One of the things that will come naturally to new parents is the ability to handle poop. Like, all things poop. Questions like “how often should a baby poop?” and “does this poop look fine for his age?” are absolutely normal, and necessary. For a baby who can’t still express himself, looking at his baby poop is one of the effective ways for parents to tell how he is feeling. Take note of these red flags on your baby’s poop for you to know when a diaper change requires a trip to the ER.
Is your baby’s poop watery than usual? His runny poop might be one of the signs of diarrhea. Look for more signs in color and smell. Diarrhea from infection and allergy can come in green or yellow, and often bears a nasty smell. Seeking treatment immediately for diarrhea is essential. When left untreated, it can cause severe dehydration to infants and toddlers.
Hard Poop That Looks Like Pebbles
Your baby might be constipated if his poop is hard and resembles pebbles. Constipation usually happens when you start to introduce solid food to your baby. Also, check new ingredients you’ve recently introduced to your baby. Hard, pebble-like poop can also mean your child is sensitive to milk or soy. This kind of poop is also produced when your child has lactose intolerance to breast milk or formula.
Baby Poop with Mucus
Poop with green, slimy, streaks often shows up when your baby is teething. Green streaks mean your baby’s poop has mucus on it – a common thing if your baby is drooling. However, don’t be too relaxed. If your baby’s coughing, or is not feeling well, and poop like this shows up, visit a doctor to rule out infection.
Red Blood in Baby Poop
Your baby’s poop can easily turn red because of something he ate. Did he eat tomatoes or berries prior to pooping? If yes, red stool is normal. However, fresh blood in your baby’s stool is not. Red blood present in normal poop can signify a milk allergy. If your baby has diarrhea, the presence of fresh blood can indicate that your baby has a bacterial infection.
Black poop for the first three days of a baby’s life is completely normal. Babies who take iron supplements can also have black poop. But if your baby is no longer an infant, and if he is not taking iron supplements, black baby poop can be a sign of GI bleeding. Check with your doctor ASAP.
White poop is serious. Chalky poop can indicate that your child’s liver is not functioning well and bile levels are not enough to digest food. Head to the ER as soon as you can.
Weird-looking poop can be alarming, but before you panic make sure you check probable causes of this sudden change of stool. If you feel that the change is completely out of the normal, waste no time. Taking signs from your baby’s poop can save your baby’s life.