Baby Poop Frequency – How Often Should Your Baby Poop

Mother cleaning poop of her baby

Right from the time you welcome your child into this world, your mind will be filled with questions. A common question that bothers almost all new parents is regarding the pooping habits of a child. Parents often have this common question in their mind, “how should the poop of a healthy baby be?”

The poop of the baby is an indication of his health, as a lot of diseases and disorders can be identified in the child by simply examining the colour of his poop. As a mother, you will go through a lot of diaper-changing episodes in the near future, so make sure to notice the frequency and colour of his poop to check if there is anything wrong with the baby.

Let us take a look at newborn stool frequency, and what it means in the early stages. So that you can take better care of your newborn.

How Often Does A Newborn Baby Poop?

The table below gives an indication of the minimum number of bowel movements expected by the child per 24-hour period in the first six months of his life.

Time Period Minimum number of bowel movements Texture and colour of the stool
Day 1 1 Tarry, black
Day 2 0 to 1 Tarry, black
Day 3 1 Transitional green
Day 4 4 Yellow or green
Day 5 3 to 4 Loose, yellow
Day 6 3 to 5 Loose, yellow
6 weeks + Increases from 1 every 7 to 10 days to around 3 to 5 per day or even more Loose, yellow

Pooping in babies is an indication that there are no problems with the digestive system of the child. You should be happy to see your baby poop in the first 24 hours of his life, since the absence of poop points to the existence of some bigger problem in his digestive system.

During the first 24 hours, the poop of your baby is in the meconium stage. The poop will be black and sticky, and usually hard to wipe off. Your baby is expected to pass stool within 24 hours of his coming into the world. The poop mainly consists of the matter he ingested when he was inside the uterus, and is mostly made up of fluids and cells. Oddly enough, the poop will be odourless. This is because of the fact that friendly bacteria have not yet colonized his gut. The bowel movement occurs because of the colostrum from the mother, which performs the function of a laxative to help push out the matter from the body of the child.

After that, the poop eventually becomes more watery and loose. This continues for around twelve more weeks because the digestive system of the child is still in development. It will not be absorbing the nutrients from the breast milk as effectively as an adult’s system, so much of it will simply go out of the body through his poop. The undigested sugar and milk in the body tend to act as a laxative, leading to frequent, loose stool. However, the bowel movement becomes less watery and more predictable as the baby grows.

When the baby starts to transition into solid food, you can expect poop that is much more adult-like. This usually occurs around the five-month mark, when you will start feeding solid food to your child. The poop becomes firm and dark in colour and has a distinctly bad odour. Note that the colour of the poop is slightly dependent on the meal he would have had previously, this is completely normal and is indicative of a good digestive system. Sometimes, you may even find bits of veggies in his poop, the hard food is usually passed on by the digestive system as they are not properly chewed, owing to the lack of molars.

In any way, a mother will be expected to make at least a thousand diaper changes in the first year of parenthood. So, observe the colour and texture of the poop for an idea about the health of your child.

Mother wiping poop of her baby

How Many Times Should Breastfed Babies Poop?

During the early stages of breastfeeding, your child may not yet have a strong digestive system to absorb all the nutrients she receives. This means that a lot of the milk is simply passed out of the body through stools, which leads to the stools having a yellow colour and loose consistency in the first few months. You can expect your child to poop at least four times a day in the first few weeks of his life. The breastfed baby poop frequency eventually increases a lot as he grows. Most commonly, breastfed babies poop after every feeding, sometimes even twelve times a day or more.

How Many Times Do a Formula Fed Baby Poop?

Compared to children who are breastfed, formula fed babies poop far less. This is because of the lack of colostrum in their diet, which acts as a natural laxative and is present in high amounts in breastmilk. The frequency of the child pooping will be around three or four times a day, and the texture will be more solid compared to breastfed children. The colour is less yellow and more greenish and darker.

As he grows, you will find that the baby poops only once a day, whether formula fed or breastfed. This is an indication of the digestive system becoming healthier and does not mean that there is anything wrong with the baby.

When to Consult a Paediatrician?

Trust your motherly instincts to decide when you have to pay the doctor a visit. If the stool of the baby is showing traces of blood or if it seems oddly coloured, you will be better off consulting your doctor. Constipation is another problem and requires attention from professional medical personnel. If the poop is filled with mucus or water, it means that your child has some sort of allergy or infection, and needs immediate medical attention.

The poop of the baby can give you an insight into his health, so you should always take note of the frequency and consistency of the bowel movements in the early stages. Since the baby is not able to communicate any problems or discomfort at such a young age, you should definitely pay attention to his poop so that any diseases or problems can be recognised immediately.

Table Source:

Also Read: Baby Poop: What’s Normal & What’s Not