Mom’s Question: My daughter is 7.5 months old, she is on Similac formula, nestle rice cereal and Heinz baby food, and her stool is green, mucousy like and it smells really strong. I have never known a baby (which I have been around a lot of) to have this strong smell to their stool.
I was just wondering if this is something to cause concern or if it is a side effect of either her food formula or teething.
Vanessa (B.C. Canada)Baby Helpline:
Reasons For Smelly Baby Stools
The smell of babies’ stools can vary a lot just like with adults. What they eat as well as their health will make the smell more or less strong.
Breastfed babies often do not have strong smelling stools. A study from 2001 found that the stools of formula-fed babies contained a lot more odor-causing sulfur gases than breast milk poop. When a baby starts eating solid foods, the feces will change again; often to the worse when it comes to smell.
In addition to these normal variations, the baby’s stools can also be affected by a stomach bug, a cold, food intolerance or even that the baby is teething.
Despite a complete lack of research studies on this, many parents agree that their babies’ stools suddenly smelled like vinegar just before one of their baby’s teeth popped.
A sudden shift in the smell, and especially if combined with a change in consistency to the worse (diarrhea, gas, or mucus for example) often indicates that something is wrong. In addition to watching your baby for other signs of illness or teething, you can also then think back on any new foods recently introduced, and take them away to see if it helps.
Green poop, a strong smell and gas, can be due to lactose overload.
A strong smell and very frequent pooping can indicate Rota virus, regardless of poop color.
Since there are so many reasons why a baby’s stools may start to smell, the best you can do as a parent is to look for other signs of teething as well as illness and also think back on any introduction of new foods or formula. If your baby seems to be ill, consult a doctor of course.
P.S. Here are two excellent reference books for baby health issues and injuries:
More Baby Poop Issues
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