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      Baby stools and their differences

      Your baby’s changing stools

      Your baby’s stools will go through many changes over the first few months, especially once you start to introduce solids! But the most obvious changes will be in the first few weeks of their life.

      The first few days

      In the first few days after birth your baby will pass meconium - a sticky, greeny-black substance, which is difficult to wipe off. Passing meconium shows that your baby’s bowels are working normally.

      Once all the meconium has worked its way through your baby’s system, their stools will change.

      Breastfed babies

      If you’re breastfeeding you’ll notice that your baby’s poo has a distinctive, sweet smell. It will be a mustardy or bright yellow colour and have a loose runny texture. It might even look as if it has mustard seeds in it sometimes. Your baby might produce 2-3 of these stools a day. Or they may only go once a week once breastfeeding is established.

      Bottle-fed babies

      If your baby is bottle-fed their stools will be bulkier than if they were breastfed and will smell a little like adult ones. The colour will be dark green and they should pass a stool every 2-3 days to avoid becoming constipated.

      A change in your baby’s poo

      Baby's poos will probably vary sometimes, but diarrhoea, constipation or blood-streaked poo are not normal for your baby to have continuously but if they occur just once, they might be symptoms of something quite simple. If you’re worried, it’s always a good idea to check with a healthcare professional.. If your baby is less than a year old, why not try our Baby Symptom Checker? It provides useful advice and practical tips, and gives you a summary of your baby's symptoms to discuss with your healthcare professional.

      • Any kind of small tummy bug, medication, teething or sensitivity to food can cause diarrhoea and this should clear up without treatment within 24 hours. If not, speak to your health visitor or doctor.
      • Constipation can be caused by a number of things including a change of diet, dehydration or a minor illness like a cold. Follow our tips to relieve your baby’s constipation.
      • Streaks of blood can sometimes appear in your baby’s poo if they’ve got or have had constipation and have been straining too hard. But it’s always best to get this checked out by your health visitor or doctor just in case.

      Important notice
      Breastfeeding is best for babies and provides many benefits. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, you eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of your own breastmilk, and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. The social and financial implications of using an infant milk should be considered. Improper use of an infant milk or inappropriate foods or feeding methods may present a health hazard. If you use an infant milk, you should follow manufacturer’s instructions for use carefully – failure to follow the instructions may make your baby ill. Always consult your doctor, midwife or health visitor for advice about feeding your baby.

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