Skip to content
Hem Baby poo – what is normal? Green poo and slimy poo – what does this mean?

Baby poo – what is normal? Green poo and slimy poo – what does this mean?

Baby poo

This post is also available in: Svenska

Facts and advice about baby poo. Written by pediatricians, for parents. A baby’s poo always raises questions. Is green poo a sign of disease? Does a baby have to have yellow poo? Is an infant’s poo slimy? Here you can learn everything you need to know about baby poo.

Baby poo in a mother’s stomach

Babies should not poo in the mother’s stomach. During pregnancy, the baby does not eat anything by mouth. A fetus forms almost no poo. The liver, on the other hand, forms bile which is secreted into the intestine. When a baby drinks amniotic fluid, it is often absorbed into the blood stream via the intestines. Sometimes skin residues and such from the amniotic fluid are released into the intestines and mixed with the bile acid. These intestinal contents of a healthy fetus is called meconium. It is dark green-black and tar-like.

Some children poo out this meconium during pregnancy. This is considered a sign that the baby is stressed and it is not healthy for the baby to lie in their own meconium. Therefore, babies who release meconium before birth are monitored extra closely.

Poo in a newborn

However, once the baby is born, the meconium should come out. Nine out of ten healthy babies poo out their meconium on the first day of life. If the baby does not poo out their meconium on their first day of life, tell the hospial staff.

Poo in breastfed infants – yellow or green poo is normal

During the first month of life, infants who are solely breastfed, poo on average 5 times a day. But, this varies enormously. 95% of all infants poo between 5 to 40 times a week. Half of all children poo less than four times a day in the first month of life. The other half, poo more frequently. Breastfed baby poo is curdy, yellow or green, grainy and often smells sour. Both yellow and green are perfectly normal colors for baby poo.

Baby poo
Baby poo – yellow and green poo is just as normal.

If your baby is breastfeeding and does not poo naturally, but only excretes poo after a lot of pushing and straining every three to four days, you should seek a pediatrician for investigation, preferably via Barnvårdcentral (BVC) aka a pediatricians office.

Poo from babies taking formula

Children who take formula tend to poo less often than those who are breastfed. I haven’t found any studies on how often they poo on average, but through experience, I found that they poo once a day or once every other day. Formula-fed baby’s poo smells more like adult poo and is often browner than breastfed poo but varies in color, shape and smell. It is not rare to see constipated infants in the children’s emergency room, usually of babies who receive formula. We’ve found that a few babies who are given formula and are constipated, have been given formula that was not mixed in the right proportions. This can be dangerous, so always mix according to the instructions on the package!

An infant with constipation poos less often than every other day, often after much straining. Rectal stimulation can sometimes help get the poo out. The poo often comes out shaped into poop crusts or lumps. Use a Q-tip or rectal thermometer coated with vaseline or aquaphor and insert it 0.5cm (1/4 inch) into the rectum. Hold for 3 seconds and remove. If the constipation lasts several days, your baby begins to feel sick and perhaps begins vomiting and not eating properly. So, it is important to help a constipated baby poo.

Constipation since birth

If your child had meconium discharge more than 24 hours after birth and has been constipated since birth, you should seek advice from a pediatrician and ask for an investigation for congenital bowel dysfunction, even for a breast-fed infant. But if your baby had meconium discharge on the first day of life, has pooped normally and after a few weeks or months starts to get constipated, you can begin by treating them first before you seek help.

Start treating with Lactulose 5 ml daily and increase to 10 ml daily if necessary. Lactulose is available without a prescription at a pharmacy. Tell your doctor or nurse that you are giving Lactulose and that the baby has had some constipation problems.

If Lactulose does not help, see a pediatrician at a pediatrician’s office. Babies who are fed formula can also get constipated from a cow’s milk protein allergy, for example, and may need to try special substitutes with hydrolysed milk proteins or completely without cow’s milk proteins.

Diarrhoea in babies

If the child’s stools change and become looser, more watery, or is much more abundant and much greener than before, this is called diarrhea. Diarrhoea in infants is usually due to stomach illness. If there is no blood in the baby’s poo, it is usually treated with fluid replacement as a viral stomach illness. and not investigated further until after three weeks.

Läs mer om magsjuka eller vinterkräksjuka hos barn – smitta, inkubationstid

Läs mer om magsjuka och amning

In the case of residual diarrhea after three weeks, seek a pediatrician for examination at the pediatrician’s office. The most common cause of prolonged diarrhea in nursing infants is cow’s milk protein allergy.

Läs mer om mjölkproteinallergi hos bebis och mjölkfri ersättning till spädbarn

Infants do not have lactose intolerance, as they must be able to break down lactose to drink breast milk or its substitute.

Läs mer om laktosintolerans hos barn – symptom, test, behandling

White or grey poo is dangerous

If a child produces gray-white poo, like putty, every time, go to the children’s emergency room and show their diaper. It needs to be investigated, and may be signs of biliary atresia, a rare congenital liver disease.

Download a baby poo colour chart

Blood in the stool

Some infants have small streaks of blood in their stools. No one really knows why, and if there are small streaks and the baby is well, you can calmly wait. If your child has larger amounts of blood in their poo – seek out a pediatrician to investigate why.

Slimy stools

A little slimy poo in a baby is normal. Often the stool becomes more slimy and greener when children have a cold. During a stomach illness, sometimes the poo can become really slimy in some phases. You never have to seek care simply because baby poop is slimy, instead it is the other symptoms that require investigation.

Seek the children’s emergency hospital when there is:

1. Very light-coloured stools, white-ish poo

2. Copious amounts of diarrhoea in a baby that urinates less, and is more tired than usual, or not eating properly

3. Copious amounts of blood in the stool.

Search BVC, a medical centre or pediatrician’s office when there is:

1. Repeated streaks of blood in the stool

2. Breastfed children who still do not poop even after rectal stimulation or if they poop every three-four days only

3. Diarrhoea that lasts for more than three weeks (in case of copious diarrhoea, seek the children’s emergency room earlier than that)

4. Children who are fed formula (full time or part time) who have been constipated since birth

5. Children who are fed formula (full time or part time) who have been constipated later and aren’t improving with 5-10 ml of Lactulose daily dose.

Read more:

Läs mer om mjölkproteinallergi hos bebis och mjölkfri ersättning till spädbarn

Läs mer om magsjuka och amning

Läs mer om kolik hos spädbarn – magdroppar, akupunktur, vad hjälper?

Läs mer om blöjeksem, svamp i rumpan och röd babystjärt

Läs mer om potträning – hur bli blöjfri och när sluta med blöja

Läs mer om magsjuka eller vinterkräksjuka hos barn – smitta, inkubationstid

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *