It’s common, during the first months of life, that your newborn poops soon after each feeding. This is called the gastrocolic reflex, which stimulates the child to evacuate everytime their tummy is full. After the second month, however, this frequency spaces out and might even worry you. However, there’s no proper timing for this, nor is there an “ideal” appearance of the poop. Usually, babies that breastfeed exclusively can poop anywhere from several times a day to once every three days. As long as the feces are more on the gooey side, there’s no reason to worry. They are usually yellow, given that the milk oxidizes during the digestive and intestinal process. The feces will only take on a brown-ish aspect around the one and a half year mark.
Children who are fed with formula, on the other hand, have a bigger tendency to suffer from constipation. In this case, the poop is more consistent, since the composition of the powdered milk isn’t as digested as the maternal milk. The smell is also stronger.
Diarrhea always deserves more attention: the poop will be very liquid and the frequency increases. It happens more among babies fed with formula, since maternal milk inhibits the proliferation of microorganisms that cause the issue. Besides, improperly sterilizing bottles can contribute to the problem. In any event, it’s worth contacting the pediatrician, as diarrhea can signal a viral or bacterial infection or a reaction to medication.
Fever, changes in nutrition and certain medications can also cause constipation, which can cause the child pain when evacuating due to dried up feces – some poops can even show traces of blood due to anal fissures.
Greenish poop, on the other hand, can indicate the presence of a virus, a result of medication or even a reaction to certain formulas. Regardless of the alteration, it’s important to consult with your pediatrician so they can diagnose and come up with a plan of action on how to deal with the situation and minimize the baby’s suffering.