The Scoop On Poop

What do I look for inside baby’s diapers?

From too many to not enough poopy diapers, to strange colors in the diaper, baby’s “output” can be confusing and very worrisome when you aren’t sure what it all means. Here’s the scoop on poop:

  • Newborns typically have between one and ten dirty diapers every 24 hours.
  • Expect the dirty diapers to have these colors and consistency:
    • Birth – day 2 or 3: dark tarry and/or black sticky poop
    • Day 3 – day 4 or 5: dark brown to lighter brown pasty poop
    • Day 5 – day 6 or 7: yellow seedy and/or loose watery poop
    • After the first week of life, the poop will change to mostly yellow, seedy and loose liquid stools.


At any point during the first few months of life, the baby’s bowel movements can change as a result of the breast milk they are receiving.

  • When a baby has greenish stools, it is possible that the baby is not getting enough fat content in the breast milk.
    • This can happen when some nutrients are missing from the mother’s diet. For example, mothers who are on a restricted diet or who are not eating or drinking enough dairy fats, healthy greens and veggies/fruits can often find their milk very low in fat content. The breast milk may appear thin and watery.
    • In addition to the quality and appearance of the milk, the calorie count of the milk may need to be evaluated. Speak with your lactation consultant about this type of testing.
  • In some circumstances, babies may have small amounts of blood or mucous in their bowel movements.
    • This is often associated with a baby’s sensitivity to cow’s milk proteins or their inability to properly digest these proteins. Cow’s milk proteins are the most worrisome, however, there are other food groups that can cause the baby to present with blood or changes in their bowel movements.
    • If you notice any blood in the baby’s diaper, please schedule an appointment with the pediatrician so they can evaluate for possible allergy or other medical concerns.


Your baby’s bowel movements are an indicator of their well-being. It is important to give your physician and lactation consultant a history of the most recent feeding patterns, wet and dirty diaper count and color and consistency of the bowel movements.

Monitoring the baby’s bowel movements is important, but not something to become overly concerned about unless you notice other significant changes at the same time. If you see changes in the baby’s poopy diapers and also see signs of excessive fussiness, excessive spitting up or other new behaviors that are causing disruption in sleep cycles, it might be time to have baby evaluated by a physician.

Always remember to speak with your lactation consultant and pediatrician about any changes that cause you concern.

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