The Color of Baby Poop: What Does It Mean?

PoopColorsPosterCROPPEDYes, you should pay attention to what shows up in baby’s diaper. Except upon the introduction of formula or solid foods, any variance in the color of baby’s stools indicates that something’s off—from a slight irritation to a dangerous disorder.

The most common color variance is green—from a brilliant lime green to a dark forest green, with various meanings. Other stool colors can arouse concerns from a bile duct obstruction to malabsorption; from an intestinal obstruction to bleeding high in the digestive tract or bleeding in the lower bowels. From yellow to silver to pink, the color tells a large part of the story of your baby’s health status.

Green Poop

Mustard Yellow Poop

Port Wine Purple Poop

Violet Poop

Black Poop

Silver Poop

Pinky Red Poop

Orange Poop

Brown Poop

Dark Green Poop

Red Poop

Maroon Poop

Technicolor Poop

Gray to White Poop

Pale Yellow Poop

What is POOP? Poop

For the whole story, pick up a copy of “Baby Poop” — wherever fine books are sold.
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51 Comments

  • Lola Rivera March 30, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Ok my 6 month old has purple and blue stool..a couple of days in a row. What does it mean? Anybody know?

    Reply
    • Gabe. K August 14, 2019 at 11:13 pm

      Bananas seem to turn the stool purplish

      Reply
      • Linda Palmer August 15, 2019 at 11:26 am

        Yup. Isn’t that strange? Other times bananas make tiny black strings in the poop that look like they could be baby worms.

        Reply
        • Elena December 3, 2020 at 3:13 pm

          Hi linda my baby is 9 months old and from last week she is pooping in different light pale colour shade like light gray pale yellow even pure white her daily diet is 20 oz formula, banana apple oats rice. She has no other symptoms any idea what cause of pale colour stool thanks

          Reply
          • Linda Palmer June 12, 2021 at 12:45 pm

            Gosh Elena, this never arrived to my Inbox. I just found it. It’s been quite some time now. I’m very sorry. It sounded like a gallbladder blockage. How is your baby doing now?

  • Linda Palmer April 2, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    You can click on “violet,” above, for some ideas. The good news is that it’s likely nothing that is challenging baby’s health. The coloring is likely coming from something in her diet, or possibly something strongly colored in breastfeeding mom’s diet. Pedialyte may color stools. Eating berries? Play doh? Grandma may be sneaking in some colorful candies, popsicle, grape soda, or icing. There’s a possibility that she’s found something colorful and non-color-fast to suck on. There were problems for a while with children thinking laundry pods were candy but I believe their sale has been discontinued. Happy Parenting — Linda Palmer

    Reply
  • Alaa April 17, 2018 at 6:42 am

    My baby is 7 months old
    There was dark blue powder or fine crystals in her poop evenly distributed
    What does it mean??

    Reply
  • Linda Palmer April 17, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    There is no actual physiology (like bleeding, jaundice, etc.) to cause blue color. Some parents describe little purple threads after eating first bananas. This doesn’t sound like what you are describing though. My first guess would be that she’s been sucking on someone’s eye shadow. There is a bright blue pigment seen after a treatment for heavy metal poisoning. I would think you’d know, however, if baby were receiving that “Prussian blue” treatment, or colloidal silver treatment.

    Reply
  • JOE May 5, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    WUT!!! WOAH

    Reply
  • Reesa October 21, 2018 at 6:35 am

    Hi my baby is almost 7 months old and was pooping a green colour. He was also throwing up. Now his poop his a whitish clear colour. Can anyone assist?

    Reply
  • Jabu December 13, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    Green poop means what

    Reply
    • Olivia Buckley November 29, 2020 at 12:11 pm

      My 4 month old daughter keep having pale yellow bowel movement clay texture I have called the go who has referred me to pediatrics but it’s a wait for the appointments she’s had another should I be concerned she’s fine in herself but who should o contact to get her seen to I don’t no what to do should I just wait and call the doctor’s again?

      Reply
  • Jabu December 13, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    From yellow poop to green stools
    What does that mean

    Reply
    • Linda Palmer December 15, 2018 at 5:34 pm

      Click on the green band up above, where all the colors are listed.

      Reply
  • Leema February 18, 2019 at 6:29 am

    Hi… My son now 7 the month running now I’m giving formult milk … 3 times he did toilet that colour was pale yellow colour… Now what to do……

    Reply
    • Linda Palmer February 18, 2019 at 8:16 pm

      Hi. Chances are your son is perfectly healthy but it may be a good idea to run this by his doctor. Pale yellow poop could represent a pancreas problem, a blocked bile duct, or fatty stools from a malabsorption problem such as celiac disease. These are all treatable but better caught sooner.

      Reply
  • Alyssa March 2, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    My 2 month old baby’s poop is a dark green chalky pasty color. We switched her formula 5 days ago, is this too much iron? She did also have today a bit of yellow seedy poop right after the dark green came out. She does have silent reflux.

    Reply
    • Linda Palmer March 2, 2019 at 5:49 pm

      If the formula is her only food, it’d be unusual to have the yellow after the green, if the formula were causing the green. I’m suspecting that was a transient adjustment period and things are going to be more yellow. Let me know if the green comes back.

      Reply
  • Melinda Muriel March 13, 2019 at 5:59 am

    Hi, my 4 month old has been having metallic looking chunks in her poop for the past few days. She isn’t on any medication and her diet has not been changed at all. Is this a serious cause for concern?

    Reply
    • Linda Palmer March 13, 2019 at 9:12 am

      According to text books, poop that is silver or aluminum in color occurs when a bile obstruction is coupled with the presence of digested blood. Typically, digested blood turns brown stools into black, but it turns white stools (from obstruction) into silver. I would expect most of the stool to be very light in color, though, if obstruction were the case, unless these chunks remained from an obstruction that has cleared. That’s just conjecture though.

      I would do a hunt around the home and any daycare, and quiz family members, to see whether she has found something metallic-looking to chew on. This is my best guess. Something in her jar of babyfood? (Do you have another jar of the same?) If nothing is found, she should probably be seen by a doctor very soon.

      Reply
  • Carrots And Acid Reflux In Babies – Acid and heartburn blog March 16, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    […] The Color of Baby Poop: What Does It Mean? –. – Yes, you should pay attention to what shows up in baby’s diaper. Except upon the introduction of formula or solid foods, any variance in the color of baby’s stools indicates that something’s off—from a slight irritation to a dangerous disorder. […]

    Reply
  • Abeerashahbaz April 16, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    My baby poop light bluish grey poop what it means

    Reply
    • Linda Palmer April 17, 2019 at 10:13 am

      First look to any medications your baby is on, including antacids. Otherwise, if there is truly a whitish grayness (even bluish) to the poop, there’s a possibility of a bile duct blockage in the liver. It’s not an immediate emergency situation but definitely something that needs to be brought to the doctor very soon, to find out whether this is the case. Doctors typically don’t like to see babies’ poop brought to them but this is the only evidence you have. I would do it, unless your baby is turning yellow (then they do not need to see the poop). If it’s truly a bile duct blockage, the whites of your baby’s eyes should begin looking yellow, as well as parts of his upper body.

      Reply
  • Sachin April 22, 2019 at 8:07 am

    My 11 month baby boy has dark green potty..is it normal or any health issue.plz tell me in detail .i m giving him cerellac 2 times in a day

    Reply
    • Linda Palmer April 22, 2019 at 10:48 am

      If your baby has become fussy or colicky, or has developed rashes, along with the green stool, you might want to consider whether he is reacting negatively to any food. The Cerelac has milk, rice, and corn (maltodextrin), so it could be suspect. Most likely, however, the dark green is coming from the iron supplement in the cereal. If lots of iron is showing up in the stool, that means it’s not all being absorbed; suggesting that it’s more than baby needs. Is he also getting high-iron formula or iron supplements? Excess iron is not a great health concern but it IS oxidizing. Usually we like antioxidants for best health. Vitamin C is a harmless and useful antioxidant that you could consider adding to his diet. It helps iron absorption as well.

      Reply
  • Zainaab Temiope June 9, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    I noticed my 7 month old girl’s poop sometimes appear ash in color. Not all the time but once in a week. what can be the cause?

    Reply
  • Linda Palmer June 10, 2019 at 11:14 am

    By ash, I assume you mean dull gray, and not black. Black is blood. Your daughter could be experiencing some transient pressure on her bile duct. The bile brings color to the stool. Pressure on the bile duct can occur in the liver, pancreas, or small intestine. Since it comes and goes, it could very well be something simple like a swelling lymph node; possibly in response to some food reaction or other kind of allergy. Look for any yellowness in her eyes or skin. This would confirm some increasing blockage of the bile duct and suggest a need for some blood tests and maybe an ultrasound or other study.

    Reply
  • lindelwa Matimba July 9, 2019 at 8:37 am

    my one month baby has not poo for a day,he is mixing breast feeding and formula feeding.his poop is clay and silver in colour and sticky mustard yellow with white things..his is on medicine of bonnisan

    Reply
    • Linda Palmer July 9, 2019 at 11:16 am

      It’s very, very common for babies not to poop for several days. Some may go 10 or more days on a regular basis and grow up to be healthy and fine. There IS a difference between “common” and ultimately normal health. There are some things I could mention, if it’s been maybe 3 days or more, but the one day shouldn’t be a concern. Let baby tell you if he’s feeling well or not, through his behavior. That herbal remedy sounds fine. I AM a little bit concerned about the silver color. If you see it again, in any volume, as opposed to little flecks, it’d be best to talk to the baby’s doctor about it. There could be a little inflammation around the gallbladder area.

      Reply
  • Mafai July 22, 2019 at 8:11 am

    Hi, my baby has been on solids for a month now and today she had a late amount of dark green poop following a small amount of her usual warm brown stool. The poop was very mushy and looked powdery at the top. She’s breastfed and had only eaten cooked pears, pumpkin, carrot, potato and Bellamys Organic baby cereal with Apple and cinnamon. The cereal was eaten for breakfast and is a new flavour to her today. The potato and carrot was for dinner but the poop hastened right after dinner so I doubt it could be this as it is too soon. I give her water mixed with her cereal and not milk. She has reduced absorption also and lactose intolerant. Is this normal?

    Reply
    • Linda Palmer July 22, 2019 at 9:53 am

      It’s incredibly rare for a baby to have true lactose intolerance, other than a temporary case after diarrhea. A baby that responds negatively to cow or goat milk is reacting to the milk proteins. Are you sure there are no milk products (whey, casein, yogurt…) in the cereal product? Is this cereal grain pretty new to baby? i.e. wheat, rice, corn… It can take a few exposures before one reacts, if reactive. It could also be a coincidental little GI virus. You’re doing just the right thing to watch and keep track of how baby reacts to what, when. It’ll take you some time and observation to figure this one out but she’s a lucky girl to have an observant and aware mom.

      Reply
  • Catherine November 7, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    My 5 week old little boys poo has turned a pale yellow (from a mustard yellow). He began Lansoprazole 48hrs ago-could this be the reason for the change? Many thanks

    Reply
    • Linda Palmer November 7, 2019 at 7:39 pm

      Yup, most likely that’s it. The antibiotic changes the flora balance. You might want to take probiotics, if you are nursing, to boost the amount in your milk; boosting the probiotics available to baby’s gut. This can help speed the recovery of his gut flora.

      Reply
    • Hannah k December 17, 2019 at 12:14 am

      My little one has been weaning for almost 2 months now, the past week most but not all of his stool has been darkish green but almost coated in a very very dark green, almost black colour. His stool has been firm and it seems he has been struggling to poo most days this week. Should I be concerned about the dark colour coating of his stool? He drinks normal formula around 4 times a day on top of a varied diet.

      Reply
      • Linda Palmer December 17, 2019 at 12:39 pm

        This dark green/black sounds like iron. It sounds as though your little one is receiving one, or probably more, of the following: high iron formula, iron-fortified cereal, spinach or other dark greens, iron supplements. Pepto-Bismol, prunes, bleeding mother’s nipples, or rare meat can add to the blackness. When iron gives much color to the stool, it means that it’s not being absorbed and, thus, the body does not need it. Try reducing baby’s iron intake and his stools should soften up soon. Stooling will always be firmer than breastfed stools. If baby continues to struggle, try increasing the fiber (fruits and vegetables) in his diet, of try a baby magnesium supplement.

        Reply
  • Hannah Elizabeth November 30, 2019 at 7:10 am

    My 10 month old is still breastfeeding 4 times a day as well as getting solids in the morning and afternoon.
    3 nights ago he vomited and had some diarrhea, but no other symptoms, and he was totally fine by the next afternoon. Normal poop, no fever, no lethargy, big appetite, etc.
    This morning, after nursing (no solids yet), he pooped, and it was pretty mushy and very pale yellow.
    Is this a cause for concern? He is not on any medications, has no health problems, and isn’t acting irritable or anything.

    Reply
  • Krystal December 26, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    My 2 and half month son was pooping extremely dark green and now for the last week or 2 it’s becoming more of a charcoal gray with white and yellow little speckle chunks. I am worried it now may be his liver or blocked bile duct. We have an appt tomorrow with the Dr. I also had cholastasis of pregnancy so I’m worried some how he is suffering for effects of my disorder. Does anyone know what could be the cause or what treatments we could be looking at?

    Reply
    • Linda Palmer December 29, 2019 at 11:02 am

      Let us know how it goes. Your little sweetheart is lucky to have a very observant mom.

      Reply
  • Camila Betancourt May 27, 2020 at 11:57 am

    Hi my babies are twins and they are both pooping in strange colors they may not seem real but it is rainbow and glittery pink poop the pink is like a magenta kind of pink. They both consern me.

    Reply
    • Linda Palmer May 27, 2020 at 12:43 pm

      Hi. Are your babies eating anything besides mommy milk or formula? Sounds like food coloring from birthday cake. Beets and berries? Crayons? There’s a mostly harmless genetic condition that causes occasional pinky purple pee and or poops. In this condition, called Porphyria, the color will become brighter when exposed to light for a while.

      Reply
  • Alicia August 14, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    I was reading on the white poop and pale poop. It says it’s not a emergency…. if your child is experiencing poop this color specially at only a few weeks old, take them to Dr ASAP and ask for blood test to test their liver panel. Biliary Atresia is a rare Form of pediatric liver disease. It affects 15,000-20,000 babies a year and requires a liver transplant due to bile ducts being blocked or not formed completely and the child is experiencing liver failure. One main sign the liver is in trouble is pale/white poop followed by jaundice. I know this cause I just experienced this with my daughter who was transplanted just in February of 2020. Any liver mom will tell you to always check the poop for the color. We live our lives doing that. Maybe that warning should be added into the poop chart. Just sayin….

    Reply
    • Elena December 3, 2020 at 3:09 pm

      Hi Alocia my baby 9 months old and she pooping from last week pale yellow light grey and white shade.but she has no other symptoms totally healthy.does your baby had any other symptoms besides pale stool thanks

      Reply
  • Cici January 18, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    My babies is 7 weeks old and on comfort formula and has green poos every day. Is this normal or is the formula to much iron in it for him? Should I try move hi back to normal formula. Some times he seems in pain during the day when he is trying to go

    Reply
    • Linda Palmer January 23, 2021 at 8:24 am

      If there was a formula that your baby was doing well on, definitely go back to it. The green from excess iron is dark; nearly black. If baby’s stools are hard, it can be from excess iron. If baby is in pain when pooping, this suggests his stools are a bit too hard for him. Are they? Food intolerance can cause intestinal discomfort and green stools. Green from intolerance to of a food ingredient is generally a brighter color. Baby could be intolerant to cow milk proteins and be in need of a highly hydrolyzed formula, an amino acid formula, or possibly a soy formula. Typically, a food intolerant baby will have rashes or colic as well, adding to the suspicion of intolerance. The ingredient used to add omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and ARA, causes irritation to some babies. The good news is that many babies have green stools for many months and still gain weight right on schedule, and do well. Go by baby’s comfort level.

      Reply
  • Ashutosh Singh May 30, 2021 at 8:15 am

    My 2 month old baby has some dark grey stool, with lot of dark green stool and yellow seedy stool. She is breastfed+formula+iron supplements

    Reply
  • Linda Palmer June 12, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    This sounds about right for this mixed diet. The dark grey will represent the stools formed during iron supplementation, the green from formula with iron, and the yellow after giving breastmilk.

    Reply
  • Dayna July 29, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    My son is 5 weeks old and exclusively formula-fed. He was on Similac pro advanced, and seemed constipated and gassy. He went from having normal BMs (brown, mushy) to one hard piece at a time. We switched to Enfamil gentlease and he’s still extremely gassy and fussy, but his BMs are often sticky dark green, and right after will keep coming out as a light brown, then a seedy yellow, one after another in the same diaper change. Any thoughts? Should I switch to a hypoallergenic formula like Alimentum?

    Reply
  • Kristin October 1, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    My baby’s 7 months old has about 3 4 bubbas a day eats two pouches of fruit or dinner puree or cereal in the morning and her poos are quite messy but different formed then when she was younger quite stinky and brown thicker poop but still mushy and sometimes green I donno I’m a new mom but she has 3 to 4 poops a day some small some larger I do give her water she just plays with it but does get some she hasn’t spit out… just worried new mom or what

    Reply
    • Linda Palmer October 2, 2021 at 11:24 am

      As solid foods are brought into baby’s diet, the stool color will gradually become browner, and the consistency will get thicker. 3 or 4 poops a day is a good pooper. Occasional green is common. If it’s more often, and especially if it’s combined with extra fussiness or with rashes, then it’s time to look for any food intolerances. Congratulations on being a new mom!

      Reply
  • Becky c October 20, 2021 at 1:51 am

    My little girl is 6 months old and exclusively breast fed. Around 4 months she started only passing stools every 2 weeks and in pain when she did, the poo was brown and creamy. I gave up milk products about 3 weeks ago and initially this seemed to have a good effect, she was passing small amounts every few days. Yesterday she was in pain for an hour trying to pass stools and when it came it was yellow, dry and more packed together. Have I made things worse by giving up milk?

    Reply
    • Linda Palmer October 24, 2021 at 2:03 pm

      It’s very common (common, but not ideal) for a breastfed baby to have infrequent stools. I’ve heard of 14 days, but I think not longer than that. It makes sense for it to be uncomfortable to pass 2 weeks worth of stuff. If the stool is hard, in a breastfed baby, then it’s more of a concern. It sounds as though she may have been exposed to antibiotics or iron supplements around 4 months? Maybe not. Anyway, it was a good idea to try giving up milk products. She may be catching-up on her stooling now, passing some that was waiting around/staying behind. Feel all around in her abdomen, deeply, for any hard spots. One can have a constipated portion where hard stool sits and then looser stool keeps slipping by, so parents assume there’s daily stooling, while there is a point of concern higher up. It sounds as though this may have been the case, and now it’s resolved. The next days will be telling.

      Reply

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