Baby Poop Like Playdough (Breastfed & Formula-Fed Babies)

| Reviewed By Sarah Schulze, MSN, APRN, CPNP

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In most instances, baby poop like playdough is not cause for concern.

According to the Healthy Child Manitoba Committee:

Infant poop that is both clay-like in texture and color (e.g., white, clay-colored, or very pale) requires attention from a pediatrician as this may be a sign of liver or gallbladder issues.

Keep in mind that baby poop often varies in consistency and color, and only a few instances will indicate a more serious problem.

When To Be Concerned About Playdough Poop

If clay or playdough-like poop is accompanied any of by the following, speak to your healthcare provider as soon as possible:

  • Blood in the stool: If you notice blood in your baby’s stool, contact your pediatrician immediately. Blood can indicate various issues, including an infection, allergies, or other gastrointestinal problems.
  • Consistent diarrhea or constipation: If your baby is consistently straining for longer than 10 minutes trying to have a bowel movement, it’s best to consult your doctor. Constipated poop often comes out as hard, round balls.
  • Dehydration: Signs of dehydration in babies include dry mouth, lack of tears when crying, sunken fontanelle (soft spot on their head), or decreased urine output. 
  • Significant changes in behavior or discomfort: If your baby seems unusually fussy or irritable or displays signs of discomfort while passing stools, speak with your baby’s pediatrician.
  • Weight loss or poor weight gain: If your little one is not gaining weight appropriately or shows signs of weight loss alongside playdough-like stools, it’s important to consult a pediatrician to rule out any underlying health concerns.
  • Vomiting or fever: Persistent vomiting or fever, along with changes in stool consistency, should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.

Playdough Poop in Breastfed Babies 

A stool that resembles playdough can be concerning, especially if you are a new parent.

The reason for the consistency change is often directly related to their hydration level and dietary changes. 

Newborn to 6 Weeks 

During the first weeks of life, your baby’s stool goes through many changes.

Breastfed babies tend to have stools that are soft and yellowish and may appear seedy or resemble mustard. 

These stools can also have a consistency similar to play dough.

As long as your little one is gaining weight, seems content, and doesn’t display signs of discomfort or illness, this type of stool is usually not a cause for concern.

6 Weeks to 6 Months 

Babies are still experiencing developmental changes around this age, including their digestive system, so playdough-like poop can still be considered normal.

By this time, your little one is introduced to solids (around the 4-6 month mark), so it’s normal to see changes in color, texture, and frequency of bowel movements.

This can lead to stools that are thicker and firmer and can vary in color depending on the foods being consumed.

While playdough-like stools can still be considered normal in this age range, any significant change from your baby’s usual pattern, such as sudden changes in consistency and color or symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, or discomfort, should be discussed with your doctor.

Playdough Poop in Formula-Fed Babies

Poop that resembles playdough is common in formula-fed babies and is rarely a cause for concern. 

Newborn to 6 Weeks

Formula-fed infants are more likely to have firmer, playdough-like poops that are thicker and pasty compared to breastfed babies. 

The stools can vary in color from yellow to green to brown, and formula-fed babies can usually pass stools anywhere from three times a day to once every three days. 

Some parents have observed that switching formulas or moving to solids can result in green or yellow-colored playdough-like stools.

6 Weeks to 6 Months 

Playdough-like poop in formula-fed babies around 6 months of age could indicate that the baby’s digestive system is adjusting to the mix of formula and solid foods. 

Monitoring your baby’s overall health and ensuring they’re comfortable and thriving is crucial during this stage of development.

Playdough Poop in Babies After Introducing Solids

Playdough-like poop in babies who have recently started to eat solids is typically a normal variation in stool consistency.

At this age, stools may vary depending on the types of foods they eat.

Soft, formed, and easily molded stools might be influenced by a well-rounded diet that includes different food textures, fibers, and nutrients.

Some parents note drastic changes in their child’s stool after switching to whole milk, co consider this possibility as well.

A mother in the middle of changing her cute baby's diaper.

Signs of Constipation in Babies & Toddlers

Signs that your little one might be blocked up can include:

  • Infrequent bowel movements: If your baby has noticeably fewer bowel movements than usual and seems to be straining or uncomfortable when passing stools, it could indicate constipation.
  • Hard, dry stools: If your baby’s stool is hard, dry, and difficult to pass, it might suggest constipation. 
  • Abdominal discomfort: Constipated babies might display signs of discomfort, such as pulling their legs up toward their abdomen, crying, or being fussy during bowel movements.
  • Decreased appetite: Some constipated babies might show a decreased appetite or might refuse to eat due to discomfort in their digestive system.
  • Bloated or firm abdomen: Feel your baby’s belly. In some cases, constipation can cause the abdomen to feel bloated or firm. However, this might not always be noticeable or reliable as a symptom on its own, especially in younger babies.

How To Relieve Constipation in Your Baby

Most constipation can be helped with very small amounts of 100% apple, prune, or pear juice.

These fruits contain a natural sweetener that can act as a laxative.

If you have started solids and notice constipation, try feeding your baby some prunes or pureed peas to help encourage bowel movements.

If none of these things are working, your doctor might prescribe a glycerin suppository to help relieve the constipation. 

How To Relieve Constipation in Toddlers

Once your little one is on solids, increasing foods that have a high-fiber content can help to get things moving! Try introducing the following:


  • Berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries)
  • Apples (with skin)
  • Pears
  • Oranges
  • Bananas


  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Brussels sprouts

Legumes and Beans:

  • Kidney beans
  • Black beans
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas

Whole Grains:

  • Oatmeal
  • Brown rice
  • Whole-grain bread
  • Quinoa
  • Whole-grain pasta

Nuts and Seeds (for older toddlers):

  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts

Dried Fruits:

  • Raisins
  • Prunes (dried plums)
  • Apricots

Just be mindful of choking hazards for younger toddlers, and always chop fruits and veggies into small, manageable pieces to minimize the risk.

If constipation is still an issue for your toddler, your doctor might recommend a small dose of over–the–counter medicine that can be added to their water or juice. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Does Yellow Baby Poop Mean?

Yellow baby poop is normal for breastfed and formula-fed babies. It’s typically due to their diet and digestive processes. 

Breastfed babies will tend to have yellow poop for most of the duration of breastfeeding. 

Formula-fed babies usually have yellow poop during the first few weeks, and then it turns to a brown or orange color.

Changes in stool color, while usually harmless, might need a doctor’s evaluation if accompanied by other symptoms like fever or feeding problems.

Is Green Poop a Sign of Infection in Babies?

In some cases, a minor stomach bug or infection can lead to greenish stool due to increased intestinal movement.

Green poop is not usually a cause for concern and is typically a result of diet, allergies, or possibly a medication the baby is taking.

It can also be the result of a fast digestive system or foremilk-hindmilk imbalance in breastfeeding.

Generally, green poop is not a major concern unless accompanied by other worrying symptoms like blood, mucus, or fever.

Does Playdough Poop Mean Constipation?

Playdough poop can mean constipation, but not always.

Formula is usually thicker than breastmilk and can be a bit harder to digest for babies, meaning stools will be more firm.

Breastfed babies rarely have actual constipation and can go as long as one week without pooping.

As long as they are regularly wetting diapers and generally happy, this is a healthy sign.