Baby, Breastfeeding

About that Breastfed Baby Poop

It’s amazing how important poop is. Seriously. I never would have thought that one of the easiest ways to tell if your child is healthy is by looking at their poop.

Sounds gross, but you get used to it.

Breastfed baby poop and formula baby poop have different aspects. In this post, we’ll talk about breastfed baby poop.

Newborn

I remember when I was looking into what to pack in the hospital bag. I found something that said newborns poop about 10 times a day.

Alright, a minimum of 10 diapers a day then. I packed 24.

Hospitals do provide diapers; you don’t have to pack them. But I wanted to start cloth diapers on Sara right away.

So I brought 24 flats with me.

Turns out, we were a little too overwhelmed to start the cloth diapers at the hospital and just went with the disposables provided by the hospital.

And you know what? Sara went through only one or two diapers the first day.

The information I had read was about an older newborn. Up to four days old babies poop and wet the number of days old they are.

So a baby one day old poops once. A baby two days old poops twice. After about a week, babies starting pooping about 10 times a day.

Meconium and Bilirubin

So what does new baby poop look like? Black tar.

It’s called meconium.

It’s made up of all the things baby swallowed while in the womb: bile, mucus, amniotic fluid, lanugo, etc.

It takes a few days for meconium to fully move through the system. The more baby breastfeeds, the faster it’ll move out of the system.

Mother Nature knows what she’s doing. The milk for the first few days actually isn’t milk. It’s called colostrum and is a natural laxative.

So the more colostrum Baby drinks, the easier it will be for him or her to poop out all the meconium and any bilirubin in their system.

Bilirubin is a natural product of the body breaking down red blood cells. Our livers take it out of the bloodstream and then our digestive tract disposes of it.

The problem for newborns is that their livers are still developing. So their little bodies can struggle to expose of it all. Too much in the body is poisonous.

If Baby is not able to poop out all the meconium and bilirubin within a few days, they are at risk for baby jaundice. And about half of newborns do experience it.

If you don’t know, jaundice is the yellowing of the skin and eyes. If you believe your baby has jaundice, it’s okay, just call the doctor. They can treat it. If you wait, then it gets harder to treat.

Some studies have looked at the link between breastfeeding and baby jaundice. None of the babies who breastfed at least 10 times during their first 24 hours of life experienced jaundice. The babies who breastfed less experienced it more often.

Green and Yellow Poop

By day three, you will most likely see the black, tar-like meconium give way to green and yellow poop.

By day five, the meconium should be all gone. And by then, Baby should be pooping around 10 times a day. This poop has a runny consistency and may have small lumps in it. 

Newborns poop little bits several times a day. As babies get older, they poop less often, but big amounts at once.

How often and how much your baby poops tells you whether or not they’re eating enough, usually.

Some babies naturally poop extra or less.

If your baby is a newborn older than a week and not pooping at least four times a day, get their weight checked.

If their weight gain is fine, then your baby naturally poops less.

If your baby hasn’t gained enough weight, then work with your pediatrician to make a plan to get baby to eat more.

We went through a period of Sara not gaining enough weight. The pediatrician told me to feed her at least once every three hours, even at night.

That was a bit rough.

I would feed her, set the timer on my phone, wait for it to go off or for her to get hungry, and repeat all day long. She was growing like crazy at that time and needed to eat a lot.

Older Baby Poops

When Sara hit a month old, I was shocked to discover her pooping patterns were changing. She was only pooping about once a day. I was a bit concerned.

The pediatrician said it was normal.

The same thing happened at two months. Sara started pooping only a few times a week.

The pediatrician said that as long as she didn’t go longer than a week, she was fine.

Now we are at month three and her patterns have changed again. She’s back to pooping almost once a day.

These are Sara’s pooping patterns. Your breastfed baby is likely to be different. Some stay on a regular multiple times a day pooping schedule. Others change over to the once a week and stay like that.

So long as baby is eating, gaining weight, and not having constipation troubles it’s fine.

Your pediatrician will work with you if there seem to be any problems.

Charting Pooping

You’ll likely be asked to chart how often your baby eats, wets, and poops. If Baby has no issues, the chart won’t be used. But if Baby is struggling, the chart can be invaluable in identifying the problem.

Constipation

Exclusively breastfed babies rarely get constipated. They may poop infrequently, but so long as they are gaining weight appropriately, have runny, lumpy stools, and don’t struggle to poop, they are not constipated.

A breastfed baby is constipated when their stools turn from runny and lumpy to hard.

Once breastfed babies start eating solids, they are more likely to get constipated. If you think your baby is constipated, reach out to your pediatrician, and they will work with you to treat your baby.

That’s the Skinny on Breastfed Baby Poop

Have you come across any poop struggles when breastfeeding your baby? Or been surprised by the change in the frequency of pooping from month to month?

Popular Articles...

8
Leave a Reply

avatar
3 Comment threads
3 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
4 Comment authors
AndrewNicole StilesSethIrma Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Irma
Guest

This is a great post, with a lot of helpful information, and it sounds like you have a great pediatrician giving you great advice.

The only thing constant is change! When my daughter was an infant, I got so much conflicting advice from everyone…doctors, my mom, whose advice was as old as I was; my friends, who had older kids and older advice lol.

At some point, you have to trust your gut!

Seth
Guest
Seth

Thanks for the informative article! Me and my girlfriend are expecting in November and we have been considering doing cloth diapers as well.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Great post. Me and my fiancée are using cloth diapers and they are, in my opinion, much better and much more cost effective. Our Baby was having difficulties eating at first. So much so that they unfortunately had to put in a feeding tube. Poop was a rare occurrence at first but since they feeding tube…..sooo much poop.

Doc
Guest
Doc

hmmm detailed glad I haven’t gone to lunch yet (;Very nice article it is a magical thing to bring another human being into this world and making sure you know every aspect of the new bundle of joys’ patterns is important for his/her well being. Breastfeeding is certainly the way to go if you have a choice and I know those that may not are glad for alternatives. Keeping track of their habits comes in handy when tracking down the cause of any discomfort to the little darling. Great tips for all caring mothers to adhere to. Keep those articles… Read more »