It comes out in so many different forms and volumes that you often find yourself exclaiming to the room in general ‘Holy shit, where did all that come from?’ or ‘What the hell is that colour supposed to be?’
You almost need a poo directory on hand to check that all the shapes, sizes and smells register as normal!
First Poos, congratulations!
The first round of a newborn’s bowel movements is called Meconium, a delightful, green-black, sticky mess similar to say, warm vegemite. It’s full of all the stuff they ingested while in their happy womb home and might continue for the first day or two. It’s kind of exciting when you see the first colour change to a lighter khaki green, you know your baby has started digesting his actual food!
Normal, healthy breastmilk poo doesn’t smell much at all. It isn’t sticky, has a mustard colouring with a creamy consistency and sometimes little white flakes in it. It is quite mushy so don’t be alarmed and worried that it’s diarrhoea. Mushy is normal.
Occasionally my babies had greenish poos (I called them broccoli poos) that are common when you’ve had something to eat that hasn’t quite sat right with bub’s digestion. If they don’t have any wind or pain it’s probably ok, but if they’re upset and uncomfortable best to cut back on whatever it is you’re into, usually whatever can be picked up and eaten one-handed! Think nuts, chocolate, sugary biscuits…
If, though, the green colour is bright and the consistency leaning toward frothy, it’s most likely a milk imbalance. If your baby is getting too much of the watery, thirst quenching low cal foremilk that is always available at the beginning of a feed (or let-down) and not enough of the rich, good nutritious fatty, fill-me-up hindmilk, then this can happen. Babies don’t always latch on for a long feed, often it’s a quick settle me down drink, or I’m a bit tired drink, so starting each feed on the breast that you fed him from last can help get the rest of the hindmilk delivered and fix the problem.
Formula Fed Poos
Best not to make yourself a crunchy peanut butter sanga before you change one of these because that’s pretty much what you’re going to find in that nappy! The colour range can swing through a few shades of brown from yellow to green, probably be a little smelly, but still easy enough on the nose.
You would think that these newborn nappies would be the easiest to change because your precious little ones haven’t worked out how to roll away from you yet. Bzzzzt. Wrong answer I’m afraid. They’re totally up there with the trickiest. Firstly, you’re hanging on to fragile little ankles to keep tiny feet out of the splat zone (newborns love to dip their feet in their poo it seems) whilst wrangling wipes that want to come out of the box in a line of 10, or get stuck, and give you half of one at a time. Secondly, a nappy off is a sure signal for a newborn to pee. Catch it if you can but try to avoid shielding yourself. Deflected pee just goes all over everything else including your child. It’s easier to throw only you in the shower after the whole ordeal is over.
If you’ve been advised to give your baby a vitamin or mineral supplement, such as iron, his poos might be dark green or almost black, but otherwise normal in consistency.
If you haven’t given any supplements and these colours are present, you need to call your doctor immediately in case your baby is digesting blood.
Solid Food Poos (GAG!)
Oh my goodness, if you’ve been exclusively breastfeeding you’ll especially get a shock, not so much the consistency and colour, it’s a bit thicker and browner, but the smell! It’s simple, lovely pure (and pureed) food going in, so how can something so hideously stinky come out of one so cute?
Once you move on from purees and mash and start introducing carrots, peas and a wider variety of food of all colours, you’ll more than once or twice meet up with them again in the nappy. Not all food has a chance to digest and break down properly in those little bodies and babies like to take great gulps without chewing properly too. If undigested food is present all the time it’s best to let your doctor know.