Wee: what you need to know
Young babies can wee many times a day.
Plenty of wet nappies is a good sign – it shows that your baby is getting enough milk and other fluids. The wetting will happen less as your baby gets older, but it might still happen at least 6-8 times a day.
Every time your baby wees, look at the stream or colour of the wee stain on the nappy. This tells you a lot about your baby’s health.
Plenty of clear, colourless wee is normal. A heavy nappy is a sign that there’s plenty of wee. Infrequent or darker wee is a sign that your baby might be dehydrated or not getting enough fluids.
Light pink or orange stains are nothing to worry about. They’re caused by the wee reacting with chemicals in the nappy and are quite common. Also, sometimes there can be small ‘crystals’ on the inner surface of a disposable nappy. These come from the inside of the nappy, not from your baby.
If the wee stains are red or brown, and you think there might be blood in the wee or your baby doesn’t seem well, see your GP immediately.
Poo: what you need to know
Your newborn’s first poo will be a dark green, tar-like substance called meconium. This is normal – it’s your baby’s stomach and bowel contents emptying after being in the womb for nine months. You might see some dark green poos for a few days.
After this, there’s a big range of normal when it comes to what baby poo looks and smells like and how often babies poo.
Some babies poo several times a day, and some poo only a few times a week. This is normal.
Pooing is common during or shortly after feeding. This is called the gastro-colic reflex.
As the weeks and months pass, you can expect changes in poo:
- consistency – it can be firm, runny and everything in between
- smell – it generally gets smellier when baby starts eating solids.
How diet affects poo
The way your baby’s poo looks might depend on your baby’s diet.
- will be quite soft and maybe even runny, a bit like mustard, often a yellow-orange colour, but sometimes green
- might get less frequent but will stay quite soft until baby starts eating solid food
- can smell quite sweet, and the smell can be affected by what mum is eating.
- is generally firmer but can vary a lot in colour and consistency
- can be grey-yellow (or even grey-blue), or some shades of brown.
Change from one formula to another
This can lead to changes in appearance and consistency of poo.
- becomes firmer and smellier once you introduce solids
- can look as if some solids are undigested. This is because your baby’s digestive system is still developing. It’s usually normal.
Constipation is when the poo is hard and dry, and looks like little marbles or pebbles. This kind of poo is difficult for your baby to push out, which can be upsetting for your baby.
Constipation is more likely to happen in bottle-fed babies. It usually happens when the formula has been made with too little water.
Babies might also get constipated when they start solid food. This normally sorts itself out in a few weeks.
If your baby is straining and pooing hard, dry pebbles or if you see blood in the poo, speak to your GP or child and family health nurse.
Diarrhoea is when your baby does very runny or even watery poos, more often than usual. If your baby is vomiting as well, it might be a gut infection. In this situation, it’s important to see your GP immediately to make sure that your baby doesn’t get dehydrated.
If a baby with jaundice also has pale yellow, white or grey poo, see your GP immediately – this can be a sign of a rare liver disease. The baby will need a blood test to check. Take photos or even samples of your baby’s poo with you so the GP can check it out.