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Dirty nappies

Some babies have a dirty nappy at every feed and other babies have a dirty nappy once a day. Some babies may have one or more dirty nappies every day, others may have one every few days.

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

  • a new formula
  • 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 the bowels have not moved for one or two 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 formed and smellier.

Page last reviewed: 17/09/2018
Next review due: 17/09/2021