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What to Do When Baby Eats Their Poop: A Guide for Concerned Parents

While it may be alarming to discover that your baby ate their poop, it’s actually not as uncommon as you might think. In this article, we’ll delve into why babies might do this, potential risks involved, and what steps you should take when your baby eats their poop.

Understanding the Behavior: Why Would a Baby Eat Their Poop?

Infants are curious by nature and tend to explore their surroundings using their senses, including taste. Thus, while it may seem strange to us, babies may not differentiate between safe and unsafe substances to put in their mouths. This behavior is typically a phase that they grow out of.

Is it Dangerous if a Baby Eats Their Poop?

While it’s usually not life-threatening if a baby eats their poop, it can pose health risks. Fecal matter can contain bacteria or parasites, which can lead to infections or gastrointestinal issues. It is therefore essential to prevent such incidents whenever possible and to seek medical advice if it happens.

What to Do if Your Baby Eats Their Poop

  1. Stay Calm: While it’s understandably upsetting, remember that panicking will not help the situation.
  2. Clean Up: Clean your baby’s mouth gently with a soft, damp cloth.
  3. Seek Medical Advice: Contact your pediatrician, especially if your baby shows signs of illness such as vomiting, diarrhea, or fever.

Preventing Future Incidents: Tips to Keep Your Baby Safe

As a preventative measure, always ensure that diapers are changed promptly and that soiled diapers are kept out of your baby’s reach. Regularly sanitize toys and surfaces to minimize bacterial spread, and encourage healthy hygiene habits as your baby grows.

Health Concerns Associated With Ingesting Feces

Could my baby fall ill from eating his feces?

While not typically life-threatening, eating feces can expose your baby to potentially harmful bacteria, which may lead to health issues like gastrointestinal upset or infections.

What could happen if a baby ingests dog feces?

Consuming dog feces presents similar risks as eating their own feces, with the added concern of potential exposure to parasites that are common in dogs but harmful to humans.

What bacteria can be found in feces?

Fecal matter is rich in bacteria, some of which can be harmful if ingested. E. coli, for example, is a common bacterium present in feces and can cause serious illness if ingested.

Can fecal bacteria cause illness?

Yes, ingesting fecal bacteria can potentially lead to gastrointestinal upset or more severe infections, particularly in babies with their developing immune systems.

Identifying and Responding to Health Risks

How can I tell if my baby has a bacterial infection?

Symptoms of a bacterial infection can include diarrhea, fever, irritability, and poor feeding. If your baby shows any of these signs after eating feces, seek medical advice immediately.

Does a change in my baby’s feces indicate illness?

Yes, changes in color, consistency, or frequency of your baby’s stools could indicate illness. If you notice anything unusual, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider.

Preventing Fecal Ingestion and Maintaining Hygiene

How can I maintain hygiene after my baby poops?

It’s important to clean your baby thoroughly after they poop. This can prevent bacterial spread and reduce the chance of them coming into contact with their feces.

Could diapers lead to bacterial infections?

If not changed promptly, soiled diapers can potentially lead to infections like diaper rash. It’s important to change diapers regularly to maintain hygiene and prevent infection.

Should I be disposing of baby poop in the toilet?

Disposing of baby poop in the toilet can help reduce odors and maintain hygiene. However, whether you should do this depends on the type of diapers you use and local waste disposal regulations.

Understanding Meconium Aspiration Syndrome

What is meconium aspiration syndrome and who is at risk?

Meconium aspiration syndrome occurs when a newborn breathes a mixture of meconium and amniotic fluid into their lungs around the time of delivery. Babies that are post-term or under stress in the womb are at greater risk.

What are the symptoms of meconium aspiration syndrome?

Symptoms can include difficulty breathing, blue skin color (cyanosis), and a low Apgar score. If suspected, it should be addressed immediately by a healthcare professional.

How is meconium aspiration syndrome diagnosed and prevented?

Meconium aspiration syndrome can be diagnosed based on physical symptoms and medical imaging. Prevention often involves careful monitoring of the baby during labor and delivery, particularly if meconium-stained amniotic fluid is present.

Can babies recover from meconium aspiration syndrome?

Yes, with appropriate medical intervention, many babies can recover fully from meconium aspiration syndrome. However, in severe cases, it can lead to complications.

It’s crucial to understand the potential risks associated with babies ingesting feces and to take necessary preventive measures. Prompt action and medical advice can ensure your baby’s health and wellbeing.

How Can Help

Babies learning about their bodies and the world around them is an essential part of growth and development. However, this exploratory stage can sometimes cause sleep disruptions, particularly if your baby manages to get into their diaper during nap or nighttime sleep.

At, we understand these concerns and offer resources to help you establish safe and efficient sleep routines for your baby. Proper sleep habits can minimize disruptions, thereby reducing the likelihood of your baby engaging in undesirable behaviors like eating their poop.

With tips on everything from creating a safe sleep environment to setting a reliable sleep schedule, is your ally in ensuring your baby’s health, safety, and well-being.


Although it’s concerning when a baby eats their poop, remember that it’s often a phase in their exploration of the world. Prompt action and prevention can mitigate potential risks. For more advice on handling such baby-related challenges and promoting healthy sleep habits, visit

6 thoughts on “What to Do When Baby Eats Their Poop: A Guide for Concerned Parents”

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