For mothers, their baby’s diaper and bowel movement can be a source of concern. As you change your baby’s diaper, you may notice a change in the appearance, size, texture and even the frequency of the poop may vary from time to time. It would be best if you did not worry about that. Factors like diet and age tremendously influence your baby’s poop. If your baby is weaned or already eating solids, then you may notice his poop is firmer and ‘more solid’ than it was when he was breastfed or formula-fed.
So you want a more solid poop for your baby, but babies mature on their own pace, but there are essential things you can do to help your baby have a healthy bowel habit. But first, let’s look at how your baby’s poop may change as you introduce him to solids.
How your baby’s poop may change as you introduce him to solid
Your baby’s first poop is referred to as meconium. The colour of the meconium varies. It might have a greenish tint or brownish appearance. Meconium is made of materials your baby may have fed on during the time in the womb. According to medical researchers, failure to pass meconium signifies some underlying conditions like cystic fibrosis.
Though poop is known to smell bad, when your baby is undergoing exclusive breastfeeding, you may notice his poop does not stink terribly. But once your baby starts eating solids, his poop will begin to have a real pungent stink. This will increase when he begins to eat more solid food comfortably.
You would have noticed the colour of your baby’s poop during the period of breastfeeding or bottle-feeding was, often, yellowish-brown. As your baby starts solids, you will see a varying degree of colour. If he eats food rich in veggies, then you may notice a greenish poop. If he eats custard, you may notice a reddish poop colour. This situation doesn’t signify any problem. It happens because your baby has a yet-to-mature digestive system is beginning to get used to processing solid food. This will undoubtedly change as your baby ages.
A more solid poop
You will notice your baby’s poop is more solid, with a ‘firmer mould’. You will see that this contrasts your baby’s poop when he was exclusively breastfed.
Undigested food poop
If you find undigested food in your baby’s poop during the weaning period, it shouldn’t cause you to worry. Your baby can’t chew properly, so his ‘immature’ digestive system quickly processes food.
As your baby starts eating solid foods, you will notice the frequency of his poop will increase. This is due to their yet-to-be matured digestive system learning to produce solid food efficiently.
Some babies may poop less frequently after they begin solids. It may be due to constipation. A common sign of constipation in babies is difficulty in passing poop.
Constipation in babies
As your baby begins the switch from milk to solids, the likelihood of constipation increases. Your baby may experience infrequent bowel movement or difficulty in passing poop. Here are common symptoms of constipation in babies:
- Lack of appetite.
- A clay-like poop shaped like a pellet.
- Traces of blood in poop.
- Firm stomach.
- Wailing while trying to poop.
How do you know if your baby’s constipation is severe?
Use your maternal instinct. If you notice your baby has not pooped for some days, you find a streak of blood in his poop, he shows signs of stomach pains, ensure you seek your doctor’s advice.
Home remedies for easing constipation in babies
- Massaging your baby or giving him a warm bath will help relax his muscles. You can stimulate bowel movement by doing the ‘bicycle leg’ exercise.
- Foods rich in fibre can help your baby have a more solid poop that is easier to pass. Food items like apples and cereals are fantastic examples of fibre active food.
- Ensure your baby remains hydrated by increasing his fluid intake.
- Avoid giving your baby food items like raw banana, rice, cow milk, potatoes and prune juice. They are known to cause constipation.