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How Does Baby's Poop Change When Starting Solids? It's About To Get Real

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Introducing your baby to solids for the first time is huge. Suddenly your newborn starts looking and acting like a real little person, you get to see their personalities develop as they adamantly express their likes and dislikes, and, for breastfeeding mamas, you finally get a little break from being on constant nursing duty. But for all the good that comes with introducing food, there is the gross. For the faint of heart, be forewarned, this is going to get real. Want to know what the grossest thing about feeding your baby solids for the first time is? I've got one word for you: Poo.

While you may think you’re prepared for this new poo experience (breast milk and formula poops don’t smell that great either, right?), it’s actually pretty different. “Breast fed stool often looks like soupy dijon mustard,” pediatrician Dyan Hes, M.D., tells Romper in an email, to the point where “parents often worry that this is diarrhea.” Once babies start solids, though, “the appearance of the stool will change because the baby is now eating a whole different variety of macronutrients,” she adds. Breastmilk and formula are both packed full of nutrients too, but they’re of a more simple variety and don’t take as much work for the body to break down. Plus, since babies are getting the same thing for every meal, there’s little variation in the stool.

Once your baby starts solids, they’re suddenly taking in “fructose (a carbohydrate/sugar) in the fruits and vegetables, fiber in both fruits and vegetables, proteins in the meats, beans, eggs, fish, and nut butters... [and] different amounts of fat in all of these foods,” Dr. Hes says. This new menu is bound to result in all kinds of diaper-content experiences, but there do tend to be some common poo themes out there.

1. The "Rice Cereal" Poo

Many parents start their babies on rice cereal for its smooth texture, bland flavor, and ability to keep baby full for a little longer (like, perhaps through the night). "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," according to Parents.

2. The 'Totally Undigested Food' Poo

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When your infant is big enough to handle finger foods, you get the treat of seeing things like full peas, corn kernels, or black beans in their diapers. While undigested food might seem like a problem, it's actually quite common and usually not a reason for concern, explained pediatrician Danny Thomas, M.D., in an interview with the Huffington Post.

3. The "Allergic Reaction" Poo

Babies can have everything from food sensitivities to full-on allergic reactions, and it's important to understand the difference, according to Healthychildren.org. Both food sensitivities and food allergies can cause diarrhea and stomach pain, so if your little one is having regular blow-outs or is unusually cranky after mealtime, you should contact your pediatrician.

It's also important to remember that, when introducing a new food, it's best to do so gradually and one at a time. That way, you can better identify the cause of the allergic reaction, explained WebMD.

4. The "Rainbow" Poo

When you're introducing vibrantly colored foods like purple carrots, green peas, red beets, and orange sweet potatoes, don't be surprised to find those same colors in streak-form in your baby's poo. Dr. Hes says, “never worry about the color of the stool unless it is true black, pale grey, or has red blood in it. Otherwise it can be green, yellow, orange, or brown.” The red blood is particularly important, “If parents see bright red blood in the diaper they should call the doctor.”

Switching from an all-liquid to solids diet would definitely impact your stools, so it’s no surprise that your baby’s poo is affected, too.

Expert:

Dyan Hes, MD, Medical Director at Gramercy Pediatrics

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