Baby's stools turned green

My four-month-old baby's stools have always been a yellow colour (breastfed). However recently they are a greenish colour. Could this be due to something I have eaten?

She did have a stomach bug last week where her stools were green and smelly and watery, but I thought she was over it. Is this situation normal, or has the bug returned? She has also gone from one huge nappy a day to about three dirty ones a day. She started on rice cereal twice a day last week. Could this have anything to do with her changing bowel habits?

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Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

A baby's bowel movements will change once solids are added to her diet. They may become more firm and have a less pleasant odor than the exclusively breastfed baby's stools.

Green stools in a healthy baby may indicate a sensitivity/allergy to a medication or a food. Since your little one's change in stooling seemed to corresponded with the addition of rice cereal to her diet, you might want to return to an exclusively breastmilk diet for a few weeks and see if her stools remain green. Her digestive system may not be quite ready for solids - a few weeks might make a difference. (See my letter, Starting Solids: When is your baby ready?)

Green stooling can also be the result of a foremilk-hindmilk imbalance, though the timing of your baby's stool change, in relation to her illness and addition of solids, leads me to believe that this is not the cause of your baby's green stools.

When a baby is sick and has diarrhea, she may have green stools. She may also be stooling very frequently (between 12 and 16 times a day.) As you described, when your baby was sick last week, her stools were also watery, and had a bad smell. if your baby appears healthy, is nursing well, and her stools have just changed in color, there is probably no reason to worry. If you are at all concerned, be sure to check in with your baby's Health Care Provider to help put your mind at ease. Best wishes in mothering!

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