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A baby’s bowels usually work within the first 24 hours after birth. The first stool, meconium, is blackish-green and sticky, with no smell. The colour changes to yellowish-brown over the next few days. Green stools are not a problem unless the baby loses his appetite and develops a temperature with diarrhoea, or starts to vomit.

2 mins to read Nov 21, 2017
  • For the first 6–8 weeks, a healthy newborn usually has 3–5 stools a day.
  • A change in the stools may occur temporarily when introducing alternative feeds. They may smell offensive.


Normal but infrequent stools do not indicate constipation. A baby is constipated only if the consistency of the stool appears to be hard, dry and pellet-like.

  • Gently massage the baby’s abdomen.
  • Exercise his legs.
  • Allow free kicking(Leg exercises: Place your baby flat on his back, Grasp ankles and flex knees till they press on abdomen, straighten out. Repeat.).
  • Consult your healthcare professional.
  • Give additional clean, boiled and cooled-down water after feeds.
  • Avoid using laxatives, unless prescribed by your doctor.


Diarrhoea is the passing of frequent, loose stools, sometimes green with an offensive odour, and more than six stools in 24 hours, which may be streaked with blood or contain excess mucus.

  • If you suspect your baby has diarrhoea, increase his fluid intake, but continue feeding as normal.
  • Give him a rehydration mixture in small amounts between feeds.
  • Consult your doctor, as dehydration in babies is serious, especially if diarrhoea is accompanied by vomiting.