why does my baby have yellow diarrhea
New babies don't come with an instruction manual, but they do leave clues about the state of their health. Hiding in a baby's diaper is a wealth of information, and many new parents understandably find themselves spending a lot of time and energy trying to decode the messages left for them -- the amount, the color, the consistency -- and what it all means. So what does the content of a baby's diaper say about his or her health? And when should you be worried about what's in the diaper? Here's expert advice. How Much Poop Is Normal? "A lot," says Kenneth Wible, MD, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Missouri and pediatrics medical director at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Mo. "It depends somewhat on diet," Wible says. "Babies who are breastfed generally have more and thinner stools than babies who are formula fed. But five to six stools per day is pretty normal. "
While it's a good idea to expect a lot of poop in the early stages of a baby's life, the frequency of among children varies widely, notes Barry Steinmetz, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Miller Children's Hospital Long Beach in Long Beach, Calif. "Some kids will go up to seven or eight times a day," he says. Other infants may go every other day. Many parents become concerned when an infant's suddenly drop in frequency.
But particularly for breastfed babies, this is a common occurrence as a mother's milk becomes more mature. "The mother's milk is so well balanced and the baby's digestive processes are so good, there's not a lot of residue," Wible says. The key, Steinmetz says, is that the stool is soft and the child is eating well and gaining. There's often a large amount of liquid content in babies' stool because before six months, doctors recommend that babies get their exclusively from milk. "It kind of looks as if you took a jar of mustard and mixed it with cottage cheese, especially for formula-fed babies," Wible says. "With breastfed babies, there is a lot more liquid and the milk curds in the stool are a lot finer and smaller. " You can tell a lot about you baby s health by what s in his or her diaper. It s normal to see a number of changes in your baby s stools as he or she grows, drinks breast milk or formula and starts eating solids, but there are cases in which color and consistency may indicate infection. Use this baby poop guide to distinguish natural changes from warning signs that require a visit to the doctor s office. The scope of baby poop types considered normal depend on your baby s age and feeding method. 1.
Newborn Baby Poop Your baby s poop will look drastically different during his or her first few days after birth. Newborns have a greenish-black, tarry, sticky poop that resembles motor oil. This is called meconium and is made up of amniotic fluid, mucus, skin cells and other things ingested into the utero. Two to four days after birth, you should notice transitional stools that tend to be green and less tacky than meconium. 2. Breastfed Baby Poop Breastfed baby poop is considered normal when it s a mustard yellow, green or brown color. It is typically seedy and pasty in texture and may be runny enough to resemble diarrhea. Healthy breastfed stools will smell sweet (unlike regular bowel-movement odor). 3. Formula Fed Baby Poop Healthy formula fed baby poop is typically a shade of yellow or brown with a pasty consistency that is peanut butter like. Formula-fed babies also pass fewer, but bigger and more odorous stools than breastfed babies. 4. Partially Digested Food in Baby Poop Not all food is completely digestible and some foods travel so quickly through the intestines that they don t break down completely. This can cause chunks of food to appear in your baby s poop or for it to have a surprising color. Don t fear! Changes in baby poop color are normal.
Usually, a different shade just means there is more or less of a pigment picked up during the digestive process. 5. Green Baby Poop Babies that are given an iron-supplement will often have green baby poop. Green baby poop can also occur at 4 to 6 months when you introduce solid, green foods, such as pureed peas, spinach and beans, into your baby s diet. 6. Orange, Yellow and Brown Baby Poop Baby poop that is orange, yellow or brown in color is completely normal in breastfed and bottle fed babies. 7. Black Blood in Baby Poop Oftentimes, if your baby s poop has little specks of black blood in it, it means a baby has digested blood while breastfeeding on his or her mother s cracked and bleeding nipples. Though this does not pose a threat to your baby, it s a good idea to check with a doctor to make sure the blood is not a symptom of something more serious. Call your baby s doctor right away if you notice any of these warning signs in his or her stools: 8. Runny Baby Poop A baby s diarrhea will be green, yellow or brown and runny. It can be an indication of an infection or allergy. If it goes too long without treatment, it may lead to dehydration. 9. Hard, Pebble-like Baby Poop Your baby may be constipated if his or her poop is hard and looks like pebbles. Babies can become constipated when they are being introduced to solid foods.
This could also be a sign of sensitivity to milk or soy, or a lack of tolerance to something in breast milk or formula. 10. Red Blood in Baby Poop While your baby s poop can turn red because of something he or she ate or drank, such as tomatoes or fruit punch, red baby poop can be a sign of blood in the stool. Red blood found in normal poop could be a sign of a milk protein allergy, while red blood in diarrhea could mean your baby has a bacterial infection. 11. Mucus in Baby Poop Seeing slimy, green-colored streaks with glistening strings in your baby s poop means mucus is present. Although it can happen when your baby is drooling, mucus in baby poop can also be a sign of infection. 12. White Baby Poop Chalky white baby poop could be a warning sign that your baby is not properly digesting food. A white color may indicate a lack of bile from the liver to digest food. In the first few years, you will experience a full range of normal baby poop types that simply indicate your baby is healthfully growing and changing. When alarming changes occur, however, it s important to contact your baby s doctor as soon as symptoms arise. Don t have a doctor yet? Use our online tool to locate a pediatrician in your area.
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