When a baby starts eating solids, many questions come up quickly. Introducing solids is an exciting milestone — but one that can also come with some anxiety for parents. What foods do you start with? What if your baby has food allergies? How do you know how much to feed and when? One change you may not expect is how solids can affect what you see in baby’s diaper.
We asked Dr. Tiffany Fischman, M.D., a pediatrician at Calabasas Pediatrics in California and a mom of three, to give us the deets on what’s normal and what’s not when it comes to your baby, solid foods and poop.
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A MamasUncut fan asked:
My daughter has been eating solids (homemade purées and oatmeal cereal) for around two weeks. The first week I didn’t notice a change, but now it seems she is pooping less frequently and occasionally will have a really small poop. It isn’t rock hard, I can smoosh it but I am just really used to seeing a more watery bowel movement since she is breastfed. She doesn’t seem uncomfortable, but the change is bothering me. Any recommendations?
Dr. Fischman On Babies Eating Solids:
This is totally normal. Think about it, your baby is going from a completely liquid diet to a more mature, toddler diet. Even though the foods are pureed, they are still the same solid foods that you eat. One thing that can help, as baby’s gut matures to handle more solid foods, is to be mindful of what you are feeding your baby. Certain foods are more likely to cause constipation than others. For example: iron-fortified rice cereals and other processed grains, bananas, and cooked carrots can make anyone more constipated.
If your baby seems uncomfortable or goes a day without having a bowel movement, try giving a food that is known to help with constipation like prunes, pears, broccoli or berries. Introducing a little water around six months of age can also help. Hydration and fiber are the key players in keeping your child regular. Even though it’s unlikely your six-month-old will drink much, it’s great to get your baby used to having water with meals.
Gradually, as your child gets closer to their first birthday, you may notice the balance of nursing to solids starts to shift, with nursing decreasing as baby starts to get more calories and nutrition from food. This should also naturally happen with formula-fed babies. As such, their poops change. Don’t be surprised to see multicolored poops and undigested food like corn in the stool. Everything they eat affects their poop.
If your baby seems to be having belly pain, stools are consistently small and rock hard, or she is going more than a couple days without having a bowel movement, and dietary intervention isn’t helping; talk to your pediatrician.
About Dr. Tiffany Fischman
Dr. Tiffany Fischman, MD FAAP is a general pediatrician at Calabasas Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She previously worked at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston where she practiced general pediatrics and newborn medicine and held the position of Clinical Instructor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.
In her free time she enjoys running, traveling, blogging on the latest topics in children’s health and spending time with her husband and 3 young children, all under 5.
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