Resources for Parents

Stools and hygiene


There is a wide variation in stool patterns for infants. Newborn breastfed babies may go as often as eight to 12 times a day. Older breastfed infants may go only once a week. As long as stools are soft and easily passed, there is no need for concern. Breastfed infants usually have stools that are loose and yellowish and may be quite watery.

Bottle fed babies may also have frequent bowel movements (up to six or eight a day). Bottle fed babies may also only have one stool every two or three days. As long as stools are soft and easily passed, do not be concerned. If the stools are hard, call us. Never use a suppository, laxative, or enema without calling us first.

Stool color varies. Newborn stools are black and tarry; these change in the first few days to become yellow/brown and seedy. Older infants may have yellow, brown or green stools. If your child has black or white stool, call the office.

It is very common for babies to have a bowel movement while feeding. Babies commonly pass gas. If the baby is crying a lot, pulling his legs up and passing a lot of gas, the baby may have colic. Please call if you see these symptoms.


Treat the skin here like the skin on the rest of the body. If a rash develops, coat the rash at least four times a day with zinc oxide, A&D ointment or Disitin. We would discourage the use of powders or corn starch in the diaper area. If a diaper rash does not improve with over-the-counter treatments, please call our office.


Keep this area clean at least once a day with plain water and moist wash cloth. Apply Vaseline to the area until the circumcision has healed. It is very normal for the area to appear very red for the first few days after circumcision. If there is any persistent or excessive bleeding or pus from the area, call the office.