Normal Stool Pattern


Stool Patterns
The number, color, and consistency of bowel movements can vary greatly in the same infant and between infants regardless of diet or environment.

An excessive intake of human milk or maternal use of laxatives further increases the water content of the infant's stool. Overfeeding or use of formula that is too concentrated or too high in sugar content also can produce loose stools. Occasionally, an infant may not have a bowel movement on a given day.

Stool color has no significance unless it is acholic or blood is present. The first stool, which consists of meconium, is usually passed within the first 24 hours after birth, and is thick, sticky, and black. Transitional stools, which are greenish brown, appear after initiation of milk feeding and are replaced by typical yellow, seedy milk stools 3 to 4 days later. Infrequent bowel movements do not necessarily mean constipation, because breastfed infants may occasionally go 5 to 7 days without a bowel movement.
Ask about the timing of the first stool, because failure to pass meconium in the first 48 hours of life may be suggestive of Hirschsprung disease or cystic fibrosis