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Stools and Urine in Infants


Deborah M. Consolini

, MD, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

Last full review/revision Sep 2021

Infants typically urinate 15 to 20 times per day. The urine varies in color from nearly clear to dark yellow.

Stools vary a great deal among infants in frequency, color, and consistency depending on the nature of the individual infants and the contents of their diet. The number of times infants defecate varies from once every other day to 6 or 8 times a day. Stool consistency ranges from firm and formed to soft and runny. Stool color ranges from mustard yellow to dark brown. The stool of breastfed infants Breastfeeding Breast milk is the ideal food for newborns. Although babies may be fed breast milk or formula, the World Health Organization (WHO) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend exclusive... read more Breastfeeding tends to be softer and of lighter color than that of formula-fed infants Formula Feeding In the hospital, newborns are usually fed shortly after delivery, then ideally on demand thereafter. During the first week after birth, babies take ½ ounce to 2 ounces at a time, gradually increasing... read more Formula Feeding .

Diapers must be changed often to keep the underlying skin dry. Wet skin chafes more easily than dry skin and is more likely to develop diaper rash Diaper rash (diaper dermatitis) A rash is an abnormal change in the texture or color of the skin. Known causes of rashes include irritation and bacterial, fungal, or viral infections. Symptoms include redness, white or yellow... read more Diaper rash (diaper dermatitis) . Modern, super-absorbent disposable diapers contain a layer of gel that absorbs liquid and keeps it away from the skin. These diapers keep skin drier than cloth diapers after small to moderate amounts of urine, but diapers of any type should be changed when the skin is exposed to wetness. Bacteria normally present in stool can break down urea, a substance in urine, resulting in an alkaline pH that irritates the skin, so diapers should be checked frequently for stool and changed immediately.

Baby powders help keep skin dry when the infant is sweating slightly, but they do not help keep the skin dry from urine or stool and are not essential. Powder made of talcum may cause lung problems if inhaled by infants, so parents should purchase baby powders that contain cornstarch instead.

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