When transitioning from breast milk to formula or from one brand or type of formula to another, changes in stool color, consistency, odor, and frequency can occur. One frequent complaint from parents during this transition period is that their child may have firmer stools or constipation.1 This may simply be nothing more than the child’s developing gastrointestinal tract becoming used to the new formula. There is some research indicating a whey-predominant formula such as Baby’s Only Organic® Dairy with Whey Protein and DHA Formula may aid digestion and help to produce softer stools, especially if constipation is a concern.
The stools of breastfed children are usually soft and more “mushy” whereas formula fed children have slightly firmer stools. The stools of breastfed children are also more frequent than children on formula and the color, texture or odor of the stools can change quite a bit over time especially when more and different foods are added to the diet. The color may range from yellowish-brown to light brown. Iron supplemented or iron-fortified formula could make a child’s stool dark green, dark brown or black. There is usually no medical significance in these changes. For more information about constipation, contact our registered dietitian at firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Morley R, Abbott RA, Lucas A. Infant feeding and maternal concerns about stool hardness. Chil Care Health Dev. 1997; 23:475-478.