- Iron-fortified formula - Some formula-fed babies will develop a case of green poop from the iron in the formula they are taking. As long as your baby is happy and not having any problems with constipation, there is nothing to worry about.
- Jaundice - A baby that has jaundice may have dark or greenish colored stools. This normally goes away once baby is off of the bilirubin lights.
- Dairy Sensitivity - Some breastfed babies are very sensitive to certain foods in their mom’s diet. If your baby is having problems with green mucousy stools, blood in his stools, spitting up a lot, or a skin rash, he may be sensitive to something in your diet. Dairy products are one of the most common causes of food allergies in babies. If you think this might be the problem, try eliminating milk and dairy products from your diet. It may take a couple weeks to see results from a dairy elimination diet. You should see improvement in a week or two. If you’re not sure, you can always try it out for a few weeks and then try having a cup of milk to see what happens. If the symptoms come back, then milk is probably the culprit and you will want to avoid it.
- Foremilk/Hindmilk imbalance - If your baby is breastfeeding and has green frothy-looking poops, this may be a result of a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. To put this simply, when a mom breastfeeds the first milk that comes out (foremilk) is thinner and lower in fat. After you have nursed for a bit, you will start to produce richer, fattier milk called hindmilk. Babies that receive too much of the thin foremilk and not enough of the richer hindmilk sometimes have problems with green stools and tummy aches. If you have been switching breasts a lot instead of letting baby get a good feed on one breast, you may have problems with this.
- Other reasons - Sometimes babies just have greenish colored poop. The range of color in baby’s poops can vary. Any range of yellow, mustard to yellow/green is pretty normal for a baby. If baby is gaining well and happy then there is nothing to worry about.
Black poop can be seen from iron supplementation. If your baby is taking an iron supplement or is on iron-fortified formula, he may have black or dark colored stools. Black stools, on the other hand, can also be of intestinal bleeding. If your baby has black tarry looking stools you should call your pediatrician.
Blood in baby’s poop
If you notice blood in your baby’s stool this may be alarming. Small streaks of blood in the stool are usually not something serious. However, if your baby has stools that look like dark red jelly or are streaked with mucous you should call your doctor right away. You should also call your doctor if your baby seems to be in pain or if your baby has persistent bleeding that does not go away.
Some other causes for blood in the stool are:
- Small cuts or tears on the baby’s anus - Sometimes babies will develop an anal fissure (tear) from straining. You may notice small streaks of blood in baby’s stool
- Diaper rash - If baby has had a diaper rash that has resulted in skin breakdown, he may end up with tiny amounts of blood in his diaper.
- Food sensitivities- Dairy sensitivities may cause baby to have bloody/mucousy stools. (See above)