Ask the Dietitian - What Should My Baby’s Poop Look Like?

Ask the Dietitian - What Should My Baby’s Poop Look Like?

Posted by Diane, MPH, RD, LD - Director of Nutrition Services on May 28th 2019

Baby poop...what's normal and what isn't?

New moms and dads are often puzzled by what their baby’s poop should look like…what’s normal and what isn’t? Many parents have questions about the consistency of poop and what color is normal. The answer to these questions will depend on what your baby is being fed...

The stools of breastfed babies are usually softer when compared to those of formula fed babies. Even when the baby is formula fed, the type of formula may cause differences in stool consistency. Whey-based formulas tend to produce slightly softer stools than non-fat milk or casein-based formulas. When a formula is well tolerated, stools will look like soft little sausages.

Hard or pellet size stools may indicate constipation and warrant a call to your baby’s healthcare provider to make sure that your baby is doing okay. Especially in hot climates, your baby may be a bit dehydrated and needs a little more water per day. Usually, about one to two ounces of water between feedings may resolve the issue. Perhaps your baby is not tolerating the formula and may have an intolerance or allergy to milk proteins and a plant-based formula such as a soy-based formula. In this case, Baby’s Only Organic® Pea Protein Formula or a specialized protein hydrolyzed formula may be needed. Protein hydrolyzed formulas are made by breaking down milk proteins into smaller protein pieces called amino acids and peptides. There are no organic protein hydrolyzed formulas on the market today. If a cow’s milk protein allergy or intolerance is suspected, always check with your baby’s healthcare provider to determine what type of formula should be used.

Very wet or loose stools or liquid poop may be a sign of an illness and also should be checked out by your baby’s healthcare provider. Does your baby have a lactose (milk sugar) intolerance and needs to be on a lactose-free formula such as Baby’s Only Organic® LactoRelief® with DHA & ARA Formula? Is your baby coming down with a cold or the flu or some other illness causing diarrhea? Is your baby not tolerating a dairy-based formula? These are the types of questions to think about when your baby’s poop is a sign that something isn’t quite right.

The color of your baby’s poop will change over time. During the first few days of life, poop may be greenish black and this is normal. After the first few days, breastfed babies’ stools will normally then be a mustard yellow or even a hint of light green color. Formula fed babies will usually have tan to light brown stools. Once your baby starts on solid foods, stool color will change to a darker brown. White, red, or black stools warrant an immediate call to your baby’s healthcare provider as these are not normal. These could indicate constipation, intolerance to a formula, or some intestinal bleeding.

Click here for a nice visual guide to appropriate and problem stool colors.


**For specific medical care and nutritional advice on product usage, please see your healthcare professional