Stools: The first bowel movements are sticky and greenish brown to black. Gradually, the color becomes lighter; the number of movements, color and consistency will vary from baby to baby. You’ll soon become familiar with the type and frequency normal for your child.

During the first week of life, many babies will have up to 7-8 stools per day. If the baby is breast fed, the stools tend to remain loose and frequently contain a number of seek-like particles. Occasionally, breast-fed infants may have infrequent bowel movements (every 3-5 days). This bowel pattern is not abnormal. Formula fed infants tend to stool more frequently. These stools are yellow and seedy and frequently associated with a small amount of watery material, which forms a ring around the stool in the diaper.

Many babies grunt, strain, cry and turn red when defecating, but unless the stool is hard and pellet-like, this is perfectly normal. Expulsion of gas during a bowel movement is normal. If several stools are excessively watery or contain mucus, phone me. If the stools are hard or pellet like, try 1 tsp. of dark Karo syrup in 2 oz. of water a few times per day for a few days. If this is no help, phone us. Do not use enemas, laxatives, or suppositories unless so directed.

Care of the Diaper Area: Change your baby’s diaper as soon as possible after each bowel movement or wetting. After each bowel movement, and as often as possible after wetting, wash the diaper area clean with mild soap, water, and a soft cloth. Rinse with warm water and pat dry with a clean soft cloth. Irritated skin may be treated with Desitin® or A&D® ointment, by changing from paper diapers to cloth diapers without rubber pants, or by leaving the buttocks exposed.

Washing Diapers and Clothes: If possible, use a good diaper service. Baby’s clothes should be washed separately from that of the rest of the family. Use Ivory® soap or Dreft® detergent. In an automatic washer, it is advisable to put the baby’s things through the rinse cycle twice. When washing diapers, you may add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the last rinse.

Disposable diapers are a great convenience; any popular brand may be used.