Tiffany asks a very important questions about breast fed babies’ stools. The following answers are from friends on her mom’s group. Important points to consider are highlighted for special consideration. See the last entry for a summary.-Diane, Editor
- It sounds miserable! I have breast fed my two kids and never saw what you are describing. Diapers leaked, but did not blow regularly. Sure, there stools were soft and liquid, but not watery–there is a difference. Sometimes I think doctors dismiss mother’s concerns too quickly…I am very conservative concerning health, and if I were you I would seek more input from a doctor, whether in your office, or a specialist. Wish I knew more!! Good luck, and let us know what happens! -Ruth
- S. only had “curds” in hers occasionally, the rest of the time it’s been a mustardy liquid. They always tell you there should be x number of wet diapers a day, but I could never tell with mine ’cause the poop was always so wet. M. was not always explosive, but now that she’s down to once a day it is (just changed all her clothes in the car about an hour ago). But for some breast-fed babies, explosive is the norm. The big thing is that as long as they’re urinating, they are not dehydrated. Hope this helps. Good luck! -Marianne
- K. only pooped every 4-5 days in the early weeks/months and when she did, it exploded ALL OVER. We were in Lowes for the worst one. I was carrying her in the baby seat and pulled her out b/c she was crying. The liquid poop had gone all down her legs and totally up to her neck. I took her out to the car and peeled her clothes off crying! She wasn’t pooping 5 times a day, but the consistency and non-absorbency was similar. -Bridget
- I remember thinking I wouldn’t be able to tell if they have diarrhea or not; but it does have some seedy texture and color. I also noticed what I ate somewhat affected the explosiveness. They get very explosive when I ate broccoli, beans, and cabbage. Your baby could be sensitive to a particular food. If so, observing your diet and trying different things may help. -YennI honestly don’t remember anything but ridiculous explosions, usually at the worst times which often required numerous loads of laundry in one day but…how often do you get to read emails describing poop!!!??That’s why I love all of you, someone “has been there & done that” and are totally willing to help. Even if it means describing what’s in their diapers!!! One day, these little people will thank us!!! -Natalie
- S. had the same thing – runny, never seedy and massive explosions – it didn’t let up until she started eating solids (and then went the opposite way!). She only pooped every 3 days, but when she did they were exactly as you describe – sometimes right up to her neck! I found the only diapers that worked to contain the explosion were Costco Kirkland diapers. The others – Pampers, Huggies etc were useless. And I spent my life soaking her clothes in Oxyclean!Both my kids have milk and soy protein allergies. I cut out all milk products and although that helped somewhat with gas and rashes and eczema – but the runny stuff never went away. As long as he is happy, not fussy, no rashes, eczema or wheezing, no blood or mucus in his stool it’s probably not a milk protein problem, just a little boy who likes to POOP! Once his digestive system is fully matured (around 9 months I think?) he should have it all sorted out. S. is 9 months now and is doing great. -Anna
- I know exactly what you mean with explosive and watery stools! M. had them too. I was told the same thing over and over about it being normal. Eventually her issues got so bad I had to take her to the ER b/c she was also projectile vomiting and couldn’t keep anything down. While there, the ER doc tested her& stools for blood as they suspected, in addition to her reflux, she also had allergies/intolerance’s to something. The usual suspect was dairy and gluten. She did test positive for blood in the stool (which wasn’t noticeable in the diaper). Once that was established I removed both from my diet (which was VERY difficult) and then eventually just went to the special formula (Allimentum) that is dairy free and gluten free. This solved the problem within 3-5 days of starting a dairy and gluten free diet. She was like a new baby!!My suggestion would be to keep a dirty diaper and call the pediatrician to see if you can bring it in to have it tested. They just put a little stick in and it comes back right away. If she does test positive or shows a trace of blood, it could be something she is unable to digest or is allergic too. I hope this helps! Good luck. -Jaime
- Both girls were breastfed and had completely runny poops. S.’s was very explosive, to the point where I kept switching diaper brands because I was so frustrated with the leaks. She was 2 weeks old wearing size 4 diapers that came up to her neck! Her poop reminded me of grey poupon mustard. I know, now you’ll never eat it again. I know I don’t. It got better after I cut out dairy and soy. However, if you feel concerned, I would follow that instinct and put a diaper in a plastic bag and take it to them. -Michelle
Thank you everyone who replied!!! You ladies ROCK!I feel so much better about my concerns after reading everyone’s experiences. We have tried 3 brands of diapers and two sizes, but I think next on our list (short of becoming part owner in oxi clean) is to find the plastic over pants for cloth diapers and give that a shot. And we will be bringing a diaper with us to the 4 week appt next week, so I can “share” my concerns with the doc. At my lactation consult today it was recommended to me to also cut out diary as much as I can. As well as try adding in extra pro & pre biotics to my diet and if I can find some directly to him. Hopefully the combo of tricks will help… and if not I’ll ask for more advice!!!
I do have a lingering suspicion that he will also turn out to have reflux like K. did which was aggravated by diary formula. No one ever suggested with any of our infants, all of which had to be on special formula, each different for different reasons, but no one ever said anything about doing a test for blood in their stools. That seems so simple. So if needed, I will definitely ask for this instead of playing the guessing game till we find something that works. -Tiffany
Summary: Breast fed babies usually have softer, more watery stools than bottle fed babies. Watery, explosive stools were fairly common among breast fed babies. Tiffany’s main concern was how she could tell if there was something wrong with her baby. She was especially concerned about dehydration.
There is a great variety of normal frequency, from 5 times a day to once in 4-5 days. And there is a variety in the consistency and color as well.
If you are concerned, here are some things to consider:
- Does your baby seem well otherwise? Is he eating and sleeping normally? Does he seem happy when awake? Is he still gaining weight?
- If your baby’s stools are particularly explosive, have you considered the food you are eating?
- Perhaps try cutting down on gassy foods like cabbage and beans or on very spicy foods.
- If there are allergies in your family to dairy, gluten, or soy, you may consider cutting out these foods while you are breast feeding.
- Call the doctor or take him to a clinic if you also notice: vomiting, fever, irritability, dry mouth, or sunken soft spot. If you are concerned about possible food allergies or intolerance, take a poopy diaper with you and ask that it be tested for blood.
- Generally, your pediatrician has seen enough babies that he/she knows what falls into the normal range. But if you are still concerned and don’t feel your pediatrician is taking your concern seriously, the next step would be to take your baby to a pediatric GI(gastro-intestinal)doctor.