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Stools and bowel movements

Stools and bowel movements

During the first three or so days after your baby is born, they will pass black, tarry stools (meconium). This is normal. The stools will slowly become lighter in color, less sticky and become more liquid.

  • If you breastfeed your baby, the stools will be green-yellow to mustard-yellow, seedy and liquid. If you are only breastfeeding (your baby receives no supplemental feedings), frequent and liquid stools are not a concern or a sign of diarrhea.
  • If you formula feed your baby, the stools will be darker, more solid and have a stronger smell. Your baby will have fewer stools, and they will be larger than those of a breastfed baby.

Did you know?

It is normal for your baby to have gas. If you baby seems uncomfortable, try a gentle circular massage on your baby’s belly, bicycling legs, or helping them pull up their legs. Do not to insert anything into your baby’s rectum to relieve gas.

If you see blood in your baby's stools, call your baby's health care provider.

Source: Allina Health Patient Education, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, eighth edition, ob-ah-90026
First Published: 10/04/2002
Last Reviewed: 12/06/2021