How To Stop Green Poop in Infants: Causes, Remedies and Prevention
Typically, an infant’s poop is yellow or mustard in color. But sometimes, you might notice different variations in the colour of the poop. It might indicate a health concern if you ever notice newborn green poop or anything unusual in your baby’s poop color, consistency, or texture. Although, an occasional green poop in infants is normal and nothing to be worried about. But if this continues for more than a few poops, it might indicate the need to visit your baby’s pediatrician. This article will discuss what is green poop in babies, what causes it and how you can treat it.
What Causes Green Poop In Infants
The following reasons can cause green poop in infants(1):
Imbalance Between Hindmilk & Foremilk- If your baby has smaller nursing sessions, or you are switching the breasts quickly, before at least 20 minutes per breast, your baby will consume more high sugar foremilk and less high fat hindmilk. This can result in foamy, frothy, and green poop in infants.
Iron Supplements– If your infant is consuming formula feed in combination with breastfeeding or is exclusively on formula feed, the iron content in the formula milk can make the poop to be green. The green poop baby is experiencing is nothing to be worried about.
Diarrhoea Or Irritable Bowel– If your baby has an irritable bowel that has resulted in mild diarrhea, the mucus present in the poop can also cause green color.
Stomach Infection– Contamination of the bottle if your baby is consuming expressed breast milk in a bottle can cause stomach infection and result in green poop in infants. In this scenario, there will also be other symptoms such as gas, sluggishness, the reduced activity level of the baby, or even fever.
Pancreatitis– In adults, pancreatitis can be caused and triggered by several reasons. But when it comes to infants, at times, some kids have it due to genetics. Your baby will also experience vomiting, rapid heart rate and swollen abdomen if it is a case of pancreatitis.
Metabolism Disorder– If your baby is intolerant to milk and is on top feed, they can develop a metabolism disorder that can cause foamy and green poop in infants.
How To Stop Green Poop In Babies Home Remedies
If you are wondering how to stop green poop in babies, you first need to diagnose the reason for this. If it is a non-medical reason and not due to a medical condition or infection, you may want to try some simple home remedies. But in case your baby has an infection, it is advised not to try any home remedies and immediately see a doctor and let them take it from there.
- -If the green poop is caused due to imbalance between hindmilk and foremilk, make sure that you empty a breast while feeding before moving on to another breast. Also, make sure you feed from one breast for at least 20 minutes, which is ideal for consuming a perfect balance of foremilk and hindmilk for a baby’s digestion and growth.
- -If your child is on iron-fortified formula milk or iron supplements, green poop is due to the iron content in their feed, and in this case, there is nothing to worry about. You do not need to do any remedy to stop green and harder poop.
- -Look out for signs of dehydration. Babies do not need to consume water till the age of six months. Breast milk is enough to keep them hydrated. But if you feel they are dehydrated, do not try to treat this at home, and speak to your pediatrician for proper treatment.
- -For any other medical reasons like diarrhea, a stomach infection, irritable bowel etc., visit your doctor and let them know your observation, poop count, the color of the poop and other symptoms.
Preventing Green Poop In Infants
Prevention is always better than curing a disease. For example, you cannot prevent the color of the poop, but if it is caused by infection, you can control the cause of infection.
If your baby is consuming the expressed milk or formula milk using bottles, please ensure that the bottles are cleaned and sterilized properly before every feed. The primary cause of stomach infection in babies is bottles.
Also, ensure that you keep cleaning the hands of your babies regularly. Babies tend to put their thumb or hand in their mouth, and if not clean can result in infection. The same applies to their blankets, comforters, any top-wear with a collar. Make sure that their clothes are changed into washed fresh from time to time.
When To Consult A Doctor For Green Poop In Infants
Green poop in infants usually is nothing to be worried about. However, if your baby is experiencing any of the following along with green poop, you should immediately see your pediatrician for a physical check-up:
- -If your baby has fewer wet diapers and other signs of dehydration such as irritation, dry mouth and lips and lack of tears.
- -If your baby is taking feeds less often and in lesser quantities than usual.
- -If green poop is accompanied by blood.
- -If they have a fever of more than 100 degrees.
- -They have diarrhoea that lasts for more than two days.
The bottom line is that you would not need to be worried about and call your paediatrician at every green poop instance. But as a parent, you know and understand your baby the best, so if you notice any signs of distress or the symptoms mentioned in the section above, go with your gut feeling and let the doctor decide the next course of action.
Common Questions Parents Ask
Q1 – What is the ideal colour of a baby’s poop?
Read this article on Baby’s Poop 101 – A Comprehensive Guide To Newborn Poop and all your baby poop-related questions will be answered.
Q2 – How many times should my baby poop in a day?
An exclusively breastfed newborn can have a dirty diaper after every feed. It is usual for a newborn to poop even eight times a day.
Q3 – How common is green poop in infants?
Once the meconium has passed, greenish or blackish poop is not usual in infants. However, read the reasons given in the article. It might not be of any concern if your baby’s one-off poop is greenish in colour.