Health and Wellness

Decoding baby poop: What infant stools can tell you

Anurima
0 to 1 years

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Decoding baby poop What infant stools can tell you

As a first time mom, I was told by the mid-wives to keep an eye on my baby’s poop so as to understand more about her health. It sounded a little silly but nevertheless I began scanning my daughter’s diaper every time she pooped, everyday for weeks and months together. My husband on the other hand, thought I was being paranoid and getting obsessed with poop! By the time I had my son, almost 3 years later, I knew a lot more about baby poop and how to understand it to assess my child’s health.
Here is a little article to help new parents decode their baby’s poop and know more on how their baby is feeling on a particular day.

  1. Newborn poop or Meconium: A new baby’s stools also called meconium are usually dark and appear greenish-black. This is perfectly normal. The dark colour is due to the presence of Bilirubin, a yellowish green breakdown of red blood cells. The consistency is quite loose, which is absolutely normal.
    What to do?
    Meconium is temporary and usually lasts for the first three days after your baby’s birth after which the poop changes to a yellowish colour.
     
  2. Bright yellow and seedy: Breastfed babies have loose, yellow seedy poop with a mild smell. It may look like diarrhea, but it is completely normal for babies who are exclusively breastfed to have poop of this consistency.
    What to do?
    Nothing! Continue breastfeeding your baby without worrying.
     
  3. Dark and thick: Babies who are formula fed usually have a darker poop as compared to those babies who are breastfed. The consistency is thick and colour is brown.
    What to do?
    There is nothing to worry about. You may continue with the normal feeding routine of your baby. If you switch to a new formula, there maybe change in the consistency of your baby’s poop but that should regularize in a couple of days.
     
  4. Greenish brown colour: When you introduce solids, your baby’s poop may change to a greenish brown colour. This can also happen if your baby is on an iron supplement. This is completely normal.
    What to do?
    This stool is considered normal. You may consult the doctor if you notice any other symptom in your baby, such as a cold, fever or excessive irritability.

    Warning signs: When to call the doctor?
    You can tell a lot about your baby’s health by what is in his/her diaper. Your baby’s poop can be of a variety of texture, colour and odour. However, the following signs need a call to the doctor for advice.
  1. Brown, watery or loose: Your baby may occasionally have brownish loose stools and it’s no cause for concern.  Keep an eye on your baby’s diaper. If the loose stools continue for two days or more, and is coupled with any more signs—discomfort to the child, resistance to feeding, fever, listlessness etc.--it could be diarrhea. Diarrhea could be a sign for an infection and could lead to dehydration. Call your baby’s doctor if runny poop persists for more than two days.
     
  2.  Dry, hard pebble-like: This consistency signifies that your baby could be constipated. Occasional constipation is normal, just as occasional loose stools are normal. Your baby may be constipated due to change in formula or when being introduced to solids.  To ease your baby’s constipation, give him/her small amounts of extra breast milk or formula to drink. For older babies, little water can be given from time to time. When introducing solids, offer foods with high fiber such as vegetables and fruits to avoid your baby being constipated.
     
  3. Green, slimy streaked: Green streaks with strings indicate a presence of mucous in poop. This could be a sign of an infection and needs to be checked by the doctor.
     
  4. White, chalky: Chalky white or greyish poop is a sign that your baby is not properly digesting food. Bile is a digestive fluid made in the liver. If your baby’s liver does not produce bile or if the bile is obstructed, the colour of the stool changes to white. This needs immediate attention by the doctor.

    5. Unusually smelly: Though poop is meant to have a bit of smell, but if the smell is very strong, foul, and is different from his normal poop, you may want to get your baby checked by the doctor.

Also, here are some more pointers which may indicate poop-trouble for your baby.

  1. Call the doctor right away if you notice any of the following:
  • Blood in stools
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark coloured urine
  • Lethargy or decreased activity

    2.It is normal for babies to pass stools 4-5 times a day to once in two days, but if there is a huge variation in this average, it may indicate trouble.

    3. In case the baby does have loose motions etc., be extra gentle in wiping his bottom clean. Due to frequent pooping and cleaning of the area, the delicate skin is highly prone to a diaper rash. Along with the medicines prescribed by the doctor, ask him to suggest a diaper rash cream as well.

    4. Most babies do make strange faces when passing poop as they have to apply pressure. It is normal, unless you feel your baby is almost in pain.

Understanding your baby’s health, making informed choices without being worried saves you time to bond better with your baby. Happy diaper scanning!

 

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Bhavana

| Sep 12, 2017

thank you

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Anisha Gada

| Jun 15, 2017

very gud information

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Bhawna Bhambri

| Jun 15, 2017

Thanks It is very useful information..

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Reshma Bhangire Tiwari

| Jun 14, 2017

thank u

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Roopashri

| Jun 14, 2017

thank you,!!!

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Ranjeeta

| Jun 14, 2017

thanks for your advice... good information

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Lucky prasad

| Jun 14, 2017

thank you.. very useful information..

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Vaishali

| Jun 14, 2017

thanks for this information.

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Vipulab Sharma

| Jun 14, 2017

my baby too poops frothy and greenish sometines.. what does it indicates??

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Neeraja Manohar B

| Jun 14, 2017

bsq 1qnvd

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Mamta pant

| Jun 10, 2017

My 6 n half n is having frothy stool which is sometimes greenish.. please tell me what could be the issue??? Thanks in advance

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Chandni Mathur

| Jun 10, 2017

useful article

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Jayashree k

| Jun 09, 2017

Parent

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Mousumi Pal Majumdar

| Jun 09, 2017

Thank you very much for the information. ☺️

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Pravallika Sriman

| Jun 08, 2017

Hi koushik , that's quite normal. Give 5 tablespoons of lukewarm waterwith honey twice a day once in empty stomach other in the end of the day. Contisipation prbm will be reduced.

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Kanika Ganeriwal

| May 05, 2017

those who have stool problem, try some Vaseline. take an earburd put some Vaseline and swirl it between the stool passing point .. little deep. this worked for me.

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Maulik Gosalia

| May 05, 2017

my baby is pooping in every 1hr.. and passes light greenish yellow colour stool of semisolid consistancy.. she is 11days old only.. dr gave her phototherapy for 1. 5days as she has bilirubin 23 ..after that she passes poop frequently. .I m worried that may she dont get enough nutrition. .and fall week.. wht should I do?

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Koushik Chakraborty

| Apr 29, 2017

my baby is 5 month old n she doesn't poop by her self 5 to 6 days n then i have give her external pressure .I am worried please help me.

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Nezly Deepak

| Apr 28, 2017

hi prerna... no worries.. babies may poop 1nce in 4 days or 4 times a day.. thatz quiet normal... gve her a little warm water after each feeding.. include ripe mangoes nd bananas in her diet.. if problem persist give her a drop of ( balasudha) an ayurvedic medicine.. remember only 1 drop....

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Zaibatabassum

| Apr 28, 2017

good information

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Nidhi Aggarwal

| Apr 26, 2017

hi prerna... how old is your bBy... but it is normal if a bBy doeanot poop for even a week.. keep feeding her normally... my 2 month old poops once in 4 days And that too herself without giving anything extra. so just wait

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Prerna

| Apr 26, 2017

My baby is not passing stool. She is 10 months old. One day she is another day she is not. As she is not doing potty, she is not hungry... My mother in law is force feeding her. I don't know what to do?? They also starting giving her cold water from matki as its hot. My baby is constipated and i don't know how to relief her. Please help.

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Anitha Swaminathan

| Apr 25, 2017

NwaL dkOughzBbjj

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Anju Mandal

| Apr 25, 2017

Thanks

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Bhawna Saini

| Apr 25, 2017

Good information thanks

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Ashwini Sangolkar Dhawale

| Apr 25, 2017

Nice information.. my baby girl poo every day

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Shweta Elwadhi Tiwari

| Apr 25, 2017

Nice information..

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vandana sharma

| Apr 25, 2017

very nice information.. thanks a lot☺

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Komal Dodhia Shah

| Apr 25, 2017

my lo 6months started with semi-solid food poops once after 7to 8days what shall I do m v much worried?Pls help

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Kamalika Bose Chakraborty

| Apr 10, 2017

Hi I have 5 month old son. His poop is like pebbles. It's color dark brown and yellow. My son doing it one's in a week.. Please tell me what to do..

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Sudha Rajamanickam

| Jan 11, 2017

My baby poop looks pasty with less smell for last one week. He looks like he loosing his weight. I am giving rice and idly alone. He is 1 year and 3 months. Could anyone help?

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nitima mahajan

| Dec 24, 2016

my baby gets lots of burp n spits the milk too!

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anusha peddi

| Dec 05, 2016

Give 2 or 3 spoons warm water to baby, morning once r evening , I tried this working for my baby, don't go through medicines. baby will poop daily

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Meenakshi Moorjani

| Oct 29, 2016

my daughter is 22days old. i was advised to eat a lot of greens and leafy vegetables. now since then i have noticed that her pottyvhas been mehendi green colour along with yellow flaky stools.. now i am unable to understand whether she has any infection!?.. bec even after now having greens for two days.. she continues to pass greenish stools.. with ? mucous. she has however shown no irritation, no change in her activity level, no change in feeding. kindly advice.

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Ishaan M

| Oct 14, 2016

my son 3 months old he is not going potty since 5 days .plz give some suggestions

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Jyoti Prasanna

| Oct 14, 2016

during 9th month.. what should be the minimum frequency of poop per day.... ?my daughter does 4-5 times a day..

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shallu sabharwal

| Oct 14, 2016

thanx

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Komal Varma

| Oct 14, 2016

is passing motion once a week normal?

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Kulsum Hashmi

| Oct 10, 2016

thanks alot for this useful knowledge

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Saswati Chakraborty

| Oct 03, 2016

Thanks a lot for your detailed information. A good one and really helpful for new mothers.

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Sneha Wakode

| Sep 22, 2016

my baby is 2 months ... n haven't pooped in last 2 days... paeds says it's quite normal n asked me to wait.... but m really worried now

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Indu Kasera

| Sep 20, 2016

my baby girl is 8 month n she hv long time stool problm n still it is. n because of again n again poop she hv cold. i consult to doctor also. but she is ok only 3 4 days only. nw she hv lot of rashesh on head n back. plz plz tel me what i do. she hv green bubble little couf in poop. n i think rashesh is because of medicine's reaction

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Harpreet Mavi

| Sep 17, 2016

very informative blog Anurima. Thanks for sharing it with us. But I want to suggest something. In case of diaper rash the best way is to apply coconut oil as many times as you can than any diaper rash cream.

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Shaik Mastan

| Sep 16, 2016

e

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San Dhya

| Sep 09, 2016

Hi my baby girl is 6month old and v have stared her banana puree from the last few days. She used to have poop in two days one and rarely two days once but from last month am noticing tat she is having a poop in five days once and v kept a medicine. And now it is the third time she gets the same pblm and again kept the medicine. Is this bz of constipation? How can I cure my babies pblm.

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Shikha Agrawal

| Sep 09, 2016

my baby z 3 months old... He generally passes stool every alternate day but since last 3 days he is passing 3ce a day that too lil loose... He is completely on breastfeed.... is it normal or is it a sign of some infection... and there is some change in his activity too ...He is full

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kirti shrimali

| Aug 24, 2016

My baby is 13 mths old, having poop 4-5 times a day. It's light yellow, loose in consistency, foul smelling. Baby is completely on top feed like dalia, dal-rice, roty and milk. What should be done.

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Pavitra Prashant

| Aug 23, 2016

Hi Anjali, Abhilasha and Nitin.. Thank u very much for the suggestions.. Thankfully ma baby has stopped the diahorea and he is totally fine nw.. Few docs advised me to cut down the diary products in ma diet as it might be the cows milk allergy.. !After doing so and after introducing few semi-solid foods to him, the diahorrea got reduced and stopped completely after certain time.. But still it remained as mystery! We didnt get to know the exact reason why it took four months to get stopped!!!

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Anjali Juyal

| Aug 23, 2016

hi pavitra is ur baby fine now. we had this same problem when my baby was 7 months. his condition was very bad he was pooping every 5 minutes and dehyderating. our docter was good but the guy who runs the test was not good he diagnosed the test wrOng n because of that results came different and docter started wrong medicines. so maybe u should go for second opinion also.

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Abhilasha Bal

| Aug 09, 2016

pomegranate juice is. very effective to reduce the frequency of loose motion

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nitin

| Aug 05, 2016

hi pavitra! you could reach out to the 'ask expert' corner ( footer menu) and choose wellness corner and ask the expert for a handy advice on this. pls take care

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Pavitra Prashant

| Jul 21, 2016

hi.. ma baby is 6 and half month old.. he is suffering from chronic diahorea from last 2 and half months.. !his stool is greenish, mucous and more watery.. sometimes he even got blood in the stool.. docs says its a bacterial infection, after doing repeated stool examination.. he also completed 2 doses of antibiotis.. !still his stool is greenish! mucous and almost watery.. But before he used to change 8-10 dirty diapers a day, now thankfully it reduced to 2-5 dirty diapers a day.. but consisteny is almost same(greenish, mucous and almost watery)! docs says bacterial infections takes time to cure by itself and ter are no much medicines to treat it.. if anybody hav idea about tis pbm, plz help.. !!also 2 days back I started feeding him wit little amount of banana, is tat ok?

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Khushboo Gupta

| Jul 05, 2016

Very useful info

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Divya Pandey Dubey

| Jul 03, 2016

vry useful

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Ayasha Javed Pathan

| Jul 02, 2016

thanks for the information..

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Swati Eppalapelly

| Jul 02, 2016

Thanks for d useful information

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kirti joshi

| Jul 02, 2016

useful info

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Charanjit Kaur

| Jul 02, 2016

very helpful thnks for d information

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Laura

| Jun 24, 2016

Check with the doctor if he has constipation.

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Khushboo Thawani

| Jun 10, 2016

Hi, My baby is 19 months old.. recently shes been popping on alternate days... since past 12 days... is it normal.. ?

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Khushboo Thawani

| Jun 10, 2016

Hi, My baby is 19 months old.. recently shes been popping on alternate days... since past 12 days... is it normal.. ?

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Khushboo Thawani

| Jun 10, 2016

Hi, My baby is 19 months old.. recently shes been popping on alternate days... since past 12 days... is it normal.. ?

  • Report
Khushboo Thawani

| Jun 10, 2016

Hi, My baby is 19 months old.. recently shes been popping on alternate days... since past 12 days... is it normal.. ?

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Khushboo Thawani

| Jun 10, 2016

Hi, My baby is 19 months old.. recently shes been popping on alternate days... since past 12 days... is it normal.. ?

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Smita Raut

| Jun 05, 2016

Can teething cause green stools in babies?

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manpreet kaur

| Jun 04, 2016

Very useful information provided especially for the first time mothers. Thanks a ton.

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Neha Thakkar

| Jun 02, 2016

Very useful

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Simran Bedi Pant

| May 29, 2016

thanks fr sharing this information. it cleared many of my doubts...

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Rina Adhikary

| May 24, 2016

Very helpful information thanks

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Archana Parmar

| May 24, 2016

Very useful

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chanchal khera

| May 20, 2016

Useful information spclly for new mother's ...

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Shikha Garg

| May 06, 2016

Really useful information given by you Anurima. Thank you

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shikha mahajan

| Apr 13, 2016

hii every1 my daughter is 1. 6 yrs old nd I m totaly confused abt her poop because sometime dhe poop like a 2nd image(long , hard at starting then pass soft eith lil bit sticky) nd sometime it. like 3rd image. I consult my doc

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shikha mahajan

| Apr 13, 2016

hii every1 my daughter is 1. 6 yrs old nd I m totaly confused abt her poop because sometime dhe poop like a 2nd image(long , hard at starting then pass soft eith lil bit sticky) nd sometime it. like 3rd image. I consult my doc

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Priyanka Avinash

| Mar 29, 2016

Hi my daughter is 2 and half month.. she passes stool once in two or three days.. is it normal??

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Aditi Shukla Sharma

| Mar 10, 2016

Hello ladies My baby poops at a frequent rate of 6 to 10 time a day from past 4 to 5 days. Called my paediatric also she told that it happens as baby has started crolling on the floor and it is normal as far as the baby is active and taking feed. But still I m so worried what to do. Please help ladies

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beena nayak

| Feb 27, 2016

Luk o9pp9ooooopoo up up up up up up up JP JP JP JP JP

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Deepika Koli

| Feb 26, 2016

hello friends, My baby is 11 months old. having problem in passing poo. Its is lumps & hard brown in colour. ask doctor but said baby can get different poo. but very worried. please suggest what to do.

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Anurima

| Feb 25, 2016

Hi Madhavi, breastfed babies have a greenish tinge in their poop. You are right in that your baby's poop will be of the colour of the food he is given. Strong odour is also normal and I dont think there is anything to worry about as his poop will change with his diet. Watch out for the warning signs though.

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Madhavi M

| Feb 25, 2016

Hi, my baby poop color is greenish and sometimes brown with full odour. If i feed him green beans or green peas then his poop color will be like green same as beams and peas vegtables. Why it is coming like that. I feed him carrot, then his poop color is like same as carrot with mixed green and brownish. He is on solid food , he is soon will be in 8 months old. Can you pls tell why his poop is changing ?

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Anurima

| Feb 25, 2016

Hi Divya, your baby is very young. You may check with the doctor with regards to the colour and odour of his poop.

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Anurima

| Feb 25, 2016

Hi Asharani, your baby's constipation could be due to the Mother dairy milk. Babies under the age of 1 year cannot easily digest normal milk. You may try stopping the milk for a week or so to see if there is any change. If his poop is back to normal, then you know for sure that Mother dairy milk was causing it. You may also dilute the milk a little as it will be easier on his tummy. The best thing to do is wait until you baby is closer to turning one and then re-introducing normal milk. It may be easier for him to digest then.

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Divya Tripathi

| Feb 25, 2016

My baby is 3 months old hez potty is green in colour and has foul smell.. do I need to check it wid doctor it's been more then 20 days

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Asharani Kamble

| Feb 19, 2016

hi my baby boy is now nine and half months old and he is having problem of constipation from starting as he is mainly feed with formula milk. As he turned eight month old he had problem of lactose intolerance caused diarrhea but within month he recovered meanwhile for a month doctor suggested to feed him with soyamilk because he is not able to digest any kind of milk. When we stared giving soyamilk his constipation problem solved and his stool was with yellow color and normal consistency. With milk i am giving him dal rice, ghee, fruits like papaya, apple, banana, grapes, vegetables like potato, carrot, suji khir, and cerelac stage 2 khichadi. But after this lactose intolerance problem i started giving him mother dairy's double toned milk once in a day (200 ml) but his constipation problem started again and its very much painful for my child. please suggest me what i can do for this problem. Currently i am giving him soyamilk. once i have given him parle G biscuits that also contributed for constipation.

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Aditi Karnani

| Feb 18, 2016

Thanks for the article.. Really very helpful for first time mommies..

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Anurima

| Feb 18, 2016

Hi moms, thanks for your wonderful comments :) Sathya, it is normal for babies to poop several times a day especially when a new food is introduced. Babies' digestive system is still developing and is very delicate so minor changes in food can affect their poop. So dont worry. Hi Sruthi, sounds like your baby is a little constipated which could be due to solids or introduction to new food. Keep giving him water from time to time. He should be fine in a few days time. You may consult the doctor if you notice any of the warning signs as in the blog. Hi Lathika, since your child is older, the foul smell could be from her diet. I dont think there is a need to consult a doctor right away unless you see her unwell with fever, loss of appetite and the like.

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sathya venkat

| Feb 17, 2016

My baby s entering her 7th month. She used to poop immediately while having her solid foods. Is this normal? V just started solid foods like ragi kanji and shall rice like dt only... But she s passing pool once started taking foods three times daily at food times...

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Bhargavi Patmata

| Feb 17, 2016

Very helpfull

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hamsa

| Feb 16, 2016

Very informative blog.. N very helpful for new moms.. Thank u..

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Lathika Pujari

| Feb 16, 2016

My daughter is 3yr 9mnths old her poops is foul in odor wat to do should I consult to doctor

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Sruthi

| Feb 15, 2016

Hi.. my son is 10 month old .his stool is dark brown and like pebble.. what to do. I am giving warm water nkw and then .should consult a doctor

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Nirmal Patil

| Feb 15, 2016

Thank you very much

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Ravinder Kaur

| Feb 15, 2016

Thank u for sharing.. Its really informative..

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Vrushali

| Feb 12, 2016

Very informative... thanks much.

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Varalakshmi V

| Feb 12, 2016

V informative, thank u so much..

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Taruni Manjunath

| Feb 12, 2016

Very helpful blog with warning signs. ☺

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