A baby’s poop tells a lot about their health. Its color, texture, and smell can help you find out what is happening inside your baby’s stomach. The usual yellow or brown color poop is healthy for every baby or adult. Newborns and small babies have different colors and textures of poop as they grow. This is due to the continuous changes going on in their body to grow into a kid. Once they reach 3 to 4 years, their poop will be normal just like adults. Every time you change your baby’s diaper or change his dress, you will notice something or the other happening either on their skin or in their poop. Many babies get skin rashes, allergies, and many skin diseases due to their newborn delicate skin. Just like this, their poop color or texture changes every time due to their immature stomach or due to some infection or bacteria entering inside their stomach.
Green poop in babies is very common. In some babies, it becomes a habit to poop green in color most of the time for the first few months. Some babies poop 5 times a day in green color. This is also normal. You shouldn’t consider it as diarrhea unless the poop is yellow and the baby does it more than 8 times a day daily. If your baby is normal, active, and happy, with no signs of vomiting, fever, dehydration, stomach pain, or less appetite, you shouldn’t worry at all. But since we mothers are very emotional and very careful when it comes to our baby’s health, we would like to take advice from a doctor that nothing is wrong with our baby. And this is a good move. Whenever you have a doubt about your baby’s health, please consult your doctor or pediatrician and gain knowledge from them as much as you can so that you can be prepared for the worst phases that come into your baby’s life.
A newborn baby’s poop is black for the first few days which is also called meconium and this is completely normal. Slowly it changes to green and then yellow. Sometimes even after turning yellow it again turns green due to many reasons that are not dangerous. They are very common and they resolve on their own within a few days or weeks.
Symptoms of Green Poop:-
- Normal stool that is green in color.
- Watery green stool.
- Dark green stool mixed along with yellow stool.
- Green stools that happen 4 to 5 times a day.
- Green stools that continue for more than one week.
- Green stool that has a semi-solid texture.
Reasons for Green Poop in Babies:-
- Introducing solid foods that are green in color like broccoli, green leafy vegetables, bottled gourd, and cucumber.
- The transition from newborn black poop to yellow poop can cause green poop in between.
- Your baby can produce green stools if they are formula-fed.
- Viral infection and bacteria can also cause watery green motions in babies more than 8 times a day.
- Intake of medicines and antibiotics can also cause green poop in babies and kids.
- Changes in the mother’s diet or intolerance of food can also cause green poop in babies.
- If the liver of the baby produces more bile, the stool can turn green.
- An imbalance of foremilk and hindmilk in breastfeeding babies can cause watery green stools. Foremilk is the watery milk that comes first when your baby sucks the milk from the breast and hindmilk is the thick fatty milk that contains proteins and fats and it comes after foremilk. If the baby only takes only foremilk and sleeps or you switch the breast immediately, this can cause green poop in babies as your baby didn’t take the hindmilk. If you don’t understand what your baby is taking and for how long, give the same breast again when he wants his next feed. This will make sure that the milk in one breast is fully empty and now you can switch to another breast.
Green poop in babies doesn’t require any treatment. If the baby is active and healthy there is no need to worry. Check for his diet and how you are breastfeeding him. A few changes in his diet can solve the problem very easily. Some babies under 6 months of age, don’t poop for 6 to 7 days. This doesn’t mean they are constipated. If they are taking milk properly on time and having a good sleep then you shouldn’t worry about their poop. They will poop again after 5 to 6 days. And this poop can be green or yellow which is normal.
Green watery stools can be concerning as this can be a sign of bacterial or viral infection. This can also be a symptom of diarrhea. But if your baby does green watery stool for 4 to 5 times a day, it’s normal. It is due to an imbalance of foremilk and hindmilk when you breastfeed. Diarrhea will have many other symptoms like fever, vomiting, less appetite, fussiness, stomach pain, and not drinking milk along with 8 to 10 watery yellow or green stools. This requires treatment and proper hydration.
My younger daughter was 5 months and 20 days old and her weight was 7.5 kg when she experienced yellow watery stools 5 to 6 times a day. 2 to 3 stools were very watery and the other 2 were normal. She also had a severe cold at that time. It started with 2 yellow watery stools in a day and then went straight to 5 to 6 stools a day in 5 days. Before this, she used to go to the potty after 4 to 5 days every week. She was normal and healthy. She was playing, smiling, taking breastmilk, and was active with no other symptoms of fever, vomiting, dehydration, or less appetite. But still, the sudden change in her poop number and texture made me concerned about her health and we went to our pediatrician on the 5th day.
After examining her the doctor told us that she had very mild diarrhea and there was no need to worry at all. Since diarrhea has to be treated as soon as possible he gave us some medicine and electrol powder for dehydration. The medicines that he gave were syrup ZINCONIA 5ml for 14 days for enhancing the immune system, NASO CLEAR drops to clear the mucus out, MAXTRA drops 0.4ml twice daily for 5 days to treat cold, and ECONORM sachets twice daily for 3 days to treat diarrhea. He told me to mix one sachet in 10ml of boiled and cooled water. He also gave ORS. If the packet of ORS is 4 g we should mix it with 200ml water and if the packet is 21 g we should mix it in one liter of water and give it to our baby sip by sip by giving a gap in between. He also suggested a mucus remover so that the baby doesn’t get fussy or uneasy due to difficulty in breathing. Babyvicks and steam were not recommended by him as my daughter was still 5 to 6 months old.
Since my daughter was just 6 months old and hadn’t started solids yet and also hadn’t started taking water, it became very difficult for me to introduce water or give ORS to her. The doctor said that she should drink at least 250ml of water daily and just giving one sip of water was a very big task for me. I tried many methods like giving it with a spoon, using a small water bottle, using a milk bottle, using a small cup, and a dropper to give ORS, but nothing worked, she used to take some in and spit everything out after taking it. Dropper and spoon worked a bit for me. Giving those EONORM sachets was also very difficult. I used a dropper and a small cup to give the medicine. I somehow managed to give the medicine properly on time but she used to take ORS in a very limited quantity. So I used to breastfeed her frequently so that she wouldn’t get dehydrated. The doctor said that after giving the sachets the number of loose stools will slowly decrease from 6 to 5 then from 4 to 3 and then from 2 or 1. But this didn’t happen even after 3 days of giving her medicine. Only the color of the stool changed from yellow to green. The number and texture were still the same. After 4 days, we again went to the pediatrician. The doctor said that green stools are common and this is not diarrhea. And since the number of stools has not increased and her weight also didn’t decrease, she doesn’t need any treatment and it will resolve on its own after a few weeks.
However since I did not get the proper reason or answer for her green watery stools, I visited another pediatrician after a few days. He said that green watery motions 4 to 5 times a day are normal and this is caused due to the imbalance of foremilk and hindmilk when I breastfeed my baby. So he told me to take care of that and check if the baby was getting proper hindmilk in every feed. When I told him I did not understand how to do it, he told me to give the same breast twice to the baby. So that the breast becomes fully empty before we switch to another breast. I followed his advice and within a week her stool became normal. Now she was doing yellow color poop once or twice daily.
Understanding the problem and the root cause of it is very important to solve any problem. If you don’t understand what’s happening in the body you will never be able to solve it completely.