A breastfed baby’s stools change as the baby develops. Over the first six months, you may see changes in stool colour, consistency, size, and frequency. Normal babies can have yellow, green, brown, and orange stools (Gustin 2018). In general, the number of stools each day will decrease during the first six months of life and their size tends to increase.
Here are some common age-related changes.
1) The first week
- Day 1: Expect at least one stool. The first one is greenish-black and has a tar-like consistency. This stool is called meconium.
- Day 2: Expect at least two stools. The colour is lighter and greener.
- Days 3 and 4: Expect at least three stools. They can be green, yellow, or a mix of both.
- Days 5 to 7: Expect at least three stools, usually yellow. The stool is loose and may contain curds.
Newborn babies who stool less frequently may not be taking in enough milk.
2) One week to one month
Normal babies have four to eight runny to slightly pasty stools a day at this age. They are usually yellow. A mother with a large milk supply may notice her baby producing green stools.
3) One month to five months
The stools start to become pastier and less frequent. They can be yellow or green. The number of stools per day tends to decrease as the baby grows (den Hertog 2012). The baby’s tummy cramps become less bothersome as the number of stools decrease.
4) Five months
The frequency of stooling is highly variable at this stage. Your baby may pass a stool once a day or once every 10 days, but as long as the baby is otherwise happy and growing well, there is no need to worry. The stools are runny to pasty. Stools of breastfed babies tend to be softer and larger than those of infant formula-fed babies (Weaver 1988).
5) Six months and after
Once the baby has started solid foods, the stool consistency, frequency, and colour are more like those of an adult.
The frequency may range from several per day to one every two days.
The stools are mostly brown, but the colour depends on the type of solid foods the baby is eating (Weaver 1988). For example, mashed blueberries and beets can produce vivid colour changes!
The smell of the stool will also change, from the sweeter smell of a breast-milk stool to a more adult type of odour.