White Stool in Babies & Toddlers: Causes & Symptoms

White Poop in Babies and Toddlers – What Does it Indicate?

A child’s poop colour and consistency changes during the first few days, weeks, months, and years. A child can have different coloured stools, and most of it is normal due to the foods they eat. But the colour and texture of your baby’s poop can tell you a lot about a child’s health. Normal poop colours might be in the range of yellow, brown, and green but there might be occasions when parents encounter their baby passing pale or white stools. This can be a bit unnerving to see for any parent since all parents want is for their baby to be healthy. If your child is passing white stools, here’s what you need to know about it.

White Poop in Babies

While changing your baby’s soiled diaper, if you notice white poop, then obviously you’re going to worry if something is wrong with your baby’s health might. If it’s a one-off occurrence, it is nothing to worry about. It could be something as simple as undigested food, but parents should keep checking their baby’s stools. If the stool colours remain white, it could be due to the low production of bile (bile pigments give the yellow or brown colour to the stools) or there could be a blockage which might be stopping bile from reaching the intestine. If your baby’s poop colour doesn’t change and continues to be white, you must check with a doctor.

What Are the Causes of White Poop in Babies?

Since most babies are on a liquid or semi-solid diet, the consistency of the poop might differ. However, the colour should be in the normal range for you to be sure of good health. White poop is never a good sign. There could be a range of causes, but here are some reasons why you might find white poop in your infant’s bowels.

  • Medication could sometimes be the cause of white stools. Some antibiotics for ear infections can lead to white stools. Antacids that are used to treat the baby’s reflux issues can also lead to white spots in baby poop.
  • White along with some red poop could be a sign of constipation.
  • An iron deficiency leads to white stool anaemia.
  • In a more extreme situation, it could be a sign of liver blockage. The liver produces bile which helps break down fats in the body. If the bile can’t be drained from the liver through the body’s normal functions, it can be a problem and scar liver cells. This leads to cirrhosis which could lead to liver failure.

Symptoms That May Accompany White Stool in Babies and Toddlers

If your baby’s stool colour is white, you’re bound to get concerned. If you notice it once or twice, it’s not a problem. It could be simply due to the medication that your baby might be on or white spots could be the remnants of the milk that your baby is consuming. But if you notice any one of the following symptoms, it’s a cause of concern, and you must check with your child’s paediatrician.

  • Jaundice is a disease that is caused due to an improperly functioning liver. This disease leads to a slightly yellow tinge on the patient’s skin and eyes. Jaundice can be a life-threatening condition and must be checked out by the doctor immediately.
  • Dark-coloured urine is never really a positive sign for good health. Darker urine points towards inconsistencies in the kidney, liver region and should be checked out by a medical health professional.
  • Itchy skin could be an accompanying symptom along with white stools.
  • Crying more than usual could be a sign of your baby’s discomfort. You must check with a paediatrician if your baby cries incessantly.

These symptoms along with chalky poop could point towards something a bit more serious and may require medical intervention. White curds in baby poop in breastfed and formula-fed babies just point towards undigested fats from the milk that did not break down well.

White Stools in Children – Is It Dangerous?

The normal colour of poop in babies and infants should be yellow, brown, or green or a mix of these. If parents spot that their 1-year-old baby’s poop colour is white, a doctor must be consulted immediately. Home remedies should not be tried since it has to do with a serious internal problem that needs to be sorted out with the help of a medical professional. White stools can be indicative of some serious problem, which is why checking with a doctor is a must. The cause of white stools could be a tumour preventing bile from reaching the small intestine. Gallstones formed in the bile can also block the bile. These conditions could further build a fever and exacerbate other symptoms. Gastrointestinal complications could lead to white poop as well. Hence, you must take your child to a doctor.

When to Consult a Doctor

If your baby’s poop colour is white often, you must check with a paediatrician immediately. While it could be due to a minor cause, it could also be due to serious problems mentioned in the above paragraph. So, see a doctor if you notice anything unusual.

For new parents, discussing their baby’s pooping habits is an everyday task. And if your baby’s poop colour is white, your discussions can leave you worried. But with proper information and your doctor’s guidance, it can be treated, and your little one will be healthy again!

Also Read:

Mucus in Infant’s Poop
Watery Stool in Newborns
How Often Should Your Newborn Baby Poop?

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Aarohi Achwal holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a master’s degree in English Literature. While working as an intern for an English daily, she realised that she likes writing above anything else. The idea of being heard without having to speak appeals to her. She likes to write research-based articles that are informative and relevant. She has written articles on pregnancy, parenting, and relationships. And she would like to continue creating content on health and lifestyle.