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25 Nov '17

The baby's faeces

Posted by Sandra Sosa

Perhaps it's a little bizarre to speak about baby's faeces, but as parents it's mandatory to be aware of every detail of our baby's physiology, because minor changes could be an alarm signs of critical events.

For experienced parents, there's nothing extrange on checking the baby's faeces, but for newbies, things are a little bit different, because undoubtedly it's disgusting to check someone's else caca (even when it's our baby); especially if we don't know what we are looking for!

First thing to know is that baby's faeces are not as an adult's faeces; so you must not wait to see the same consistency, color and smell; moreover, faeces characteristics change while the baby grows because of introduction of new food.

During the first 24 hours, the newborn's faeces are a kind of green, dense liquid, Baby's faeces chartcalled "meconium", a mix of digestive and amniotic fluids filling the digestive system which is evacuated during the first 24-36 hours of life.

After meconium, there's a first change towards liquid, yellow-green faeces, due to the beginning of feeding. During the first three months of life, the baby's faeces tend to be very liquid, especially when breastfeed. That's not diarrhea, but the consequence of a liquid diet (only milk) and a still immature bowel.

During this period, any change on faeces appearance must be evaluated, especially on formula feed babies. Some babies tend to get constipated with a particular formula, so if the faeces turn too solid and hard to evacuate, there could be problems with the formula or the way it's prepared, so find proper advice from your pediatrician.

Once the baby achieves 6 months, faeces change again, usually on a monthly fashion due to the introduction of solid food, which will last at least until the 1st year.

On this period, faeces tend to be more solid, smelly and deep brown; changing day to day depending of what the baby has eaten; i.e. in the case of babies feed with fruits the faeces smell may be acid and those who ate beetroot will have reddish faeces.

Usually after the six month faeces tend to be completely solid, so any change towards liquid must be considered as diarrhea and proper medical counsel must be received.

After the first year, the baby's faeces will be like those of adults and things get a little bit easier, especially because in a matter of a 18 months or even less, the diaper will not be necessary any longer.

Meanwhile, be sure to check the diaper on every change, since the first one when your baby is just a newborns, until the last. At the beginning perhaps it will not be nice, but with time it becomes a routine that allows you to be aware of your baby's health status; so never forget to check the diaper before throwing it to the trash.

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