Ynoeuwr­b0o to 6rweneks

Your Baby & Toddler - - YOUR BABY FILES - BY YOLANDI NORTH

Your quick and easy guide to new­born nap­pies

You’ll soon reach ex­pert level at iden­ti­fy­ing, sniff­ing out and chang­ing nap­pies. But un­til you get well versed in your baby’s bowel move­ments, we’ll help you fig­ure out what’s nor­mal.

THE 1ST NAPPY

The first stools are called meco­nium. This tarry, sticky gunk is made up of di­gested mu­cus and am­ni­otic fluid that baby swal­lowed while in utero. Ex­pect the first black-green coloured meco­nium nappy within 24 hours af­ter the birth. “Colostrum has a lax­a­tive ef­fect, help­ing to ‘flush’ out the meco­nium,” says Leana Habeck, reg­is­tered nurse and qual­i­fied lac­ta­tion con­sul­tant at The Breast­feed­ing Clinic.

CHANGES TO EX­PECT

The colour and con­sis­tency of baby’s poo will change grad­u­ally. “Stools be­come lighter in colour, chang­ing to green­ish and then to yel­low (around day four or five) and be­comes softer, and more liq­uid,” says Darol Wil­mot, reg­is­tered nurse and mid­wife at All About Ba­bies. De­pend­ing on how baby is fed, there are dif­fer­ent “nor­mals”.

NOR­MAL BREAST­FED STOOLS ARE

Mus­tard yel­low to green or brown.

Seedy & pasty in con­sis­tency,

like scram­bled egg. Could be runny. Could change of­ten and with­out warn­ing.

No of­fen­sive smell.

NOR­MAL FOR­MULA FED STOOLS ARE

Shades of yel­low or brown. Pasty con­sis­tency, much like peanut but­ter.

Fewer and smellier stools than in breast­fed ba­bies.

IS SHE CONSTIPATED?

“It is very un­usual for a breast­fed baby to be­come constipated, as breast­milk is high in lac­tose and very well di­gested,” adds Darol. “For­mula fed ba­bies very of­ten do be­come constipated as this milk is more dif­fi­cult to digest than breast­milk.”

Most healthy ba­bies will have a bowel move­ment as soon as they are fed. How­ever, some will not pass a stool at ev­ery feed, in which case you should re­mem­ber that as long as your new­born does not have to strain too much and the stools are a nor­mal colour, he is not constipated. It is also nor­mal for a healthy new­bie to grunt and strain dur­ing a nor­mal bowel move­ment – again, this is not a sign that your baby is constipated.

Hard, round, pel­let-like stools are a sign of con­sti­pa­tion at this stage. As long as his poos are a soft con­sis­tency, your baby is not constipated – even if she has not done a poo in days. Un­like adults, the fre­quency of stools is not an in­di­ca­tion of con­sti­pa­tion in ba­bies this young.

If your for­mula fed baby has hard ir­reg­u­lar stools that of­ten causes him to cry while pass­ing them, take him to a health­care provider to dis­cuss chang­ing his for­mula. Only a clinic sis­ter or doc­tor is al­lowed to give you ad­vice.

TIPS FOR DI­AR­RHOEA

Very fre­quent, wa­tery and green stools (pos­si­bly also smelly) might mean di­ar­rhoea

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