Bowel Movement and Urination in the First Days of a Baby


When it comes to diapering a newborn during the first days of a baby, many new parents are unsure of what’s normal and what isn’t. Here’s what to expect in the initial days of your baby. This blog is all about the Bowel Movement and Urination in the First Days of a Baby.

 Urination during the first few days of a baby

 During the first days of a baby, depending on the age of your child, he or she may urinate once every one to three hours or up to four to six times a day. If they’re sick or feverish, or if it’s extremely hot outside, their normal urine output can drop by half and still be normal. 

It’s important to remember that urinating should never be painful. Contact your general practitioner if your baby appears to be in distress while urinating. 

Light to dark yellow urine is normal for a healthy child. In the first days of a baby, if they don’t drink enough fluids, the urine will be darker in colour and therefore more concentrated.  During the first few days of a baby’s life, pink or brick-red stains on the diaper are common. In fact, a pinkish stain like this is usually an indication of highly concentrated urine. The baby should be fine as long as he or she is using at least four diapers per day. Consult your GP if the pinkish discolouration persists. 

It is common for newborn girls to have a small spot of blood in their diapers during the, which is caused by the mother’s hormones affecting the baby’s uterus in the first week after birth. Blood in the urine or a bloody diaper after that point is never normal and should be reported to your GP. A simple case of diaper rash could explain it, but there are other possibilities. Bleeding that is accompanied by other symptoms, such as abdominal pain and poor feeding, vomiting and fever, needs to be treated immediately.  

Bowel movement 

 During the first days of a baby, they will produce a substance known as meconium in their first bowel movement. Before birth, their intestines were filled with a thick black or dark green substance, and the stools they pass now are yellow-green. 

Baby poop has a wide range of colours and textures due to their immature digestive systems. If your child is breastfed, expect yellow liquid with some particles in their stools soon. The stools may be very soft or very loose and runny until they begin eating solid foods. Their faeces are usually tan or yellow if they’re formula-fed. A breastfed baby’s skin will be firmer, but it shouldn’t be any harder than soft clay. Also, you shouldn’t be alarmed if you see green stool. 

When your baby’s stool is hard or dry, it may be an indication that she is not getting enough fluids or that she is losing too much fluid from illness, fever, or heat. Having hard stools after introducing solids may be an indication that she is consuming constipating foods too soon, such as cereal or cow’s milk (babies under the age of twelve months should not drink whole cow’s milk.).

For more information on bowel movement, read the following: 

Colour and consistency changes in the stools on rare occasions are considered normal. There are a number of factors that can cause the stools to turn green or brown, such as the amount of food the baby eats and how much effort it takes to digest it (e.g., large amounts of cereal). If the anus is irritated, blood may be seen on the stool’s outer surface. A call to your GP should be made right away if your child’s stool contains excessive amounts of blood, mucous, or water. These signs and symptoms may necessitate a visit to the GP. 

 Infants’ stools are typically soft and slightly runny, making it difficult to tell if a baby has mild diarrhoea because it’s not always obvious. Increased frequency (to more than one bowel movement per feeding) and an unusually high liquid content in the stool are warning signs to look out for. This may indicate an infection in the baby’s digestive system, or it may be the result of a change in the child’s diet. Even if the baby is breastfed, a change in the mother’s diet can cause diarrhoea in the baby. 

Dehydration is the primary concern when diarrhoea occurs. Call your GP if your baby has a fever and is under the age of three months, as this is a medical emergency. If your baby is over three months old and has a fever that persists for more than a day, take her temperature and urine output to discuss with your GP. Make sure your baby is still getting enough to eat. Let your GP know if they appear to be ill, even if they don’t show any symptoms.  

Babies have a wide range of bowel movement frequencies. After each feeding, many people go to the bathroom. When the stomach is full, the gastrocolic reflex kicks in, causing the digestive system to get busy. 

Some breastfed babies have only one bowel movement a week by the time they are three to six weeks old and are still healthy. A baby’s digestive system isn’t burdened by much solid waste from breast milk. Constipation does not mean that you have to worry about your baby’s infrequent bowel movements because they are soft and your baby is healthy, gaining weight steadily, and nursing regularly. If it’s been a few days since a baby was fed breast milk, he or she is more likely to produce a large volume of stool (so you should be prepared with lots of wipes to clean up).

The Nurturey Pink Book app is the NHS red book in a digital format which also includes many other amazing features. From tracking the health of your baby inside your belly to tracking the health of your child, their vaccinations, dental health and measurements, the Pink Book has it all! Learn more at https://www.nurturey.com/ 


About Author

Garima Capoor is a doctor of medicine by profession, who stumbled her way into content writing, much to her parents' bemusement. Research is her favourite word and she uses it generously while trying to understand the fascinating dynamics of parents and children. With no children of her own, her niece and nephew are the guinea pigs for everything she learns (the family dog was off limits).

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