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“Is this baby poop normal?” “My baby doesn’t seem to be pooping properly!” “What colour is your baby’s poop?” When you are a mom, all of these are standard conversation starters, yes, even on the dinner table! As parents, we worry a lot about whether our baby is pooping properly. It may seem obsessive to some of us, but is actually a very healthy habit as baby poop can tell us a lot about his overall health…
When you change your baby’s diapers, what do you check? We usually see if he has pooped or passed urine and when was the last time he soiled the diapers. This tells us if all is well with his metabolism. After the change, our baby is fresh and comfortable in clean diapers. However, even if your baby is dirtying the diaper, as usual, there could still be an underlying problem going unnoticed.
Please be careful to always check for these warning signs when you change your baby’s diapers. They indicate that something is wrong with his poop and needs immediate attention.
Here are the Warning Signs that needs Immediate Attention:
1. The Stools are Hard and Pebble-Like
Does your baby’s diaper reveal that his stools are hard and resemble little pebbles or stones? If yes, also check whether your baby has been pooping less often. Chances are he is passing stools less often than 4-7 days, and when he does, they are dry and hard. This is a clear sign of constipation. Your baby may also experience pain while pooping as well as tummy pain.
What To Do: As an immediate measure, increase the intake of fluids for your baby. If he is being exclusively breastfed, check if he is feeding enough; breastmilk has laxative properties too! You should also get your baby to do this basic pedalling exercise: lie on the bed and make pedalling movements in the air using the legs. It is a great remedy to release gas too. If your baby is older than 6 months and has started on solids, you can also feed him these 12 foods to relieve constipation.
2. The Poop Looks Foamy in Consistency
It is normal for babies to pass green coloured poop. If it looks greener than usual, this is also nothing to worry about as it could be because of a change in your diet. However, if the poop looks electric green poop and foamy in consistency, it can mean that your baby is not getting enough hindmilk. When you breastfeed the baby, the milk that comes out toward the beginning is called foremilk. This is low in calories. Hindmilk is what comes out later and has higher fat content. It is thus necessary for the baby to feel satisfied.
What To Do: The solution is fairly simple – just start each nursing session with the breast you ended on in the previous session. This means your baby will be able to reap the benefits of both foremilk and hindmilk successfully.
3. The Diapers Smell really Foul
Well, poop is bound to be smelly, right? Not necessarily. The odour of the poop indicates how long it has been in the intestines – the longer, the smellier. Babies poop more frequently than adults and it is not usually very smelly, especially in breastfed babies. If your baby is being formula fed, his poop will have a slightly bad smell. The stink starts getting bad when you add solids to their diet. If you think the diapers are really smelly, it can be an indicator of an intolerance or allergy.
What To Do: To rule out any potential allergy or food intolerance in your baby, it is best to see the doctor if you think his poop is smellier than usual. The doctor will be able to run required tests and suggest appropriate treatment.
4. The Poop Seeps Out of the Diaper
It is not uncommon for babies to have runny poop. But sometimes, their poop can be so watery that it seeps right out of the diaper! If this happens, check if the frequency of output has also increased to more than one bowel movement per feeding. This is an indicator of diarrhoea. The poop can look yellow, green or brown in colour. It is a fairly common problem in babies and usually caused by a change in diet. However, sometimes it could also be a sign of an allergy, intestinal infection, dehydration or a rotavirus infection (this is extremely contagious and affects babies younger than 2 the most, mainly during December to April).
What To Do: The best treatment is to give your baby ample amount of liquids. If you are breastfeeding him, continue to do so as it will speed up recovery. Check with the doctor to see if your baby may need an oral rehydration solution.
5. The Poop Has One of these Colours
Baby poop can assume several exotic colours and some of these are alarming enough to worry a mom crazy! However, the good news is that most of these shocking colours are quite normal. Baby poop differs in colour from adult poop because their digestive system is still developing. However, if you notice one of these colours in the dirty diaper, it can indicate an infection or allergy:
- Pale / White / Dull Yellow Poop
- Yellow-brown, loose and watery poop
- Green for many days at a stretch
What To Do: It is best to see the paediatrician immediately to get a diagnosis of the exact problem and seek necessary treatment.
6. The Diaper Shows Traces of any of These
Finally, also examine the baby’s diaper for any of these in traces/particles:
- Mucus: It can be a sign of an infection or intolerance
- Streaks of Blood: It can mean bleeding from the colon or rectum
- Black Specks: Sometimes, this can be a perfectly normal occurrence that happens if you have fed your baby bananas (the black, worm-like specks are from the banana fibre). But see the doctor if this is not the case with your baby
What To Do: If you detect traces of any of the above in your baby’s diaper, it is imperative that you see the paediatrician at once. You may have to make a change in your baby’s feeding habits or patterns if an allergy or intolerance is diagnosed.
So moms, during your next diaper change, keep these indicators in mind. If you feel there’s anything wrong with your baby’s poop, consult the paediatrician before administering any medication or home remedy. After all, our little ones have delicate digestive systems and need only the gentlest and safest care!