All About Poop

Solid Switches

Once your baby starts eating solid food (usually between 4 and 6 months), her poop and her poop schedule will start to change. She'll go less frequently, and the stools themselves will become thicker in consistency.

Because baby's first food is usually rice cereal fortified with iron, you may notice some constipation: Rice and iron are notorious for backing things up, so to speak. If that's the case, you can switch to iron-fortified baby oatmeal or limit rice cereal intake to once a day and mix in some pureed prunes.

But consistency and frequency aren't the only diaper surprises. Dorre Kleinman, of Brooklyn, New York, opened her 8-month-old's diaper one morning and had quite a shock. "Sasha's poop was striped in orange, green, and blue, almost like a scarf," she says.

"I would have panicked, but then I remembered she had eaten sweet potatoes, peas, and quite a few mushed-up blueberries for dinner the night before." When babies start solids, Technicolor poop is very common and nothing to fret over; if your baby has a penchant for Blue's Clues yogurt, expect even stranger hues ahead.

An even bigger shock is when the corn you fed baby for dinner arrives several hours later -- whole and intact -- in her diaper. "Certain foods will pass through undigested. This is normal, as babies don't chew their food well and tend to process food quickly through the digestive tract," Dr. Pittman explains.

By your baby's first birthday, when he is eating a wider range of solid foods, poop starts to change its style again. You might notice that the smell, color, and texture of the stool varies throughout the day, depending on what the child has eaten, says Dr. Brown. In general, it will start getting browner and thicker and will look more like grown-up poop.

A word of warning: Now that your toddler isn't pooping as often as when he was a newborn, you are probably changing diapers less frequently. That's great for your sanity, but not so great for your kid's tush. Prolonged exposure to a wet diaper filled with bacteria-ridden poop can cause diaper rash. "It's a good idea to change diapers after meals and before naptime or bedtime to prevent the diaper area from being chronically moist," says Dr. Brown.

Parents Are Talking

Add a Comment