Bowel Movements and Urination
Your baby's first bowel movements are made up of a black, tarry substance called meconium. You can wipe the meconium from your baby's skin with warm water and baby lotion or oil. In breastfed babies, meconium slowly changes to a loose stool that is mustard-colored. Breastfed babies usually have three or more bowel movements a day. The stools will not have an unpleasant smell.
In bottle-fed babies, stools are more formed and vary from soft to pasty, and from yellow-green to yellow-brown in color. They have an unpleasant odor. Bottle-fed babies usually have one to four bowel movements a day. Dry or hard stools mean that your baby needs more fluids.
Your baby will urinate within the first 24 hours following birth. Even if she hasn't taken in any fluids, she will lose some of the fluids that collected in her tissues during her life in the womb. A baby who is getting enough fluids will have about six to eight wet/dirty diapers a day. The urine should be clear or pale yellow.
Most recent page update: 9/9/2010
© 2014 National Partnership for Women & Families. All rights reserved.
Founded in 1918, Childbirth Connection has joined forces with and become a core program of the National Partnership for Women & Families. Together, these two women's health powerhouses are transforming maternity care in the United States.
News and Features
Childbirth Connection has joined forces with and become a core program of the National Partnership for Women & Families.
This interactive timeline highlights our trailblazing work since 1918.
We want all women and babies receive the best possible maternity care.
Check out our resource, "New Cesarean Prevention Recommendations from Obstetric Leaders:What Pregnant Women Need to Know"