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.
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Childbirth Connection is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1918 as Maternity Center Association. Our mission is to improve the quality of maternity care through research, education, advocacy and policy. Childbirth Connection promotes safe, effective and satisfying evidence-based maternity care and is a voice for the needs and interests of childbearing families.
Most recent page update: 9/9/2010