The newborn baby's first nappy content is meconium, which is a greenish black substance that was in the baby's system before he was born. It can upset you, if you are not prepared for it. However, its presence shows that the baby's excretory system is functioning normally. The frequency or infrequency of bowel movements is an indictor of the health of the digestive system of the baby. You will have to understand the bowel movement of your baby to determine whether it is normal or a cause of concern. Read the article to know about the baby stool color and frequency and his/her bowel movements.
Infant Bowel Movements
The frequency of stools may vary from one baby to the other. Some babies pass stools just after each feed. This happens due to the gastro colic reflex, which activates the digestive system whenever the stomach is filled with more food.
Bowel Movement In Breast-Fed Babies
Some breast-fed infants, 3-6 weeks of age, may have only one bowel movement in a few days or a complete week, which is normal. This happens as there is a very little amount of solid waste in the baby’s body, which is eliminated from the child’s digestive system, once in a few days. As long as the stools are soft and there are no signs indicative of constipation, the infrequency of stools is not an issue. A laxative can be given to the infant, if he/she is bothered by the long intervals between the bowel movement. The stools passed by breast fed infants are typically yellow in color.
Bowel Movement In Formula-Fed Infants
The formula fed infants should have, at least, one bowel movement in a day. In case there are fewer bowel movements, the child may feel strained and uneasy because of hard stools. Constipation may also result. A pediatrician has to be consulted immediately in such a situation.
Bowel Movements After Four Months
As the baby begins to take solid or transition foods, the frequency of bowel movements shows an increase. The appearance and consistency of the stools will depend on the food eaten by the baby. However, the stools should appear like ordinary stools in consistency and odor. After four months, the infant may have bowel movements several times a day. Bowel movements may also be infrequent, with one stool passage in every two or three days. Some babies may also have constipation problems at this stage. Constipation caused by dehydration may result, if the baby’s food contains more solids and water consumption is not adequate.
Caution: You will see that your baby's stools change a little from day to day. If there is a big change, like the stool has become very loose, very smelly, very hard or, especially, if there is mucous or blood in the stools then you should consult your doctor immediately.