Newborn’s green or black stool, tar-like consistency
Your newborn’s first stool usually consists of a thick, black or dark green substance called meconium. While it may seem surprising, fear not! It’s good that your little one is passing this and getting it out of their system.
Breastfed baby: Yellow or green stool, seedy consistency
You may be wondering what a normal color and consistency is normal for a breastfed baby. After your newborn’s meconium is passed, the stools of breastfed infants look mustard yellow and sometimes green. In terms of consistency, the poop will have seed-like particles. Every little one is unique, so rest assured that there is a lot of variation between babies on the number of times they have a bowel movement. A very soft, sometimes even watery, baby stool is normal for breastfed infants too.
Formula-fed baby: Soft, yellowish-brown, brown-green or light brown colored stool
What if your little one is formula-fed? You can expect your baby’s stool consistency to be soft, but better formed than the stools of breastfed babies. In terms of color, it may range from yellowish-brown, brown-green or light brown.
Is dark green, dark brown or black baby stool normal?
While it may be a bit of a surprise when you go to change your little peanut and see a range from dark green, dark brown or even black stool, fear not! For this type of baby stool, your baby’s iron supplement or iron-fortified formula is more than likely causing this range of colors. It’s time to breathe a sigh of relief, as there’s no medical significance from this change and no need to be concerned. If it’s not baby’s first stool and your little one isn’t taking iron supplements or iron-fortified formula, please see below.
Baby stool types and colors for eating solid foods
Dark brown or various colors
When your baby begins eating solid food, their bowel movements might become dark brown. However, be prepared for some seemingly odd colors are possible pop up as well. For example, the stool might look red after they eat beets or might contain streaks of dark blue after eating blueberries. You may even spot some green stool, but this too can be from newly-introduced green foods, like spinach and peas. It’s also possible (and normal) to find chunks of undigested food in your baby’s bowel movements.
When to call your pediatrician
There are some instances where it’s best to double-check with your pediatrician. Sometimes the harmless causes of colors or consistencies mentioned above may not fit for what’s going on with baby. It’s great that you’re keeping a watchful eye on what’s going on in the diaper, so here’s some instances where you should reach out to your little one’s doctor to get to the bottom of it all.
Black colored stool and tar-like consistency
If the harmless causes listed above have been eliminated (such as meconium or iron supplements), then a black, tar-like stool could indicate that there may be blood in your baby’s upper GI tract.
Red colored stool
If the harmless causes (such as eating red foods like beets or red food coloring in their diet) are not present, red streaks in the diaper may indicate blood in the stool. It’s best to check with your pediatrician to put your mind at ease instead of worrying about it.
White colored stool
If baby’s stool is white, then bile is not reaching the stool, either because it is not being made by the liver or because something is blocking it from getting to the small intestine. Give your doc a ring to see what’s up and to put your worries aside.
Watery or liquidy stool consistency
Regardless of color, if your infant’s stool is consistently watery, it might be diarrhea. Call your pediatrician if it lasts more than 24 hours.
Dark or hard stool consistency
If your baby is consistently producing dark, hard stools, there could be several different causes. It’s best to contact your pediatrician to get to the bottom of it.
Want to learn more about baby stool types?
Whether your little one is breastfed, formula-fed or has graduated to eating solids, it’s clear that there’s a lot to notice about what’s in the diaper, and how much baby’s stool can change over a short time. You may not have expected to learn so much about baby poop and may be surprised to hear that there’s lots more to cover!
If you still have questions or want to learn more, explore these Constipation FAQs for more information about baby stool and baby stool types. There’s lots more related content as well for help with baby constipation issues, whether it be diarrhea, cow’s milk allergy cues or if you are experiencing feeding difficulties.