Are you driving yourself crazy thinking about poop color and frequency? Well, let us help you out a bit on how often should newborns poop!
Let’s start from the beginning. The first poop your newborn passes is called Meconium. Its appearance may shock you a little, but don’t worry! It is supposed to look all tarry.
Prematurity can lead to delayed passing of meconium. If your baby hasn’t passed her first stool within 48 hours of her birth, the doctors may want to investigate a little.
Newborn Poop Frequency – What Is Normal?
Once you are back home, and your baby has started feeding, you can expect the frequency and color of her poop to change. From a tarry black, to a more mustard color, newborn poop can take on all kind of hues.
The frequency with which your newborn passes stool can be erratic. She may go an entire day without pooping, or she may poop each time she eats. No two newborns are alike when it comes to pooping!
A newborn can have as many as eight to ten bowel movements a day.
In general, if your baby is eating enough, she should be pooping enough. But even if she goes for days without pooping, don’t worry. As long as she wetting her diaper five to six times a day, she is getting enough food.
If you are breastfeeding, your baby is likely to have a higher number of poopy diapers each day. Breastfed babies are known to poop around 6-10 times a day. But by three weeks, the frequency goes down.
Formula fed infants, on the other hand, have fewer bowel movements.
The consistency and frequency of poop also depend on the kind of formula your are using. Some might make your newborn constipated while others might lead to several bowel movements a day. Most infant formulas are iron fortified and can lead to constipation in babies.
It is difficult to diagnose diarrhea in newborns because their poop is in general runny and watery. So, look out for a change in pooping frequency and excessively watery poop if you suspect diarrhea.
When To Worry?
How often should a newborn poop is not something you should worry about. As long as she is eating well and looks happy, the poopy diapers should be the least of your worries. But there are times a talk with the pediatrician would help. Call your doctor if:
Your newborn appears constipated. If she is having difficulty passing stool and her poop appears hard, she is most likely constipated and need medical help.
If she is passing several (more than usual) number of watery stools a day. This may indicate diarrhea and requires prompt treatment. Diarrhea can become serious quickly and lead to dehydration.
If you notice blood in your infant’s diaper. Sometimes, this blood may be the result of excessive straining while pooping. Or it may indicate an infection. No matter the cause, blood in stool requires a trip to the doctor.
If she is passing black or white poop. The first poop your baby passes will be black, but after that black poop warrants a call to the doctor. Black poop can indicate the presence of old blood. White or gray colored poop indicates lack of bile. This may indicate a liver issue and needs medical intervention.
There is no fixed ‘normal’ when it comes to how often should newborns poop. So, don’t stress about it. Your friend’s infant may poop ten times a day while your little one may pass one measly poop a day. Both are equally okay. Just keep feeding her on demand and watch out for wet diapers. Your newborn is doing fine, don’t worry!
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