The Scoop on Poop: What Dirty Diapers Tell us about Baby’s Health
Even after having four kids of my own, it still shocks me how totally okay and even interested I am in my own baby’s poop. Yet I am totally disgusted and nauseous at the thought of any other person’s poop coming any where near me, let alone actually wanting to look at it and analyze it. I suppose it’s just one of those unconditional love things between a parent and child. The scoop on the poop is very important and it’s something that I still look at, even now that some of my kids are older. Okay, I know some of you are still with me while the rest have started gagging over in the corner. Stay with me though; it’s really important, I promise!
The Perfect Tool for Gauging your Child’s Health
When you first have a baby, among many things, making sure they are getting enough nourishment and are healthy are at the very top of your daily to-do list and of course your worry list. It’s not made any easier by the fact that breastfed babies often lose a little weight in the hospital before regaining at home (no doubt adding to your anxiety) and that it can take up to five days for your milk to come in. Plus, even if you aren’t breastfeeding, worrying about how much your baby is getting versus spitting can weigh on a new parent’s mind.
The number of times a baby poops and the color/consistency of it can tell you a lot about how much nourishment they are getting, their allergies and other possible issues. Knowing the scoop on your baby’s poop is an important tool to have to know when not to worry and when there’s some cause for concern. So in the least (possible) gross fashion that I can muster up, I am going to try and tell you what the various colors may indicate using some very fashionable pantone colors! Remember them, keep this color wheel close at hand, and always save the dirty diaper for your physician to see if you are worried. The poop is real my friends!
What the Color of your Baby’s Poop Could Mean
Black like Tar
If this is the very first #2 for your baby. It is called meconium and is completely normal. If this is not their first bowl movement see further down the list.
If this is not baby’s first poop, then this could indicate many things from too much iron, to ingesting blood from mother’s cracked nipples to internal bleeding. Contact your doctor.
There could be too much iron which can cause constipation. Consult your doctor.
This could be a sign that a nursing baby is snacking too much and not nursing long enough to get the milk that comes after the initial sweeter milk. Foremilk (sweeter) is different from hind milk (rich in nutrients), and it is important that baby nurses long enough to get both. Try keeping them on the breast longer.
Mustardy Yellow, maybe seedy
This is very typical of breast-fed babies.
Make sure it’s not just white because of the cream you are using to avoid diaper rash. If it is white this could indicate they are not properly digesting their food. Call your doctor.
This is possibly just something they have eaten but it’s worth contacting your doctor just in case.
Red or Raspberry in tone (that is clearly not food if your baby has begun solids)
This could be indicative of some kind of bleeding happening internally. Call the doctor.
Many shades of brown from light to dark
This is just normal and boring. Be thankful.
Now, while I have done my very best with this color wheel, one person’s red is another person’s hot pink, so remember, when in doubt call your doctor and don’t forget to keep the poop so that they can see for themselves!
Tags: Baby poop, digestive health, infant allergies, infant health, infant healthcare, Poop, poop color
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