After birth, the color of the baby’s poop change according to the type of food they digest. So when the mother suspects white poop in babies and the first thought that arises to mind ‘’is this because of drinking too much milk?’’ Well yes!
A baby’s white poop can be caused by the food he/she eats, as the body only absorbs required nutrients in the desired quantity and excrete out the rest. However, there can be other causes of white. For example, if you frequently notice white poop in your baby, especially after feeding milk, then there could be a chance that your baby is either “lactose intolerant” or has a “milk protein allergy”.
Certain measures can be taken to treat it. We’ll take a look at them now.
Being a parent brings a lot of questions and confusion especially when its your first child. There is nothing simple about parenthood. You want your baby to be healthy. Some parents think that feeding a lot of milk can make their baby healthier and increase immunity.
But concerns arise when you suspect white poop while changing the diaper. This can make them question many things like “Is too much milk the cause of white poop?”. “Is my baby not digesting properly?”. “Is he lactose intolerant?”. “Or does he have milk protein allergy?”.
A lot of concerns arise, and you can only get an authentic answer from your pediatrician. In this article, I’m going to give you a short guideline on how you can manage this condition and briefly explain the cause of it. So let’s get started!
Does drinking too much milk actually cause white poop?
Let’s answer the first concern that comes into every parent’s mind. YES! Feeding too much milk can cause white cottage cheese or diarrhea like poop.
The reason? When you feed with a gap of every 4/5 hours, the milk contents do not digest within a short time. The body stores the nutrients according to its requirement.
That’s why a lot of nutrients are excreted out without being metabolized in the digestive system. So your baby’s poop consists of undigested milk proteins. This could be the main reason if you feed your little one too much.
Is it normal for baby to pass white poop?
It is rare for a baby to pass white stool. The normal stool color of an infant ranges from yellow to greenish-brown. It depends on the mother’s diet if the infant is breastfed, or it could be based on the type of formula milk the infant is given. If it contains too much iron, then the poop will be brownish in color.
However, white poop is unusual in infants. Most of the time, it’s because of indigestion of milk proteins or decreased liver function that might need immediate treatment by a doctor.
Have you switched to cow milk?
Many parents switch their baby’s diet to cow milk once they are 3 or 4 months old. It is preserved that cow milk contains more nutrients and makes the baby a lot healthier. Some parents also switch to sheep’s or goat’s milk.
There is a fair chance that infants might develop “Protein milk allergy” when they are first introduced to cow’s milk.
Rarely if the mother drinks cow’s milk, then an infant can develop a “Protein milk allergy.” This can be because the cow’s milk antibodies travel through breastmilk to the baby’s digestive system.
Signs and symptoms of cow’s milk allergy
If your baby is allergic to cow’s milk antibodies, he might also be allergic to goat and sheep’s milk. Your baby may develop an allergic reaction to milk when administered directly or in formulated form.
Notice the following signs and symptoms in your baby and consult your pediatrician;
- Red itchy rash
- Swelling around eyes and in face or lips
- Wheezing, coughing, and itching
- Hay fever-like symptoms
- Flu-like symptoms with a runny and blocked nose
- Watery eyes
- Vomiting and stomach ache
Is it cow milk allergy or cow milk intolerance?
It is hard to differentiate whether your baby is allergic or intolerant to cow’s milk. The signs and symptoms are quite similar. However, one differentiating factor could help ease the diagnosis.
If your baby is allergic to milk, then an immune reaction will develop. On the other hand, if your baby is lactose intolerant, he will experience only digestive disturbances, diarrhea, or constipation with a stomach ache.
Lactose intolerance in my baby
Lactose intolerance develops when your baby’s digestive system lacks the enzyme “Lactase” that helps digest milk byproducts.
Your baby might appear distressed after feeding with a slight grimace on their face. Notice the following symptoms in your baby if you are suspicious about intolerance in your baby.
- Diarrhea, watery loose stools
- Tummy ache
- Intermittent Stomach cramps
- Malnutrition in infants, as their primary source of food is milk
Types of lactose intolerance
It is very uncommon for infants to be lactose intolerant. But we can’t say that it can never happen to any baby.
There are certain conditions in which infants are born with lactose intolerance.
Some of these conditions include:
Congenital lactose intolerance
Infants with congenital lactose intolerance inherit this disease genetically from their parents. It often runs in families. This disease can only develop when the baby receives the gene from both parents.
Studies have shown that infants with lactose intolerance show signs and symptoms within the first 10 days after birth. In these children, the lactose enzyme is either deficient or absent in the body.
Developmental lactose intolerance
Babies born before the 37th week of pregnancy might have Developmental Lactose Intolerance. This happens when a baby’s small intestine is not developed completely.
It’s unable to digest milk for a small period of time until it becomes fully functional. This condition usually improves as the baby grows up.
Transient lactose intolerance/disease
It is secondary to gastroenteritis (in this condition, the intestines absorption surface is reduced), or it could be due to untreated celiac disease. Your baby will be fussy and gassy all the time with abdominal cramps and tummy aches.
Transient lactose intolerance could also occur if you introduce solid foods too early. Your baby’s digestive system is not as strong to digest solid foods. If your baby is feeding on formula milk, he might develop an allergy to that formula milk.
If your baby is breastfed, monitor your diet. Note what kind of food cause abdominal cramps. If the mother has included cow’s milk in her diet, this can also cause TLD.
Keep in mind that TLD is temporary, and babies grow out of it after a certain period of time. They will be able to digest milk and milk byproducts after some time.
The moment you notice something unusual with the baby’s poop, consult your GP or pediatrician. Parents can do some little things to relieve pain if babies are lactose intolerant or have a milk allergy.
- Continue to breastfeed your baby
- Keep track of foods that aggravate symptoms
- Make sure your baby’s nutritional requirements are complete and he is not malnourished.
- Administer lactose-free formula milk
- Consult your pediatrician and introduce supplements in your baby’s diet
- Once your baby is old enough, introduce solid foods into his diet. This will help him gain nutrients from other foods and prevent malnutrition.
What does white poop in babies and toddlers indicate?
There could be a number causes that can indicate the cause of white poop, like;
– Feeding too much milk
– Cow’s milk allergy
– Lactose intolerance
Is your baby lactose intolerant?
Babies are unable to tell what they are feeling or what kind of pain they are suffering. For a parent, the color of poop is an important indicator of a baby’s health. If you see that your baby develops severe tummy ache and seems bloated just after feeding milk, with loose, watery stool. Then there is a fair chance your baby is lactose intolerant.
So, is white poop in toddlers normal?
White poop in babies is NOT normal at all. Very rarely is white poop seen in infants. However, there are certain causes mentioned above that show white cottage cheese-like poop. Always refer to your doctor whenever you suspect something unusual with your baby.
Parenthood doesn’t come with guidelines. No matter how many books you study or how many blogs you read. Your baby will surprise you with something you’ve never heard of.
One of these surprises is white poop. It is sporadic and unusual to happen in babies. But numerous cases have been suspected in pediatric hospitals, where parents present with babies excreting white poop.
The cause? Well, it can either be due to drinking too much milk, or your baby could be lactose intolerant. Your baby could also be allergic to milk.
The symptoms are not worse. Your baby may suffer from diarrhea, loose watery stools, or constipation followed by stomach aches and cramps. However, if your baby is allergic to milk severe allergic response might develop and the baby could go into anaphylactic shock.
Take timely action and consult your doctor ASAP!