That’s right — we’re talking poop today!
Starting Solids? The Poop Changes!
Before you start your baby on solid foods, it’s best to prepare yourself in advance for the fact that starting solids will probably affect your baby’s poop. The poop will smell worse. The poop may be brightly colored. The poop may appear many times a day. Or, the poop may stop coming altogether.
We repeat — the poop changes.
6 Ways Your Baby’s Poop May Change After Starting Solids
The poop will smell even worse.
Now, poop never smells great. There’s a reason you won’t find any poop-scented perfumes on the market! But up until the time you start your baby on solids (and this is especially true if baby has been exclusively breastfeeding), the poop probably didn’t stink to high heaven.
Once you start your baby on solids, though, that’s going to change. Solid food produces smellier poop, and as your baby eats more and more solid food, the poop will only get stinkier. There’s no way around it. Just plan on doing lots of mouth-breathing during diaper changes.
The poop may be colorful.
Before starting solids, your baby’s poop was probably a consistent yellowish-brown color. Nice and predictable. After starting solids, though, that’ll likely change. Feed your baby plenty of tasty spinach for lunch, and you may very well see green poop at bedtime. Offer a big bowl of yummy steamed carrots for dinner, and you might wake up to a diaper full of bright orange poop the next morning.
This is nothing to be worried about; brightly-colored poop is normal at this stage. Your baby’s digestive system is still fairly immature and is learning how to process solid foods; as she grows, her poop will change to a more normal color, regardless of what she eats.
The poop may get firmer.
If your baby’s been on formula, this one may not apply. But if your baby’s been breastfeeding up to this point, you may discover that after starting solids, his poop is firmer and more “shaped”. Breastfed babies typically have runny, liquid-y poop; once they start solids, however, it becomes firmer, more like paste.
The “poop” may look a lot like undigested food.
This isn’t an issue when you’re feeding your baby smooth purees, but once you start adding some chopped table food into the mix, look out!
I remember taking my oldest son, when he was just 9 months old, to a dinner buffet. I loaded up a little plate with all kinds of vegetables and felt so proud when my son gobbled them up. The next morning, however, I was a little shocked — the contents of his diaper looked almost exactly like the contents of his plate the night before. The poop didn’t look like like poop at all — it looked like food!
Turns out I didn’t need to be worried; again, this is just a sign that my son’s digestive system was figuring out how to handle pieces of table food. Over time, as he ate more and more chopped table food, his poop returned to normal.
The poop may start appearing more often.
By the time you’re ready to start your baby on solid foods, it’s likely that he’s pooping pretty normally (as in once or twice a day). In fact, if he’s being breastfeed exclusively, he may be going a few days in between bowel movements. That’s considered very normal for breastfed babies. And how nice for you, right? Poop-free diapers are so much easier to change.
But once you start your baby on solid foods, that may come to an end. For some babies, starting solids means pooping more frequently. We can chalk this up (again) to their immature little digestive systems. As your baby’s systems figure out how to process solid food more efficiently, you’ll find that he returns to more normal amounts of pooping (thank goodness!)
Note: Diarrhea can be a sign of a food allergy or sensitivity. If you suspect that your baby’s frequent pooping is actually diarrhea, talk to a healthcare provider about possible food allergies and sensitivities.
The poop may disappear altogether.
Some babies poop WAY more after starting solids. Other babies, though, have the opposite problem: constipation. Constipation often occurs when you offer your baby lots of “binding” foods, like bananas and rice.
For more information on the signs and symptoms of constipation, as well as ways to alleviate constipation naturally, check out our post on “How to Handle Your Baby’s Constipation.”