Poop, Diapers and Rashes… Oh my!
1. What color should my baby’s poop be?
You may think that poop should be brown, but babies produce a wide variety of colors! During the first 24 hours of life, it is thick, sticky, and brownish-black in color (meconium). After the first few days of life, the stools of breastfed babies lighten in color from black to brown to green to yellow and change consistency from sticky to seedy to cottage cheese like to looser.
2. How often should my baby poop?
In the first few weeks of life, your newborn should really poop every day (if not several to many times a day). Although less frequent pooping can be normal, it is possible that he isn’t feeding enough to produce frequent poop. Rarely there could be something hindering the stool from coming out, so let your pediatrician know if your newborn isn’t pooping at least once a day.
After the first few weeks of life, it is normal for a breastfed baby to stool anywhere from roughly once every 5 days to 11 times a day. If you have any concerns about your baby’s feeding or stooling, be sure to check with your pediatrician.
3. How can I prevent diaper rash?
In the first few weeks of life, diaper rash is often due to irritation from wetness on sensitive skin. A think layer of petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline, Aquaphor or A&D ointment) works well to prevent many common newborn diaper rashes. Applying Vaseline after each diaper change is a favorite tip in my practice (especially with the dads), because it makes stool easier to wipe off. This combined with frequent diaper changes and wiping with unscented, hypoallergenic wipes or simply warm water and a soft paper towel can help prevent diaper rash in your baby.
4. What are the best creams for diaper rash?
The cream you choose depends on the type of diaper rash your baby has. As mentioned above, a thin layer of Vaseline works well on newborns in preventing many diaper rashes. If you notice a little redness on your baby’s bottom, a barrier cream with Zinc Oxide is best (such as Desitin or Triple Paste). Liberally apply it to your baby’s bottom with every diaper change. If your baby has a yeast rash (bright reddish pink and raised, often with little bumps surrounding) you will need a special medicine (prescription or over-the-counter). Let your doctor check the rash and let you know which type of cream you need. Whenever your baby’s diaper rash doesn’t improve after a few days with the cream of your choice, be sure to have your pediatrician check it out.