Is it really normal with runny poop in a breastfed baby? My baby is 8 weeks old and fully breastfed. Ever since she was born, her poop stays watery. Is this normal breastfed baby poop? There is no consistency in her stool. Once in a great while, there is.
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Breastfed Baby Poop Watery and Runny- When is it Normal and Not?
Normal Runny Poop in a Breastfed Baby
What you describe is probably normal runny poop in a breastfed baby. The above picture show typical normal breastfed baby poop.
However, breastfed baby poop can actually have quite varying colors and consistencies and still be completely normal.
The pooping frequency can vary a lot too – from many times per day to not at all for one or two weeks!
Here is what normal breastmilk poop usually looks like:
Breastmilk poop is usually yellow. It can also have a greenish color, and this is normal too.
Normal breastmilk poop is runny. Even watery breastfed baby poop is usually normal too. The poop of a fully breastfed baby can resemble diarrhea, and hence be quite watery.
The poop may also have some texture in it, be curdled or seedy. It varies from child to child and over time. Some breastfed babies do not have seedy poop, something you can read about here.
The older the fully breastfed baby the more poop, and in my experience, with the increasing amount, the poop appears to be even runnier although it probably isn’t.
At around 2 months, many breastfed babies have enough runny poop to shoot up all the way to the back of their neck if you are unlucky!
If your daughter is happy and follows her growth curves, everything is likely to be fine. But if your baby seems to be in pain, if there is mucus in the poop, or she is not gaining weight, you might want to discuss it with a pediatrician.
So to conclude – watery, runny poop in a breastfed baby is most often completely normal!
Runny Poop in Breastfed Babies – Not Normal
But then, when is runny breastfed baby poop a sign that something is not right?
Well, even if runny poop in breastfed babies is considered normal, there are, of course, situations when it is not:
1. Diarrhea due to a stomach bug or a cold
It can be a bit tricky to know the difference between normal runny breastfed poop and diarrhea.
If a baby’s stools suddenly increase sharply or become much more watery, it may be that the baby has diarrhea due to some stomach bug or a cold.
Other signs, in such a case, would be that the baby has a fever, poor appetite, or simply appears to be ill.
2. Diarrhea due to Milk Protein Allergy
Even though you breastfeed, it is possible that your baby is having watery stools due to milk protein allergy.
This is because the milk protein is be passed over to the baby through breastmilk.
Some of the signs that your baby has milk protein allergy are:
- Crying a lot
- Discomfort after feeding
- Restless sleep
- Diarrhea, or constipation
- Cold-like symptoms, wheezing
- Itchy, red eyes
- Dry skin or a diaper rash
3. Diarrhea in Breastfed Babies – Rare Reasons
There are other, often more severe, but also rare reasons why a baby may have diarrhea for a long period of time. These are not something to be particularly worried about, but to be aware of, if your baby isn’t growing, appears ill, or is not hitting her milestones.
Chronic diarrhea can have many causes, including:
- Bacterial or parasitic infection – rare in developed countries. Where do you live?
- Chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
- Chronic, nonspecific diarrhea of childhood — a condition that usually occurs in children ages 1 to 3, so your daughter is most likely too young for this
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Tumors in the digestive tract
- Hirschsprung’s disease — a condition that results from missing nerve cells in the muscles of part or all of the baby’s colon.
- Cystic fibrosis
- Zinc deficiency – in some cases, the transfer of zink through the breastmilk is impaired. One of the symptoms is diarrhea.
If you recognize any of the above symptoms of diarrhea, certainly talk to your baby’s healthcare provider sooner rather than later.
Now, this was a long list of possible concerns, but again, if your baby is happy, thriving, and reaches her milestones, the most likely explanation to her runny poop is that it is simply normal!
Hope this helps,
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