Your Neocate Dirty Diaper Questions, Answered

Posted 3.3.16 | Nutrition Specialist

Not a day goes by that we at Nutricia don’t get a dirty question from a new Neocate parent. I don’t mean explicit-dirty, but sort of, well, gross-dirty. People who’ve never been parents before would just not see questions this dirty coming. We’re talking questions that are diaper dirty.

If I haven’t lost you, you’re probably here for a reason – you have a Neocate dirty diaper question or two of your own. Have no fear, because we’ve heard them all before, and we’ve got answers for you! Call diaper contents what you want – poop, bowel movements, poo, stool – we’ve heard those terms and more. Some parents are too polite to use any of these terms and they dance around them. I’ve outgrown my politeness, but I prefer to stick with “stool.”

In this post I’ll walk you through some of the most common questions related to what can happen in your little one’s diapers, and spell out the answers. I’ll also give you the reasons you see what you see, because parents like you ask why.

What if I don’t answer your question? Just leave it in the comments section below the post and we’ll either point you to another post that should help, or we’ll get you an answer! Remember: we’re Neocate experts, but we can’t give medical advice and we can’t answer questions about your little one’s medical care. Those questions are best answered by your healthcare team.

Now let’s get you some answers!

What stool consistency should I expect with Neocate?

This question usually comes from a parent whose little one has already started Neocate, and who’s already gotten through their first Neocate diaper change and saw something they didn’t expect. You might not like this answer, but it varies, and every little one’s experience with Neocate is unique. With that said:

  • Pasty: we hear this consistency from a lot parents. Like peanut butter. More below. (Hope I didn’t ruin PB&Js for you…)
  • Loose and watery: Some parents see stool like this, especially during the adjustment to Neocate. But this often changes over time.
  • Formed: It is less common to see solid stool, but it’s not unheard of.

Why pasty?

The common pasty consistency of stool with Neocate Infant DHA/ARA has to do with the fact that its protein is so broken down and simple to absorb, combined with digestible carbohydrates that don’t have fiber. That’s the case for all amino acid-based infant formulas.

If you have a little one that’s only taking formula, you might notice that the stool consistency changes when you start to add solid foods into her diet. That’s pretty typical.

Does Neocate cause diarrhea?

The simple answer here is no. That was easy! But it’s not the whole picture: some infants can have looser stools as they adjust to Neocate. As with any amino acid-based formula, the science of how the body digests and absorbs Neocate is different than with formulas that aren’t so specialized. That can mean a difference in stool consistency, and looser stools for the first few days.

You may just need to give it time. Many healthcare professionals suggest that it can take about 2 weeks to adjust to a new formula, find your “new normal,” and see most of the benefits of a hypoallergenic formula, like Neocate, in the case of food allergies.

Does Neocate cause constipation?

The basic answer here is also no. But, you guessed it, there’s more to it than that! While Neocate doesn’t cause constipation, a lot of parents call us concerned that they haven’t seen a bowel movement in a day or two since starting Neocate. That’s not unusual for infants on amino acid-based infant formulas.

The frequency of stools on Neocate Infant DHA/ARA often has to do with the fact that its protein is so broken down and simple to absorb, combined with digestible carbohydrates that don’t have fiber. With amino acid-based infant formulas, I like to say there’s just less leftover to come out the other end, resulting in a lot of diapers that are wet, but not dirty.

Some parents tell us that their little one seems to be straining, trying to have a bowel movement. That can happen sometimes with formula, but it could also be unrelated to the formula. If your little one looks uncomfortable it’s best to check with her healthcare team. They may have some guidance for you to help calm her.

How many diapers should I be changing a day? 

The answer to this question is related to the question above about constipation. First, you’re still going to have to change diapers that are wet with no bowel movement. Many, if not most, parents say that when their little one switches to Neocate Infant DHA/ARA, they change a lot fewer dirty diapers, and most diapers they change are just wet from urine. (Sorry, but we can’t make the urine go away!)

We often hear that a dirty diaper shows up every day or two, but it varies. Changing so few dirty diapers a day can seem surprising, especially if you had been changing dirty diapers almost hourly before starting Neocate. Remember, with amino acid-based infant formulas like Neocate Infant DHA/ARA, there’s just less leftover to come out the other end. That means many diapers can be wet, but not dirty.

If your little one hasn’t started solids yet, you might notice him start to have more dirty diapers when you start to add solid foods into his diet.

That’s it!

Just kidding. I’d love to say that these are all the questions we get about Neocate and diapers, but we’ve only scratched the surface - we could write loads on this topic! Here are posts with answers to other questions that might be on your mind.

  1. What color are stools on amino acid-based formulas like Neocate?
  2. Should I expect my baby to have more gas on Neocate?
  3. I read that blood in the stool can be a sign of cow milk allergy. How would I even know it’s there?

I hope we’ve covered your question and that you found the answers you were looking for. You can always call our team of Nutrition Specialists at 800.NEOCATE if you’re just dying to talk about Neocate diapers.

But if you don't find your answer there, please submit your question below. That way other parents who are just as curious can see the answer! Tell us, what else do you want to know about Neocate dirty diapers?


Wondering where I came up with these answers? From 5+ years of talking to parents like you, from talking to healthcare professionals, and from my background as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

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Read Comments (11)

  • 2016-10-23 | Melanie

    Our little one just began Neocate 4 days ago. She is pooping several times each morning and her stools are pure liquid. They just soak into the diaper, just like urine. There is no mucous or blood. Is this normal for a transition to Neocate?

  • 2016-10-24 | Nutrition Specialist

    Hi Melanie,
      Good question! The first few days and weeks on Neocate seem to be a little bit different for every little one, so it’s hard to say what’s normal. What’s usual is that there’s almost always a transition period. We do hear from some parents that they see water stools in the beginning, like you’re describing. Your daughter should settle into a routine over the first 1-2 weeks, but if you have any questions definitely check with your healthcare team.
      Best of luck!

  • 2016-10-24 | Candice

    My son has never had a solid stool since being on Neocate infant formula at 2 months old. He switched to Neocate Jr at a year old and has had extremely loose stools consistently on this as well. He poops 4-6 times a day! And they’re all loose, mushy, and sometimes tar like. He’s going to be 3 in a month and we’ve begun potty training. He’s got the pee part down, but I can’t even begin to imagine he’ll be able to poop in the potty with stools like this. Is this typical?! Or something the doctor should be aware of?

  • 2016-10-27 | Nutrition Services

    Hello Candice.
      Thank you for asking. It is not uncommon for stools to be soft or mushy when using an amino acid-based formula such as Neocate Junior. If your son’s stools have been consistent over the past few years then it may what is normal for him as every little one is unique. It is always best to keep your son’s healthcare team up to date with what is going on, and definitely talk to them about his stool frequency and consistency if you are concerned. Best of luck in potty training!

  • 2016-12-09 | Melissa

    My son has been on Neocate for almost 3 months now & his stools are still liquidy and unformed. Is this just how his stools are going to be while on this formula? Do I need to bring it up with my pediatrician - or do other Neocate babies experience this type of stool even after the transition phase?

  • 2016-12-09 | Nutrition Specialist

    Hi Melissa,
      If your son has been on Neocate for that long and has been pretty consistent in his bowel habits, they probably won’t change until his diet changes, such as when you start to introduce new solid foods. While most Neocate babies have stools that are more pasty, there’s definitely a range and we’ve heard what you’re describing before. You certainly can ask his pediatrician to get their perspective.
      One factor in breast milk that influences stool consistency and other characteristics is human milk oligosaccharides, which you can think of as a type of fiber. We recently introduced Neocate Syneo Infant in the US, which has added prebiotics and probiotics. We would expect that a switch to that from a standard amino acid-based formula might result in slight changes in stools. Your pediatrician could also tell you whether they think this (or other changes or supplements) might be appropriate.
      Best of luck to you!

  • 2017-09-17 | Macy

    Can the Neocate Syneo cause constipation?

  • 2017-09-23 | Joely Retana

    My 4 month baby has been on neocate since she was 3 weeks. Her stools at first were pasty, but for about a month now it has been watery and she does it right after she drinks her milk. Is this normal or should it be something i should have her pediatrician see her for?

  • 2017-09-25 | Nutrition Specialist

    @Macy - The short answer is no. Amino acid-based formulas like Neocate are digested and absorbed differently than breast milk and most other formulas. Most infants have a bowel movement once a day or once every other day with formulas like Neocate. Neocate Syneo is the only amino acid-based formula with added pre- and probiotics. For some infants this may lead to more frequent and softer stools, similar to breastfed infants, though not usually.

    @Joely - It’s not unusual for babies to have bowel movements following a feeding. That’s because our digestive tracts often move things along after a meal. Babies taking Neocate usually have stools that are somewhat pasty, though that varies. The best thing to do if you’re concerned is to ask her pediatrician, who can check to see how she’s doing and assess if it’s anything unusual.

  • 2017-10-04 | Karen guerra

    Baby isn’t pooping constantly, my baby can be without pooping up to 7 days. Right now he’s breastfeed and on Neocate, 15 ounces and 17 Neocate, 2 months old. Doctor changed to Neocate because baby wasn’t pooping with the old formula he used to be on, and the problem persists.

  • 2017-10-05 | Nutrition Specialist

    Hi Karen,
        It’s certainly unusual for an infant to go a full week without having a bowel movement. Unfortunately we can’t provide medical advice and have to refer you back to your little guy’s healthcare team. Here are some questions you can ask yourself and the healthcare team that might help:
      -Could something other than his diet be contributing to constipation?
      -Could something in your (mom’s) diet be contributing to constipation?
      -Could it help to use a formula with added pre- and probiotics, like Neocate Syneo (http://www.Neocate/com/Syneo)?
      -Is your son uncomfortable?
      -Is your son growing normally?
      -Could gently rubbing his belly or “leg bicycles” help?
      -Would they suggest fruit juice, if so what juice and how much?
    Always consult your doctor before making any changes to his diet or routine. Best of luck to you!

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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.