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Q : My little one had pass motion for 3 times today. The poo is yellow watery. It happen quite often. May I know is this normal on a baby? Or it is something serious?

A :
1. Stools of breast fed babies tend to be softer and runnier since breast milk has a natural laxative effect. Bowel movements vary. It can be as frequent as 7-8 times per day due to the laxative effect. It can be as infrequent as up to once a week since breast milk is very well digested, hence there is not much residue left for excretion. The key is Baby remains well, feeds well, gains weight and when he eventually passes stool, the stool remains soft.
Formula-fed babies tend to have thicker stools, like toothpaste consistency. This is because formula milk cannot be digested as fully as breast milk.

2. The occasional loose baby stool is no cause for alarm. Diarrhea refers to frequent passage of loose watery stools. This may last 2-4days. Generally if loose stools last more than this, or baby is showing signs of dehydration, seek medical advice. Also get medical advice immediately if

• Condition seems deteriorating rather than improving
• Temperature >38 degrees in less than 3 months or >39 degrees in 3-6months
• Blood or mucus in stools
• Severe tummy pain

 

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About the Author

Dr Ong is a mother of 2 lovely children  and a graduate from Royal Free and University College London Medical School . She returned to live and work in Singapore since 2008, after practising in London for 5 years. She completed her postgraduate specialist training in Singapore at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital in various departments including Paediatric Medicine, Neonatology, Paediatric Intensive Care, Children’s Emergency and Paediatric Subspecialties. She attained her postgraduate qualifications from The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, UK and am registered as a specialist in Paediatric Medicine with the Singapore Medical Council.

 

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Dr Ong Ian
Paediatrician
Thomson Paediatric Centre

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