Your baby's nappy can tell you a lot - find out more here.
These guidelines apply to all babies, whether they’re breastfed, formula fed or fed on both. However, a formula fed baby’s poos may be less soft and less frequent, compared with a breastfed baby’s of the same age. The colour of baby poo varies when children are newborn. Some children get to the ‘yellow poo’ stage sooner than day five to six, and that’s OK. It means your baby is feeding very effectively, and probably taking in more milk.
It can be quite surprising the first time you see green poo but rest assured that this is completely normal.
"Meconium is dark and sticky, it's already in the bowel at the time of birth."
How often should a baby poo?
After the first week: babies continue to wee and poo several times each day for the first few weeks. After that time, some (not all) babies poo much less often. Breastfed babies may go many days without producing any poo at all – that’s normal, too. As long as your baby is growing well, and the poo he produces is soft, you don’t need to be worried. Ask your health visitor about this, if you need to.
Here is our baby poo guide:
On days 1-2
Wees: Two or more per day.
Poos: One or more per day. Poo at this stage is called ‘meconium’ or ‘mec’ for short. It’s very dark green/brown/black and sticky, and it’s already in the bowel at the time of birth.
What’s a ‘heavy nappy’?
Try this test – pour three tablespoons of water (45ml) into a dry nappy, and pick it up. That’s how heavy your baby’s nappy will be, after the first five to six days.
On days 3-4
Wees: Three or more per day. The amount of wee increases, and the nappies feel heavier than before.
Poos: Two or more per day. The colour changes and looks more green. These poos are called ‘changing stools’ and they change because your baby is taking in more milk and digesting it.
On days 5-6
Wees: Five or more heavy nappies per day.
Poos: At least two soft, yellow poos per day. They’re yellow, because there is no more ‘mec’ in the bowel.
False menstruation or pseudo menstruation is harmless. It is a very light bleed from the vagina in some baby girls. It comes from the effects of your own hormones on her system, and it soon stops.
How do I know if my baby is weeing often enough when disposable nappies just absorb the wee?
All babies should produce several heavy nappies every day. If you use disposable nappies, do the ‘heavy nappy’ test with water so you know what you are looking for. You can also place a cloth inside the nappy, which will stay wet when your baby wees. Any questions about your baby’s health or feeding, just ask your midwife.
Urates, sometimes known as brick dust because that’s what it looks like: tiny orange or pinkish crystals. They are harmless: they are salts in the urine, and tend to show up in the very early days. Most babies will pass them once only. They can be a sign your baby needs a little help to feed more often or more effectively. Ask you midwife.
Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.
You might find attending one of NCT's Early Days groups helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.
Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.