Baby Health Quirks That Are Normal

Raising a Stink

Contrary to popular belief, not all babies smell perpetually "baby fresh," as Philadelphia mom Kiyana Butler learned while playing "This Little Piggy" with her then 1-month-old daughter, Sundiata. "As I sang the 'wee wee wee' part, I brushed her toes across my nose and discovered funky feet!" It happens. Sweat, dirt, or milk trapped in warm spots or in a baby's many rolls can get pungent. "Remember to clean in the neck creases where formula, breast milk, or spit-up can hide, as well as in all the nooks and crannies of the thigh and diaper area," says Jennifer Trachtenberg, M.D., author of The Smart Parent's Guide to Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents. In an older baby, food tucked in a nostril or ear may cause odor. But even if she's clean, what your child eats can affect her odor. So, if your toddler had asparagus, don't be surprised if her body and urine emit the evidence!

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Strong-smelling urine may mean a urinary tract infection; vaginal odor could be caused by a bacterial infection; and if poop smells especially foul, your tot could have an intestinal infection or disorder, or celiac disease. If her breath smells fruity (and she hasn't had fruit to eat), it can signal dehydration, diabetes, or that she's not eating well.

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