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Infant stool guide

The following is a guide to typical changes in the appearance of infant stools from birth to weaning:

After birth
For the first day or so after birth, the baby's stools are greenish-black in colour and of a smooth, sticky consistency. This is called meconium (fig.1). This stool soon changes in colour and texture to a transitional stool (fig.2) and then a normal milk-fed baby's stool.

Breast and bottle feeding
Both breastfed (fig.3) and bottle-fed (fig.4) infants produce stools which are generally yellow/brown. Occasionally they may be greenish in colour and loose. These stools are perfectly normal. Providing the baby looks well and has no other symptoms, this is nothing to worry about.

Diarrhoea and constipation
If the stools become very loose, watery and frequent, in addition to changing in smell and colour (fig.5), it is likely that baby has an infection. A baby is constipated (fig.6) when the stool becomes harder and is difficult to pass. This may be caused by an insufficient fluid intake.

The stool will also change during the weaning (fig.7) period as solid foods are introduced. At this time it is not uncommon to see pieces of food in the stool.

Important: These pictures are only examples for use as a guide. All babies produce different stools. However, if you are at all concerned about your baby's stools do not change baby's food; consult your doctor immediately.

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