Parenting involves a lot of poop, especially in the early years with a newborn or young child.
At times, you could even be surprised by what you discover. Various hues, textures, and, gasp, even blood or mucous.
Don’t be too concerned, you’re not alone. The good news is that the majority of the poop you see, even the most bizarre-looking stuff, can be quite normal.
There are a few instances where you might have cause for concern.
Read on to find out more.
✅ It’s possible that babies poop in diverse hues and textures are natural.
✅ Visit your pediatrician if unusual-looking poop is present together with excessive crying, gas, blood in the stool, or other symptoms.
✅ Although lactose intolerance in infants is uncommon, there are a number of other ailments and circumstances that could call for changing formulas or experimenting with different feeding techniques in order to make babies happy and healthier.
Consider lactose as an example. It’s a sugar that can be found in both formula and breast milk. Some newborns, however extremely uncommon, are intolerant to lactose because their bodies lack the enzyme (lactase) necessary for its digestion. Watery, loose stools and other digestive problems are symptoms of intolerance.
Other things can also indicate loose stools. So how can you distinguish between lactose intolerance and other conditions that are more prevalent? Let’s look more closely.
Different types of lactose intolerance
It’s critical to realize that lactose intolerance in kids under the age of two to three is actually rather rare. In reality, it tends to manifest itself more frequently in adults and teens, when it is typically referred to as primary lactose intolerance.
The enzyme lactase, which breaks down lactose, is present in abundance in those who have this disorder from birth. As individuals age, their lactase levels may drastically drop, making it challenging to digest even little amounts of milk products.
Up to 70% of adults can have primary lactase insufficiency, which is partly inherited. Additionally, those of Asian, African, Hispanic, American Indian, Mediterranean, and Southern European origin seem to experience it more frequently. Not everyone who lacks lactase will have symptoms.
Inherited lactose intolerance
This is not to imply that lactose intolerance cannot be present before birth. Congenital lactose intolerance is a genetic disorder that runs in families and is passed down through a process known as autosomal recessive inheritance. This indicates that at conception, the baby inherited the gene from both the mother and the father.
It’s kind of like winning the genetic lottery because research consistently shows that lactose intolerance in infants is incredibly uncommon.
Congenital lactose intolerance in infants manifests itself immediately, beginning with the first feedings and lasting up to 10 days. Contrary to primary lactose intolerance, the enzyme lactase is either inadequate or absent from birth, therefore symptoms like watery diarrhea don’t take long to manifest. This condition may also be referred to as:
- lactose malabsorption
- sensitivity to milk sugar
- a lack of lactase from birth
Although galactosemia is not a lactose intolerance, it might have a comparable impact on your baby’s ability to metabolize lactose in breast milk or formula.
It is a rare metabolic disorder where the liver enzyme required to break down galactose is either not produced by the organism at all or not in sufficient amounts.
Although galactose is a component of lactose sugar, galactosemia is not the same as lactose intolerance. However, babies with this illness may experience comparable symptoms, such as diarrhea. These signs typically show up a few days after birth.
If not caught in time, galactosemia can be fatal. Thankfully, the most typical kind is included in the typical newborn screening performed in the United States.
lactose intolerance in children
There is also a developmental lactose intolerance at birth. It happens when a baby is delivered early (before to 34 weeks of gestation). Because lactase is generally created late in the third trimester, babies delivered early may have lower levels of this enzyme.
The duration of this kind of intolerance might not be very long. As babies’ small intestines develop, they could outgrow it rapidly.
Lactose intolerance that develops later
The effects of secondary lactose intolerance can be seen in infants, kids, and adults. The small intestine reduces lactase production in this type in response to disease or damage. Things like Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and bacterial overgrowths are common offenders.
This intolerance in infants may appear after an episode of severe diarrhea, malnutrition, or another sickness. After the underlying disease is treated, the body may eventually be able to digest lactose.
There are indicators both inside and outside the diaper.
Again, within a few days of birth is typically when babies show signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance. Unless your infant has been ill and develops the secondary type, lactose intolerance is unlikely to be the cause if your kid is healthy for several months before exhibiting these symptoms.
Among the signs include diarrhea, bloating, gas, and nausea, as well as cramping and pain in the abdomen.
Since infants are unable to communicate their problems to you, you may observe your child becoming fussy or crying after feedings. They can have a hard or bulging abdomen. When pooping or passing gas, they could also cry.
The most obvious symptom, in this case, maybe diaper contents. Stools from your infant may be wet and loose. They could also seem foamy or thick. They may even be acidic, causing your baby’s skin to get inflamed, which could result in diaper rash.
Infant lactose intolerance treatment
Before switching formulas or attempting other treatments, it’s crucial to speak with your doctor to get the right diagnosis. A lactose-free formula should be provided to the rare newborn who has congenital lactose intolerance. Without this change, infants might lose weight and get dehydrated.
If not treated right away, this ailment may even be life-threatening.
When your child is old enough to eat solid foods, try putting an emphasis on calcium-rich foods to fill up the nutritional gaps. Broccoli, pinto beans, calcium-fortified soy or other milk replacements, calcium-fortified bread, drinks, and spinach are some of these. If you wish to support your baby’s vitamin D levels, you might also want to discuss supplements with your pediatrician.
What it might be in place of
The unusual diapers on your infant could also be caused by a few other things. To get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment strategy, consult your child’s pediatrician.
Cow’s milk allergies are possible in certain infants; although they are less common in younger infants, they are one of the more common food allergies in children. The immune system reacts after consuming milk, resulting in a variety of moderate to severe symptoms.
This may involve symptoms such as wheezing, vomiting, skin rashes or hives, and stomachaches.
Periods of loose stools or diarrhea with or without blood may affect your kid. Many kids eventually outgrow their milk allergies. If not, treatment simply involves staying away from baby formula and other foods that contain milk from cows or other mammals.
Determining if your child is intolerant or allergic to milk is crucial because there is a slight risk of anaphylaxis with this allergy.
Protein intolerance in cow’s milk
Some infants have difficulty digesting the proteins in cow’s milk. If your child is allergic to milk proteins, you might notice diarrhea, sometimes with blood, and mucous in the stool. Additionally, a rash, eczema, stomach ache, or vomiting could affect your infant.
Within the first week of exposure, this intolerance usually starts to manifest its symptoms. This issue only affects babies who are fed formula, although if a woman consumes dairy products, milk proteins can also transfer through breast milk.
Approximately 2 to 5 percent of infants exhibit this sensitivity, although it usually goes away by the time they turn one. So an ice cream cake might still be a possibility for the special occasion. Get the camera ready!
Unbalanced foremilk and hindmilk
You may have heard that there are two types of milk if you breastfeed. Possibly lighter than skim milk, foremilk can be. Hindmilk could seem fatter, similar to whole milk. The beginning of a breastfeeding session causes the production of more foremilk. Your baby will produce more hindmilk the longer they nurse.
Some babies may experience anything from flatulence to irritation if there is an imbalance and the baby receives too much foremilk. At times, your baby’s excrement could be explosive. Moreover, it may appear green, watery, or frothy.
What to do if your diarrhea is strange and points to milk issues?
If your child has a milk allergy or exhibits protein sensitivity, you may want to switch formulas with the advice of your doctor. There are other options available on the market, including soy and hypoallergenic formulas that you can get without a prescription or over-the-counter.
Mamas who are nursing may need to make dietary changes to prevent their child from ingesting milk and its protein. Avoiding obvious items like milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products is necessary to do.
Additionally, you must carefully study labels to look for ingredients like buttermilk, casein, dry milk solids, and other ingredients found in processed goods. Before starting any stringent elimination diet, see your doctor because you can be depriving yourself of necessary nutrients.
A consultation with a trained lactation consultant may be beneficial if you suspect a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. You might want to experiment with feeding your baby more regularly or letting them finish one breast before switching to the next.