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  • Post last modified:April 30, 2022
  • Post comments:6 Comments

Have you found mucus in your toddler’s poop? While small amounts of mucus in the poop can be completely normal, especially if it appears infrequently, large amounts or a significant increase of mucus are not.

Let’s take a look at some possible reasons for mucus in a toddler’s stools.

mucus in toddler poop

Mom’s Question:
My toddler’s poop is mucousy. Just recently she was constipated and at that time, she also didn’t have much appetite. She is now back to normal with regards to appetite and constipation, but now her poop seems to be mucousy. Can you tell me why?

Thanks,
Jessica


Possible Reasons For Mucus in Toddler Poop

1. Toddler Poop with Mucus: The Normal Situation

It is normal for humans, or toddlers, in this case, to have some mucus in their poop.

Mucus is normally present in the intestines. Its role is to protect the epithelium or lining of the intestinal wall from bacteria, by promoting their clearance as well as separating them from the epithelial cells on the intestinal wall. This consequently prevents the occurrence of inflammation and infection of the intestinal walls. Hence we can see mucus on our poop sometimes when we defecate, as mucus can attach to them during a regular bowel movement as they moves down the lower intestines and colon.

Dietary changes can also affect the appearance of mucus on the stools.

Large amounts of mucus in a toddler’s poop or significant increases in the amount of mucus are, however,  not considered normal. Below are some possible reasons to investigate.

2. Infections

Infections in toddlers are common. More often than not, they experience infections of the gut as they are more prone to putting foreign things in their mouths as part of their curiosity.

Bacterial and viral infections can cause increased mucus in the baby’s or toddler’s poop. This is due to inflammation and intestinal wall irritation, leading to increased mucus production in the colon. The color of the poop can also indicate certain infections. These signs are usually accompanied by other symptoms such as:

  • diarrhea
  • fever
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • And for certain infections, blood in the poop.

The following infections can cause increased mucus in stools:

Shigellosis – is caused by the Shigella bacteria. This infection causes diarrhea, fever, blood stools (with mucus), and stomach cramps. This infection may last up to 7 days. Treatment includes antibiotics and hydration.

A viral infection caused by Rotavirus – this is common in infants and usually causes watery diarrhea with strains of mucus, fever, vomiting, and abdominal pain. There is no cure for rotavirus, however, there is a vaccine for children routinely given at less than 6 months of age for 2 doses.

Salmonella –is a foodborne disease that causes fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. People get infected by ingesting contaminated food or water, as well as uncooked food. This disease can last for 7 days but can have long-term effects. Diagnosis is made by testing the patient’s body fluids, tissue, and stools. Treatment includes antibiotics for children below 12 months of age.

Call your doctor if your child appears dehydrated (look for red flags: poor skin turgor, loss of appetite, sunken eyeballs, dry eyes when crying and dry mouth, and abnormally drowsy).

3. Constipation

Constipation is common in children. This is most often temporary and usually resolves on its own (unless caused by some underlying illness).

In children with constipation, the intestines move slowly (i.e., movement of stool in the gut is slow), and the large intestines usually absorb most of the water from his intake, resulting in dry and solid poop at the end of the rectum. When this happens, the child may feel pain in his anus every time he tries to push his poop out.

The possible causes of constipation in children include:

  • Processed foods – these food lack fiber in their products, hence the child becomes constipated when these processed foods become a part of their everyday diet.
  • Milk – certain types of milk, including cow’s milk, are heavy and irritating to the baby or kid’s tummy. The milk protein particles are big and are poorly broken down for absorption in the gut, hence the child becomes constipated.
  • Stress – Stress can trigger diarrhea or constipation in children.
  • Dehydration – when the body lacks water, the poop becomes hard and dry, making it difficult to pass out.
  • Changes in routine – changes can disturb healthy bowel habits, therefore causing stress on the body, and consequently, constipation.
  • Potty training – when going to the potty is a new thing for your kid, the common coping mechanism of the body is to hold everything in until it gets used to a new routine or environment. Hence constipation is common in children undergoing potty training.
  • Medicines – some medications can cause the bowels to slow down and cause constipation.

When your child is constipated, the body will produce mucus as a defense mechanism to avoid irritation or friction between the lining of the intestines and the hard and dry poop. The poop then becomes enveloped in mucus to easily come out of the rectum.

To avoid your kids from getting constipated:

  • Put him on a high-fiber diet (more fruits and veggies).
  • Encourage him to do more physical activities.
  • Enforce a good bowel routine and habit.
  • Increase his fluid intake.
  • Reduce dairy products,
  • Use oatmeal instead of rice cereal, and

Complications of constipation may include anal fissure or tearing of the anus, causing blood in stools (or bleeding rectum or anus), as well as recurrent abdominal pain.

Call your doctor if your child has not pooped for more than a week, has abdominal pain accompanied by fever and vomiting, and appearance of hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and leakage of stools in his anus.

If her constipation or illness is now gone and your daughter is back to eating normal portions, her poop should also be back to normal within a couple of days. However, if you don’t know what caused her constipation, you’ll need to figure it out to be able to avoid it going forward.

4. Allergies

Food or milk allergy can cause constipation in children. Although mucus in stools is not a common sign of milk protein allergy, constipation may be a symptom.

Allergies can cause inflammation in the baby’s gut. Inflammation causes an increase in mucus production and secretion to protect the intestinal lining from irritation and injury. The same mechanism is at play with allergies as it is with infection and constipation, hence you can usually see mucus on your baby’s stool.

Call your doctor when the signs and symptoms of food and milk allergies become persistent despite avoidance of suspected allergens. If your babies develop diarrhea, vomiting, inconsolable crying or irritability, vomiting, or bloody stools, then it is best to bring your baby to the hospital or ER.

Read more about milk sensitivity in toddlers here.

5. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic condition that causes inflammation of the intestinal wall. There are 2 types of IBD:

  1. Crohn’s Disease – this affects any part of the digestive tract.
  2. Ulcerative Colitis – this affects the lining of the large intestines only.

IBD is commonly diagnosed during adolescence and young adulthood. However, a considerable number of kids less than 5 years old manifest symptoms.

In IBD, as with any autoimmune inflammatory disorder, the immune system mistakenly attacks the healthy cells of the gut. The symptoms will depend and are usually indicative of the extent of the damage or inflammation that is present in the digestive tract.

The signs and symptoms of IBD include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea with blood or mucus
  • Rectal bleeding

Children may also manifest the following if they have Crohn’s Disease:

  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Joint pains

Flare-ups and remissions are common.

If your child presents unexplained weight loss and persistence of the other symptoms, you can consult your pediatrician right away. Lab tests such as blood tests and stool exams will be done, as well as endoscopic procedures.

There is no cure for IBD. Treatment options are to manage the symptoms, correct nutritional deficits, and reduce flare-ups in children.

6. A Cold

You don’t say if your daughter lacked appetite due to illness or due to her constipation. If she was ill, her stools can very well be mucousy due to a cold, for example.

7. Teething and mucus/diarrhea?

It seems to be quite common that parents associate mucus in todder poop with teething. The logic is that a teething baby or toddler will swallow large amounts of saliva and that this makes the poop more mucusy. I have not been able to find research to support this, though.

8. Bowel Obstruction

The most common cause of bowel obstruction in children less than 2 years old is intussusception. This happens when a part of the bowel folds into another segment of the bowel. The appearance looks like that of a telescope, thereby causing a bowel obstruction. This usually occurs in the junction where the small intestine meets the large intestine.

Intussusception commonly appears in children 3 to 36 months of age, but can essentially occur at age. The cause of this is unknown, however many have attributed this to infections, anatomical abnormalities, and altered motility.

The signs and symptoms of intussusception include:

  • Recurrent severe abdominal pain, usually described as crampy (children may be seen drawing their knees up to their chest during periods of pain)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Black currant jelly-like stools (with blood and mucus)

An abdominal mass can be palpated in the child’s abdomen upon physical examination.

Diagnosis and treatment include liquid contrast enema or air contrast enema. This is a radiologic procedure that does not require anesthesia. However, if the radiologic reduction is unsuccessful, surgery is the next step.

What to Do About Mucus in Toddler Poop

Treatment is relative to the cause of the mucus in the stools. Most often, it is not a cause for concern at all as it is normal in children. However, when your child’s mucousy poop is accompanied by any red flags such as fever, diarrhea, dehydration, abdominal mass, rectal bleeding, or blood in the stools, then you should consult your doctor immediately.

Stomach infections and colds heal on their own, usually and your child’s stool will go back to normal over time. One possible way to help your toddler heal is to give her probiotics (like these ones at Amazon).

If the mucus is due to constipation, mitigating this issue will of course also has a positive effect on the amount of mucus on her stool.

If your daughter continues to be unwell, constipated, or to have large amounts of mucous in her stools for more than a few days more, you should take her to her pediatrician to make sure everything is fine.

I have added a list here below of books to check out that all deal with kids’ potty issues.

Hope this helps,
Paula

Helpful Resources on Baby Poop

If you want more in-depth information and tips on baby poop issues, here are a few books to check out. (Links to Amazon)


More Discussions On Mucus In Baby Stools


 

Comments for “Mucus in Toddler”

Aug 21, 2017 18 month with snot poop
by:


Our 18 month old girl has had diarrhea with mucus in it for 2 months now. We took stool samples a few days ago and are waiting for the results. Her pediatrician thinks she may have giardia, he is also testing for other parasites and food allergies


Aug 25, 2017 Same for my boy
by: Anonymous


My son is 14 months and has had the same. We went to the doctors a couple of weeks ago but he said it was a stomach virus. Since nothing had changed and he was still going to the bathroom 6 time a day I went to another doctor and she said to try soya instead of cow’s milk for now. It did seem to help but he still poos three times a day not solid and with some sort of goo. Sometimes it’s like there is still food that has not been digested in his poo. I am going to go back to the doctors soon if things don’t get better. I don’t get too worried because he is in great spirit and is not loosing weight.


Aug 27, 2017 my girl got mucous on her poop
by: Anonymous


I got a 2 yr old lil girl and these past few days she’s having a mucous on her poop and poop 7 to 10 times a day, but she still does all the things what she use to do every day she eats ok she plays just fine but when she poop that’s the biggest problem, she doesn’t even want me to touch her butt or put anything on here butt coz its really hurt, do i need to take her to the doctor? pls, I’m a new mom so I don’t know what to do.


Aug 28, 2017 Cold or diet change
by: Paula (Baby Help Line)


To you who posted on Aug 27,

There are a number of reasons a child might have mucus in the poop. A cold, a stomach bug or possibly a diet change that includes something that the child’s stomach can’t really take. Have you introduced any new foods to her recently? If so, revert back to the usual diet, brand or whatever and see if the problem passes. If not, other possibilities are a cold or stomach infection. Also, if your child recently got antibiotics, mucus is a common side effect.

If none of this applies or if your daughter appears ill, go see a doctor to get it sorted out. Also, check if she has a rash since she seems uncomfortable when you want to clean her.
Good luck, Paula


Dec 27, 2017 Mucous and some drops of blood
by: Nick


Hi, my son who is 20 months old he was having loose motions problem for 4 days in the meantime doctor suggest him entamizole 1tsp 3 times a day after 4 days nothing changed except my sons stool turned into dysentery including mucous and after one day it had some drops of blood in it then doctor stops the entamizole and suggest him the Flagyl and negram 1sp of each 3 times a day and this dosage is started since last day and I have observed the change which is he is not having the severe cramps in lower stomach and rectum he was active and he is active but getting weak I just checked his feces it had no blood drops thank God but it was loose and since he is having the upset stomach his feces color is green why is that? and i am not giving him the feed which is two times a day full bottle of Nido stage 1 my doctor told me to stop the dairy products till his feces becomes normal and let me add this from past 2 days he is passing stool twice a day one in the morning and in the late evening.

I am so much worried I am a single parent and I have only son please help me what should i do and suggest me and one more thing we are giving him white bread n butter in morning and very soft plain rice with butter added in the evening before getting ill I used to give him whatever I eat like normal n little spicy food he loves it and please suggest me what to give him to eat in the normal days as well.
Thank you very much. Regards
Nick


Dec 30, 2017 Improving
by: Paula (Baby Help Line)


Hi Nick,

I am sorry to hear that your son has been so ill. From what you describe, though, it sounds like he is getting better. Continue to keep a close look at his progress and feed him the way his doctor suggested. Taking away all dairy is often quite good when young children have diarrhea because they can become lactose intolerant for a little while, making diarrhea even worse. Also, try to offer small meals, but frequently, to help his intestines get back on track.

In addition to what you already feed your son, you can try with bananas, and plain, full-fat yogurt (no sugar) with added probiotics if you can find, but discuss it with his pediatrician; yogurt is much better for his tummy than any other dairy products. Other foods are applesauce (not juice), white pasta and white potato are also good to mitigate diarrhea.

Avoid giving him any fruits that start with a P (peaches, pears et cetera), since they can make his diarrhea worse, as well as high fiber foods, apple juice, and apricots.

Hope your son will soon be better,
Paula


Jan 15, 2018 changed baby
by: getting frustrated….


my baby will b 2 in a month and for about a month now she has had problems with pooping, she just literally woke up one morning and decided she wanted to change everything! she used to eat oatmeal every nite and she ate it for like 6 months type thing and she really seemed to enjoy it, then one nite she decides she doesn’t like it and still doesn’t, I’ve tried her with it numerous times, in numerous ways and still lost, now she doesn’t seem to have much of an appetite at all now and she doesn’t care to drink much either. I feel like I put my child to bed and woke up with a different one that looks exactly the same type of thing…
she doesn’t want to poop, if she has to and feels it coming she squeezes her lil cheeks together and holds it in and 2-3 days later I’m left with having to put a suppository up her bum and I don’t like having to do that to her, I’ve taken her to the emerg and they said its common for this age but none of her friends are going thru this and they prescribed her a stool softener liquid. so I took her to a walk-in pediatrician and he gave me a prescription for a powder “laxative” I’m guessing is wut it was and a list of foods to try.

I appreciate the different food options to try her on but she won’t eat anything! she won’t even eat foods she used to love!!!
so last nite my mom and I had stuck soap up her bum and she pooped twice! yay! but this morning when we woke up she had pooped again during the nite and there was a bunch of green mucus in her poop and it was runny….is there something wrong with her? am I doing something wrong?? can someone pls help??


Jan 18, 2018 toddler poop with mucus
by:Daniellee


My 4 yr old tonight had pooped his pants we thought he had purposely pooped his pants cause he always goes by himself on the potty the only times he has pooped in his pants is when he’s outside playing and doesn’t take the time to go in and use the potty. when we stripped him down to bath I didn’t see poop I thought it fell out so I was looking for it and then took a closer look and his underwear was just full of slime mucus and his daddy was upset and I told him i think he couldn’t help it this time cause he didn’t see it and didn’t want to he gets disgusted with poop but should i be concerned/


Jan 19, 2018 Stomach bug
by: Paula (Baby Help Line)


Hi Danielle,
It could be a stomach bug or something he has eaten. Don’t worry too much, this is the season for all such infections. And the facts that your son pooped in his pants isn’t very strange, he might have felt a need to release some air. You’ll know within a day or two if he is ill or not.
Best, Paula


Jan 20, 2018 Incorrect Advice
by: Anonymous


No doctor, unless sure that your child is lactose intolerant should even tell you not to feed cow’s milk to a child, especially a child under 2 years old. When feeding a child soy milk they are losing out on so many nutrients and therefore need supplements to ensure they are getting enough. Just an FYI for anyone out there who is lactose intolerant, goat and sheep milk are a great substitute to cow’s milk. Goat and sheep milk don’t contain the lactose that the cow’s milk does that can cause the problems. That being said soy, almond and other such milks are not actually milk. They are created liquid from said products without the same nutritional value.


Jan 21, 2018 for “getting frustrated”
by: Anonymous


My son started doing the exact same thing when he was about 2 – trying to hold his poop in and refusing to go. The same pinching of the cheeks, he would need suppository or time and then he would HAVE to go and it would be huge and very painful. 4 years later he is on a regular bowel schedule.

Here is what you do – they have to get cleaned out first, enema or suppository. Next you have to have them on a powder laxative int he morning with their first drink ( my son started with the adult dose per the GI doc and has tapered down to a teaspoon) It needs to be drunk within 10 min that’s why my son had it first thing, usually no problem drinking a glass of juice first thing. don’t put the laxative in milk, it does weird things tot he consistency. your child should have a bowel movement every day – at first very loose and over time it firms up. we also instituted “potty time” in the late afternoon/early evening as the laxative kicks in about 8 hours after he took it. this is a long process and I know a few people who have had the same thing.


Jan 23, 2018 protein intolerance
by: Martha K.


Both of my children have suffered from milk/soy protein intolerance (MSPI). They could tolerate NO milk or soy products! In severe cases (like my children) MSPI can cause a baby to SCREAM in pain for up to 20 hours a day and it can make their poop green, with mucus in it, and sometimes they can bleed from it too.

With some children, it is discovered within a week after they are born and with some, it is not discovered until later, even up into their 2nd year in life. A lot of children outgrow it between 1 and 3 years of age. It is not something a lot of doctors know about.:( You can read about it in a book titled “Colic Solved” written by Dr. Vartabedian. You can also find info online about MSPI.

I have recently found though that a product called Digestive Health made by Core Health Products is EXTREMELY helpful. It has enzymes and probiotics in it. The reason that my children can not tolerate milk protein is that they do not have enough enzymes to break it down. With Digestive Health pills, they have improved by 90%!!! :) I am told by the owner of Core Health Products (Shan Stratton) that the reason so many children and adults have digestive problems or acid reflux is because they lack enough enzymes to break down their food.


Jan 23, 2018 cows milk
by: Anonymous


There are more negative attributes to cows milk than positives. we do not NEED cow milk. We are the only species that take milk from another mammal after 2 yrs of age


Jan 26, 2018 XRAYS
by: Anonymous


My toddler has the same thing going on and it turns out that he is so constipated that the slimy lining in his intestines are trying to help push that poop out and that is what is coming out. Also, he has loose stools coming out around the constipated poop, and he has been throwing up because the food has nowhere to go but up. He has been fevered because of the toxins in his body. It was first mistaken for the same things as you have all said. Ask for tummy X-rays. They were a saver for him!


Feb 28, 2018 Baby poop
by: Ruth


My baby is 10 months.his poop is greenish smelly mucus like with white patches what might be the problem


Feb 28, 2018 The possible cause of green poop with mucus
by: Martha K.


That certainly sounds like your little might not be properly digesting dairy (and maybe soy) proteins. That is what was wrong with my children and they had mucousy green poop and also blood mixed in sometimes. You might find my blog of interest. I created it so I could share with other parents what I found to help my children’s reflux and food intolerances. help4acidreflux.wordpress.com


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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Mary

    If your child has mucus in his/her diaper there is a good chance that your child has some food allergies. Have him/her checked by blood test.

  2. Karen P

    My son is two years old and just started daycare last week. This week his poop is loaded with mucous and has changed from a usual dark browny green to light brown and very loose. He has no fever or other symptoms. Should I be concerned??

    1. Erica

      My toddler is 2 years old and also has very loose stools which appear quite mucousy and light brown in color. This started after he went to nursery and has been going on for some time. I’m completely confused about what to do so if you find anything out about this type of problem can you post it onto here thanks, 🙂

  3. Sandra

    My son will be 3 in September, and for the past several days he has been pooping about 7 times a day and his poop is loose and slimy… It is making his butt so sore and red it makes him cry because it hurts so bad.

    He is eating normal, playing normal .. everything else is normal. I even checked to make sure he was not getting any molars, and he is not. I am starting to get a bit worried, anybody else ever have this type of problem? and if so.. do i need to take him to the doctors?

    1. Ann

      My baby is two and half and has had this same problem with poop about 7 to 10 times a day. Real soft slimy and frequent his lil butt is red from irritation so I’m using Burt’s bees and It works amazing but it burns a little when you first put it on. But I think there is a bug. going around

  4. Everyoneneedstostartbuttingout

    Dear Moms and Dads,
    Everyone is different, your personal feelings for or against a certain food/diet/etc. are not helpful nor very productive to the conversation.