Does Poop Really Matter?
For years, experts have told us that babies should have at least six wet diapers a day.
But what about poop? Does that count?
As it turns out, the answer is a little complicated.
Let’s take a closer look at why poop matters (or doesn’t matter) when it comes to your baby’s wet diaper count.
Why Poop Might Matter
First things first: poop definitely doesn’t count as a wet diaper.
However, the frequency of your baby’s bowel movements can be an indicator of their overall health.
For breastfed babies, for example, having at least one soft or runny stool per day is considered normal.
If your baby is having fewer than this, it could be a sign that they’re not getting enough to eat.
Poop can also be a sign of dehydration.
If your baby is constipated or if their stools are hard and dry, this could be a sign that they’re not getting enough fluids.
In addition, a sudden change in the frequency or consistency of your baby’s bowel movements can also be a sign of illness.
So while poop itself doesn’t count towards the six-wet-diapers-per-day goal, the frequency of your baby’s bowel movements can be a valuable way to gauge their health.
Why Poop Might Not Matter
On the other hand, there are also times when you shouldn’t worry too much about your baby’s poop.
For example, if your baby is eating solid foods, it’s normal for their stools to be less frequent and more formed than those of exclusively breastfed babies.
In addition, some babies simply poop less often than others—and that’s perfectly normal, too.
As long as your baby is gaining weight and growing well, there’s no need to worry about how often they’re pooping.
So what’s the bottom line? Should you be worried about your baby’s poop? The answer is maybe—it all depends on the circumstances.
If you’re breastfeeding and your baby isn’t pooping every day, this could be a sign that they’re not getting enough to eat.
On the other hand, if your baby is eating solid foods and/or they seem to be gaining weight and growing normally, then there’s no need to worry about their poop habits.
As always, if you have any concerns about your baby’s health, be sure to talk to your pediatrician.
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