Having baby potty green can be quite alarming for some parents especially first-time moms. However, normally, it should not be a cause for concern. There are several reasons why your baby’s poop turns green, which is why it is very important to be well-informed.
As the old saying goes, having a baby does not come with a manual. In the same way, that parenting and motherhood, in particular, does not come with an instruction guide. While we have our families and friends to help us as we start to embark into this parenting thing, at the end of the day, it is a step-by-step, and a day-to-day process of learning.
As a new mom, rather, a first-time mom, it can get daunting sometimes. You see, you have to learn a lot of things especially when it comes to caring for your baby. Needless to say, you have to always be mindful of your little one to ensure he or she is okay – because you know, your baby cannot tell when he or she is not feeling well.
I remember my own experience as a first-time mom. I was so excited but really scared at the same time. It was kind of hard in the beginning, but as days go by, I have learned to learn the art of motherhood and so much more!
When you are a new parent, you have no choice but to keep on learning. I remember, one of my most memorable experiences as a new mom was when I saw my baby potty green. It was so unusual to me that I really panicked.
If you are a new mom, it is very important to be mindful even with the littlest detail concerning your child. Well, personally, I would rather panic and call the doctor immediately than not mind the unusual things I see. Although of course, it pays to be informed, calm and collected.
Now, with regards to baby’s poop, you have to be aware that by its looks and consistency, one can tell whether or not there is something to be worried about. With that said, here is some very important information that you should be well-aware of.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOUR BABY’S POOP
While some may find this gross, as new parents especially first-time moms, it is very important that we know or that we are familiar with what’s normal and what is considered as a cause of concern when it comes to baby’s poop.
Don’t you know that a baby may have different poop colors and consistencies? More so, do you know that your baby’s poop color and consistency can tell when something is wrong?
Well, here are a few things that you should know:
- During the first few days after your baby’s birth, it is normal for him or her to discharge black stools. In fact, babies’ first poop is generally black in color. Just so you know, it is totally normal. The black poop is caused by the back and tarry meconium, which is in your baby’s gut during birth.
- If you are breastfeeding your little one, it is considered normal for your baby’s poop to change to “transitional stools” three to five days after his or her birth. Just so you know, transitional stools are usually dark greenish in color.
- Five days onwards after birth, your baby’s poop will eventually change to the usual yellow in color. In addition, the consistency of your baby’s stool may look like liquid containing seedy bits in it, or split pea soup. Although in some cases, it is just plain liquid inconsistency, which is considered normal as well. The yellow stool that your baby discharges is typically made mostly of fat in your breastmilk if breastfeeding.
- During the first six weeks of your little one, especially if he or she is gaining weight, it is very common that they poop at least three to four times a day. Moreover, your baby’s stool is usually at least a diameter of a US quarter or 22 millimeters or sometimes bigger.
- When your baby discharges poop a lot in a day, do not panic. It simply means your little one is consuming lots of milk. So, good job on you, mommy!
- Meanwhile, when your baby is not pooping that much, it simply means there is a need for a weight check. It is generally normal to conduct a weight check when your baby is below six weeks old and is pooping fewer than expected, and that when your little one’s stool has not yet transitioned to yellow in color. Conducting a weight check helps check if everything good with your baby or if there anything that is a cause of concern.
- According to experts, babies poop less six weeks after birth. In fact, too few that in some cases they just poop once a week.
- For your reference, a normal weight gain for babies is about 1 oz. or 30 grams per day. Anything lower than that may mean there is something that might be a cause of concern. How much your baby gains is not an issue at all, for as long as he or she is gaining weight, there is totally nothing to worry about.
NORMAL AMOUNT OF POOP ON BABIES
Experts say that the amount of poop that is considered normal for a baby depends on your little one’s age and diet or the food that he or she eats (in this case whether it is breastmilk or formula milk).
As earlier mentioned, babies who are just a few weeks old poops a lot in a day. But things eventually change when they are a bit older – particularly six months above. Eventually, their poop sessions become fewer in a day.
Generally, babies who are breastfed have more and thinner stools as compared to babies who are formula-fed. In addition, pooping for five to six times daily among younger babies is considered normal. That is according to an expert from the University of Missouri.
Furthermore, it is also important to note that the amount and frequency of poop may also vary depending on the kind of milk that your baby consumes.
UNDERSTANDING BABY POOP COLOR
As parents, it is very important that we understand our baby’s body – how it functions, and how unique it is from ours. One of the important things that we should be mindful about especially when dealing with babies is their poop.
Baby poop color changes from day one until he or she is older. How it looks and its color vary depending on the stage your baby is at – and in some cases, the color and consistency of their stool may also be a sign of a cause of concern. Although generally speaking, it shouldn’t be. So, when you see your baby potty green, hang in there, it may not be a cause of concern.
Experts say that normally, the color of your baby’s poop has nothing to do with anything else but the transit time of food in your little one’s system. Needless to say, it has also something to do with the bile that is coming through your baby’s gastrointestinal tract.
In an article published at HealthLine Parenthood website, below are the normal colors of baby’s poop and what each color means:
- Black – Black stool is usually common among newborns. It is usually a tar-like inconsistency. The black stool is actually called meconium. The stool contains mucus, skin cells, and amniotic fluid. Black stool discharge should not last for more than a couple of days.
- Mustard yellow – After the meconium passes, a newborn’s stool may turn into mustard-yellow in color. This particular color of stool is very common among breastfed babies.
- Bright yellow – Bright yellow is also very common among breastfed babies, and in some cases, even among formula-fed. However, note that a bright-yellow stool that is much more than usual and is extremely runny inconsistency may be a sign of diarrhea. Make sure to immediately call the doctor when this happens as diarrhea may cause dehydration.
- Orange – Orange poop is normally caused by pigments picked up in your baby’s digestive tract. It can happen to both breastfed and formula-fed babies.
- Red – If your baby is already eating solids, the red stool is considered normal if your baby has eaten dark-red food and drinks like beets and tomato juice. However, in some cases, red stool may mean there is blood in your baby’s bowel movement, which should be addressed immediately by your baby’s pediatrician. In addition, red blood in your baby’s stool may also occur when your baby has milk allergies or from an anal fissure.
- Greenish tan – It is quite normal among formula-fed babies to have a combination of greenish tan and yellow stool. The poop is also usually firmer than that of a breastfed baby.
- Dark green – Dark-green stool is usually common among babies who are starting solid foods – particularly those who eat green-colored food like spinach and peas. Furthermore, babies who are taking iron supplements may also discharge green poop.
- White – When your baby’s stool is white in color, you better see a pediatrician as soon as possible as it may indicate that your baby isn’t producing enough bile in their liver to help them digest food properly, which is a serious problem and must be addressed as soon as possible.
- Gray – Like a white stool, when your baby’s poop is gray in color, it can mean your baby isn’t digesting food as they should. Thus, you must consult your doctor immediately.
CAUSES OF GREEN POOP AMONG BABIES
Although generally considered normal, there are other probable reasons why your baby potty green and these include the following:
- Green Food
Normally, the color of the food that your baby or the mother (if breastfeeding) consume affects the color of your little one’s poop. For example, if the baby or the mom eat green leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce or pureed peas, or food with green coloring, it is likely to result in baby potty green in color.
When your baby potty green in color, looks like it contains mucus, and the consistency runny like that of diarrhea, then most likely, there is something wrong with your baby, which could possibly be a stomach bug or in some cases, it is caused by stress (yes, babies can get stressed too).
But do not worry, it can eventually go away. If you are breastfeeding, you can help normalize your baby’s poop by making sure to continue following your feeding schedule. Also, as you know, breastmilk provides antibodies that are essential to help quicken your baby’s healing and recovery.
- Imbalance Between Foremilk and Hindmilk
If you are breastfeeding your little one, it is vital that you know that breastmilk changes throughout a nursing session. When you start breastfeeding, your breast initially produces low-fat and high-sugar milk also known as “foremilk,” which eventually turns into high-fat, high-calorie milk called “hindmilk” as the breastfeeding session progresses.
When your baby is getting more foremilk than hindmilk, you will notice your little one has shorter breastfeeding sessions than usual. This usually happens when moms switch breasts quickly without waiting for the first breast to get drained first.
Apart from causing baby potty green, foremilk and hindmilk imbalance may also cause gassiness on your little one.
- Food Intolerance
Another probable culprit why your baby potty green is when your baby has a food intolerance. According to experts, food intolerance is, in fact, one of the primary causes of why a baby’s stool turns green in color. Normally, food intolerance has something to do with the mom’s diet if your baby is breastfed or the choice formula milk.
If your baby is formula-fed, you must be aware that one of the major ingredients that babies react to is cow’s milk. In fact, a lot of babies are allergic to cow’s milk. Meanwhile, for babies who are breastfed, normally, food intolerance that leads to green poop usually happens to depend on the kind of food, beverage or medication the mom is taking.
In addition, experts say that when a baby experiences food intolerance, he or she is likely to develop eczema. Needless to say, your baby may also get irritable during feeding time.
- Iron Supplements
Another culprit that turns your baby potty green is when your little one is taking iron supplements. Iron supplements are known to cause the poop to green in color.
Another possible reason for your baby’s poop to turn green in color is when your baby has diarrhea. Diarrhea occurs when the small intestines are not able to absorb enough water. Normally, it is caused by a virus. Such a condition leads to changes in the amount of water in your baby’s body as well as electrolytes. Generally, when a person has diarrhea, the food moves through the digestive tract faster than usual.
Jaundice is a common condition among babies that is a result of “too much bilirubin in the baby’s blood”. Babies with jaundice do usually have yellowish skin. Babies treated for jaundice through phototherapy may discharge green poop.
AVOIDING GREEN POOP IN BABIES
Although there really is no tangible ways for your baby to avoid discharging green poop, some experts suggest doing the following steps to help minimize or get rid of baby potty green:
- If your baby is breastfed, make sure to breastfeed your baby well to avoid foremilk and hindmilk imbalance. Take your time, do not rush. After all, breastfeeding your baby is one of the best times to bond.
- Avoid eating food that may cause an allergic reaction to your little one as it may also cause your baby potty green.
- Always be mindful of what you eat when breastfeeding, and what your baby eats if he or she is already eating solids. Remember, the color of your baby’s poop may have something to do with the food you or your baby consumed.
- If you suspect your baby to have jaundice, immediately seek your doctor’s help.
- Always ensure that your baby is consuming only the cleanest food possible to avoid diarrhea. When having diarrhea, make sure to keep your baby hydrated to avoid dehydration.
- Keep your baby away from stressful situations. Yes, just like us, adults, babies can get stressed too.
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR
Although generally speaking, green poop should not cause any concern. However, when signs of diarrhea, jaundice, and other conditions occur, make sure to immediately see your baby’s pediatrician.
Furthermore, make sure to see your healthcare provider as soon as possible if your baby has any of the following:
- White or grayish stool
- Red stool that looks like fresh blood
- Dark-colored stool (especially if your baby is older)
- Signs of dehydration
- A fever higher than 100.4°F
- Lack of interest in eating
- Vomiting for longer than a day
Although considered as normal, there is totally nothing wrong if you seek your doctor’s advice when you see your baby potty green. After all, it’s really hard to tell whether your baby is good or not. Ultimately, follow your gut feeling. If it says that you should see your doctor now, then do so. Personally, I am a believer that moms are gifted with a mother’s instinct to ensure our baby’s well-being.