The expert: Doctor Danièle Bloch, pediatrician
When a baby is breastfed powdered milkafter birth, his stools are of a particular color and texture, usually with a coloration yellow but of a rather viscous and rather smooth texture. With the beginning of food diversification, with the intake of solid foods too, this particular aspect of his stool disappears. The stools can also change when the child is sick, with frequency number of stools per day modified. The explanations of Dr Bloch, pediatrician.
The first green or black poo, the color of stool from birth
During the first days of life, a baby will emit green, brown or black poo, this is called meconium. the meconium is a pile of residue, made up of intestinal secretions, amniotic fluid and dead cells, accumulated in his intestine during the fetal period. The child will evacuate this viscous-looking substance in the days following birth. Then with the intake of milk, the child gradually cleans his intestines meconium during the first weeks of life, and his stools will gradually change color from black to green, then yellow orangewhich will be his normal stools as long as dietary diversification has not started.
Baby’s green stools disappear quickly, then give way to orange stools
The stools of the first days do not last. “A baby who takes artificial milk exclusively will have orange-yellow stools, with an aspect viscouswhich is the normal stool of a formula-fed baby,” explains Dr. Bloch. “When everything is going well, you rarely find any change in her stool, since her milk is always the same, there are no variations like for a baby. breastfed breast milk, the composition of which changes depending on the mother’s diet. »
How many bowel movements should a baby pass per day?
To know if baby is suckling well, he must be sated and that he leaves milk in his bottle. However, the frequency of stools in a child is not a precise element, so we cannot give a number of stools per day. “In a baby who takes the bottle, it’s more like every day, he may even have a bowel movement after each breastfeedingbut there is no fixed rule, it can be every other day too”, explains the pediatrician.
Does powdered milk constipate? What to do when baby is constipated?
The transit of a child fed with artificial milk can vary from one baby to another, as well as the frequency of stools, without his digestive system not be in question. However, artificial milk can give constipation to children who take it. This will result in drier poop, which will sometimes take the form of pellets. This may occur due to a bad dosage powder in relation to the amount of water in the bottle, in particular. In this case, to avoid constipation, the pediatrician recommends choosing mineral water from the brand Hepar to prepare baby bottles. “The change takes place after a few bottles and this is generally enough to regulate the transit of the child. »
” In contrast, she warns, if a baby cry when he poops, it’s not normal, we must quickly consult a doctor. » Indeed, pain during the emission of stools can create an anal fissure and lead to the presence of traces of bright red bloodwhich will be seen in the stool or when you clean your anus with a cotton ball. ” It’s necessary cure the child quickly, at the risk that he gets into the habit of holding back for fear of pain, and that this installs him in a vicious circle of constipation”, details the pediatrician.
Diarrhea is less common spontaneously in a baby who takes milk from a bottle. However, when it occurs, diarrhea is characterized by a greater number of stools passed over the day and night. A frequency which can be high in the event of acute diarrhea. It can go up to “a dozen stools per 24 hours”, according to Dr Danièle Bloch. The baby’s stools will change color and consistency, they will be very liquid and will turn rather green. In question: an acceleration of the transit of the baby, due to the virus of the gastroenteritis, for example. The green color will be explained by the presence of bile in the child’s stools, which will not have been metabolized. In babies, diarrhea is an emergency that must be treated as soon as possible, the main risk being dehydration.
In any case, it is important to feed your child frequently to rehydrate him. If he does not want to eat, he will have to try instead rehydration salts (also called oral rehydration solutions), available in pharmacies without a prescription. These solutes are products made up of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chlorine), agents alkalizing (citrates or bicarbonates) and carbohydrates. The sachet must be diluted in 200 ml of weakly mineralized water, without adding sugar or salt. At the same time, the child’s doctor is quickly consulted.
When to worry about baby stool?
Baby stools that are unusual in color or look should alert our attention. This can indeed evoke a pathology to be taken care of without delay.
White, green, red baby stools
Sometimes, it happens in the event of a health problem that baby’s stools take on a particular color. For example, stools of white are a sign to be taken seriously. Indeed, they indicate the presence of a liver problem, which must be treated quickly.
Blood can also be found in baby’s stool. It may be bright red and come from bleeding hemorrhoidal, or be of intestinal origin. In the latter case, the blood, which has been digested, will have a dark color in the baby’s stool, quite blackish. It’s necessary to consult a doctor immediately because blood present in the stools can indicate a digestive haemorrhage.
Finally, a very unpleasant odor in the stools of a child can be a sign of a intestinal infectiondue to the presence of a bacterium.
In any case, consult a health professional as soon as possible.