A normal stool in infants can be described in different ways: liquid or mushy, yellow or green, with or without undigested food particles, with a fermented milk or strong odor. The quality and frequency of stools depend on the diet, the age of the child, past diseases and genetic predisposition.
The concept of “normal stool in an infant” in pediatrics is interpreted ambiguously and has a wide range of norms. General analysis of feces in newborns and infants includes the following indicators: color, texture, odor, the presence of various impurities. These indicators may vary for different reasons. As a rule, they do not talk about any serious diseases. Changes in the feces are usually associated with the type of feeding of the child, the period of adaptation of his digestive system to new conditions. Still, the very first sign of health – not the feces of the baby, and well-being.
The color of feces in infants may be different: bright yellow, orange, light yellow, light green, dark green, light brown. And all these “colors of the rainbow” are within the normal range. What determines the color of feces?
- Type of feeding. If the baby eats breast milk, the stool will be more green.
- Reaction to drugs. This may be antibiotics, drugs, which include dyes or iron, activated carbon. After taking the drugs, the stool may become much darker than usual. “Awesome” black stools in infants after drugs should not worry if the baby feels good.
- Lure With the introduction of complementary foods, feces become greener. This is due to the increased content of bile.
- Poor absorption of breast milk. In this case, the baby’s chair will be either green or orange.
- Reaction to bilirubin. Bilirubin is a yellow-brown bile pigment that appears as a result of the breakdown of blood proteins. Physiological zheltushka occurs in 70% of newborns and passes without treatment. Bilirubin is eliminated from the body of the child with urine and feces. Therefore, yellow, brown, orange stool in infants is often observed in the first month of life.
- Discoloration of the stool (white feces). May be a dangerous symptom of hepatitis. This infectious disease in infants and children of the first year of life is rare, but has a poor prognosis.
- Dysbacteriosis. When an imbalance of the beneficial intestinal microflora of the child is light stools. The feces also become lighter when teething.
If the child only changes the color of feces, and the consistency, smell, presence or absence of impurities remain the same, then, most likely, the problem is in the type of food, and not in some serious violation of digestion.
Often one has to meet pictorial metaphors: the consistency of “thick sour cream”, “pea soup”, “mustard”, “mushy”. All this is about a normal stool in children under one year. Often there is a description: liquid, watery stools. This texture (as opposed to the stool of children after a year and adults) is also considered a variant of the norm. After all, children receive the first six months of life only liquid dairy food. How to distinguish loose stools from diarrhea in an infant? According to the following features:
- the stool becomes not just liquid, but also watery;
- the frequency of defecation increases significantly;
- odor of feces unpleasant;
- expressive yellow, green color;
- temperature rise;
- a lot of mucus, foam, blood streaks;
- weakness and lethargy.
Impurities in the stool
Cal baby can be heterogeneous, with various impurities.
- White lumps in the feces of the baby. These are just pieces of curdled milk. If there are too many of them – the baby overeats, his digestive system does not cope with the volume of food during feeding, does not release enough enzymes. Usually such a baby quickly gains weight, and sometimes surpasses it. Indigestible food in the feces of a child may also appear after the start of complementary feeding. These may be non-digestible fiber particles.
- Slime . The presence of a small amount of mucus in the feces is the physiological norm. It is present in the feces of all children and adults. But if the inflammatory process in the body begins, its amount may increase dramatically. The appearance of mucus can have different reasons: improper attachment to the chest, improper mixture, overfeeding, premature introduction of complementary foods, atopic dermatitis, rhinitis, intestinal infections, drug reactions, lactase and gluten deficiency, dysbacteriosis.
- Foam. Most often, the foam in the feces is a functional disorder that is not associated with any pathologies and serious diseases. Often diarrhea in infants happens with foam. Gases and colic in an infant, a reaction to anti-capillary drugs, and food allergies can also be a frequent cause. Abundant foam can be a symptom of intestinal infections, dysbiosis.
- Blood in feces. This is a more serious symptom that requires observation and a visit to a doctor. The reasons may be as follows: rectal fissures, atopic dermatitis, cow’s milk protein allergy, intestinal inflammation, lactase deficiency, bowel abnormalities, polyps, helminthiasis, vitamin K deficiency. Stools or clots of scarlet blood in feces may indicate bleeding from the lower digestive tracts system.
When impurities appear, it is necessary to observe the general condition of the child. If the temperature rises, the child loses appetite and weight, it is impossible to postpone the call of the doctor.
The newborn should poop in the first day after birth. The baby’s original chair is called meconium. It is a tarry, sticky, viscous, black and green mass that has accumulated in the intestine during its stay in the womb. Meconium is hard to wash off due to its consistency. It consists of amniotic fluid, mucus, bile, fluid of the digestive tract. Meconium is a sign of a healthy digestive system. He will go out for several days, after which the newborn will poke with a regular chair. If meconium does not come out within 48 hours after birth, this may indicate intestinal pathologies, in particular, Hirschsprung’s disease. This pathology does not reduce the part of the intestine, which makes it difficult to promote fecal masses.
If the child’s black feces appeared later, this is no longer the original chair. The black color of feces (with the exclusion of its staining with food or drugs) may be associated with bleeding from the upper GI tract. Consultation of a pediatric gastroenterologist is required.
A baby’s chair during breastfeeding will vary depending on the nutrition of the nursing mother and the maturation of the baby’s digestive system.
Breast milk has a laxative effect. After the baby begins to suck on the breast, the stool softens, becomes greenish and much thinner than meconium. Approximately on the fifth day of life, feces appear, which has the consistency and color of mustard or thick pea soup. The sour smell of the stool in infants speaks of a milky type of food. Sometimes it can be more pronounced, sometimes less. If foamy and watery stools are added to the sour odor, this may indicate dysbiosis or lactase deficiency. Green liquid stool during breastfeeding is also the norm. Some pediatricians and breastfeeding specialists call this chair “hungry.” The child sucks only the front skimmed milk, not getting to the back – fat and nutritious. To eliminate this problem, mothers are advised to keep the baby near one breast for a long time and not be in a hurry to change the breast while feeding.
When fed naturally, the baby will empty the intestines at each meal. This may continue for the first month. The frequency of stool in a child at 2 months can be reduced to 4 times, the baby can begin to cluck after a day or two. This is due to the enzymatic crisis in the digestive system of the infant. In the same period, breast milk is being renewed. The child gradually produces new enzymes that help digest the more complex composition of milk. This may take several weeks. The baby may be capricious during this period, actively sucking the breast or abandoning it, colic and gas appear. If a child poops every three days, without help and discomfort, it means that these are his individual characteristics. Stool retention in this case is not considered constipation.
The feces of an artificial infant may change during the transition to another mixture and in the process of maturation of the digestive system.
The color of feces in the baby depends on the composition of the mixture and is yellow, pale yellow and even brown. Green liquid stools in an artificial infant can be associated with the introduction of complementary foods or switching to another mixture. The consistency of the newborn’s feces will be denser. This is due to the fact that the mixture, unlike breast milk, does not have a laxative effect, is digested much longer. The smell of feces is also different: it is sharper, more pronounced.
The chair of an artificial infant is sometimes irregular due to its density. Fecal matter can be long in the intestines and harden. This leads to constipation. If the baby doesn’t scuffle for a day, this is a signal of a delay in the chair, which cannot be said about breastfed infants. In general, an artificial infant baby pokes less often, sometimes twice. Do not allow frequent transition to another mixture. This may cause or delayed stool or, conversely, loose stools. The baby’s body needs time to adapt to the new composition of the mixture, so the transition should be smooth, during the week.
What should be the chair of the newborn and the baby? Regular and independent. Feces should be soft consistency, so that the defecation is painless. If a lot of mucus, foam, blood streaks appear in the baby’s stool, you should consult with your doctor.