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You could never have imagined how important baby poop would be until now. Graduating to solids and finger-foods can bring daily surprises in the diaper department. With beginning eaters, rice and grain cereals, bananas and applesauce can cause firmer and more formed stools, while pureed peas, peaches, pears, apricots, or plums and prunes may produce looser-than-normal stools.

A baby will usually have his first poop soon after birth, one so special it has its own name, meconium. It is dark-colored, usually black, brown or forest green, and it’s made up of old cells that have been building up in your baby’s intestines during pregnancy.

Once your baby moves to the finger-food stage, what comes out the other end could be a shock! Small chunks of fruits, pasta, tomatoes, and cooked vegetables, such as whole corn kernels, lentils, raisins, peas, or bits of pasta and other UFOs (Unidentified Fecal Objects) are likely to show up. Nothing’s wrong. It’s just that your baby isn’t very skilled in the chewing department, so chunks simply get passed down through his body for disposing out the back door.

Here’s a brief stool color chart:  

  • Brown or dark yellow = Vegetables and sugary fruits
  • Orange, bright yellow, yellowish brown = Breast milk, strained carrots, carrot juice, squash and certain antibiotics
  • Green = pureed peas, lentils, spinach and green beans

It’s useful to keep watching what’s going on in your baby’s diaper. If something really does look weird, don’t hesitate to call your doctor and take a diaper with a sample for “Show &Tell.”

Sandy and Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Baby’s First Year and five other pregnancy and baby-care titles, available now at Barnes &Noble.
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