Your Baby’s Poop Colour And What They Say About Their Health

You can tell a lot about your baby’s health by what’s in his or her diaper. Poop colour can be one of such indicators. During the first year of life, a baby will go through a variety of poop colours. It’s therefore normal to see a number of changes in your baby’s stools as s/he grows, drinks breast milk or formula, and starts eating solids.

The colour is the result of what s/he eats and how much bile is in his/her stool. There are cases in which poop colour may be cause for alarm. For the most part, it needn’t be. But If the poop colour is black, red, or white, that’s when you should be worried.

Below is a baby poop colour chart; originally written and compiled by www.healthline.com. The chart can help you distinguish what’s normal, what’s not, and when should you be worried.

ColorDietIs it normal?
BlackSeen in breastfed and formula-fed newbornsThis is normal in the first few days of life. May not be normal if it comes back later in infancy.
Mustard yellowSeen in breastfed babiesThis is normal.
Bright yellowSeen in breastfed babiesIf it’s overly runny, it could be a sign of diarrhea.
OrangeSeen in breastfed and formula-fed babiesThis is normal.
RedSeen in babies on any diet; may be caused by introducing red solids or could indicate something elseIf you haven’t recently introduced red foods to your baby, call your pediatrician. If they’ve eaten a red solid, see if the color returns to normal when they pass the next stool. If not, call your pediatrician.
Greenish tanSeen in formula-fed babiesThis is normal.
Dark greenSeen in babies eating green-colored solids or taking iron supplementsThis is normal.
WhiteSeen in babies on any diet and may indicate a problem with the liverCall your pediatrician.
GraySeen in babies on any diet and is a sign of a digestion issueCall your pediatrician.

It’s also important to note that diet and age can also affect the overall colour and consistency. If you’re ever concerned about your baby’s poop colour, call your paediatrician for advice. Barry Steinmetz, MD, a paediatric gastroenterologist at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, California, says that “poop’s colour has more to do with the transit time of food and the bile coming through the gastrointestinal tract.”

Dr Steinmetz further notes that if the poop is yellow in colour, it just means that milk is moving through the baby’s system rather quickly; and the poop becomes green when the process slows down.

When it moves even slower in the system, the poop then turns brown. That’s why, Dr Steinmetz says, infants often have yellow stools, because they have a very fast transit time. You can read more about it HERE.


References

Cherney, K. (2018, June 25). Baby Poop Color: What Does It Mean and When to Seek Help? Retrieved March 21, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/baby-poop-color

Zamosky, L. (2015, September 15). The Truth About Baby Poop: Colored Stool and Diarrhea in Infants. Retrieved March 21, 2020, from https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/features/truth-about-baby-poop

Blank Children’s Hospital. (2014, August 15). 12 Types of Baby Poop & What They Mean (Infographic). Retrieved March 21, 2020, from https://www.unitypoint.org/blankchildrens/article.aspx?id=40567710-74c7-4ef2-a040-847be9fbd35a

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