Every parent naturally desires that his/her baby should be healthy, chubby and intelligent. To enjoy good fruits one has to plan and work hard. For planning, both the parents must have sound knowledge about the normal baby and infant care in general. This article provides useful information on frequency and nature of baby stool and urine passed by newborn babies and dos and don’ts in a scientific manner.
1. How often does the newborn baby pass stools normally ?
The average frequency of baby st is 3 to 5 times per day. The baby on breast milk passes 6 to 7 semi-solids; slightly sour smelling, frothy and golden yellow stools. The baby on cow’s or buffalo’s milk passes only one or two solid, slightly foul smelling and yellowish white stools. The number of baby stool is also related to the frequency with which the baby is fed as some babies pass stools after every feed.
2. Why does the newborn baby stool look like tar in the first few days ?
The foetus does not pass stools when in womb. The baby passes its first stool within the first 24 hours after birth. The baby stool in the first two days are dark green or black in colour because of the bile accumulated in the intestines during foetal life. It is known as meconium and is gelatinous, sticky and tar like in consistency. It consists of bile, intestinal juices and cells of both the intestines which are shed from their inner lining. After starting milk feeds, this meconium baby stool is replaced on the 3rd or 4th day by transitional baby stool which is greenish brown or yellow in colour. The typical milk stools are seen by 6 to 8 days after the birth of the baby.
3. Is it worthwhile to give castor oil to the
children every week for keeping their bowels clean ?
Castor oil is a purgative and like any other medicine should be given only when indicated. It should be avoided in thin and lean children and in children having a tendency for loose stools. There is no harm in giving an occasional opening dose in constipated children. But its regular use should be avoided.
4. When does the baby pass its urine for the first time ?
The foetus starts passing urine regularly from the third month while in the mother’s womb. This urine is passed in the amniotic fluid which surrounds the foetus. The waste products in the amniotic fluid are transferred to the mother’s blood via placenta and later excreted in the mother’s urine.
After birth, most babies pass their first urine within the first few hours. However some babies pass urine 20 to 24 hours after birth. A normal baby passes urine 15 to 20 times every day.
In the first week, the urine contains plenty of urates which may give pink colour to the diaper. This should not cause any anxiety. If the baby strains while passing urine drop by drop, does not pass a good jet of urine or if the foreskin over penis bulges out while passing urine, a doctor should be consulted.
5. Why do some young infants strain while passing urine ?
The baby reacts to every message in a generalised manner e.g. when a loud noise occurs, the baby gets startled, moves the limbs and starts crying, while an adult might just blink.
When the bladder is full with urine, a message is sent through the nerves to the spinal cord, which in turn gives order for contraction of the urinary bladder and the relaxation of sphincter at the neck of the bladder.
In addition the message is sent all over the spinal cord. Hence the baby becomes flushed, strains for a little while and then passes a good jet of urine.
In adults and children, the contraction of the bladder and relaxation of the sphincter occurs simultaneously. In an infant, this co- ordination is not perfect. Hence just before urination the baby strains so that the raised pressure helps to open the sphincter.
Reference : Sanatan Sanstha’s Holy text ‘Your baby (Birth to 1 year)’