Giving gripe water to your little one recently and then you notice that his stool has a green tint to it. This concerns you. Is it normal? Can gripe water cause green poop? Anything you need to worry about? When should you stop using gripe water?
Let's find out together.
Can gripe water cause green poop?
A study was conducted by doctor Edi S Tehuteru, MD, doctor Agus Firmansyah, MD, PhD, doctor Bambang Madiyono, MD. This study found out the main reason for green poop in babies is that the food/ milk do not have enough time to be processed for changing colors.
As some ingredients in gripe water can help to promote the digestive function and empty the digestive system faster, gripe water can reduce the time for the milk / food to be processed in the babies’ tummies, which results in green poop.
However, be aware that your baby can have green poop or different colors but it doesn’t link to gripe water at all.
Is green poop normal? (Are there any other colors for baby stools?)
There are other colors for baby stools, varying from black, green or yellow. If your baby's stool has different colors from those colors, like red and white, ask your baby’s pediatrician right away.
In the first 24 hours, all babies have black stool which is meconium. On the second day to the 3rd day, babies' stools change from black to yellow. Starting from the 2nd week to 6 months old, baby stools can look greenish as well.
The reasons for the change in baby stool color follows the changes in the composition of breast milk, from colostrums to transition breast milk and ended as mature breast milk. What's more, the enzymes in the baby's digestive system have not fully developed to process the milk, which leads to the change in stools’ colors.
Other causes of green poop in babies
However, in reality, green poop comes in many different shapes. Sometimes it is due to the shortage of process time in the digestive systems, sometimes it is due to other causes.
Below are some possible reasons for green poop in babies.
Not getting enough hindmilk
Sometimes an imbalance in breast milk can cause green poop. If your baby gets a larger portion of foremilk (watery milk) than hindmilk (fatty milk), it can cause tummy discomfort and result in green poop.
However, this doesn't indicate milk supply issues or any problems with your milk. This is often seen in mothers who have a lot of breast-milk and the babies can not drink all of the breast milk in 1 set.
To solve this problem, pump foremilk out for around 10 minutes before breastfeeding your baby. Make sure that your baby also get both foremilk and hindmilk. Do not over pump before the breastfeeding section as your baby might only receive hindmilk and get thirsty.
Foods containing green dye
Food dye can color stools. Some foods containing green dye are green fruit snacks, etc.
If this is the case, you don’t really have to change anything, as long as your baby doesn’t get digestive issues like constipation or diarrhea from these foods.
Some babies need iron supplements if their doctors discover iron deficiency in them.
Iron is a mineral necessary for your baby's growth and development. It is required to produce red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body.
But it can cause green poop, too. If you’re giving your infant a daily iron supplement under a doctor’s guidance, it can also cause a green tint to their stools.
Spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables.
These foods are super healthy, but they can impart a green hue to your baby’s stools as well.
Diarrhea or other illnesses.
Diarrhea is often a culprit behind a diaper full of smelly, green poop.
Green poop may indicate an intolerance to a food in a mother’s diet, in this case, the baby may appear uncomfortable or gassy.
Green poop, especially when accompanied by streaks of blood, may indicate an allergy to something in a breastfed mother’s diet or a formula ingredient.
When do you need to worry about your baby’s green poop?
According to the AAP, green poops are almost never a cause of concern. However, green, loose or watery poop often indicates diarrhea, which needs attention and care in children.
If your child is acting very tired and has green poop, call your doctor immediately or even emergency if needed. Because sometimes it can indicate a viral or bacterial sickness.
If your baby has some loose and green poop for a few days, it can result in dehydration. Make sure you hydrate your little one. And if he refuses or he is so difficult to drink water or milk, you might seek help from your pediatrician faster than you think.
Frequently asked questions
Can gripe water change poop color in babies?
Gripe water can change poop colors in babies if there are some strong color ingredients in gripe water. Often, this is nothing to worry about.
Can gripe water cause grey poop?
Gray (or grey) is not a good color in poop. As it means that your child doesn't digest the food as well as it should. Gripe water doesn't cause gray poop.
Watch out for this symptom and call your child's pediatrician right away if you notice gray poop frequently.
Can gripe water cause mucus in stool?
Gripe water helps to promote digestive system and sometimes you will find mucus in baby's stool. However, mucus in baby poop isn't always a cause for concern.
The intestines naturally secrete mucus to help stool pass more effectively through it.
Can gripe water cause loose stool?
Generally speaking, gripe water doesn't cause loose stool. Loose stool is related to your baby's developing digestive system.
The bottom line
Can gripe water cause green poop? Yes, possibly.
Is green poop normal? Yes, it is normal and very common.
Do you need to worry about green poop? No, you probably don’t have to worry so much about it, especially if you know the cause of the green poop: food with green dye, some dark green veggies or iron supplements.
If your baby stays hydrated and doesn’t seem to have other health problems, you just need to keep doing what you are doing and stay cool. However, also check and call the doctors right away if needed to address the problems properly.