BabyTips & GuidesBaby Poop Colors: What’s Normal?

Baby Poop Colors: What’s Normal?

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“Is my baby’s poop supposed to be green? Should I call a doctor if his poop looks like black tar? What does my baby’s poop color mean? Is my baby sick?” If you’re worried about questions like these, we’ll try and answer these for you so read on.

Your darling baby is definitely adorable. But what you see in their diapers can be downright unsettling as baby poop comes in a ton of different colors and textures, though there’s often no need to worry about it. I’ll help you identify your baby’s bowel movements with my color and texture guide below.

Baby Poop Color Chart

Here’s a baby poop chart.

Poop ColorCausesIs It Normal?
Greenish-tanCould be a cow’s milk allergy, normal for formula-fed infants.Maybe normal
Bright GreenToo much foremilk and too less rich hindmilk.Normal
Bright YellowNormal for breastfed babies but frequent loose bright yellow stools can cause dehydration & diarrhea.Normal
Mustard YellowBreastfed baby poop.Normal
OrangeArtificial flavors, solid foods, and certain medications for mom.Somewhat Okay
Red Infection, GI injury, allergy, or other medical concern. Not normal, concerning
BlackBlack tar-like poop, Meconium, is sticky, and has skin cells, amniotic fluid, and other things.Normal newborn poop
GrayBaby not properly digesting solid foods.Contact pediatrician
WhiteCould be a sign of improper liver functioning.Contact pediatrician
Dark GreenDue to iron in baby formula.Normal
baby poop color

Greenish-Tan Baby Poop

Greenish-tan color usually appears in formula-fed baby poop. Don’t be alarmed if your child has greenish-tan poop, it could just be from teething or their last stomach bug. However, if this occurs regularly and is accompanied by fussy feedings, gassy uncomfortable babies, and extreme fussiness at night then this may be an indication that something else is brewing. For example, cow’s milk allergy from baby’s formula.

Bright Green Baby Poop

A newborn’s green poop is usually concentrated in breast milk made during the first stretch of mother-baby bonding. Newborn baby poop may range from pale greenish or amber to dark olive green, resembling the color of spinach or pinto beans.

Newborns can have bright green poop which is common for infants. However, it can be an indicator of an imbalance between the foremilk and the hind milk.

Foremilk and hindmilk are the first and last parts of breast milk that are separated. Foremilk, which is high in lactose, is often clear or blue and it comes out at the start of a feeding. Hindmilk, which is high in fat, comes out last as the baby continues to drink.

For babies who are overfeeding, or at risk of becoming overfed, you should express some of the foremilk before each feeding. This will help to balance out the composition of foremilk and hindmilk, for a healthy feed.

If your baby has bright green poop and you have ruled out an allergy to any foods or drugs, talk to your doctor about the possibility of gastrointestinal infection.

Mucusy bright green poop may also result from a problem with breastfeeding, such as sensitivity to breastfeeding or a tummy bug.

Bright Yellow Baby Poop

Bright yellow baby poop is common in newborns and can be caused by certain foods or medications consumed by the mom.

Your baby may have bright yellow baby stool if he or she drinks less than usual, has diarrhea, and vomits formula or food.

Don’t worry too much about the color of your baby’s stool until it starts to show up more frequently than usual, or if it is loose and runny. It can lead to dehydration and eventually diarrhea. If that’s the case, consult a pediatrician.

Mustard Yellow Baby Poop

Mustard yellow breastmilk poop doesn’t mean that your baby is sick. It’s common for exclusively breastfed babies to have pale brown or mustard-yellow stools. So, if your baby’s poop looks mustard yellow, and has a paste-like texture and sweet smell, it could be a sign that he is healthily digesting breast milk.

Orange Baby Poop

Mom should avoid foods with artificial coloring, dyes, or preservatives if she is breastfeeding. If you do eat such foods, the artificial coloring can get passed to your breast milk, resulting in orange-colored stool for your baby.

Medications that contain vivid colors could also pass into breast milk and cause an orange-tinted poop.

Babies who drink a lot of formula can sometimes have diarrhea or stool with orange spots, and this is not a cause for concern. However, if you are worried about your baby’s stool, you should call their pediatrician.

Red Baby Poop

The bright red baby stool can be an indicator of something worth noticing and discussing with your doctor. However, if it is only flecked with red, it could be something they ate or drank.

Taking note of what you feed your baby every day will help determine if something outside of his normal diet caused the red poop.

Red baby poop can also be a sign that your baby has a milk protein allergy. It could also mean that your baby has an infection or internal injury.

Red baby poop is hardly ever normal. That’s why you should talk about it with your pediatrician as early as possible.

Black Baby Poop

Meconium is your baby’s first dark, tar-like, sticky stool. It contains the amniotic fluid and other things your baby has stored in his/her intestines for the first few days of life. It’s a good sign that your newborn’s gastrointestinal system is working properly.

Formula-fed babies who drink iron-fortified formulas are more likely to have black poop. If your baby is not drinking an iron-fortified formula, black or green stools mean something is wrong.

When babies are 3 months or older, black stools could be an indication of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. This is especially true if there has been a change in the appearance of the stool, blood is present in the stool, and/or your baby has lost appetite or refused to eat at all.

Gray or White Baby Poop

Gray baby poop is typically an indicator of an issue with your baby’s digestive tract or liver. It can be worrisome for your baby, especially if their poop is a strange color grayish-white. If it’s chalky white poop, it indicates that your baby’s liver is not working perfectly.

This color can be a sign that your baby isn’t absorbing essential nutrients as they aren’t properly digesting food or that they’re not digesting food at all.

If you notice this kind of strange color in your child’s stool, go see your doctor immediately.

Dark Green Baby Poop

Is green baby poop normal? Yes. Green baby poop is because of a new source of iron in your baby’s diet. It also happens when your baby starts eating solids. Many grains, vegetables, and fruits contain high amounts of iron.

As your child’s digestive system starts to absorb the new food item, his body will expel this excess fluid as green stools.

If your baby has eaten solid foods more than usual or the baby eats green foods only, then it can leave green-colored poop on your baby’s diaper. So, it’s always better for you to track your baby’s diet and intake.

Brown Baby Poop

Your baby’s poop can look different when it starts eating solid food. It may be bluish, yellow, or greenish-brown, and smellier than it was when they were exclusively breastfed.

At first, it may have undigested bits of food in it. The color and smell of your baby’s poop change as they grow and eat different things.

Does Poop Texture Matter?

Colors in your baby’s stool can show a variety of things, but you also have to look at consistency. Actually, it’s best to always look at both when deciding what’s normal and what’s cause for a trip to the pediatrician.

Newborn Poop Texture

Newborn baby poop color and texture is different. That tar-like consistency is standard, so you’re not alone in being a little shocked.

Things will change quickly though, as your newborn will produce more wet diapers and lose the thick, tar-like texture within a couple of days.

If your baby is over a week old and still has mostly dark green or black poop not yellow and thin poop, talk with their pediatrician. This can be a sign they aren’t getting enough milk.

Breastfed Baby Poop Consistency

Breastfed babies tend to have looser stools than formula-fed babies. The stools are often watery and may contain seed-like substances that look like curds or mucus.

As long as the baby is acting well, has a normal appetite, and has no fever, this is considered normal for breastfed babies.

Breastfed babies are likely to have more bowel movements because breast milk is digested faster than formula or infant cereal. This is not considered diarrhea, so feel free to continue feeding your baby as normal.

Formula-Fed Baby Poop Consistency

If your baby is formula-fed, their bowel movements may be a bit firmer than if they were breastfed. The colors range from tan to brown to green to yellow.

Besides, if a baby poops only once every two or three days and is straining during bowel movements, they may have trouble passing stool. It is a sign of constipation and you will notice that their poop is hard, dry, and infrequent.

Weaning Stage Consistency

Your baby’s poop will transform when mom weans from breast milk or formula. You may notice a stronger smell and more firm stools. Therefore, a mom needs to give her baby plenty of fluids during the transitional phase of weaning.

After Eating Solids

Solid foods introduce your baby’s digestive system to a wider variety of foods, which will result in their poop change to become bulkier.

When introducing solid foods, stick with healthy options like whole grains and vegetables so as not to overwhelm their systems too fast.

Constipation Consistency

Constipation can be a big problem for babies. If your baby’s poop is hard, dry, and difficult to pass, or if they pass small, pebble-like drops that are dark brown, speak with your child’s pediatrician right away.

Frothy or Mucusy Poop

Teething is a normal process for babies, but it can sometimes cause your baby to drool. Drooling from teething and subsequent swallowing can sometimes result in a mucus-like or frothy texture in the stool. This texture is usually not a cause for concern because it passes as quickly as your baby’s teething symptoms do. However, if you think your baby is not drooling and may have an infection, contact your doctor right away so they can treat them accordingly.

Are Food Pieces in Poop Normal?

Don’t panic if you notice some identifiable chunks of food in your baby’s poo. It won’t harm them – it’s just a normal part of their digestive process on starting a solid food diet.

Since your baby has not mastered chewing, the majority of your baby’s solid food will move through its digestive system without being digested. This is not worrisome, and they will gradually get better at digesting it.

How Often Should My Baby Poop?

Although bowel movements are often a sign of a healthy body, they aren’t as necessary at birth. During the first few weeks of life, your baby may not pass stool every day and that’s okay!

If your formula feeds your baby, they will poop at least once per day by the three- to six-week mark. If your baby is breastfeeding, then you may only see one bowel movement per week until they reach that milestone.

Most formula-fed babies have one bowel movement per day, but some babies poop only every three days or so. That is also pretty normal. If your baby poops less than this, it could be a sign of constipation.

When you’re starting your baby on solids, they’ll likely poop once after each feeding. Pooping more than once is a sign of diarrhea and something that should be checked by your baby’s pediatrician.

Further Reading

Take a look at our articles on:

Wrap Up!

When we are looking at day one or two of your baby’s bowel movements, they can be all different colors up until their first birthday.

A healthy baby’s poop changes color as they get older. So, it’s possible to see it in different shades of greenish-tan, brownish-green, and white even with an exclusively breastfed baby.

As always, if you are at all concerned, contact your doctor, nurse or paediatrician for advice and help.

Written by

Anna Thornhill
Anna Thornhill
Anna is one of our expert writers and, as a mom of two lovely kids (a daughter and son), she has plenty of practical experience to draw on when writing guides and reviews. Anna writes about techniques she's used both during pregnancy and as a new mother, such as combination feeding, and guides to products that have made feeding and care of her kids a little easier.


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