Newborns are special: they are so small, so fragile, and so dependent on you that you can’t stop worrying about them all the time. To help you constantly monitor your baby’s health, we offer you some answers to typical questions about newborns.

I want to know all about the normal poop: its consistency, color, and frequency.

Until you start breast- or bottle-feeding, an infant’s poop looks like tar. Milk makes poop to change both its color (it may normally be orange, yellow, brown or even green) and consistency (it may look like honey, mustard, toothpaste, or cottage cheese). Very often an infant’s poop is very loose and makes you think of diarrhea, but this is not the case. Large quantities of poop so that sometimes the diaper fails to hold it are also normal.

Your pediatrician should be informed if: there is blood in the infant’s poop, the baby poops more than fifteen times a day or does not pee for more than six consecutive hours; the newborn is in pain, refuses to feed or is feeding poorly.

I want to know why my baby started to poop less.

At the age of three to four weeks some children may start to poop less. Normal frequency of pooping varies from up to seven times a day to once a week; as long as the poop is soft and has one of the above-mentioned colors there is nothing wrong with your child. As newborn babies have weak abdominal muscles, they have to use their whole bodies for the evacuation of the bowels: they sometimes get red in the face and even cry. However, it is mostly the consistency of the poop that determines whether a baby has constipation or not.

Your pediatrician should be informed if: the poop is hard and looks like small balls.

I want to know about the normal frequency of feeding.

Newborns should be fed every two to three hours. After being born infants slightly lose their weight; until they regain it they should be regularly woken up and offered some milk; very soon babies will demand milk on their own. Frequent feeding leads to frequent pooping: a well-fed infant normally poops up to five times a day (or even every time they eat).

Your pediatrician should be informed if: the child does not poop for more than 24 hours and seems annoyed or apathetic.

I want to know whether I can take my infant out of doors.

Once you are strong enough, you can go for a walk with your baby. Always bear in mind that until the child is vaccinated at the age of two months, she is susceptible to many dangerous infections. Thus, crowded and enclosed spaces should definitely be avoided. A breath of fresh air in a park can be beneficial, while the stale air inside the airplane is certainly detrimental.

Your pediatrician should be informed if you are planning to take your child out in public: it is always reasonable to act on your doctor’s advice.