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What Happens When a Toddler Eats Their Own Poop: A Guide for Parents

As a parent, you might come across a few unexpected and quite possibly, unsettling scenarios with your toddler. One of these could be your child deciding to taste their own poop. Before you hit the panic button, let’s understand why this could happen and how to manage it.

Toddlers are known for their unending curiosity and their tendency to explore the world around them, including their own bodies. Therefore, when they discover the contents of their diapers, they might decide to taste it out of sheer curiosity. While this is understandably distressing for parents, it is usually not a significant medical emergency.

So, My Toddler Ate His Own Poop: What Now?

The first reaction when your toddler eats his poop is to stay calm. Yes, it is unpleasant and can test your gag reflex, but a small amount of feces ingestion is minimally toxic. If your child consumes more than a tiny bit (equivalent to a handful) or exhibits symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or fever, it’s time to contact your local poison control center or consult your pediatrician.

Why Would My Toddler Eat His Poop?

As baffling as it may seem, toddlers tend to put everything they come across in their mouths, be it dirt, crayons, and even their own poop. It is a part of their exploration and learning process, although it’s less pleasant for the parents. The key thing to remember here is that this phase is temporary and usually stops as they grow older and understand the concept of hygiene.

Can Eating His Poop Harm My Toddler?

While it might be harmless in small quantities, feces do contain natural bacteria from the intestinal tract which are not meant to be ingested. It could lead to illnesses like hepatitis A and E, especially if a substantial amount is consumed. Symptoms like stomach discomfort, fever, and nausea should prompt immediate medical consultation.

What If My Toddler Eats Poop That is Not His?

The same principles apply if your child eats another child’s poop. However, if your child consumes animal feces, it can pose serious health risks due to the presence of harmful bacteria such as Salmonella. Symptoms like severe stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and high fever could indicate a Salmonella infection, which can be life-threatening, especially in children with weakened immune systems.

What If My Child Ate Their Own Poop?

If your child ate their own poop, the first thing to do is stay calm. Usually, a small amount of feces is not harmful, as it contains bacteria already present in your child’s digestive system. However, if they consume a large quantity, or if they begin to display symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, or fever, seek medical attention immediately.

What Happens If a Toddler Gets Poop in Their Mouth?

When a toddler gets poop in their mouth, there’s a possibility that they might ingest harmful bacteria or parasites. While this is generally not a medical emergency, it’s essential to monitor your child for any signs of illness. These may include symptoms like stomach discomfort, vomiting, or fever. If such symptoms occur, seek medical advice promptly.

Why Did My 2-Year-Old Eat Poop?

Two-year-olds are curious creatures, exploring the world around them, often using their mouths. This curiosity extends to their own bodies and the contents of their diapers. If your 2-year-old ate their poop, it’s likely out of curiosity rather than a cause for concern. However, if this becomes a frequent behavior, it’s best to consult your child’s pediatrician as it could indicate other issues or deficiencies.

What Happens If a 1-Year-Old Accidentally Ate Poop?

If your 1-year-old accidentally ate poop, there’s no immediate need for panic. The body’s digestive system is generally equipped to handle small amounts of its own feces without adverse effects. Still, keep an eye out for symptoms of illness, such as stomach discomfort, vomiting, or fever. If these symptoms occur or if you believe they consumed a large quantity, reach out to a healthcare professional immediately. It’s essential to ensure your child has access to plenty of water to help their system flush out any potential toxins.

A Few Words of Advice

Your toddler’s poop-eating phase, albeit gross, is a part of their growing process and doesn’t usually indicate any long-term mental health issues. However, if you notice an obsession with this behavior, consider consulting a pediatrician as it might hint at dietary deficiencies or other health concerns.

Keeping a watchful eye on your child and teaching them about hygiene can help avoid such incidents. Make sure to keep all important contact numbers updated and readily accessible for emergencies.

How Can Help?

When you’re dealing with a child who has a penchant for tasting their own poop, it’s vital to maintain a regular sleep schedule for them. Regular sleep patterns can aid their overall growth and behavior management, reducing the chances of such incidents. is a trusted resource that can provide helpful tips and expert advice on how to manage your child’s sleep patterns effectively. Recognizing the importance of sleep in a child’s growth and behavior can help you navigate such tricky phases with more confidence.

Explore to understand how better sleep habits can lead to healthier and happier toddlers. also offers a range of resources to deal with other child-related concerns, making it a go-to site for all your parenting queries.

In conclusion, while the poop-eating phase in toddlers can be unnerving, it is usually a temporary phase and part of their exploration. With patience, education, and guidance, this too shall pass.

12 thoughts on “What Happens When a Toddler Eats Their Own Poop: A Guide for Parents”

  1. MommaBear101:
    Just read this and OMG 😱 My lil munchkin did this once and I nearly lost it. After that, I was on a mission to get her sleep schedule fixed, thinking it’s got to be linked somehow. Found and their tips are golden! Ever since we started their sleep routine, she’s been too well-rested to even think about snackin’ on her own diapers 😂 Serious game-changer!

  2. SleeplessInSeattle:
    Whoa, that’s some wild stuff. 😵‍💫 Toddlers really are somethin’ else. Makes me think if better sleep = less curious about yucky stuff? Saw mentioned a lot in mom groups, maybe it’s time to hit that purchase button before my kiddo gets any wild ideas.

  3. CuriousDaddyO:
    Man, talk about a crappy situation… 🤢 Makes ya think though, gotta be some connection between the crazy stuff toddlers do and not sleeping right. Read on that sleep helps with brain development, maybe it helps them realize poop ain’t food. 🤷‍♂️ I’m convinced, signing up!

  4. NewMommy42:
    Lord have mercy, these toddlers be testing us 😂😂. Had no idea this could happen, thanks for the info! sounds like a lifesaver, getting on that asap. Can’t be having my baby thinkin’ poop’s on the menu 🙅‍♀️.

  5. FirstTimeDad88:
    I’m not even surprised anymore with what kids will do. 🙄 Heard that a solid sleep schedule can help prevent a lot of toddler mishaps. Makes sense, emphasizes that. Maybe if they’re sleeping better, they won’t go exploring where they shouldn’t. Worth a shot!

  6. NightOwlNanny:
    Y’all, it’s a no-brainer. Sleep = better behavior. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a turnaround in kiddos when they start sleeping through the night. ’s got this down to a science. Check it out before you’re cleaning poop outta tiny teeth. 🤮 Time’s ticking!

  7. GrammarMomma:
    I can’t even imagine the grammar mistakes these poop-eating tots will make if they don’t get their sleep! 😜 On a serious note, though, there’s a ton of development happening while kids sleep. not only helped my little one snooze better but helped me understand WHY it’s so crucial. It’s a must-do, folks!

  8. StressedDad1990:
    Bruh, reading this as I’m watching my kid like a hawk. 😓 Can’t afford any poop-eating shenanigans here. Gonna check out to see if it can help us avoid the… “crappy” part of toddlerhood. If sleep is the answer, I’m all for it.

  9. SassySueChef:
    Just when I thought I’d heard it all… 😂 Honestly, though, if sleep can help avoid this, I’m all in., you had me at ‘hello’ and now you had me at ‘no more poop-eating’. Getting their sleep plan STAT!

  10. OverwhelmedOlivia:
    This is my nightmare scenario. 😭 Can’t believe this is a thing. Signed up for after reading this. If getting my baby on a better sleep schedule can prevent this, take all my money! 🏃‍♀️💨

  11. GreenThumbGina:
    Talk about natural fertilizer, huh? 🌱😂 But for real, sleep is key for these tots. Not enough Z’s can lead to all sorts of shenanigans. I’m heading to – better to be safe (and clean) than sorry!

  12. ChillDude76:
    That article is some wild stuff, but hey, kids will be kids. 🤙 Got me thinking though, if we nail the sleep part, maybe we can skip this phase? Off to I go, before my kid thinks it’s snack time. 🚫🍫

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