My baby has GREEN Poop! Is this normal?
The short answer is yes!
There may be several reasons why your baby’s poop is green, and it varies by age.
Your Baby’s First Stools
Your baby’s first bowel movement will happen either just before, during, or right after birth. This poop is called meconium. It is usually sticky, thick, and a dark green color; but it can also appear dark brown or even black. It can be hard to clean off of skin and will likely stain fabrics. Sometimes baby passes meconium while still inside. If your provider believes this has happened, your baby will be assessed and monitored for possible meconium aspiration. This is rare, even if there is meconium in the amniotic fluid.
What comes next?
A few days after your baby is born stools will change to a more transitional consistency. This poo is usually green and less sticky than meconium. For exclusively breastfed babies, poop usually turns to a mustardy yellow color and can appear seedy in texture. However, your baby’s poop may also be green or brown when exclusively breastfed; breastfed poop should have a sweet smell. If your baby drinks formula (exclusively or in addition to breastmilk), you may notice that your baby’s poop is more of a yellow or brown color with a peanut butter consistency. Poos may be less frequent but larger and may be stinky compared to that of exclusive breastmilk stools.
You may notice that your baby’s stools are greener if you are using iron supplements or iron fortified formula.
Poop color and consistency changes as your baby grows and his diet changes.
When you start to introduce solids (purees or table foods/baby-led weaning) around 6+ months (we don’t recommend starting solids before 6 months AND your baby can sit up completely unassisted) your baby’s poop may resemble the foods she eats. Sometimes you may even see partially undigested food in your baby’s poop.
What are warning signs that something isn’t quite right?
Black poop may be an indication of digested blood. If your baby is breastfed, this could be from bleeding or cracked nipples. It is a good idea to check with your baby’s pediatrician just to be sure that it isn’t something more serious.
You should call the pediatrician if you notice any of the following:
- Runny poop: if your baby is exclusively breastfed and you notice his poop is more runny than usual and lasting for a few days, it could be a sign of dehydration. If your baby is formula fed with runny poop, contact your pediatrician.
- Hard, pebble like poop: this is usually a sign of constipation and can happen when solids are introduced. However, it can also be a sign of an intolerance to something mom is eating if your baby is breastfed or the formula you are using. Contact a lactation consultant or your baby’s pediatrician for help recognizing the issue and to find a solution.
- Red blood: If you notice red blood in otherwise normal looking stools, it could be a sign of a milk allergy. However, if you notice red blood in diarrhea, it may indicate a bacterial infection.
- Mucus: when mucus is present in your baby’s stools, it can be a sign of an infection. Mucus in baby poop can look like green slimy streaks with sparkly strings.
- White poop: when your baby has white chalky poop, it can be an indication that your baby isn’t digesting food properly; it could be a lack of bile from the liver necessary to digest food.
In conclusion, your baby’s poop will vary and transition throughout the first few years of life. Changes in your baby’s “normal” poop are just a sign that she is healthy and growing and green poop is usually nothing to worry about!
When you notice anything that seems alarming, don’t hesitate to reach out to your pediatrician for reassurance or solutions to possible problems. Your baby’s health and your sanity are both important!