Know-how: Nappies and weaning

When your baby moves on to solids, you'll notice a real change in her bowel movements. And you thought nappy changing was gruesome before...

Although a breastfed baby may have had many a runny, yellowy nappy in her early months, once your baby moves to a diet which is no longer exclusively milk, you will look back on those first few months of nappy changing with fond nostalgia!

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The change in your baby’s poo
As you would expect, once solids (even the most runny small portions of baby rice) are introduced to your baby’s diet, the end product after digestion is usually much more solid.
Ideally, her stools won’t be super-hard (if they are think about whether your baby is getting enough liquid in her day) but they will be more like regular poo.
They will also smell more like regular poo, unfortunately!

Foods affecting how a soiled nappy looks
At this stage, your baby’s diet is very simple. Thus, if your baby has been eating mashed up courgette or broccoli, you may well notice her poo being a little more green. This is nothing at all to worry about. That digestive system has a lot of learning to do!
As you gradually introduce textures to your baby’s diet, you might see small chunks of food in the nappies too. As long as your baby is a confident eater and doesn’t have any choking issues with these foods, you don’t need to worry about them passing through. Many a parent has spotted raisins in their child’s nappies at changing time.

Cleaning your baby’s bottom
If, until now, you have only washed your baby’s bottom with cotton wool and water, you may find that you now need something more heavy-duty to get it clean!
To be kind to your baby’s skin, try to stick with just water when nappies are wet. But do try baby wipes for bowel movements.
There are lots of great, gentle wipes on the market, and some are also biodegradable, which is great for the environment too.

What’s healthy and what’s not?
As we say, changes of colour and texture are to be expected in your baby’s poo. However, if you find your child is not having a bowel movement for days at a time, talk to your doctor, as it might be a food sensitivity that is causing constipation. Left unchecked, this can lead to serious pain for your child, a growing reluctance to have a poo, and in extreme cases it requires surgery.
If your baby does tend not to have a bowel movement at least once a day, think about how much liquid she is drinking, is she getting enough? Also think about how often she is free to wriggle and move around, rather than being strapped into a pushchair.
If you baby goes a day or so without a bowel movement from time to time (rather than on a regular basis), you have nothing to worry about.

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If there is mucous in with the poo, speak to your doctor.

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