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

| Reviewed By Sarah Schulze, MSN, APRN, CPNP

Baby poop can be something that catches a lot of parents off guard, not just in frequency but in color and consistency too!

You probably never knew that you would be so concerned about the bowel movements of another human… and then you have a baby.

Poop can be a great indicator of what’s going on with your little one, and educating yourself about what to expect can alleviate unnecessary worry. 

Why is baby poop like playdough? Baby poop varies in color and consistency pretty often, but if the poop looks like playdough or clay, the baby may be slightly dehydrated. Another reason for playdough-like poop is due to the introduction of solids, which can cause stools to be firmer. 

Baby poop looks different for breastfed babies versus babies who drink formula. It can also appear different based on what you are eating if you are breastfeeding.

Most variations in poop are expected, and only a few instances indicate that you might want to consult your doctor. 

Playdough Poop in Babies

Certain ages and milestones will cause your baby’s poop to look different. New things can tend to throw new parents for a bit of a loop, so it’s helpful to know what to expect. 

Playdough Poop in Breastfed Babies

Firm, clay-like poops in breastfed babies aren’t very common. Breastfed babies tend to have runny poop that looks like mustard, often with little white spots in it.

Doctors say that 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, they are fine. 

Playdough Poop in Formula-Fed Babies

Formula-fed babies are more likely to have firmer, playdough-like poops. They can vary in color from yellow to green to brown. Formula-fed babies can usually pass stools anywhere from three times a day to once every three days. 

Does Playdough Poop Mean Constipation?

Playdough poop can mean constipation, but that is not always the case. Formula is usually thicker than breastmilk and can be a bit harder to digest for babies. This means that stools will be more firm.

If you fear your baby is constipated, talk to your child’s pediatrician. 

When To Be Concerned

Babies who go several days without a bowel movement or are crying when they pass a stool are most likely constipated.

If a baby is straining longer than 10 minutes trying to have a bowel movement and it’s a repetitive thing, you might want to consult your doctor. Constipated poop often comes out as hard, round balls.

A pediatrician might prescribe a suppository to help make pooping easier for your baby. Should you ever see blood in your baby’s poop, call your doctor. 

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

How To Relieve Constipation in Infants

Keep in mind that your baby’s poop will change as your baby ages and according to what they are eating. If your child is facing regular constipation the first step is to consult with your pediatrician.

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 with your baby and notice constipation, try feeding them some prunes or pureed peas to help them have a bowel movement.

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

6-Month-Old Babies Constipation Remedies 

Babies have usually started solids by 6 months, and constipation can become a more common problem as their bodies are learning to process different foods.

Feeding foods such as prunes and offering 100% juice can help relieve constipation in older infants. 

How To Relieve Constipation in Toddlers

Constipation in toddlers is something that most parents will run into at some time. Try giving your toddler some prune juice mixed with apple juice or pear juice.

Increasing foods that have a lot of fiber can also help. Many doctors suggest that getting your toddler moving can help them pass a stool.

Should the problem continue, your doctor might recommend a small dose of overthe-counter medicine that can be added to water or juice. 

Related Questions:

How Long Is Baby Poop Yellow?

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.

Yellow poop in a baby is not a major cause for concern. Poop also begins to vary in color when babies start solids. 

Is Green Poop a Sign of Infection in Babies?

Green poop is not usually a cause for concern. Green poop is usually a result of diet, allergies, or possibly a medication the baby is taking. Pale white poop, red poop, or black poop are all reasons for calling a pediatrician. 


Poop is a large part of having a baby. It just comes with the territory. Most baby poop can vary often in consistency and color.

Playdough poop is not immediately a cause for alarm, but being aware of your baby’s stools can help you gauge how your baby might be feeling.

One minute, you’re a cool cucumber planning your next vacation… and then you have a baby, and you’re freaking out over the color and consistency of your baby’s poop. Parenthood is a humbling ride!