What you need to know

  • Babies poo often, and poos may come in different colours, shapes and smells depending on what they’ve had to eat or drink
  • If your baby is eating normally and doesn’t seem sick, changes in the colour and consistency of their poo is most likely normal. However, you know your child best so if you are worried, call PlunketLine or your doctor.

Newborn poos

Your newborn’s first poos (known as meconium) are usually thick, sticky and tar-like and may look black. This is normal and is caused by substances your baby swallowed in the womb, and they aren't harmful to your child.

After about three to four days your baby's poos will change and continue to change throughout their first year, as the bacteria in their gut and bowel grow. These bacteria are important, and help our immune systems work and allow us to digest food.

Breastfed babies’ poos

Breastfed babies usually poo at least once a day until four weeks of age. After four weeks, they may poo after every feed, or every seven to 10 days.

It’s normal for babies’ poo to change as they grow and start eating a variety of different foods.

Breastfed baby’s poo may be:

  • mustard yellow
  • soft
  • look like it has seeds in it
  • runny with small lumps.

Formula-fed babies’ poos

Formula-fed babies usually poo every day or every second day, while some will poo multiple times per day. Like breastfed babies, it’s normal for their poo to change as they grow and eat new foods.

Formula-fed babies’ poo may be:

  • yellow or tan coloured
  • firmer-formed.


Poos can vary in colour, especially from yellow to green to brown.

Green poos are common in healthy babies, especially in the first few weeks. However, sometimes the green colour may be caused by a feeding problem or illness. You know your child best, so assess what is “normal” for them.

When to visit a doctor

If your baby is eating normally and doesn’t seem sick, changes in the colour and consistency of their poo is most likely normal. However, if you're worried call PlunketLine, or speak with your midwife or doctor.

Take your baby to a doctor immediately if they show any signs of a rare but serious illness called intussusception. This can include:

  • severe tummy pain
  • crying and drawing their knees up
  • vomiting
  • blood in poos, which looks like red currant jelly.


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