4 baby poo myths debunked

If your newborn is straining, does it mean she's constipated? Are epic blowouts normal? Read on for answers to your stinkiest questions.

There’s a wide range of “normal” in the wild world of baby poo. We’ve tackled your most common concerns.

1. Your newborn is pushing, turning red and fussing a bit during her bowel movement—she must be constipated.

FALSE Newborns strain with bowel movements because they have extremely small anal canals, not necessarily because they’re constipated.

2. Sweetened drinks such as juice can cause loose stools.

TRUE Sugar can exacerbate loose poops, so avoid juice when your little one has diarrhea.

3. Your baby finally pooed after three days, and even though it’s soft, she’s got to be constipated.

FALSE Babies don’t always keep to a schedule, and it’s normal for them to go days without pooing. Looking at the texture of stool is a far better indicator: If it’s firm and compact like pebbles, it might be a sign of constipation.

4. It’s totally normal for your baby to have explosive poo that defies the diaper’s boundaries and spreads right up her back and down her legs. And somehow this always seems to happen on the one day you leave home without a spare onesie.

TRUE Every. Single. Time.

Is green poop normal? Here’s a guide to your baby’s poop colour.

A version of this article appeared in our January 2016 issue, titled “You Vs. Poo”, pp. 51-56.

Read more:
Baby poop colour guide>
How to clean meconium>
Baby poop: Guide to texture, smell and frequency>

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