Plain talk about feces
It is called various names and comes in various colors, and parents spend a lot of time cleaning it up and worrying about it: too hard? too frequent? too infrequent? right color? Let's start at the end where it all begins-The first stool passed by infants after birth.

This substance is called Meconium and is the waste products that have accumulated in the intestine during pregnancy. Meconium is usually passed in the first day or two after birth. It has the color and consistency of tar and isĀ  about as difficult to wipe off an infant's buttocks. The stool then starts changing color and consistency depending upon whether a child is breast or formula fed.

Breast-Fed Infants
As a child gets older and begins to take solid foods, the stool pattern will change to a stool passed every 24 to 48 hours, and the color will change to light or dark brown. At this time, some children will experience constipation, which is best managed by increasing the fruit and vegetable content of his or her diet.

Formula-Fed Infants
As a general rule, formula-fed infants have fewer stools per day than breast-fed infants, and the stool color may be yellow, brown, or green. Switching to a different formula may alter the stool consistency, frequency, or color. Constipation is more frequent in formula-fed than in breast-fed infants. For a formula-fed infant whose stools are too hard, round or pellet-shaped, we recommend calling our office to make an appointment.

Upon the introduction of solid foods to the diet, the stool pattern of the bottle-fed infant will slowly continue to change to the brown firm stools typical of infants on a solid food diet.

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