In the early days baby’s don’t do very much. They feed, they sleep, they cry and they poop. It won’t take a new parent long to realize that babies poop a lot and changing dirty diapers will just become part of their new routine.
Sometimes, the poop parents find in their baby’s diaper might look a little strange or different. It might even have black specks or spots in it.
If you are worried about the look of your baby’s poop, this article delves into why there are black specks in your baby’s poop and whether you need to worry or not.
Black specks in baby poop are often caused by undigested foods. Blackberries, blueberries, black beans, and bananas can all cause black specks and spots in baby poop.
However, black spots in your baby’s bowel movements can potentially be blood coming from a gastrointestinal bleed.
If you are concerned the black spots are blood, you will need to take your baby to see a pediatrician immediately. Baby’s first poops are black and sticky, if your baby is less than a week old the black specks may just be meconium.
In this article
- What Does Baby Poop Look Like?
- What Does Breastfed Baby Poop Look Like?
- What Does Formula Fed Baby Poop Look Like?
- What Does Baby Poop Look Like During Weaning?
- What Causes Black Specks In Baby Poop?
- Milk Protein Allergy
- The Final Thought
What Does Baby Poop Look Like?
If you have never had anything to do with babies before, you may not know what normal baby poop is supposed to look like. Baby poop isn’t solid and formed like the regular bowel movements children and adults have.
The first poop your baby does is called meconium, it is a green/black tar-like substance and is usually passed within your baby’s first 24 hours.
Once your baby has expelled their first meconium poop, they will start to have transitional stools. These bowel movements happen for a few days, as your baby’s system begins to adjust to milk and they clear out the last of the meconium.
The transitional poops will be a dark greenish-yellow color, may contain mucus or blood, and sometimes have a seedy texture (especially in breastfed babies).
As your baby begins to regularly ingest and digest milk, their poop will start to look like ‘normal’ baby poop.
Unfortunately, baby poop can be normal but look different from bowel movement to bowel movement. Ask any parent, baby poop is quite the minefield!
Normal baby poop looks different depending on what you are feeding your baby. The poop of breastfed, formula-fed, and weaning babies looks completely different.
What Does Breastfed Baby Poop Look Like?
Breastfeeding babies usually have poops that resemble mustard in both color and texture. Breastfed baby poop can also be seedy and watery and can change from one diaper to the next.
Over time you will learn what is normal for your baby and you will be able to distinguish a ‘normal poop’ from diarrhea or constipation.
View in gallery
Nursing babies have an easier ride when it comes to digestion. Breastmilk is perfectly composed to be easy on your baby’s digestive system and your baby should only have ‘abnormal’ bowel movements if they are sick with a stomach bug, for example.
This is due to breastmilk being easier to digest, nursing babies do not suffer from stomach problems like diarrhea and constipation as often as formula-fed babies.
What Does Formula Fed Baby Poop Look Like?
Unlike breastfed baby poop, the bowel movements of formula-fed babies are more formed. Formula-fed baby poop is still soft but not as mushy as breastfed baby poop, the color is also different.
If your baby is fed formula milk, their poop can be either a pale yellow right through to a brownish yellow and even brown with a greenish tint. Parents with formula-feeding babies will see all different colored poops when they change their little ones’ diapers.
It is more difficult for babies to digest formula than breastmilk. Formula-fed babies are more likely to suffer from digestive problems like constipation, trapped gas, and diarrhea.
Their poop is a different color and consistency to breastfed baby poop because the composition of breastmilk and formula is completely different.
What Does Baby Poop Look Like During Weaning?
When your baby reaches six months of age their digestive system will be developed enough for them to begin eating solid foods.
Weaning is a process but usually by the time they reach half a year old, most babies are ready to start moving on from a milk-only diet. This transition from just milk to solid foods will result in a change in your baby’s poop.
When you are weaning you will notice your baby’s poop becoming more formed and changing in color regularly.
The food your baby eats will influence the color of their bowel movements and it may look alarming but black specks in baby poop are usually just parts of undigested food.
What Causes Black Specks In Baby Poop?
It is fairly normal for your baby to have black specks in their poop, especially if they are weaning. If your baby is eating solid food, the black specks in their diaper are likely to just be undigested food.
View in gallery
By six months of age, your baby’s digestive system will be developed enough to digest solid food. However, their digestive system is not completely developed and they may still struggle to digest certain foods.
Any food your baby can’t digest will just come straight back out the other end, this is why you may be noticing black spots in their poop.
Foods that are difficult for babies to digest and maybe the culprit when it comes to those alarming black spots and specks include:
The black specks are often just the blueberry skin and the seeds inside. The color of blueberries can also cause the overall color of your baby’s stool to be darker.
Just like blueberries, blackberries can cause black spots due to the undigested seeds and berry skin.
Bananas are a great first food for babies but they can cause black spots in your baby’s poop. It can be difficult for your baby to digest all parts of a banana and the black you see in your baby’s diaper is most likely the center part of a banana.
While beans may not be your first choice of food for your weaning baby, when cooked they are soft and mushy and easy for babies to eat. However, black beans can cause black specks in your baby’s poop due to their black skin and their iron content.
There are also some homeopathic medicines that can cause black spots in baby poop. If you have recently fed any of the above food to your baby, it is likely the black spots are just undigested food and are nothing to worry about.
Milk Protein Allergy
If you are not weaning yet and your baby has black specks in their poop, this can be a sign of a milk protein allergy. If you are regularly finding black specks in your baby’s poop, it may be best to seek medical advice.
If your baby does have a milk protein allergy you will either have to give them dairy-free formula milk or remove milk from your own diet if you are breastfeeding.
A pediatrician will be able to give you advice on how and when to reintroduce dairy to your baby’s diet if they are diagnosed with a milk protein allergy.
Are Black Specks In Baby Poop Normal?
It is difficult to say what is ‘normal’ when it comes to baby poop as each bowel movement will look slightly different and poop can change color without a stomach issue being present. However, parents will learn what is normal for their baby.
View in gallery
It is very common for parents to find black specks in their baby’s poop, especially if their baby is weaning. However, if your baby is not weaning, there may be cause for concern if you find black spots in your baby’s poop.
When Should I Worry About Black Spots in Baby’s Poop?
Black specks in baby poop can be blood passing through from somewhere inside your baby’s digestive system.
Old blood in the gastrointestinal tract can pass into your baby’s stool, these black spots will look different from undigested food like berries and bananas. If there is blood present, your baby’s poop will resemble wet coffee grounds.
It is not normal for your baby’s poop to ever look like wet coffee grounds and if you notice a stool like this in their diaper, you need to contact your doctor. Blood in poop could be harmless.
It may just be blood from a mom’s cracked nipple that her baby has ingested during nursing. However, blood in poop can be the result of gastrointestinal bleeding and your baby will need immediate medical attention.
Keep any diapers you have that contain black specks and take them to your appointment with the pediatrician. Your baby’s doctor will be able to test the poop for blood and be able to diagnose your baby more easily.
What does the infected baby poop look like?
If your baby has a bacterial or viral infection it can irritate the intestines and lead to inflammation. This can result in increased mucus in the baby’s poop. Other symptoms that could indicate an infection are fever and irritability.
The Final Thought
Black specks and spots in baby poop can be alarming but are often nothing to worry about. It is very common for weaning babies to have black specks in their poop.
At 6 months old your baby’s digestive system isn’t fully developed and your baby will have a hard time digesting certain foods, resulting in black specks or spots in their diaper. Occasionally, black specks in baby poop may be blood and your baby will need to see a doctor.
You may have also noticed that your baby has black strings or threads in their poop – find out what they are here.