Q My baby’s poo changed about two days ago. I noticed that it was slimy green with what looked like little seeds in it, but then it looked like yellow seeds all bunched together. Today it is watery green with seeds. Should I change his formula? A Tammy responds: It is important to recognise what your baby’s poo normally looks like as this may tell you if your baby has a problem digesting his milk. So what’s normal? Well, what’s normal for your baby will depend on his age, whether he is breastfed or bottle-fed or whether he is on solid foods.
A baby’s poo changes throughout his first year. In fact it can change from one day to the next! At the age of three months, a normal baby stool looks very much like what you have described: a mustard colour and texture with a seed-type appearance. It is quite normal for the occasional green poo to make an appearance too, though. This may be due to the iron in the iron-fortified formula that your baby is drinking. As long as your baby is happy and does not have problems with constipation, there is nothing to worry about. However, green stool can be a sign that your baby may be lactose intolerant.
Lactose is the natural sugar found in milk and most infant formulas are produced from (cow’s) milk. If your baby passes green stool for a few days and seems to be unsettled, perhaps from tummy cramps, then visit your doctor or clinic sister to investigate whether or not your baby is lactose intolerant. If your baby is lactose intolerant then another suitable infant formula will be indicated.
It is also important to rule out other possible causes of green poo. These may be a side effect of medication or an illness, perhaps a tummy bug.
The range of colour in baby’s poo can vary. Any range of yellow, from mustard to yellow or green, is generally normal for a baby. If your baby is gaining weight appropriately and he is happy then there is no need for concern.
Don’t change your baby’s formula unless on the advice of your doctor or clinic sister as it can wreak havoc on his sensitive digestive system.