Newborn facts: Your baby’s bowel action

13 Surprising and informative facts about your newborn.

A breastfed baby’s bowel action

Once the meconium phase has passed (that’s the thick, green-black, sticky stool of the first few days), a breastfed baby is likely to have a bowel movement at every feed and often more than once at each sitting! Some will be big and explosive, others just a smear in the nappy. Breast babies’ stool statistics are as follows:

  • Mustard in colour
  • Soft as mustard paste
  • Contains what looks like little white seeds
  • Is easy to clean and is not at all unpleasant-smelling
  • After the first six-week period, the stools will reduce in number to as little as one in five or seven days, but will still be soft and easy to clean.

Formula-fed baby’s bowel action

Formula-fed babies’ stools are usually brown and pasty, and are mostly passed once to twice daily. However, a small baby will seldom have a pattern to her bowel actions, apart from the motion accompanying feeding. In time you might detect a pattern, but a regular excretory routine cannot be forced. Green tinges can be due to iron added to the formula-milk powder and is not a cause for concern, unless accompanied by constipation.

By Sister Lilian

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