Weaning, nappies and baby poo

Before I was a parent I don’t remember talking about poo much. I certainly didn’t talk about it when eating but when I became a parent back in 2010, things changed!

Explosive nappies (code named PRIs in our house – Poo Related Incidents!), green poo, pieces of food in poo, the smell of the nappy bucket all became conversations we didn’t think much about.

But what is normal poo when it comes to weaning?

As babies get used to solid foods, it is normal for their poo to change. It might change colour. It might change texture. They might also go more or less often. Depending on what they eat and drink, the poo will change too. It is important to learn about what a balanced weaning diet for baby is. Check out the other articles on this site, buy the ebook or get in touch for more information.

Here are some of the things which might be changing in your baby’s poo and some things to be aware of.

Is my baby constipated?

Baby’s poo might become hard or they might have fewer dirty nappies. It is important to rule out whether they are constipated. As these changes occur it can be hard to know what is normal. The NHS defines constipation in children as:

  • “they have not done a poo at least 3 times in the last week
  • their poo is large and hard
  • their poo looks like “rabbit droppings” or little pellets
  • they are straining or in pain when they poo
  • they have some bleeding during or after having a poo, because their poo is large and hard
  • they have a poor appetite or stomach pain that improves after they poo”

What should I do if my child is constipated?

If your child is constipated, it is recommended you seek support from your GP. You can also do the following:

  • encourage them to drink plenty. Having sips throughout the day. Further information on water can be found here
  • encourage them to be physically active
  • do some gentle baby massage – always in a clockwise direction on the tummy if you are looking at baby (if you are unsure how to do baby massage, don’t do it)
  • increase the fibre in their diet by giving more fruit and vegetables, including prunes, plums and pears.
  • reduce the pressure to poo – be as calm as possible if they poo in the bath!
  • create relaxation times with cuddles and stories

For more information about constipation go to the NHS website

Is diarrhoea normal when weaning?

Yes. Babies guts are adapting. It can also be due to giving too much fruit. It is important to keep up their fluids and stop them getting dehydrated. It can be a sign of a delayed allergic response so keep a diary of the foods they are eating and if the diarrhoea persists, speak to your GP.

Symptoms of dehydration in babies

The NHS states that the symptoms are when babies:

  • “seem drowsy
  • breathe fast
  • have few or no tears when they cry
  • have a soft spot on their head that sinks inwards (sunken fontanelle)
  • have a dry mouth
  • have dark yellow pee or have not had a pee in last 12 hours
  • have cold and blotchy-looking hands and feet”

If you see any of these symptoms, go to A&E or seek urgent GP treatment. These symptoms are serious and must be treated immediately.

For further information about dehydration go to the NHS website

Should my baby have whole pieces of food in their nappy?

This is normal too. Babies who are given finger food may not be able to chew as much as adults can. Their digestive tract is also shorter than an adults so the food may look unprocessed when it comes out the other end. If it persists, seek medical advice. It might be worth giving your baby more mashed foods for a while whilst they get used to food.

Other things to watch out for

Seek medical advice if you are worried in any way. Trust your instinct. Other things to seek advice on include, but are not limited to:

  • blood in the poo
  • any sign of worms in the poo
  • mucus in the poo
  • black poo
  • watery poo
  • frothy poo
  • unusually smelly poo
  • fatty poo
  • signs of dehydration, constipation or diarrhoea

This article is meant for information only. If you need individual advice or you have any concerns about your child’s health, seek medical advice from your GP or health visitor.

Published by porternutrition

I am a freelance Registered Nutritionist with NHS, charity and private sector experience. My passion is for improving health without breaking the bank and spending hours chained to the kitchen. I work with all ages but have specific focus on the youngest of the community as they start their food journey.

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