European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 167, Issue 12, pp 1357–1362 | Cite as

Factors associated with defecation patterns in 0–24-month-old children

  • Vildan Taylan Tunc
  • Aysu Duyan CamurdanEmail author
  • Mustafa N. İlhan
  • Figen Sahin
  • Ufuk Beyazova
Original Paper


To identify the normal defecation patterns and the factors affecting these patterns in the first two years of life, a questionnaire was given to the parents of 1,021 children who were followed in a well-child clinic. The time of first meconium passage, presence of colic symptoms, frequency, color, and consistency of stools were recorded.Mann Whitney U, Wilcoxon, chi-square, and correlation tests were used in the statistical analyses. The median number of defecations per day was six in the first month of life. This decreased to once in the second month and almost all cases remained so until the end of the 24th month. At the second month of age, 39.3% of infants passed stools less than once a day. This pattern of rare defecation was seen until the end of 6 months, when supplemental foods were started. Stool frequency was higher in exclusively breast-fed infants (p = 0.0001). Infants who had colic symptoms in the first 2 months had less frequent defecation during the first 2 years of life (p = 0.0001). In addition to confirming the previously observed defecation patterns of 0–2-year-old infants, this study provides the relationship between colic symptoms and stool frequency, and showed that the second month of life was unique in the sense that the frequency of stooling decreased to half of the previous month and 39.3% of these infants defecated less than once a day.


Defecation pattern Infant Meconium Stool consistency Stool frequency 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vildan Taylan Tunc
    • 1
  • Aysu Duyan Camurdan
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mustafa N. İlhan
    • 3
  • Figen Sahin
    • 2
  • Ufuk Beyazova
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Family PracticeAnkara Numune Research and Education HospitalAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Social PediatricsGazi University School of MedicineAnkaraTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Public HealthGazi University School of MedicineAnkaraTurkey

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