When life gets underway with a newborn you realize pretty quickly that most of your day is made up of feeding, spitting, diapers, sleep, trying to get them to go to sleep, wondering if they’ll wake up and more diapers.
In those first six weeks, you’re navigating sleepless nights, diaper changes, and learning your baby’s cues. One common concern for new parents is newborn poop, can newborns get constipation, and how tummy upset can affect their baby’s sleep.
Newborn Poop: Frequency and Variations
Newborns have a unique way of keeping parents on their toes when it comes to poop. In the first few days, meconium, a dark and sticky stool, is passed. Afterward, the frequency of pooping can vary from baby to baby. Here’s what you should know:
Frequency: It’s normal for newborns to poop anywhere from multiple times a day to once every few days. Somehow they always poop as soon as you put a clean diaper on.
Texture and Color: Breastfed babies often have mustard-yellow, seedy stools, while formula-fed babies may have stools that are tan or brown.
Consistency: Newborn poop can be runny, and it’s not unusual to see some undigested milk particles.
Is Constipation Common in Newborns?
Constipation in newborns is relatively rare, but it can happen. Signs of constipation might include firm or hard stools, discomfort, and straining during bowel movements. If you suspect your newborn is constipated, it’s a good idea to consult your pediatrician for guidance. They can provide advice on diet and any necessary interventions. Feel free to download my food and colic list!
Tummy Upset and Sleep Problems
A baby’s tummy can sometimes cause discomfort, leading to sleep problems. Gas, reflux, or colic can disrupt sleep routines. Relux and colic are very common concerns for new parents. Here are a few things you can do to help alleviate these issues:
- Burping: Ensure you burp your baby after feeding to reduce gas.
- Feeding Position: Elevate your baby’s head slightly during feeds to help with reflux.
- Comfort Measures: Try gentle tummy massages or holding your baby upright after feeds.
- Try working toward an eat, play, sleep schedule to avoid an over full tummy and laying them flat immediately after eating.
- Newborns need to eat every 2 hours but they need to sleep every 45 minutes so when baby is fussy try for a nap instead of an extra feed.
Normal Newborn Behaviors in the First 6 Weeks
Understanding what’s typical for newborns can alleviate some anxiety:
Sleep Patterns: Newborns sleep a lot and it’s common to see mix up of days and nights and lots of inconsistent sleep patterns.
Crying: Crying is your baby’s primary way of communicating. It’s normal for babies to cry when they’re hungry, need a diaper change, or simply want comfort.
Feeding: Newborns feed frequently, as their tiny tummies can’t hold much at once. This is normal and helps with bonding.
Growth Spurts: Expect periods when your baby seems insatiable; this may be a sign of a growth spurt.
Feeling at Ease as New Parents
Some day’s you’ll feel like you’re finally catching the rhythm of parenting and other days you’ll be ready to throw in the towel. This is normal! Parenting is not smooth, it’s messy and chaotic. Be patient with yourself and your baby and ask questions! Asking questions doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent that doesn’t know something they should, it means you want to learn and do what’s best for your baby.
Trust your instincts, you are the parent. You know this baby better than anyone so listen to your gut and keep asking questions. Lean on people around you, there is a reason “it takes a village” let your village participate. Give yourself a break, step outside, wash your hair, eat your favorite food and remember that it won’t last forever. These days are fleeting but it can be tough to get through it. Schedule a call with me if you need more support, I’ve been through this 4 times and supported many newborn families we all need all the help we can get!