We commonly hear that the stool color changes to a very dark green. Many parents say that it is so dark green that it almost appears black. This is normal when taking an elemental formula like Neocate. However, sometimes an extremely black stool could indicate the presence of blood. If you are concerned, its best to give the pediatrician a call to be safe. Good luck!

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Food Allergy Living is a resource for parents of children with food allergies, brought to you by Nutricia, the makers of Neocate. For more in-depth information about our purpose & authors, see our About Food Allergy Living page.