A Poop Primer

Helpful information for navigating your baby's first poops.


New parents obsess over the contents of their babies' diapers, but most of it is normal. In newborns, it can range from one thick, pale-yellow bowel movement per day to more liquid but grainy bright yellow squirts after each feeding, says Andy Clark, M.D., a pediatrics expert on JustAnswer.com. Here's the first month's poop scoop:

Three Diapering Do's

  • Keep a hand on your baby at all times so he can't roll off the table, or use the safety strap; your baby may achieve this milestone sooner than expected.
  • If you have a boy, place a cloth diaper or washcloth over his penis during diaper changes so that he doesn't urinate on himself—or on you.
  • If you have a girl, always wipe her from front to back to help prevent urinary tract infections.

Rash Happens

Most commonly caused by irritation from stool or urine, diaper rash is easily soothed with a zinc oxide or petroleum-based barrier cream (let the baby's bottom air-dry before applying it). If your baby is prone to diaper rash or wears cloth diapers, apply cream preventatively at changes and let him go diaper-free as much as possible. If a rash persists, dyes or fragrances used in diapers (or laundry detergent used to wash cloth diapers) may be irritating the skin, so try switching to dye-and scent-free brands.

According to David Hill, M.D., adjunct assistant professor of pediatrics at University of North Carolina Medical School, Chapel Hill, two situations warrant a call to a pediatrician: a lingering, bright red rash along skin folds, which may signal a yeast infection and require anti-fungal cream; or sores with discharge, potentially a more serious staph infection.