The many colours of baby poo!

By Louise, The Honest Midwife

Prior to embarking on your parenting journey, you may have found yourself slightly baffled when new parents shared their apparent obsession with the colour of their baby’s poo. Maybe you even made a silent promise to yourself that, when the time comes, the last thing you will do is spend any time talking to near strangers about the content of your baby’s nappy. If this is the case, you can join the queue of thousands, if not millions, of new parents who have made the exact same vow yet found themselves falling into their own trap the second their little one was born!

Who knew that your baby’s business could change so rapidly and leave you feeling clueless as to what is right or wrong? Baby poo can come in a whole host of textures and colours and the vast majority are perfectly normal. Here is a little guide:

Days 1 -3 - You baby’s first bowel movement will be black and tar like. This is called Meconium and is made up of blood cells, skin cells, baby hairs, and various other waste matter. You should expect this appearance and consistency to last for about 3 days, then you will find nappy contents become a little smellier and much lighter in colour.

Days 4 - 6 Enter our pesto nappies! Whilst transitioning away from Meconium, your baby will produce dark greenish stools, which will soon change to a mustard-like appearance. Babies who are breastfed are more likely to have slightly runnier nappies, while their formula-fed friends will pass firmer (not solid) poop, which can also be a little smellier.

If you have a baby girl, it is not uncommon to see a little fresh blood in their nappy. Again, this is perfectly normal, as it is Mum’s hormones working their way out of her system, so she is experiencing a tiny period. This will pass after a couple of nappies and is not unusual. However, if you are worried, touch base with your midwife or GP.

Believe it or not, seeing changes in your baby’s nappies can leave you feeling a little anxious as you wonder what prompted the changes. In the vast majority of cases you will find that, just like adults, babies stools do vary from day to day. That said, if you are unsure, always run it past your health visitor for reassurance.