Baby Bowel Movements

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What should my baby bowel movements be like?

Baby Bowel Movements

Baby bowel movements can be a concern for new parents. The consistency, color, and frequency of baby bowel movements will vary, but there are some common characteristics. The first baby bowel movement color is often dark green or even black. When your baby is a few days old, the baby bowel movement color will become a light yellow or mustard color with tiny seed-like particles in it.

A formula fed infant will have thicker baby bowel movements that are more brown or darker yellow in color. Both formula and breast fed baby bowel movements should be about the consistency of peanut butter, though it may be slightly firmer or runny. Baby bowel movement frequency is also very different from infant to infant.

Generally, a baby bowel movement's frequency is not something to worry about unless the infant has very dry stools. The baby bowel movement color of very dry stools can be in different shades of brown and yellow, and may be small and pebble like. These type of stools can occur even when baby bowel movement frequency is high, and are an indication of constipation or dehydration. Formula fed baby bowel movement frequency should be around once a day. Breast fed baby bowel movement frequency may be up to four times a day. If there has not be been a bowel movement for three days or the baby seems to be straining to go, this is a sign of constipation. Please contact your pediatrician about this.

Do not give an infant any over the counter medications to increase bowel movement frequency without consulting a physician. Common pediatrician recommendations for infant constipation are diluted fruit juices like apple juice and prune juice. Water with some corn syrup may also be recommended to help hydrate your baby. A quick telephone call to your pediatrician can give you the best advice for helping with baby bowel movements. In cases of painful constipation and low baby bowel movement frequency, suppositories may also be prescribed by the pediatrician.



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