Poop Guide 101: How To Tell Your Child’s Health By Their Stool

If there’s one universal thing all parents can agree on, it would definitely be the fact that babysitting a newborn is the worst part of parenting. Babies are not able to communicate with words and therefore parents need to find ways to identify the needs of their little ones and it so happens to be that babies love to poop, a lot. In this article, we will explain what does your baby’s poop tell you about their health.


What should their poop look like?

This may come as a shocker for new parents, but do you know that newborn poops come in many shades, shapes, and colors. And depending on the phase that your baby is in, their ‘normal’ poop may not look normal at all! Here are the different types of poop your child can have:


Greenish black

As odd as it sounds, this darkish, tarry poop is actually completely normal. This type of poop is referred to as meconium and it consists of amniotic fluid, secretions of the intestinal glands, bile, and undigested fatty acids. Meconium is very common for newborn and it usually does not last longer than 1 day.  If the dark poop persist for more than the first 2 days, contact your doctor immediately.


Dark green or green

vegetable in capsule

Green poop is typically considered normal especially for babies supplemented with formula milk. Formula milk is often fortified with iron. In some infants, the good bacteria in their intestines will react with the iron to produce a greenish byproduct, fortunately, this does cause any harm to your child, although green poop can look intimidating.

Dark green color poop is also common for newborns in the first week as they slowly expel the meconium from their system. Your baby’s poop should return to normal after a week or so.

Brown, dark brown or mustard yellow

Brown and dark yellow colored stool are common stool color for children. Children that drink formula milk tend to have light brown or orange poop. Breastmilk fed baby tend to have darker color poop and its shape should be slightly softer than formula-fed baby.



Orange poop is a little more uncommon than brown poop but it’s by no means an alarming sign. Orange-colored stool is most common in babies who recently started eating solid food that contains beta-carotene or carotenoids, an orange-colored pigment that contains many health benefits such as boosting the immune system and providing antioxidant properties.


Dark red or red

Red poop can be a sign of blood. The presence of blood in poop can be caused by many health issues, the most common of all being Friction between hard poop and the baby’s anus. Black or dark red poop can be caused by dried-up blood. If you spot red or dark-colored poop in your baby’s diaper, contact your doctor as soon as possible.


Chalky white or grey

Pay attention here parents, pale stools suggest that there may be a liver-blockage and this is life threatening to your baby.. If you suspect that your child has white, chalky grey or pale yellow stools, you must contact your child’s pediatrician right away.

Your doctor will perform a series of tests to determine if it is indeed caused by liver blockage. In which case, pale colored stool is never a common sign and parents must take action immediately.


Consistency is key

The takeaway message is that your baby’s poop can vary drastically even between his or her peers. Each baby is different so parents shouldn’t be too alarmed and fret over their kid’s poop being abnormal. The most important thing is consistency and if you have any doubts, consult your doctor is always a good idea.

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