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Baby Poop Smells Like Vinegar – Why Does It Happen?

Babies’ poop smells like vinegar? Um, definitely not one of the best things to wake up to! As you are changing that smelly diaper. You may be wondering why does my baby’s poop smell like vinegar?

Hold tight as we provide you insight into changes in babies’ poop. And what these changes signify.

Baby Poop- The Basics!

Changes in babies’ poop are likely to scare you. Especially if you are first-time parents! And yes, we clearly understand your anxieties.

But one thing to know is that not every change in baby poop is a red sign. Babies poop changes on a day-to-day basis. These changes are due to a number of reasons. As we will discuss shortly.

Before you can tell when there is a problem in the baby’s poop, you should know a bit about natural bowel movements in babies.

Also Read: Is Your Newborn Not Pooping But Passing Gas? What Should You Do?

Color of Baby Poop

The color of the stool depends a lot on what your baby is eating. In the first few days after birth, the baby’s bowels are sterile. But as some days pass by, a wide range of bacteria tend to grow in the bowel. And poop too!

So, the poop of a baby exclusively on breast milk would be different than a formula-fed tot. Also, the breastfed baby would also have a changing color of poop. Depending on what mummy eats!

Also read: How Do Babies Get Colic?

Poop Consistency

The consistency of baby poop is also variable. And yup, the dietary factors are in play here too! So, the poop can be mushy and soft, filling the whole diaper. Or there can be small pellets. Or even a single hard stool.

In case of a hard stool that causes discomfort, you may want to rule out constipation. And talk to your doctor if the problem persists.

Also Read: How To Get Your Newborn To Poop? Safe Methods And Techniques

The odor of Baby Poop

The odor of the poop tells how long the poop was in the baby’s gut. The longer the poop stays inside, the more bacteria and hence foul smell.

In general, babies on breast milk tend to have odorless poops. And those on formula feeds have a slight odor. This definitely changes as solid food is added to the baby’s diet.

Also Read: Sugared Water for Baby Constipation – Is it Safe? Does it Work?

Babies’ Poop Smells Like Vinegar?

With the basics covered, we move on to the smelly problem; that is, why my baby’s poop smells like vinegar?

So, one day you decided to change your babies’ diaper. You noticed a strange acidic odor, like vinegar or sour cream from the diaper! And yup, apart from that horrible smell putting you off, you immediately start wondering if your baby is okay?

What Causes Poop to Smell Like Vinegar?

Baby poop normally does not smell like vinegar or sour cream. The acidic odor may indicate that your baby is having a hard time digesting their food.

It can also point to a bug in the tummy or some other tummy trouble. Some of which are given below:

Malabsorption of Food?

When the baby’s tummy is not able to properly absorb nutrients from the food, the resultant product is that the baby’s poop smells like vinegar. Or gives off a sour, acidic smell.

Malabsorption is a problem that needs prompt care. Because not only does the baby’s poop smell like vinegar. The baby often has diarrhea and weight loss. With stunted growth!

Lactose Intolerance and Vinegar Poop!

One of the reasons babies’ poop smells like vinegar is that the baby’s tummy is sensitive to lactose present in the milk. Or other dairy products that you feed them.

In case you are breastfeeding your baby, lactose may enter the milk from lactose-containing products (mostly dairy) that you are consuming.

Keep an eye out for lactose intolerance as it presents with other symptoms too, such as bloating, baby passing too much gas, and even diarrhea or loose stools.

Also Read: Having A Breastfeeding Baby Constipated? What Should You Do?

Food Sensitivities?

Certain food items such as nuts, eggs, soy, and dairy, or food containing these items may be giving your baby’s digestive system a hard time. That tiny tummy may not be able to digest these foods and may end up being sensitive to them; hence, causing babies’ poop to smell like vinegar. And even causing the stool to be bulkier than usual!

Also Read: Broken Skin Diaper Rash In Babies – Causes and Remedies

Teething Troubles

Teething is a tough time for your baby and you. And although there is little to no scientific evidence to back up this observation. Some parents have reported that their babies’ poop smells like vinegar. Especially when a tooth is about to pop up!

Also Read Baby Born With Teeth Superstition – Myths and Facts You Should Know

Allergies to Certain Foods

Sometimes the reason your babies’ poop smells like vinegar may be a sudden reaction to a food substance. That did not go well with your tots’ tummy.

And that allergic reaction caused the stool to have much or even blood in it. Apart from that bad acidic odor, you may want to consult your doctor, especially if there is a family history of such food allergies.

Also Read:  Is Your Four Year Not Potty Trained? What Should You Do?

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is another culprit for causing babies’ poop to smell like vinegar. Look out for other symptoms of Crohn’s disease. These include loose watery stools, often with blood and mucus. This is often explosive diarrhea.

Also Read: Shingles Around Babies – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Babies Poop Smells Like Vinegar – What Should You Look Out For?

As a parent, coming across this foul situation surely would make you lose a night’s sleep! But that won’t be necessary.

You should keep a watch on the pattern of bowel movements. And any associations that you can pick. If you are breastfeeding your baby, keep a note of the stuff you are eating. Especially dairy products.

And if they or any food item is causing the problem. You can easily remove them from your and your babies’ diet.

Another thing to look out for is the number of episodes of vinegar-smelling poop your baby has. If they are only one or two, then there no need to worry.

Also Read: Pink Noise for Babies: an Effective Sleep Inducer?  

When to Call Your Doctor?

However, if this is a persistent problem and your baby is developing other alarm symptoms, such as diarrhea, dehydration, high fever, or your child is irritable and is refusing to feed; then you should check in with your doctor. The sooner, the better!

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Dr. Syed Ahmad Raza
Dr. Syed Ahmad Raza

Medical Officer at Ammar Medical Complex, Founder at Therightparenting and Owner and Founder at OOPER with Syed Ahmad Raza

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