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Baby poop color can be as diverse as the rainbow, ranging in shades from white to black and everything in between. A baby’s poop color can say a lot about their health, the diet they are on and even be the first visual warning sign of a problem.
Having a good understanding of what normal baby poop looks like and when to contact your pediatrician is vital.
Baby Poop Color Chart
|Color||Causes||Normal or Not?|
|Greenish-tan||Could be contributed to cow’s milk allergy and is more common in formula fed babies.||Can be normal.|
|Bright Green||Baby could be getting too much foremilk and not enough fatty hindmilk.||Usually normal.|
|Bright Yellow||Breastfed babies usually have variations of yellow poop. However, frequently runny bright yellow baby poop can lead to diarrhea and dehydration.||Normal|
|Mustard Yellow||Breastfed baby poop is considered normal when it is mustard yellow and has a sweet small.||Normal|
|Orange||Solid foods, mom having certain medications or artificial flavors can cause orange baby poop.||Generally OK|
|Red||Bloody or bright red stools may be due to an infection, allergy, GI injury or other medical concern.||Concerning|
|Black||Black tar-like and sticky baby poop is called Meconium and is made up of amniotic fluid, skin cells and other things injected in utero.||Normal for newborns.|
|Gray||If baby is eating solids, this may indicate they are not digesting food as they should.||Call pediatrician.|
|White||Could be a sign that baby’s liver isn’t functioning normally.||Call pediatrician.|
|Dark Green||Iron in baby formula can cause dark green poop in babies.||Normal|
Normal baby poop can be greenish-tan. It can also occur in babies who are teething or when they have just gotten over a stomach bug. If your baby regularly has greenish-tan poop and is also fussy at feedings, gassy and uncomfortable they could be experiencing a cow’s milk allergy from their formula.
Newborns are more commonly affected by bright green poop and one cause of it could be an imbalance of foremilk and hindmilk. Mothers with an oversupply who breastfeed may notice this baby poop color more often.
Foremilk is high in sugar and less fatty than hindmilk, which tends to be the milk baby gets at the end of a feeding. To correct this, mom should express some of the foremilk before a feeding so baby gets a better mix of both foremilk and hindmilk. ❶
Bright green baby poop can also indicate a tummy bug or a sensitivity to a food or drug. When a baby reacts negatively to their breastfeeding mother’s diet this can result in mucusy bright green poop as well.
Bright yellow baby poop could have resulted due to certain foods or medications consumed by mom. Bright yellow baby poop is usually not a cause for concern. However, when bright yellow baby poop is frequent and the consistency is loose and runny it can lead to dehydration.
Mustard yellow is a common baby poop color for breastfed babies. The color is usually accompanied by a seedy, paste-like texture. It may also smell sweet like maple syrup.
If mom eats foods with dyes or artificial colorings, they can make their way into her breast milk and result in a breastfed baby with orange colored poop. Some medications could also have the same effect. Orange baby poop can also occur in formula fed babies.
It’s not usually worrisome, but if you are at all concerned, contact your baby’s pediatrician.
Red baby poop can be serious because it can mean that there is blood in your baby’s stool. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes flecks of red in your baby’s poop can be something your little one ate or drank.
To help you investigate the cause of red baby poop, tracking your baby’s daily habits can help!
Red baby poop can also indicate a milk protein allergy.❷ In serious cases, your baby may have an infection or an internal injury. Red baby poop is usually not normal and should be brought to the attention of your baby’s pediatrician as soon as possible.
Meconium is a tar-like, sticky black stool newborns release within the first few days of birth. This is perfectly normal and a good sign that your new baby’s G.I. systems are functioning properly.
Black poop in formula fed babies could also be perfectly normal if the formula is also iron-fortified. However, black baby poop is not normal in babies who do not drink iron-fortified formula. Babies who are 3 months or older and are experiencing black stools should seek medical attention as this could be a sign of bleeding in the digestive tract. ❸
Gray baby poop is not usually normal and it should be addressed immediately. This is also the case for for chalky white baby poop. Sometimes, gray baby poop color can mean the liver is not functioning properly. It can also indicate that your baby is not absorbing vital nutrients as they aren’t digesting food as they should be.
A normal color to see in babies that have just started eating solid foods or are taking iron supplements. Green baby poop can also occur when baby has eaten more than usual or is eating more green foods.
It’s a good idea to keep track of your baby’s bowel movements and other important habits with a daily baby log like this one.
Mixed Feeding Baby Poop Colors:
If your baby is combination fed a mix of breastmilk and formula they may experience both breastfed baby poop colors and formula fed baby poop colors. Expect to see a range of tan to dark brown shades with a combination of yellow poop colors.
Baby Poop Color When Teething:
If you have a teething baby, you know all about the extra drooling. This excess drool also ends up back in baby’s stomach which can create a mucusy texture and looser than normal stool. Teething babies also tend to have greenish colored poops due to the increased amounts of saliva they swallow.
Breastfed Baby Poop Color:
Normal breastfed baby poop color is usually mustard yellow, green or brown. It can also have a seed-like texture and be sweet to the smell, like maple syrup.
Jaundice Baby Poop Color:
Bilirubin is what makes newborn stools mustard or dark yellow. If your baby is receiving phototherapy to treat Jaundice, they might have frequent dark green or black stools as the bilirubin is being removed from the body. ❹
You will also love the baby tips in this post: 8 Newborn Tips Every New Mom Should Know!