what your baby’s bowel movements says about your feeding routine

You’d be amazed what your baby’s bowel movements can tell you about their feeding routine and health.  Read on for the quick facts.

Bowel Movement Quick facts

To know who well your baby is feeding, you want to pay attention to:

  • appearance,
  • quantity,
  • frequency, and
  • sound.


Blackish sticky stuff

Completely normal. This is meconium. Your baby will pass this blackish sticky poo in the first few days after birth. Although, it may have been passed during labour.

Meconium is completely normal and is what built up in your baby’s stomach during pregnancy.  With each bowel movement, the colour will change from black to green and then move to a yellow-mustard colour.

Breastfed baby’s bowel movements

Breastfed babies are likely to have bowel movements that:

  • are mustard-yellow in colour (but may occasionally be green),
  • have grainy bits in it,
  • are loose (a pea-soup texture), and
  • do not have an unpleasant smell.

Formula-fed baby’s bowel movements

Babies that are formula-fed or comp-fed (a combination of formula and breastfed) are likely to have:

  • firmer bowel movements,
  • a texture like to peanut butter,
  • a tan colour, and
  • a stronger smell.


A normal bowel movement will be about 2.5cm in diameter. However, on the odd occassion, a baby can pass so much poo, it goes up their back and runs out the legs of the nappy. You may have seen these photos on the web. This is known as a ‘poonami’. 🙂


Similar to a baby’s urination, you should expect approximately 1 bowel movement per day for days 1 to 3 of life. The poo will be black in colour and have a tarry texture. Around day 3 and 4 the colour will be more green.

Day 4 will bring about 4 poos and they will move from green and become yellow. By day 5, you should expect between 3 – 5 poos a day until your baby is about 6 weeks old. At this point, the poos will change and your baby may poo as much as 3 – 4 times per day up to once every 7 – 10 days.


Yes, you read that right. Sound. It’s amazing how loud a newborn’s poos sound. And they often are expelled with such force that you will want to ensure their bottom is covered at the point of explosion. 🙂

To get the quick facts on what urination says about your baby’s feeding routine, click here.

Hi! Natural Birth and Motherhood is about empowering women who are going through the stages of pregnancy, birth, or motherhood. Find out more useful information on related topics click on the Blog button below.

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