The infant bowel movements are observed during the first few days of life, which is often referred as passing meconium.
The intestine of the infants is filled with a substance that is black, thick or dark green before birth. The stools turn yellow-green once the meconium is eliminated.
Some times the infant bowel movements may vary from one infant to the other. In a baby with breast fed, the stools should resemble light mustard with seed-like particles.
The stools should be soft or slightly runny, until he starts to eat solidÂ baby food. The stools will be tan or yellow in color in infant who are fed with formula milk. They will be firmer when compared to that of breast-fed infants.
Frequency of Infant bowel movements:
The frequency of bowel movements varies from one baby to another. Many of them pass their stools just after each feed. This is due to the gastro colic reflex. This makes the digestive system active whenever the stomach is filled with more food.
Bowel movements in breast-fed infants:
Some breast-fed babies, who are 3 to 6 weeks old, have only one bowel movement a week and still they are normal. This is caused due to the little amount of solid waste left by the breast-fed that is to be eliminated from child’s digestive system.
Infrequent stools are not a problem as long as they are soft and if there is no sign of constipation.
If a young baby is bothered by long intervals between bowel movements then a laxative is to be given to them. Breast-fed infants have frequent bowel movements until they are 2 to 3 months old. Their stools will be typically yellow in color.
Bowel movements in formula-fed infants:
The baby should have at least one bowel movement in a day. In case of fewer bowel movements the child may be strained because of hard stools and may be constipated.
In such condition a pediatrician has to be consulted immediately.
Bowel movements in babies from four months of age:
The frequency of bowel movements increases when the baby starts to take the solid or transition foods. The appearance and consistency of their stools depends upon the food they eat. Their stools look like the ordinary stools in consistency and smell.
The pattern in bowel movements changes when the baby starts eating solid food. The infant may have bowel movements several times a day or infrequently once every two to three days.
Some babies may be constipated at this stage. This is due to the intestines that have to get use for the new compositions of the nutrients. If baby’s food contains more solid food, then it leads to constipation that is caused by dehydration.
We can know the frequency of infant bowel movements and at what stage they are found.