Babies poop smells like vinegar! Is everything alright down there?
Keeping tabs on what is in your baby’s diapers should be a religious exercise. It is the only way you can tell whether your baby’s digestive system is healthy or requires immediate medical attention.
It might come as a shock for new parents with no prior experience and even as a concern when the baby’s poop smells. Should this be happening? What could be the cause?
The truth of the matter is that babies poop smells, or worse, stinks sometimes. However, this will depend on several factors. Sometimes it could be a medical concern and other times just a typical day in the baby diaper department.
Think of this as your guide to a baby’s poop.
The Baby’s First Poop
Most babies born after the full term usually pass their first poop within 48 hours after birth. The stool, also referred to as meconium stool, contains items that the baby consumes before birth.
The stool includes a mixture of bile, amniotic fluid, and discharges from the intestinal glands. Meconium stool is usually sticky and has a greenish-blackish tar color. It lasts for hours, and within a few days, you can expect to see the real poop.
Baby’s Poop Color and Texture
One thing to be sure of is your baby’s poop will not be like an adult’s poop, whether it is the texture or the color. After the meconium stool phase is over, pay close attention to the poop color.
Breastfeeding baby’s poop has a mustard-like color with a seedy texture or look. If you are bottle-feeding, you will see a greenish color with a toothpaste-like consistency.
If the poop’s color is not within the range of yellow, brown, or green, you should contact the pediatrician. Black tarry or red colors could indicate gastrointestinal bleeding, while white indicates nutrient malabsorption or liver problems.
Although it is rare, sometimes the baby’s poop might have blood. This could be an indication of an infection. You can confirm this by checking your baby’s temperature level, which should be feverish if there is an infection. You might also see some vomiting and discomfort or change in behavior. You should seek immediate medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Related article: Potty Training Power Struggle! 5 Do’s & Don’ts
Babies Poop Smells Like Vinegar
What if your baby’s poop smells like vinegar? The smell of a baby’s poop is a clear indication of what you feed the baby.
A breastfeeding baby’s poop mostly has no smell, and if any, it will probably have a sweet scent. Bottle-fed baby’s poop might have some stinking smell, but not much of it that fills the room.
You will start experiencing stinking poop when you start feeding the baby with solid foods. The poop will also solidify more. But that does not mean you should expect a vinegar-like smell, which borders on acidic or sour.
If the baby’s pool smells like vinegar, it could indicate a digestive illness, like an infection or a cold. It could also be an indication that they are not digesting the food properly.
Why Babies Poop Smells Like Vinegar
If the baby’s poop has that sour or acidic scent, it could be a result of
- Lactose intolerance – when a baby is sensitive to milk and other dairy products, they might experience some bloating, gas, diarrhea, and the acidic smell in the poop.
- Malabsorption – this happens when the nutrients from the food the baby consumes are not absorbed well in the digestive tract—the causes for this include infection, parasites, and some disorders.
- Sensitivity to some foods – especially foods that the baby’s system is not able to digest well. Such foods include eggs, soy, nuts, among others.
- Teething might also cause the poop to have an acidic smell; although there is no scientific research backing this claim, some parents have experience with this.
When babies poop smells like vinegar, it is essential to watch for other signs like fever or diarrhea. It could signify that the baby’s digestive system did not digest the food well or absorb the nutrients properly.