You don’t always know what to expect when you unfold a diaper. Poop might come in all shapes, sizes and colors, but here’s a few surprises that might stop even a diaper expert in his tracks!
These may be unexpected, but are generally not cause for concern and it’s likely you’ll encounter several of these during diaper duties over the first year or two of a baby’s life.
These look like oversized grains of sugar stuck to baby’s skin and may be clumped together or just a single gelatinous blob. Don’t panic – they’re not coming from the baby! They’re from the absorbent lining escaping from small tears in the disposable diaper.
This occasional but normal poop variation may look like bright green pea soup or more like darker green flecks of cooked spinach. Don’t be surprised to see a little mucus, especially when baby has a cold and runny or goopy nose. Swallowed mucus won’t be absorbed by the GI tract and so will pass right through into the diaper mixed with poop.
They’re not really worms! These tiny black strings mixed into baby’s poop may look exactly like tiny worms, but relax, they’re not. Just like the dark little threads you’d see in homemade banana bread, these threads may appear when she eats fresh bananas.
Oh That Smell
You’ll notice stronger smells once baby is eating more protein foods like beef and chicken. Just breathe through your mouth and keep a smile on your face during diaper changes – after all, baby can’t help how his poop smells!
Recognizable Bits of Foods
Foods with “skin” like peas, beans, grapes and blueberries, or foods with tiny seeds like strawberries and kiwi may pass through only partially digested. If baby enjoys chewing on an ear of corn at dinner, you’ll probably see some of that corn again in less than 24 hours.
Recognizable Other Things
Bits of paper from a tag or the gnawed corner of a board book may show up in the poop. A swallowed smiley face sticker? Rainbow flecks from the crayon you pried out baby’s mouth? It’s in there. The strangest diaper discovery I’ve heard of so far: The shell from a ladybug. (Shudder!)
Nancy Holtzman RN IBCLC CPN Nancy has spent the past 20 years supporting expecting and new families around the transition to parenthood. She is a maternal infant specialist, board certified lactation consultant and board certified pediatric nurse. She speaks and writes for a national audience about breastfeeding, infant development and baby sleep.
She is the founder of the Great Beginnings New Mothers Group series which has “graduated” well over 12,000 new moms nationally and as a Clinical Co-Founder of Isis Parenting, her classes and webinars have helped thousands of families across the US and across the globe.
Nancy lives in Boston and San Francisco with her husband and rescued Bichon Frise, and is the mom of two kids in college. Find her tweeting all about babies at @nancyholtzman