Green poop in babies can be alarming, but it’s usually not a cause for concern. Dietary changes such as eating leafy greens often cause green poop, but it can also be linked to a bacterial infection or diarrhea.
Something that you may not have known before becoming a parent or resuming the role of a caregiver is that poop comes in many colors, and only rarely does some poop color indicate a serious health risk and require immediate medical attention.
Normal poop is usually brown, but it can change color daily according to the little one’s diet, which is nothing to worry you about. Also, the reason for green poop in kids may vary, depending on their age, from newborns, infants, and toddlers.
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What’s this green poop?
This may surprise you, but green poop is a variation of normal poop color in babies. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, typical poop colors come in shades of yellow, tan, brown, and green.
Most cases of green poop are caused by something your baby ate, a vitamin or medicine they took, or a tummy upset that resulted in diarrhea and is usually nothing alarming.
Green-colored poop is usually common in newborns, but toddlers and other children may also experience green poop many times during their growth milestones.
What causes poop to turn green?
There are many causes of green poop, and they rarely indicate a serious medical condition, and they may vary depending on your child’s age.
Some of the reasons for green poop include:
- Excess bile, which is a greenish brownish liquid that the liver produces. When your baby’s poop is green, it means that the pancreas and the liver are working naturally to add enough bile to the poop.
- Meconium, a newborn first poop looks tarry black but may look green as well.
- A breastfed baby’s poop as it transitions to mature milk may look green.
- Certain brands of formula milk result in greenish stool.
- Green poop may also be a sign of intolerance to some foods in mama’s diet and may make the baby gassy and uncomfortable in this case.
- Green poop may also indicate a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance in breastfed babies. This is as a result of your little one getting a larger portion of foremilk that is watery than hindmilk that is thicker and fattier. This may cause tummy discomfort but it doesn’t indicate a milk supply issue or a problem with your milk.
- Green poop, especially when accompanied by blood streaks may indicate an allergy to a formula ingredient or something in a breastfeeding mother’s diet dispensed through the breast.
- Bacterial or viral infections can cause loose green poop.
- The introduction of solid foods, especially leafy greens, may turn your baby’s poop green
- Vitamins, especially those containing iron, can cause green poop.
Does green poop cause diaper rash?
Not at all. There is no documented evidence that green poop will lead to your baby developing a diaper rash.
Most babies get diaper rash often, and it is because the dampness and warmth inside the diaper cause skin irritation on the buttocks and groin area. It can happen with both disposable and cloth diapers, but the disposable diaper may keep the skin drier.
To prevent diaper rash:
- Change your baby’s diaper often.
- Gently clean the diaper area and its surroundings and pat it dry before putting on a new diaper. Leave the diaper off for a little while so the area can air dry if possible.
- Use unscented, alcohol-free wipes, or warm water and a soft washcloth.
- Protect the skin around your baby’s diaper area with an ointment containing zinc oxide or petroleum jelly. The ointment helps to form a barrier that helps prevent diaper rash by keeping moisture away from the skin.
- When you change your baby’s diaper, gently remove only the top layer of ointment, then spread more on top of it. Don’t rub off all of the ointment as this hurts the skin and can make diaper rash worse.
- If your baby’s diaper rash doesn’t get better, call your healthcare provider and have them check for a yeast infection.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does green baby poop mean infection?
Children are bad at washing their hands or just still very young to do so, and they are more vulnerable to parasites like Giardia that spreads through contact with infected bowel movements.
Children with Giardiasis often develop diarrhea and some greasy-looking stools, and sometimes the stool will look green, but it doesn’t mean an infection.
Can teething make poop green?
Apart from causing tummy upset, teething can also make your baby’s poop green due to increased saliva.
A bright green poop in your teething baby is what is looked at as normal for breastfed babies, and in case of any discomfort, it is always a result of dietary causes.
Green poop in a teething breastfeeding baby is rarely a cause for medical concern, and there is no need for you to stop breastfeeding your child.
Does green baby poop mean allergy?
Dark green poop results from the extra iron floating through your little one’s system and will usually create thick constipated poop.
Administering iron supplements to your baby can cause her to pass green stool, but it is also necessary for brain development, and the green stool is worth the benefits. However, some green stools can also be a source of protein allergy due to the baby’s milk diet.
It is a parental instinct to become worried when something is amiss with our babies, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. So naturally, you would feel uneasy if you notice that your child’s poop looks green, but it’s usually nothing to panic about. It’s a common variation of stool color.
If something seems off with your child or they seem unwell during the period that they have green poop, don’t hesitate to call your doctor right away.
Always go with your parental instincts when it comes to health issues with your child. Otherwise, please take a deep breath because it’s unlikely that something is wrong.