Baby’s Poop is Green? What to Know

Baby’s Poop is Green? What to Know

Mamahood comes with many new experiences. So now your baby’s poop is green, and you’re wondering what next. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Read on.
One thing about being a new mama that maybe nobody told you about?

The amount of time you spend talking about poop.

From learning how to change a diaper to discovering the wonders of projectile poop, this topic takes up a lot of real estate.

And now your baby’s poop is green.

And you’re wondering if this is something to worry about or if it’s just a new look they’re sporting.

Don’t worry, mama. We’ve got you covered.

Let’s dive into the details.

In this article: 📝

  • Is it OK if baby poop is green?
  • Why is my baby’s poop green?
  • Does green poop in babies mean infection?
  • Green baby poop: the bottom line

Is it OK if baby poop is green?

The good news is that if your baby has greenish poop, it’s usually nothing to be concerned about. It’s pretty standard, particularly in newborns and toddlers.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that normal shades of baby poop include brown, tan, yellow, and green.

Wondering about the whys? That’s where we’re going next:

Why is my baby’s poop green?

Poop tends to follow the rule of what goes in must come out.

So the main reason for a poop color change is something we put in our mouths.

Food coloring and additives both have the power to change our poop color.

Because your baby’s diet undergoes big changes in their year of life, their poop tends to follow suit.

Here’s a rough timeline:

The first poop out the gate

Prepare to be alarmed.

Your baby’s first poop is something to behold.

Newborns produce a poop called meconium.

It’s made up of all sorts of things that they’ve been digesting in the womb, most notably the amniotic fluid that’s kept them growing and developing.

This poop is sticky, thick, and usually a very dark green color.

One massive perk of meconium?

It doesn’t smell bad.

In a less-talked-of milestone in your baby’s life, they will usually have their first poop within their first 24 hours.

(If you haven’t met meconium in the first 48 hours of their life, it’s good to check in with your doctor to see that there aren’t any blockages in the way.)

In some cases, babies might pass meconium while they’re still in your uterus.

This can lead to a condition called Meconium Aspiration Syndrome, where they inhale some of this waste product, which can affect their lungs.

It’s rare and typically only happens in babies that are full or post-term.

And with treatment, most babies will get better with no trouble.

Chapter Two of their Number Two

Once you start breast or formula feeding, that poop will get a makeover.

It’s normal for breastfed babies to have green, brown, or yellow poop.

The poop of formula-fed babies is usually tan but can also be yellowish or greenish.

If you’re breastfeeding your baby and their poop takes on a bright green color, it could mean that they’re consuming more lower-fat milk (foremilk) than full-fat milk (hindmilk).

It may be as simple as draining one boob entirely before moving on to the next.

And it doesn’t mean you have to worry about the quality of your milk.

You’re still giving them the good stuff!

Once they’re off to a solid start

And then you introduce solids to the mix, and their poop goes through yet another reinvention.

Now that they’re eating food that could be green in color, you may be seeing it on the other end too.

A pea puree, for example, can look pretty similar coming out as it does going in.

Foods like spinach, green fruit snacks, and green Jell-O can all be responsible.

Certain medicines and vitamins can also turn their poop green.

And if your baby is on an iron supplement, the chances of their poop being green are higher.

When food moves through your baby’s digestive system really quickly, it’s more common for their poop to be green.

That’s because there hasn’t been enough time for bile (a greenish-yellow fluid that helps with digestion) to break down in their system, and so it comes out on the other end, color intact.

This is often nothing to worry about.

Those little digestive systems are still developing, so if the only symptom is runny poop, it’s often not an issue.

But in some cases, it’s important to get them seen by a doctor.

We’ll take you through the details.

Does green poop in babies mean infection?

Sometimes, green poop may be a sign of a viral or bacterial infection, particularly if your baby has other symptoms too.

Check in with your doctor if they have:

  • Poop that is green-black after they’re three days old, and if they’re not on iron supplements
  • Green mucus in their poop for more than two days
  • Diarrhea that doesn’t stop in 24 hours
  • Fever
  • Fussiness

If they do have diarrhea, the most significant issue is the risk of dehydration. Symptoms to watch out for are:

And check in with your doctor if you notice poop in any of these colors:

  • Black. Black poop can be a sign of bleeding in the digestive tract. (Note that if your baby’s poop is dark green, it can look black. If you’re worried, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor.)
  • Red. This may signal that there’s blood in their poop. This could be a sign of infection, food allergies, or anal tears caused by constipation.
  • White. White poop could be a sign of a gallbladder or liver issue. It’s important to get to your doctor as soon as you can.

If you’re unsure, a top tip from pediatrician Dr. Shruti Nathwani is to take a picture of their poop and send it to your doctor.

Probably not your favorite photo of things your baby has done, but very useful to find out the next steps.

Green baby poop: the bottom line

Green baby poop is often nothing to worry about.

But if you’re not sure, check in with your doctor—particularly if your baby is displaying other symptoms.

One of the best things about baby poop is that it can tell us an awful lot about what’s happening in their insides.

All the best, mama. 💗

💡 More from The 411:
Baby Hiccups: What Can You Do About Them?
Prune Juice for a Baby: Good or Bad Idea?
Do Babies Poop in the Womb?
4 Things Your Baby Should Be Able to Do Before Starting Baby-Led Weaning
How Many Ounces Should a Baby Eat? A Chart
Newborn Baby Feeding Schedule Ideas
What are the Best First Foods for a Baby?
Newborn Not Pooping But Passing Gas? What to Know
How To Wash Cloth Diapers
A Quick Guide to Teething Poop & Diarrhea
Can Teething Cause Diarrhea?

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