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Video:The ABCs of a Newborn's Poop

with Kathy Moore

When you bring home your newborn, you may be shocked by what you find in her diaper. Find out what to expect regarding your infant's poop.See Transcript

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Transcript:The ABCs of a Newborn's Poop

Hi, I'm Kathy Moore for About.com Parenting. After the joy of bringing a new person into this world, most parents are thrilled by everything their baby does, including pooping.

But, the first few diaper changes may have you in shock. This program will explain the stages of your newborns poop.

The Meconium Stage of Poop

Every parent has probably already changed at least one diaper by the time their firstborn comes along, but very few are prepared for the surprises that await them in those first few diapers.

The first poop stage is called meconium. This bowel movement will be black or greenish black and look like tar. It will be very sticky, too.

But, relax, it is completely normal, and it is a short-lived stage. Most babies will pass this within the first 12 hours of their birth.

Expect Transitional Stool

Next comes what is called transitional stool, which tends to be greenish and somewhat runny.

If you are breastfeeding, your baby's next poop will probably be mustard colored, sort of seedy looking and fairly runny. If you are formula feeding, the stool will likely be more tan and soft, but not any firmer than peanut butter.

Average Number of Bowel Movements

Breastfed babies will also poop a lot, at least at first. I found that my kids had a bowel movement right after just about every feeding. This is not a sign of diarrhea. Six to eight poops a day is average for a newborn.

Causes of Green Poop in Babies

Green poop may also appear in your baby's diaper. Do not be alarmed. In breastfed babies, this could be caused by something in the mother's diet or just from changes in your breast milk.

In formula-fed babies, the iron in the formula can sometimes cause this. In either case, as long as the baby is happy and not having any constipation problems, there is nothing to worry about.

When to Call the Doctor

If you notice blood in the baby's poop, chalky-white poop, or black poop at any time other than that first few days, you should call your doctor.

Bowel movements are a part of life and after a few hundred diaper changes, I am sure you will be thinking differently about poop. And, you will find that very little can shock you - that is until your baby starts eating solid foods. Then you are in for a whole new colorful adventure.

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