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.
I'm talking "What did I do in a former life to deserve this?" kind of poo. I'm talking "horror face emoji" poo. You're going to see things you wish you could un-see and smell things you wish you could un-smell. In a nutshell, your senses will be thoroughly and utterly assaulted.
And while you may think you're prepared for it (breast milk and formula poops doesn't smell that great either, right?!), I'm going to level with you: You're not. Nothing, and no one, can really prepare you for changing your first poopie diaper following a solid meal because every baby is unique. Babies are like snowflakes and, as it turns out, so are their bowel movements.
Fortunately, there does tend to be some common poo themes out there, and we're going to walk you through four of them.
1. The "Rice Cereal" Poo
Many parents start their babies on rice cereal for its smooth texture and bland flavor.
"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.
This was certainly true for my second daughter, who really seemed to struggle with "moving things along" once we introduced cereal. Our pediatrician recommended adding in some pureed prunes to help, and while that definitely did the trick, it meant that her diapers were massive — like, a packet of wipes massive.
2. The 'Totally Undigested Food' Poo
When your infant is big enough to handle finger foods, you get the treat of seeing things like full peas or black beans in their diapers.
We're big on quinoa in our house, but let me tell you, your views on quinoa will change once you've seen the grain pass through your baby's digestive track fully intact.
While undigested food might seem like a problem, it's actually quite common and usually not a reason for concern, explained Danny Thomas, MD, the head of the division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for Kids in the House 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.
If you find yourself googling "regular poop vs diarrhea in infants," to determine if what you're seeing is "normal", don't worry. There's one telltale sign of diarrhea: if it goes all the way up the back, explained WebMD.
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.
"When babies start solids, Technicolor poop is very common and nothing to fret over," according to Parents.
Just remember, when dealing with a truly epic "code brown" situation, that you're a badass warrior gangster. You got this!
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.