Baby poop color can be one indicator of your baby’s health. Your baby will go through a variety of poop colors, especially during the first year of life as their diet changes. It’s also important to understand that what’s normal for adult poop doesn’t necessarily apply to baby poop. This includes color and texture.
Below are the most common poop colors you may see and why.
A newborn’s first stool is likely to be black with a tar-like consistency. This is called meconium, and it contains mucus, skin cells, and amniotic fluid. Black stool shouldn’t last more than a couple of days.
Once the meconium passes, a newborn’s stool may be a mustard-yellow color. This color of stool is also most common in breastfed babies.
It’s normal to see bright-yellow poop in breastfed (and sometimes formula-fed) babies. Bright-yellow poop that’s much more frequent than usual and extremely runny, though, could be diarrhea. Diarrhea can increase the risk for dehydration.
Orange poop occurs from pigments picked up in your baby’s digestive tract. It can occur in both breastfed and formula-fed babies.
Sometimes your baby’s poop can also turn red from dark-red foods and drinks they have consumed, such as tomato juice or beets. Red poop could also mean there’s blood in your baby’s bowel movements from an intestinal infection that should be addressed by a pediatrician.
Red blood in a baby’s poop can also occur from milk allergies or from an anal fissure.
It’s a good idea to call your pediatrician if your baby has red stool. If they’ve recently eaten red food, you may consider waiting to see if the next stool returns to its normal color before calling your pediatrician.
Formula-fed babies may have poop that’s a combination of greenish tan and yellow. The poop is also firmer than that of a breastfed baby.
Dark-green poop is most common in babies who are starting solid foods that are green in color, such as spinach and peas. Iron supplements can also cause your baby’s poop to turn green.
White poop can indicate that your baby isn’t producing enough bile in their liver to help them digest food properly. This is a serious problem. White poop at any stage should be addressed by a pediatrician.
Like white poop, baby stools that are gray in color can mean your baby isn’t digesting food as they should. Call your pediatrician if your baby has poop that’s gray or a chalky consistency.