Baby Poop: Breastfed & formula-fed Baby Poop

by manthananam.erem

Being a mother of two kids, I often used to knock elder women up with the poop talk. They were ever so polite and would give away all the wisdom they had. Even after years of potty training, I still do the baby poop talk, now for my cats and with my veterinarian. 

I once heard a woman say, ‘Once you give birth, you let go of all the shame & timidness you carried with you all your life’. Truth is, we get so busy once the baby arrives that shame & timidness are the fardest thing to worry about.

Baby poop tells plenty about your child’s health. It’s odor, consistency & color differ from time to time. Color, odor & consistency can vary while breastfeeding, formula-feeding & solid food addition.

This leaves us with the question, What is normal baby poop? There’s diversity in answering this question, given babies’ ever-changing poop composition.  

Table of content:

  • Normal baby poop color, consistency & odor.
  • Bowel Movements, Baby Poop variation in due course of time, i.e., BMs
  • Types of baby poop & what is normal!?
  • Breastfed baby poop.
  • Formula-fed baby poop.
  • Solid food baby poop.
  • Common questions about Baby poop.

1. Normal baby poop color, consistency & odor.


baby poop

As we mentioned, baby poop changes with every transitioning stage in their life. Baby poop would be different when they take a dump for the very first time. While the coming days, say 3rd or 4th day, their poop would differ from that of the first day and it would be completely different after a few months. 

  • Normal Baby Poop Color:

The color range usually falls between yellow, green & brown. So, if your baby’s poop is green in color, it’s alright, especially in the starting days & weeks.

Baby poop color is most often similar in both breastfed babies and formula-fed babies. Yellow-green-brown.

With Solid food, baby poop color gets darker in tone. Baby poop will also have undigested food in the poop and it’s considered mostly normal since babies can’t digest some of the food at an early age. 

  • Normal Baby Poop Consistency:

The consistency should be soft. Mostly, babies poop looks like crumbled peanut butter with seed-like crumbles. Slightly runny poop is also considered healthy. It’s the watery stool that you must look out for. 

Most of the time breastfed babies poop consistency is similar to that of formula-fed babies. The slight difference that you might see would be the firmness in formula-fed babies and loose/runny stools in breastfed babies.  

When babies start to eat more solid food, their baby poop changes its consistency as well. It becomes denser in texture with a little undigested food. 

  • Normal Poop Odor:

Poop’s odor highly depends on the time it stayed inside the intestine. The more it sits with the bacteria, the fouler it will smell. If your baby has regular feedings & potty sessions, the poop shouldn’t smell bad.

While poop sitting out is one reason for the poop to smell, allergies, and a mother’s diet can also affect the smell of your baby’s poop. 

Formula-fed baby’s poop would smell more than a breastfed baby. But you find the smell rather risky, contact your doctor and get an appointment ASAP.

Baby poop starts to smell once the baby adds solid food in its diet. Due to the longer digestion time period od bigger modules, the baby poop gets fouler with solid food. 

2. Baby poop variations in the due course of time


Given the diverse normality of baby poop, look for happy changes. Changes in baby poop are good signs of a healthy baby. Mother’s milk changes with the course of time, from colostrum to transitional milk to mature milk.

Why? The mother’s body produces milk to fulfill the baby’s body demands. This change in milk’s composition should also change baby poop’s composition. It’s a healthy sign for a healthy baby.

Also look for fussiness, baby’s weight gain, their reaction while pooping, if any of these doesn’t seem right, contact your doctor. 

  • The very first poop:

Babies most likely have their first poop within 24 hours. To most of the parent’s surprise, you wouldn’t see yellow/green/brown mushy poop but a very mucousy, green, sticky poop. 

Why is it green, tarry & mucousy? Babies don’t excrete the waste inside of the womb. This waste mostly consists of amniotic fluids, bile, intestinal cells, mucus, water, etc.  It’s referred to as Meconium. Don’t be scared of the first poop, it’s healthy. 

It can get hard to get rid of meconium from your baby’s skin, nurses & doulas suggest to use olive oil. Some mothers even practice applying olive oil prior to their baby’s first poop. 

Newborns sustain on colostrum for the first few days. Colostrum is rich in nutrient and only a little amount can fulfill your baby’s little stomach. Until your baby feeds on colostrum, they will dirty fewer diapers than you’d expect. The number of diapers & poop color shall gradually increase day by day. 

  • First month:

Newborns sustain on colostrum for the first few days. Colostrum is rich in nutrient and only a little amount can fulfill your baby’s little stomach. Until your baby feeds on colostrum, they will dirty fewer diapers than you’d expect. The number of diapers & poop color shall gradually increase day by day. 

In the coming days, say 4th or 5th, babies would often poop after every feeding to empty their stomachs. Don’t be alarmed if you catch 10 diapers a day. Their poop would be runny and might get mushier than what it was on the first day. 

This case differs from formula-fed babies: Formula-fed babies dirty 4-5 diapers a day. This number can differ from babies. Some can go up to a few days without a dirty diaper. To look out for constipation, make sure the baby’s poop is mushy and is easy to pass if your baby poop once in a couple of days. 

  • 3rd month onwards:

10 diapers count decreases after the 3rd or 4th month, you will notice fewer diapers, 3 to 4 dirty diapers a day.

Also, some babies start to absorb more breast milk than others in the 3rd/4th month. They might poop once in a couple of days or even once a week. This poop must be soft, abundant & easy to pass. If your baby is having trouble while pooping, it might constipation. Don’t confuse the two of them. 

You can weight to look out for your baby’s poop composition, if not you can consult your doctor. If your baby’s poop looks like cat poop or hard and pebble-like, it can be a clear sign of constipation. Contact your doctor. 

3. Types of poops, What is normal?


Baby Poop

We concluded the ever-changing baby poop composition is a good sign of a healthy baby. Still, if you are concerned about your baby’s poop, check through this list to know what’s normal and what is not.  

    • Black poop: 

Meconium is mostly black in color. The color might differ from black to dark green. Black poop isn’t scary for starting 1 or 2 days. But if you continue to witness black poop in the coming days, it’s not a healthy sign. 

There can be multiple reasons as to why your baby’s poop is black in color. It could be something in the diet(solid food period) like grapes, or it could also be due to medicines that have dark consistency. 

Other plausible reason for black poop can be inhaled cigarettes(if so, please avoid cigarettes until you breastfeed and keep the baby zone clear(not just cigarettes but industrial smoke, incense, etc.)

 If none of this applies to your situation, it can be a serious case of stomach & intestinal bleeding. You will notice black, tarry poop in such conditions. Meet your doctor ASAP.

  • Red Poop 

Just like the normal green poop, red poop is also considered normal and can be due to the baby’s/mother’s diet. Foods like tomatoes, beet can change your baby poop color. Some medicines prescribed by doctors can also affect baby poop color to turn red.

While these are considered normal, sometimes, internal issues can actually result in bloody poop. Bloody poop can be a response to certain milk allergies or fussiness. If your baby is not gaining enough weight or is mostly crying, consult your doctor. 

  • White Poop

White poop is not a healthy sign. It usually is an underlying issue of the liver. Bile gives poop it’s yellow/brown color. White poop certainly lacks bile in it.

There can be many reasons for bile restriction. It could be an obstacle that’s blacking the bile or some other liver diseases. Contact your doctor. 

  • Grey Poop

While greenish-grey poop is considered normal. A complete light gray poop is scary. It resembles white poop. White-grayish poop also is an underlying symptom of bile & liver issues. 

Don’t confuse white-grayish poop with dark grey/greenish gray poop. Dark gray & greenish-gray poop is considered normal and is a result of the mother’s and baby’s diet. 

  • Foamy & frothy poop

Frothy poop indicates a common concern that is easily treated. Foamy poop usually occurs when your baby starts to have more sugar/lactose in their diet(breast milk’s composition) 

These are easily treatable. Your baby most probably will get used to fat digestion and will continue to have better poop. If it doesn’t fix within a week, consult your doctor to be on the safe side. 

  • Pebble stool

At any point in your baby’s growth, their poop must be soft & easy to pass. If you see pebble poop, it’s a sign of constipation. This is usually caused due to dehydration or less amount of fluid intake. 

It’s recommended to breastfeed more often if you witness hard pebble poop and witness dehydration. If feeding formula, add an additional dose of formula to meet your baby’s fluid demands. (Don’t add water if your baby is breastfeeding and formula feeding.)

With solid food, add water in their diet. Also, choose foods & fruits that are juicy and have good water content. Don’t confuse constipation with baby pooping in a week or a couple of days. Instead look for their poop’s composition if even after a week, their poop is soft & mushy, it’s not constipation. 

Constipation usually occurs when you start to introduce solid food into your baby’s diet. To avoid constipation, increase their fluid intake. 

If you notice blood in the pebble poop, it’s usually due to forcing the poop out and not a sign of an internal emergency. Contact your doctor to loosen the stool & prevent constipation by increasing fluid intake. 

  • Mucousy Poop

A small amount of mucus in the baby’s poop is normal. But if you notice large amount of mucus along with diarrhea and other symptoms, consult your doctors. 

Breastfed babies commonly have mucous in their poop due to breast milk composition but only in little amount. Consult your doctor if the mucus persists on staying. Mucousy poop looks stringy and & slimy in texture. 

  • Undigested Poop

With the start of solid food, it is normal to have undigested food in Abby poop. Your baby is new to digesting solid food. They will take a little time to adjust to solid food. 

If you notice undigested food in baby poop, don’t be alarmed and don’t restrict solid food either. It’s normal and your baby will soon learn from it. 

  • Watery stool

Though breastfed babies usually have a runny stool. But if it exceeds all limits of runny and is completely floating out, it’s a sign of diarrhea. Don’t avoid Diarrhea and consult your doctor ASAP. Untreated diarrhea can lead to dehydration and other concerning issues. 

4. Breastfed Baby Poop


Color: A healthy breastfed baby’s poop is usually yellow in color, it is often found with a tint of green. Also, more green in breastfed baby poop is also normal, if you are wondering. 

Consistency: The ideal consistency of breastfed baby poop should fall somewhere between mushy & soft poop. In light of that, it’s not uncommon to notice runny poop.

Breastfeeding babies often have runny poop. Parents might as well confuse runny poop & diarrhea. To play on the safe side, consult with your doctor about diarrhea. 

Also, the poop texture isn’t smooth but crumbly or seed-like. 

Odor: Breastfed babies poop can be somewhere between odorless to negligible smell. Breastfed baby poop smells sweet to some parents while for others it’s indistinguishable. If you notice a foul smell in a breastfed baby, consult it with your doctor. 

Often, diarrhea has a very distinct foul smell. If you notice a pungent smell in breastfed babies, it could be a sign of diarrhea. 

Bowel Movements: Breastfed babies’ bowel movements increase gradually by the day. After meconium, your breastfed baby will have one diaper a day since it’s feeding colostrum(feeds usually in a small amount). 2 diapers the second day, 3 diapers the third day and it goes like this for a week.

After a week, the changes of diapers stabilize to 10-12 diapers a day. It’s also not uncommon for babies to go a week without a bowel movement if they have a healthy mushy poop(discussed above)

5. Formula-fed Baby Poop


Color: Formula-fed babies differ in color, consistency & odor than that of breastfed babies. The baby poop color of a formula-fed baby is close to brown/greenish-brown/yellow-brown. 

Consistency: Formula-fed baby poop is thicker in consistency given its human-made composition. Why? Babies cannot process formula like they process breast milk because babies are unfamiliar with formula’s composition. 

This leads to a lot of waste since babies can’t process all of it, giving extra poop out

To have a measurement, its consistency is similar to peanut butter(sorry but true) if you see a slight change in its consistency, it could be a leading sign of constipation or diarrhea. 

Odor: Formula-fed baby poop has a pungent smell given the amount of waste it produces. 

Bowel Movements: Breastfed-babies poop lesser than breastfeeding babies. Formula-fed baby poop consistency is thicker and denser and not runny which makes them poop less. 

They can poop 3-4 time a day or lesser. Also, some babies also poop too much and some too little and in an irregular pattern. Don’t be alarmed if you see an irregular pattern in the bowel movements. They can even take a dump once a week. Instead, look for the poop consistency.

If it’s not hard, it no unsafe even if your baby poop less or once/twice a week. 

6. Solid-Food Poop


Color: After introducing solid food, you will notice a lot of changes. baby poop color will take a darker shade of brown. 

Consistency: Baby poop will become firm once the baby starts to feed on solid food. make sure it’s easy to pass. Also remember, once you start solid food, constipation will be an easy target. Keep this in mind, give your baby water-rich solid food to avoid constipation. 

Odor: Baby poop will smell bad. real bad since it takes more time to digest solid food. It will start to look like adult poop and might smell similar. But poop smell would largely depend on what your baby had for dinner/lunch & breakfast.

Bowel movements: BMs would reduce down to 1 or 2 times a day given the food’s complexity. 

7. Common questions about Baby Poop


Question 1: Is Formula-fed baby poop different from breastfed baby poop?

Answer: Yes, we broadly discussed it. Formula-fed baby poop differs in all spectra, that is, color, consistency, odor & BMs(bowel movements) Refer to the discussion above. Babies are naturally designed to digest breast milk, the same is not the case with formula. The formula is foreign to the baby’s digestive tract and takes longer to digest.

If you are feeding formula to your baby,  give extra attention to constipation, diarrhea. It should be firm & mushy like peanut butter. If you see signs of constipation, consult your doctor. 

Question 2: Formula-fed baby poop is green, is it normal?

Answer: It’s normal to have a little shade of green in formula-fed baby poop. Though the formula-fed poop is brown in color, it also has a tint of yellow and green which is completely normal & healthy. The green color can be associated with the supplements in the formula food. 

In fact, green color is common & pretty general in all babies whatever you feed them, A.K.A, Breast milk or formula or solid food. 

Question 3: Mucus in Formula-fed baby poop, is it normal?

Answer:  A little amount of mucus is usually normal in formula-fed/breastfed babies. Intestines produce mucus to facilitate easier pooping experience but if you notice a lot of mucus, it can be a symptom of allergy or underlying issues. Consult your doctor is you see an excessive amount of mucus in your baby’s poop. 

Please note, the first baby poop after birth is going to be complete mucous. The poop is called meconium & is the waste babies produce inside of the womb(which they usually excrete after birth).

Since meconium(the first baby poop) is a composition of amniotic fluids, mucus, intestinal cells, it’s full of mucous. Meconium is dark green in color, has a stringy texture and jelly-type. Olive oil can help clean baby skin off meconium. 

Question 4: Breastfed baby poop green/watery and mucousy, are these normal?


  • Yes, color green in breastfed babies is normal. You can see green color in small hints or it can as well be in great amount. It’s completely normal for breastfed babies to be green in color.
  • Yes, the watery stool is common in breastfeeding babies. Sometimes parents confuse runny poop as diarrhea. Parents’ concern is validating when it comes to diarrhea, you must not ignore diarrhea since it can cause dehydration in babies. If you notice too runny/watery poop, consult your doctor. 
  • Yes, Mucous is quite common in breastfed babies. In fact, it’s more common in breastfed babies than it is in formula-fed babies or solid food babies. If you notice a lot of mucous that doesn’t look normal, consult your doctor. Mucus can also be caused due to medicines. let your doctor know of all the information to detect the cause. 

Question 5: Clay like poop color in formula-fed babies, is it normal?


NO! White, gray, and whitish-gray colors are not a good sign of healthy poop. These colors are associated with liver issues. Why? Bile gives poop its natural yellow/brown/green color. White/gray poop means the bile is either restricted, blocked, or has some other serious liver issues. 

It’s best to consult a doctor ASAP. Don’t avoid the clay texture either in baby poop. While white & light shades of gray are dangerous, greenish-gray & dark gray are normal & common in babies. The greenish pigment or dark gray color can be associated with diet. 

Save the graphic for the later use:-

baby poop

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2 comments

Sima Ondersma June 10, 2020 - 6:19 pm

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manthananam.erem June 18, 2020 - 2:31 pm

hello there,
Thank you for visiting Mumandthem.
I’m so sorry, I cannot tell if the book is worth buying since I haven’t read it myself. But if it is under your budget, then I see no harm in buying it and reading the unending benefits of nature.

Though I’m certain you can also find the same information about nature and its remedies all around the internet for free.

Thank you.

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