Babies have different types of stools based on how old they are and what they are fed, but what are normal stools and voids for breastfeeding babies? All newborns start with meconium stools (dark green to black, sticky tarry stools). As breastfed babies get more colostrum, the stools get more loose or have a pudding texture (dark green to brown). Once mom’s mature milk comes in, they change over to the mustard yellow, loose, seedy breastfeeding stools. If breastfeeding has been going well, parents should see these stools by day five. Another bonus to breastfeeding is that the stools have a distinct scent without the foul odor that comes with formula stools.
Sometimes the stools may be orange in color or occasionally green. Having green, slimy mucousy stools, watery green stools or visible flecks of blood is not normal.
The number of stools can vary greatly from one baby to another. Normal newborns will have at least one stool by the time they are 24 hours old but some will have several stools in that time. Most newborns will have at least four to six a day but some will have ten to twelve. Some may be little squirts but some are more substantial. If a newborn goes 24 hours without a stool, it doesn’t mean they are constipated; it means they haven’t had enough colostrum or breastmilk. Do not treat with suppositories, laxatives or juice – simply give more breastmilk.
If a baby is jaundiced, they will have green to brown loose and/or seedy stools until the jaundice is resolved. The more a baby stools, the more they flush out the bilirubin that causes jaundice and the more their skin color returns to pink. Again, the best treatment is more breastmilk.
As breastfed babies get older, they stool less frequently. When a breastfed baby is one or two months old, they may skip an entire day without having a stool. Everything else needs to be normal; they are nursing normally, they aren’t vomiting, they are having six to eight wet diapers a day and they don’t have a fever. Some older breastfed babies eventually will have one large stool a week. Again, this doesn’t mean they are constipated, they are simply stooling less frequently. If a baby is getting solid foods or formula, then they can get constipated. Exclusively breastfed babies do not get constipated.
All newborns should have a minimum of one wet diaper by the time they are 24 hours old. Then their minimum wets should equal their day of age: two wets by day two, three wets by day three, four wets by day four and five wets by day five. They should level off at six to eight wets a day when mom’s mature milk comes in. Parents may notice salmon colored spots in a newborn’s wet diaper which are uric acid crystals they pass when the urine is more concentrated. These should no longer be present by the time the mature milk comes in or by day five.
You can tell a lot about a babies health by their stools. If you have any questions or need more information on this or other topics, please feel free to call or email me any time.
Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to call or email me anytime with your concerns. I am here to assist you in any way I can.