What's normal: Baby poop is all about variety -- in color, consistency, and frequency. At birth, your newborn will excrete meconium, a dark and sticky substance that looks weird but is totally normal. After the first week, her poop will change in color and consistency. If you are breastfeeding, it will be yellow, seedy, and runny. Formula-fed babies have stools that are tan-colored and soft. Your baby's poop will become browner and smellier as she starts eating solids. Parents often worry about green-colored stools, but the hue alone isn't problematic: It usually comes from waste moving more quickly than usual through the digestive tract. In the first few months after birth, your baby can have up to four bowel movements a day, but they'll become less frequent after she reaches about 6 weeks. "Don't fixate too much on the number of dirty diapers," says Tanya Remer Altmann, MD, a pediatrician and author of Mommy Calls. "As long as your baby is eating well and has been growing steadily, parents can relax."
What's not: Tell your pediatrician about any mucus in your baby's diaper and about poop that's red or black (a possible sign of gastrointestinal bleeding or a milk allergy) or that's white or chalky (this can indicate liver problems). You should also tell your doctor if your baby has signs of constipation (like hard, pelletlike poops) or poop that looks like grape jelly, which could indicate an intestinal blockage. Doctors differ on what constitutes diarrhea, but a good rule is to see if your baby's stools suddenly become much more frequent and much more watery, says Dr. Vartabedian. If your baby is less than a month old, gets diarrhea, and is acting fussy or sluggish, tell the doctor right away, says Gwenn Schurgin O'Keeffe, MD, editor-in-chief of PediatricsNow.com. Otherwise, it's okay to wait a few days and give her extra water or diluted juice to keep her hydrated, as long as she is exhibiting no other symptoms. But be sure to check in with your pediatrician if your baby's diarrhea persists.