When it comes to newborn poops, it’s no joke for new parents. Monitoring your baby’s bowel movements is one way to ensure your baby is healthy and regular. Because babies are fed strictly breastmilk or formula, their poop shouldn’t usually have too much odor. You may have noticed, however, that your baby’s poop smells like vinegar and have become concerned.
If you have started to notice your baby’s bowel movements have become increasingly odorous, especially with a scent of vinegar, there could be a few different reasons for this. There are some common reasons, all the way to more concerning issues, requiring medical attention.
Change of Diet
The most common reason for your baby’s poop to change in odor is a change in his diet. Perhaps you have changed formula brands or types of formula (liquid concentrate to powder for example) and your little one isn’t digesting it the same.
Just remember, if there are foods that affect your own digestive tract, they will mostly like affect Baby too.
If you suspect your baby’s poop smells like vinegar because of a switch in diet, it could also be accompanied with mucus in the stools or potentially blood. This could also mean your child could have food allergies. It is a good idea to keep track and mention it to your doctor.
It is possible that your baby is not absorbing the nutrients from the formula or breastmilk and it is souring in their tiny gut. This would result in foul, vinegar-smelling poop.
The cause of this lack of absorption could range from a common virus all the way to something a little more medically concerning as malabsorption conditions. You should be concerned about malabsorption if you notice that the vinegar smelling poop is continued, regardless of what you feed your babe.
When your baby is starting to get teeth, you may notice many new symptoms or ailments. Some babies cry insistently, gnaw on their toys/fists, have rosy red cheeks or experience digestive issues. This could include poop with a vinegar odor.
Of course, there isn’t a lot of evidence to back this up, except that many parents claim their child experiences these indications of teething.
It could also be related to medicines that parents sometimes administer for pain, such as ibuprofen. Alternatively, a little numbing gel on the affected area, a frozen teething toy or gentle massage may ease the pain of teething for your baby.
Crohn’s Disease or Cystic Fibrosis
Crohn’s is when the walls of the intestine are inflamed and this prevents baby from absorbing all the important nutrients from either breastmilk or formula. This absorption issue causes poop to smell very odorous, even like vinegar at times.
Cystic Fibrosis is a fatal disease which affects many facets of the body, but mostly the digestive system and the lungs. Because of the effects on proper digestion and processing of foods, it can cause extremely foul smelling bowel movements. There could be an odor of vinegar as well.
This is a condition which your doctor will need to address should you suspect this is the case with your baby.
Red Flag Symptoms with Vinegar Smelling Poop
Fever (especially if unresponsive to medicine)
Baby seems to be in pain, especially in the tummy
Inability to soothe
More than 6 loose bm’s in a 6-hour period
Shortness of breath or wheezing
Blood mixed in Baby’s stools
If any of these symptoms coincide with poop that has a vinegar smell, it is important to call your doctor to investigate further. While it could be nothing serious, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to infant health.
Any time your baby isn’t feeling well, or seems to be “off”, you will naturally worry. If you notice your baby’s poop smells like vinegar, try not to be too alarmed since it is most commonly due to changes in his diet or in your diet, if breastfeeding.
However, if you notice there are other issues that seem to go along with the odorous bowel movements, it is best to call your care provider.
As with anything, if you are overly concerned or anxious about any issue regarding your infant, a professional will be happy to answer your questions.
Hopefully, you have found some answers about babies poop smelling like vinegar and you feel a little more at ease. Please share your comments or questions, since we always enjoy hearing from our readers.