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Dirty nappies

Your baby's stool (poo) will probably vary from day to day or week to week.

Some babies have a dirty nappy at every feed. Other babies may only have a dirty nappy once a day, or once every few days.

Expect a change in the texture, colour and smell of your baby's poo if you have recently introduced:

  • a new formula milk
  • anything other than breast milk or formula - for example, medicine or pain relief

Your baby is not constipated if the bowel motion passed is soft, even if their bowels have not moved for 1 or 2 days.

Newborn nappies

Your baby’s dirty nappy will be sticky and green or black for the first few days. This is called meconium. This will then change to a yellow colour.

Breastfed babies usually have runny nappies that do not smell. Formula-fed babies have dirty nappies that are usually more solid and smellier.

How many dirty nappies to expect during the first weeks

How to change a nappy


Talk to your GP or public health nurse (PHN) if you notice a change in your baby's poo. For example, if their poo is very smelly, pale, watery, harder, or contains blood.

Blood or white discharge in a nappy

If you have a girl, you may see a white discharge on her nappy for a few days after birth. There may also be slight bleeding like a period.

This is caused by hormones that have crossed the placenta to your baby.

But these will soon disappear from her system. It's nothing to worry about.

Older babies' nappies

It's normal to start introducing family foods to your baby's diet when they are around 6 months old. As you introduce family foods, your baby’s poos will change in colour and texture. This is linked to what they eat.

The poo may become thicker, smellier and slightly darker in colour. It is also normal for the poo to be a similar colour and texture to the food you are feeding your baby.

The number of dirty nappies at this age varies. Some babies may poo more than once a day while others go days without a dirty nappy. Each baby is different. The important thing at this stage is to watch your baby’s routine and recognise what is normal for them. This means you will be able to notice any sudden changes that may be a cause for concern.

Page last reviewed: 16 June 2022
Next review due: 16 June 2025