You might not want to talk about it, because it’s bad enough dealing with it, but understanding how often should newborns poop and why your newborns will poop is important.
By paying close attention to their poop, from how it looks to how often they’re going, you can tell an awful lot about the health and well being of your baby, so it’s something you should get familiar with.
Bear in mind, once the first 8 to 12 weeks have gone past, you can breathe a big sigh of relief because that’s the period that really matters. After this, you can relax and stop thinking about how often should newborns poop. Yeah, dealing with this stinks, we know. But the more you understand, the easier it’ll be. So read on to find out what you need to know.
Can my baby poop too much?
You might be worried that your baby is pooping too much, especially early on, when they’re going four, five, six, even ten times a day. Apparently, the average is somewhere near five. But don’t ask us how we know that…
Going this much is actually a good sign. For the first few weeks at least, your baby should be pooping after pretty much every feed.
After a few weeks, normally six to eight weeks, they’ll start to slow down. You might even go a day or so without having to change a poopy diaper. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, though, so don’t worry if they keep going (and going…) After the first few weeks you shouldn’t have to worry, so only go to the doctors if they’re happy, healthy and gaining weight.
You should expect there to be slightly less frequent if they’re on formula rather than breast milk, because of the different consistency and slightly different way that formula and breast milk are processed in the stomach, but they should still be pooping after pretty much every feed as well.
You shouldn’t be that concerned with how often your baby is pooping unless it’s really egregious. What you should be concerned with instead are consistency and color.
Your baby’s poop: What you should look out for
When it comes to what’s normal in the diaper, it differs slightly, depending on whether you’re formula feeding or breastfeeding.
For breastfed babies, bowel movements will usually be yellowy and relatively loose, almost mustard-like inconsistency and look. They could also be mushy or curdy, and relatively watery as a good portion of breast milk is absorbed.
Formula fed babies will have slightly thicker, more consistent poop than a breastfed baby, and the color can be anywhere from yellow, all the way through the range from green to brown.
There’s blood in my baby’s stool. What do I do?
First off, relax a little. There are several reasons why this could be happening.
Firstly, if you’re breastfeeding, this could be a sign that baby is allergic to something that you’re eating. Talk to your pediatrician. They will go through your diet with you and list potential foods that could be causing this, so you can eliminate them and identify what’s causing the issue.
If your baby is formula fed, it’s possible that your baby is allergic to the milk in your formula, though this isn’t actually that likely. As always, talk to your doctor. They might recommend switching formula, or assess the issue another way.
There’s a lower possibility that your baby might have a fissure or crack in their anus that is causing the bleeding, or if breastfed that they’ve swallowed some blood if your nipples are dry or cracked.
In all situations, talk to your doctor. They’ll run you through a checklist and soon have the issue sorted.
My baby isn’t pooping. Can a baby go too long without pooping?
Constipation is rare in breastfed babies, but you should still monitor how often they’re going because not going often in those first few crucial weeks could mean that they’re not getting enough feeds.
Like we mentioned earlier, after 6 to 8 weeks, you can stop monitoring your baby’s bowel movements so closely, as you’re past the crucial period.
A good rule of thumb is to talk to a medical professional if your baby goes more than three days without pooping.
Can my baby get constipated?
They can, especially in those transition periods where, for example, they’re switching from breast milk to formula or you’re introducing solid foods to their diet.
Just because they haven’t gone in a few days doesn’t mean your baby is constipated. That could just be the workings of a normal, healthy digestive system. Instead, you should look for small, round stools and signs that passing is difficult like screwed up little facial features or sounds suggesting difficulty or pain.
The most common reasons for a young baby to get constipated is lack of fluids, and once they’ve switched to solids, that their diet doesn’t have enough fiber.
It could just be that pooping is painful because they’ve got a small tear or fissure. If that’s the case, a touch of petroleum jelly and a quick visit to the doctor to make sure everything is okay should fix that right up.
Baby poop: What you need to know
- The first six weeks are the most important when it comes to understanding your baby’s stools
- Early on, your baby should be pooping about as often as they feed
- After a few weeks, this schedule might start to slow down
- If they haven’t gone in three days, or you see any difficulty when they’re passing anything, that’s the time to call the doctor
Bet you didn’t expect to read a whole article on poop this morning, right?
Well, here at Twinstuff, we love to surprise, and we’re with you all the way, no matter how difficult or awkward the subject matter, even things like how often should newborns poop.
If you’ve got any questions, information, or you just want a chat with other like-minded moms, feel free to fire away in our comments. We love our little community so why not join in using our comment section below. We’ll see you there.