Frequency of urination, bowel movement, color of urination and stool are all signs of health status of your newborn. After birth, it is important for parent to monitor whether the newborn has passed urine or stool as this is an indication of the health of the newborn’s excretory system.
First urination after birth
About 98% of newborns will pass urine in the first 24 hours after birth. Most of the diapers nowadays come with an indicator which is usually a yellowish line that appears on the outside of the diaper. What parents need to do it to check whether this line has turn blue or not. If it turns blue, it means that the diaper is wet because of presence of urine.
Frequency of urination
Your baby may urinate as often as every one to three hours or as infrequently as four to six times a day.
Newborns have a small bladder capacities and therefore they urinate more frequently.
On the average, you may need to change diapers about six times a day.
Color of urine
The normal color of urine is light yellow to dark yellow. If your baby drinks a lot of water, color of the urine should be light yellow. The less the water she or he takes, the darker will be the color of the urine.
For some babies, the urine may appear pinkish, parent may mistake this for blood. In fact, the pinkish color is a result of highly concentrated urine. As long as this pinkish color urine does not persist for a week and there is no other sign of infection or injury, parent may not need to worry.
As long as the baby is wetting at least four diapers a day, there probably is no cause for alarm.
Urination should never be painful. If you notice any signs of pain while your baby is urinating, seek your doctor’s help as soon as possible as this could be a sign of urinary tract infection or some other problem in the urinary tract.
If there is a presence of actual blood in the urine or a bloody spot on the diaper, you should seek pediatrician’s help immediately. Although the blood may be due to nothing more serious than a small sore caused by diaper rash, it also could be a sign of a more serious problem.
First stool after birth
After birth, 60% of healthy full-term newborns will pass "stool" for the first time by 8 hours of life, 91% by 16 hours, 98.5% by 24 hours, and virtually all by 48 hours.
Frequency of bowel movement
The frequency of bowel movements varies widely from breastfed baby to formula-fed baby.
Some breastfed babies may have only one bowel movement a week and is still considered normal. This happens because breastmilk is very nutritious and leaves very little solid waste to be eliminated from the child’s digestive system. Thus, infrequent stools are not a sign of constipation and should not be considered a problem as long as the stools are soft.
Formula-fed baby on the average should have at least one bowel movement a day. If she has fewer than this and appears to be fuzzy when passing the stool or the stool is very hard and dry, she or he may be constipated. If the situation lasts for more than 1 day, you may want to check with your pediatrician for advice on how to handle this problem.
Stool after feeding or during feeding?
Many babies may pass a stool soon after each feeding. This is a result of the gastrocolic reflex, which causes the digestive system to become active whenever the stomach is filled with food. This is normal and parents do not need to worry.
Color of stool for newborn
Beginning with the first day of life and lasting for a few days, your baby will have her first bowel movements, which are often referred to as meconium. This thick black or dark-green substance filled her intestines before birth, and once the meconium is passed, the stools will turn yellow-green.
Color of stool for Breastfed baby
If your baby is breastfed, her stools soon should resemble light mustard with seedlike particles. the consistency of the stools may range from very soft to loose and runny.
Color of stool for formula-fed baby
If your baby is drinking formula milk only, her or his stools usually will be tan or yellow in color. They will be firmer than in a baby who is breastfed, but no firmer than peanut butter.
Runny stool – Should it be concerned?
Because an infant’s stools are normally soft and a little runny, it’s not always easy to tell when a young baby has mild diarrhea. If the frequency of the bowel movement does not increase significantly, you do not need to worry.
Hard or very dry stools may be a sign of constipation. This can be a sign that your baby is not getting enough fluid or baby is losing too much fluid due to illness, fever, or heat.
If there are large amounts of blood, mucus, or water in the stool, seek your pediatrician’s help immediately. These symptoms may indicate an intestinal condition that warrants attention from a specialist.
If there is a sudden increase in frequency in bowel movement and there is unusually high liquid content in the stool, your baby may experience diarrhea. Diarrhea may be a sign of intestinal infection, or it may be caused by a change in the baby’s diet. If the baby is breastfeeding, she can even develop diarrhea because of a change in the mother’s diet. You should seek doctor’s help if your baby experience diarrhea.