It’s all in the colour and the texture. The signs to your baby’s health, that is. And these signs will differ according to circumstances, age and diet. But with careful inspection and a continual monitoring of your baby’s poo, you will learn to read him and his health and therefore know when something is wrong.
A pooey package
When your baby’s poo turns to diarrhoea, this could mean one of a number of things. Firstly, you need to rule out the possibility of your little one having picked up an infection of sorts. But it may not be as serious as this. Diarrhoea could be a symptom of an excess of fruit juice, an allergy to a certain food type, or a reaction should he be on medication for something else. Sometimes it could just be a natural reaction to cutting a tooth.
Strangely enough, sometimes diarrhoea can also be a symptom of constipation. Unlike the normal signs of constipation which can include smudges of blood from the slight tearing of the anus as your baby tries to push out a poo, or a poo hard in texture or even small pellet-type poos, he may actually be suffering from serious constipation. This can happen as a result of -new poo making its way around an obstruction of solid, hard poo.
When the colour changes
There are various major colours to watch out for when changing your baby’s soiled nappy. Often, when your baby is still in the newborn stage, his poo may appear oddly light in colour. This can be due to newborn jaundice. Although not usually a problem, it is always best to take a sample to your doctor just to be sure.
The other colour poo you may notice is green. Green poo could mean an abundance of lactose, which is the natural sugar in breast milk. This is usually easily remedied by ensuring he finishes feeding from one breast before switching breasts because it is the rich milk at the end of feeding from each breast that provides this needed nourishment.
Very seldom will a baby present with an almost complete black poo. If this happens it’s invariably as a result of your baby bleeding from his upper intestinal tract. This needs urgent medical attention.
But if there is slight red blood, usually reflecting as small black flecks, it’s commonly caused by him digesting blood from your cracked nipple. This is harmless to your baby.
But thick black poo, poo which is predominantly red in colour, poo that is a clay colour or white-coloured poo needs to be checked out.
Bleeding from constipation
If there is a small amount of blood in his stool it can often be because of the pressure exerted due to constipation. Straining to thrust the hard poo out can result in tiny tearing of the skin around the anus. Although this clears when the constipation stops and usually no damage is caused, it is possible for an infection to set into one of the tears, so be careful to keep it clean and try keeping the area lubricated with an anti-bacterial cream or with petroleum jelly.
But no matter how innocent you think the problem may be, your little baby’s life is too precious to play games with, and these variations of colour in stools is not something to brush off, so have your baby checked out with your medical practitioner.