Green Poo (TMI warning!)

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From the day a baby is born bowel movements become the topic of (non-fascinating) conversation with anyone daring enough to listen. You analyse, postulate and wonder over every ‘dirty’ nappy.

Once your kids are toilet trained and wiping their own bum you step back somewhat, in that you may not know how often, consistency or indeed any real detail on your child’s poo.

Of course I often get the ‘Mammy, I just need to go do a poo’ statement if I’m about to go out somewhere. Or if I call one of them and I get a ‘I’m on the toilet….. Doing a poo!!’ So I know they are doing them but I probably no longer need to know much more than that

We were having breakfast one morning a few days ago. I announced the 2 minute warning for teeth brushing and then departure. Oldest lady announced she needed to poo. I gave her a minute. As we arrived upstairs for teeth brushing she was finishing her poo (doors remain open in our house – not by choice!). As she wiped her bum she exclaimed ‘oh my god it’s green!’

She was right. There was green residue on the paper. I looked into the toilet. Pure green poo. I’ve never seen the likes of it in my life.

I had my other two with me coming to wash their teeth so she had an audience. There was an eruption of laughter. My other two thought this was hilarious. I laughed myself but of course being Mammy questioned was she ok. Was this normal?

Dr Google was on standby and once I got my crew off to school /pre-school this is what I discovered.

Green poo is quite normal. It can be caused by food colourings and green food types such as broccoli. Now we don’t eat broccoli in this house but I recalled getting the kids a treat of a cupcake the previous day. My oldest chose one with blue icing, my little man red icing and littlest lady yellow.

When the time came for littlest lady to eat hers she decided she only wanted the sponge and gave the yellow icing to her big sister.

I do recall from my school days that mixing yellow and blue makes green. Case closed.


This is what the cupcake did to her tonge!

What I did also learn was that red, black or white stools are a cause for concern and should be investigated by a doctor.

If you are dealing with a small baby poo certainly comes in all shapes and sizes. The very first bowel movement will be meconium – a black, sticky substance. After that a breastfed baby will have poo I likened to whole grain mustard while a formula fed baby will have slightly more yellowy poo with a pasty consistency. I have heard people liken it to peanut butter. As they move to solid food their poo progresses to more brown in colour and smellier.

A great video illustrating the norms is below but WARNING don’t look at it near mealtimes!

Every baby is different and there are very normal variations.  Poo can be a good indicator of health so if concerned about any changes contact your health care provider.

In the meantime poo has returned to normal in our house.


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