This Month’s Theme: This month’s theme will be “Shapes & Colors.” The children will be introduced and become familiar with different colors and shapes. They will manipulate small colored blocks, push fire trucks across the floor, and explore colored water in the sensory table and paint with our hands and feet. We will also read some books and sings songs about shapes and colors. The children and teachers will also have special days to dress in their favorite colors!
Lesson Plan: Please see reverse side for this month’s curriculum.
Special Announcement: On Wednesday, February 17th, from 4:30-5:45, we will host our annual Infant Family Potluck! It will be a great chance to have fun with your child and socialize with other infant parents and children from other classrooms. We hope to see you all there!
Tidbit of the Month
Color Changes in Your Baby’s Stool
All parents acquire a sudden interest in their baby’s stool. “Should I be concerned when the color is green, yellow or black? Is my breast milk or formula causing an issue? Is there something wrong with my baby’s digestion?” These are some of the questions parents ask regarding baby health. The following are the basics to get a parent through a baby or kids health in regard to the color of his or her bowel movement.
The minute a newborn is delivered, the parents expel a hefty sigh of relief. However, for most parents, that feeling will not last long. A throbbing soft spot, birthmarks, jaundice, crossed eyes, skin rashes, and various bumps can all be very scary to a parent. The color of a baby’s bowel movement is a common health concern.
About Bowel Movements
A baby’s first bowel movement is called meconium. It is of a greenish black color and is thick and sticky. The color and consistency of the first bowel movement should never be seen again and doesn’t indicate bad baby health. It is normal and is actually a positive sign of a baby’s health.
After this first stool, all other stools will be affected by what is fed to the baby. The baby swallows fluid, which is digested by stomach acid and then moves into the small intestine. The digested nutritional matter and water are absorbed into the bloodstream, and the larger pieces of fiber and other matter continue through the intestines. If the larger pieces of matter travel through the intestines at a slow pace, the water will be absorbed, and the bowel movement will be firm. If the larger matter travels at a fast rate through the intestines, the bowel movements will be loose. The bowel movements will also pick up digestive juices, bacteria, bile, and other substances, which impact the odor and color of the stool.
The Effects of Breast Milk vs. Formula
Breast milk is usually absorbed completely, and it is not uncommon for a baby to not have a bowel movement for a couple of days. This is not any indication of the baby health and is totally normal. When a breast-fed infant has a bowel movement, it is usually a mustard yellow seedy-looking stool. At first, a baby will have a bowel movement after each feeding, and that will taper off as more meals are consumed.
Infants that are bottle-fed tend to have darker and less frequent stool. Every baby is different, and there are a large variety of normal colored bowel movements. In normal babies, bowel movements will change color as the diet of the baby changes, as the digestive system matures, and as normal bacteria develop. It is a rare occurrence that a bowel movement color change would indicate a digestive issue. The color changes usually just mean that there are more or less colored pigments picked up in the digestive tract.
Rare Stool Colors
Chalky white bowel movements could mean that there is no liver bile being made to digest food. If white stool is seen, the parent should contact a physician, and further tests will probably be ordered.
A dark tar-black bowel movement may indicate blood in the digestive tract. The dark color indicates that the blood traveled far in the intestines, turning from bright red to black as it traveled. If this color stool is seen, one should contact a physician, and again, further tests will probably be ordered.
A bright red bowel movement indicates that some blood came from a spot close to the anus. It is important to note that a red stool can also be brought on by medications, food coloring in foods, and beets. If needed, a test can be done on a baby’s stool to check for abnormalities.
In summary, parents need not worry about orange, yellow, or green bowel movements. They are usually not a sign of any digestive problems and signal more about the foods that the baby consumes.
Have a great month!
Erin, Lana, Katie, & Madi