Pediatrician Answers 6 of the Most Common Questions for New Moms: Should Babies Poop Every Day?

Snooki bottle-feeding
Jionni LaValle and Snooki with their son Lorenzo. Courtesy Snooki/Instagram

No need to Google! Acclaimed pediatrician Dr. Ari Brown (she penned Chelsea Clinton’s favorite parenting guide, Baby 411) answered 6 of the most common questions new moms have for Us Weekly

Is Formula Bad?

Sorry, opinionated moms, but breast isn’t always best. Bottle feeding — whether it’s due to supply issues, going back to work, a baby who won’t latch or personal preference — should be guilt-free. “We want to have a baby who’s getting their nutritional needs met,” Brown tells Us. “And that is what you are achieving when you give your baby formula.”

Any brand made in the U.S. is safe, but steer clear of homemade recipes, which could be dangerous, she advises. “This is going backwards in sophistication,” the Texas-­based MD explains. “It’s called formula because our grandmothers used to have a formula to create it in the kitchen.”

Can Sunscreen Hurt a Newborn?

Many sunscreen bottles warn against using their product on babies younger than 6 months old. But the American Academy of Pediatrics says it’s safe when applied to small areas of skin that can’t be covered by a hat or clothing. “We really recommend keeping the baby out of direct sunlight,” Brown tells Us. But if there is no way to avoid sun exposure, try an SPF 30 or above with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which are less likely to cause allergic reactions, she recommends.

Will Touching the Soft Spot Cause Brain Injury?

The soft spots — officially known as fontanels — are gaps in a baby’s skull where the bones have not fused together yet. “That opening allows the baby’s head to travel through the birth canal during delivery,” says Brown. While the fontanels feel spongy, they are covered by protective membranes. “Gently pressing on the soft spot feels weird, but it’s not harmful,” Brown tells Us. “It would take a sharp, penetrating force directly to that area to cause damage.”

Should Babies Poop Every Day?

An infant older than 8 weeks can often go up to a week without a dirty diaper! “Once the baby hits this age, their gut matures and they don’t have to poop every time they eat,” Brown says. “As long as it’s soft when it comes out and it’s not uncomfortable for them, then we’re very happy.”

Do Newborns Need to Bathe Daily?

Daily tub time is unnecessary, according to Brown. “Newborns don’t get very stinky or dirty,” she says. “Unless your kid has had a big blowout poop, you can get away with one bath a week.” 

When it comes to choosing a wash, Brown suggests a perfume- and dye-free cleanser such as Cetaphil or Dove. Says the doc: “You don’t need to choose a baby product.” 

Chrissy Teigen Luna food
Chrissy Teigen and baby Luna. Courtesy Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

Should Solid Foods Be Delayed Until Kids Are 6 Months Old?

Infants can be introduced to solid food anywhere between ages 4 months to 6 months, says the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

Simply follow the baby’s lead (“He’ll tell you when he’s ready,” Brown says) and stick to guidelines. “Starting solids before 4 months is a known risk factor for ­obesity and, possibly, diabetes,” she says. “And don’t wait much past 6 months, as this can potentially increase the risk of diabetes and celiac disease.”

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