A babies’ diet directly affects the content of the poop. When a child is being breastfed, their poop becomes soft and lighter in colour. Babies may pass the stool after every feed (or four times a day on average), or they may even pass a stool twice or thrice per week, but it should not be a problem as long as their poop is soft and the colour is consistent.
What are the common problems parents face?
Not pooping for days
If the babies are not pooping regularly or as frequently as they always do, it is not always something to worry about. This is because the breast feed of babies is so enriched with nutrition that there is hardly any waste.
What the parents should look for is a change in mood, sleeping habits, eating habits and any physical changes in the baby. Sometimes the baby will have a stiff stomach, shows signs of discomfort when passing stool which all indicate a bowel movement problem. In such case doctor should be consulted immediately.
Diarrhea or watery poop
The parents should notice if the baby has very runny stool, this would indicate diarrhea. In such case the baby will get a dirty diaper more frequently. It will be very leaky and will spurt out suddenly.
There are several reasons why a baby may have diarrhea. Gastro-intestinal infection, excessive liquid diet, allergy to certain food and medication reaction is the most common causes of diarrhea. If this condition persists over a day immediate medical care should be sought, since the chances of dehydration increase.
If the baby has difficulty in passing motion or his face turns bright red it could be an indication of constipation. When a child has constipation they usually display signs such as irritation or crying while passing motion. Sometimes a little blood is also observable because of skin rupture.
Breastfed babies are not often constipated because of colostrum in breast milk, which acts as a mild laxative, but babies who are being fed from a bottle may suffer from constipation, because of excessive solid or less water. Also sometimes the child may be dehydrated for a long time resulting in hard stools. Fever and medication may also cause constipation.
Green coloured poop can indicate too much lactose intake, lactose is a part of breast milk, and hence over-feeding is indicated here.
If the baby is getting proper feed and still has green coloured poop, it can indicate a medication reaction, food allergy or a stomach bug. If the colour of poop does not change after 24 hours, a paediatrician should be visited.
Very yellow or pale poop
Pale or yellow poo is common in babies that are having active jaundice. Other signs of jaundice in new born babies include yellowish tint of skin, yellowing of sclera (visible portion of eye) and more frequent pooping. Physiological pooping is seen in new born babies and resolves spontaneously within a few days without treatment; however, if your baby is having issues even after 2 weeks, speak to a paediatrician.
Blood stained poop
Blood stained poo is indicative of constipation, this happens when the skin around the babies anus ruptures (anal fissure) due to excessive pressure being applied to pass out the poo. However, such a stool should be checked out by the doctor to rule out any other disease.
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