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After your baby is born, you will notice that the first bowel movement your newborn has is a dark and greenish color. That is known as meconium, and the appearance of meconium does appear that way even though its appearance can make you wonder if your baby is healthy. That is a standard color and consistency. That is because your baby released the waste built up over the time spent in the womb in addition to blood swallowed during delivery. Your newborn may pass meconium up to a week.
If you decide to formula, feed your newborn, whether based on a choice, or take a medication that prevents you from breastfeeding, the bowel movements will change. The bowel movements will vary in frequency as well as in appearance.
What Does The Bowel Movement Look Like Of A Formula Fed Baby?
Once your newborn stops passing meconium, your infant will start passing stools that have a pale yellow or yellowish-brown appearance. A breastfed baby has a mustard-color stool that has a watery or seedy consistency. A formula-fed baby has a soft stool, but it is better formed than the stool from a breastfed infant. Sometimes the stool will have a brownish-green or light brown appearance as well. That is all normal. If the stool has a reddish appearance, then that is not normal as there is usually an indication of blood. After the infant no longer passes meconium, the presence of blood is not usual, and you need to have your pediatrician examine your baby if that happens.
However, fortunately, that is a rarity. Now, the one thing you may wonder is how often your formula-fed infant should pass a stool. Let’s talk about that right now.
How Many Times A Day Should A Baby Poop?
After your baby completes the meconium stage, the number of times your formula-fed newborn passes a stool may happen from one to four times a day. Therefore, some inconsistencies should not alarm you in the beginning. After a week, your infant should poop anywhere from three to four times a day. And some days, the number of poopie diapers that come from your baby will be fewer than on other days. That is not anything to worry about if that happens. Sometimes you are not regular, and your system at some point ends up correcting itself. Your infant is no different.
However, the time when you would have to worry about your baby not pooping enough is if they go for three to four days without passing a stool. If that happens, then your infant is constipated, and that can lead to other problems. Not to mention, your baby will be very fussy and irritable due to being uncomfortable.
How Do You Know Your Baby Is Constipated?
Other than your infant not passing a stool for more than four or five days, other signs indicate your infant has constipation. When your infant does end up passing a stool, the poop is hard and pellet-like. Not to mention, your infant is very uncomfortable, passing the poop. They will cry and have an appearance of struggling. Usually, your baby turns red and grunts while pooping, but a constipated baby has the appearance of being uncomfortable in addition to crying. The good news you can learn how to help a newborn baby poop.
How To Help A Baby Poop
A newborn or young baby cannot take in extra water or juices how an older infant can start eating solids. However, you can make the bicycle motion with the baby’s legs. Take the legs and move them forward and then bend their knees towards the back, the way you would if you were riding a bike. That is what you are pretending that your baby does. That motion can help get their digestive tract moving.
You can also massage your baby gently in the lower part of the stomach and abdomen. The massage may help to stimulate the bowels so that your baby can successfully pass a stool. You will want to do the massage several times to attain success. And if the formula is the cause for constipation, you will want to talk to your baby’s pediatrician to look into a formula switch. That may solve the problem if constipation happens too often.
If all else fails, then talk to your baby’s pediatrician about using a glycerin suppository. That is something to use as the last resort, which will not only help your infant pass a stool but to soften it.
If the baby is over six months old, then pureed vegetables or prune juices and water can help get things moving. If that does not work, then your baby’s pediatrician may recommend an OTC age-appropriate laxative. Once again, that is the last resort option.
After you deliver your baby, you will worry about how often they will need to eat and poop. If you are formula-feeding your infant, you will want to know what is normal for their bowel movements. The color of bowel movements will change after the meconium passes out of the baby’s system.
The frequency will change, as well. The ideal thing is for the infant to pass stools three to four times a day. However, that can vary day by day. The concern is if your infant does not poop in five days, then you will need to involve intervention to help your baby pass a stool. Either way, constipation in infants is resolvable.