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Learn more about baby bowel movements and how they are a measure of good health.

If you find yourself spending a lot of time inspecting your baby’s diaper, you’re not alone. Many parents worry about the colour, consistency and/or frequency of their baby’s stools. Your baby’s stools will change as she develops—and they may even change from one day to the next. They can vary depending on how old she is, whether she’s breastfed or bottle fed, and whether she’s started solids.

What will my newborn's stools be like?

During the first 2 or 3 days after birth, your baby will pass meconium. Meconium is dark greenish-black and very sticky, almost like tar. This is a sign that your baby's bowels are working normally.​

What will my baby's stools be like if I'm breastfeeding?

A breastfed baby’s stools can range in colour from a greenish-brown to bright or mustard yellow. The stools may seem grainy or curdled and loose in texture.

What stools should I expect my baby to have if I am formula feeding?

Formula-fed babies tend to have firmer stools than a breastfed baby.

However, babies fed a formula with a fibre blend of galactooligosaccharides (GOS) and polydextrose may have soft stools.

The stool colour of formula-fed babies can range from pale yellow to yellowish-brown.

How often should my baby have a bowel movement?

It depends. Newborns may have up to 10 bowel movements a day during their first 6 weeks. After that, several bowel movements a day is normal—but so is one bowel movement every few days. Generally, as babies grow they have fewer bowel movements daily. Don’t worry if your baby has infrequent bowel movements, as long as her stools are soft and easy to pass.​

What will my baby’s stools be like on solids?

Once your baby starts solids, her stools may become thicker, darker and smellier. What she eats will affect her stools. You may even notice some identifiable chunks of food in her diaper. Not to worry — she is only partially digesting certain foods, but this will change as she gets older. You may also notice that the colour of her stools is affected by what she eats. For example, if she eats blueberries, carrots or spinach, her stools may be blue, orange or green.​