Baby Q&A

Your Baby & Toddler - - Contents - Tammy Wol­huter Reg­is­tered di­eti­cian

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.

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