What the heck is "normal" toddler poop supposed to look like? - Mothering Forums

What the heck is "normal" toddler poop supposed to look like?

RachelD's Avatar RachelD (TS)
11:11 AM Liked: 0
#1 of 20
07-30-2008 | Posts: 138
Joined: Dec 2005
Sorry if it's TMI, but I'm having an issue with ds's daycare and "loose stool". Ds is 25 months now and rarely produces solid, formed pooped. I never really thought it was much an issue, but the daycare keeps sending him home with diarrhea.

We went to the pediatrician yesterday and she said diarrhea really means frequent, loose stools - like 8-12 a day. Ds is nowhere near this- more like 1-3 a day. She also checked him over for anything bacterial/viral, but said it mostly sounds like the daycare was over-reacting a bit and that it's normal for poop to be kind of soft because of the natural dietary preferences/ tendency not to chew well of toddlers.

I was feeling fine about it, but the teacher is still concerned that the loose poop is somehow bad for him and that there is a dietary problem. I can't imagine what that would be-- he still nurses a very little bit; won't drink cow's milk but does eat yogurt and cheese; drinks mostly water and only a bit of fruit juice; he eats beans, meat, and eggs and lots of fruit. He certainly isn't acting like his tummy hurts or that pooping is painful.

So is this normal or what?
sarahr's Avatar sarahr
11:21 AM Liked: 10
#2 of 20
07-30-2008 | Posts: 746
Joined: Mar 2007
Until the last week or two, DD's poop was the consistency of loose peanut butter or playdo -- definitely not hard-formed, adult poop. In the last week or so, it's become much harder, I don't know why (at first I was worried about dehydration, but she's peeing lots). DD is 22 months old.

So, I think soft -- but not liquidy -- is normal.
Jennifer1208's Avatar Jennifer1208
01:12 PM Liked: 0
#3 of 20
07-30-2008 | Posts: 16
Joined: Sep 2006
My 1 1/2 year old gets the 'loose stool' comment from day care often too. She still nurses several times in the evening. Her poops are all over the place... from loose & mushy, to thick peanut butter, and the occasional hard, formed nugget. Sometimes she poops twice in a day, sometimes not for 2 days. I really try not to worry.
She did get diarrhea for about a week, it was obviously a problem because it was a huge, liquid mess, and smelled horribly awful! We had to cut out dairy (not BM of course) for a couple days for it to stop.
becoming's Avatar becoming
01:36 PM Liked: 312
#4 of 20
07-30-2008 | Posts: 11,592
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My almost 3-year-old still has poo that has the consistency of peanut butter about half the time, and she doesn't seem to have any tummy trouble at all.
Cindy-Lou's Avatar Cindy-Lou
02:21 PM Liked: 10
#5 of 20
07-30-2008 | Posts: 394
Joined: Mar 2007
DS is 2 and his poop is somewhat formed but still very mushy. He goes 1-3 times/day. It's probably what normal poop should look like but compared to other kids that don't eat as healthy and don't go as much, our kids' poop must look like diarrhea to them. If it's always been like this and your DS is healthy I wouldn't worry about it.
Cujobunny's Avatar Cujobunny
02:39 PM Liked: 12
#6 of 20
07-30-2008 | Posts: 2,409
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It's probably from lots of fruit.
CameronsMama's Avatar CameronsMama
03:07 PM Liked: 13
#7 of 20
07-30-2008 | Posts: 1,394
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DS (22 mo) has ver soft poop sometimes, too. It sounds normal to me. Especially if your lo is nursing (even a little) and eating lots of fruit, 2 things our ped said can contribute to softer stools. A couple of weeks ago ds caught a little tummy bug...let me tell you- those soft stools are NOT diarrhea, you will know it when you see (and smell) it!!!
LizLizard's Avatar LizLizard
03:37 PM Liked: 0
#8 of 20
07-30-2008 | Posts: 134
Joined: Jul 2007
I've asked DD's ped far too many times about this, she's 25 months and still can poop 1-3 times a day. The ped says that anything better than yogurt consistency is "normal", there is a wiiiiide range still for this age group because toddlers' eating habits are all over the map. DD is generally in the yogurt range, with the occasional play-doh poo if she has too much cheese. Her diet does consist of a lot of fruit, especially now in the summertime.
RollerCoasterMama's Avatar RollerCoasterMama
04:03 PM Liked: 35335
#9 of 20
07-30-2008 | Posts: 5,399
Joined: Jul 2008
DS(18mnths) is all across the board--from little pellets to playdough to nearly runny. Unless it's REALLY runny (like almost escaping the diaper) and happens several times in a day, it doesn't really count! We actually were told to give our son juice once a day with a bit of fiber powder (like benefiber) added to soften things up since he was having issues. No more powder these days, but we still do a serving of juice each day. We notice right away if we try to stop. Hearing "owie" while your baby is pooping is so sad!! (It doesn't help that he loves cheese and bananas!)

Anyway, as long as it's not super acidic, smelly, diaper escaping...you're probably fine...especially with dr support!

ps. I've noticed that since blueberries came into season, we don't need the juice so much!!!
mytwogirls's Avatar mytwogirls
05:01 PM Liked: 11
#10 of 20
07-30-2008 | Posts: 2,240
Joined: Jan 2008
Are you ME? Do you have MY child? This sounds exactly like my two year old girl! She NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER has solid poop, ever. Period. My husband calls her pudding pants for a reason. My ped said it is completely normal and her diet is awesome (my kids have never had fast food, ever, no junk, candy, cookies, ice cream, sweets, NOTHING like that) and we eat only organic too. She gets her daily allowance of all she needs so I have quit worrying about it. I guess we both have pudding pants little kids.
Ruthla's Avatar Ruthla
05:09 PM Liked: 392
#11 of 20
07-30-2008 | Posts: 43,652
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It sounds to me like it's within the range of normal. Maybe get a note from the child's doctor to send to daycare so they stop overreacting to what's normal for her?
vegemamato's Avatar vegemamato
05:10 PM Liked: 25
#12 of 20
07-30-2008 | Posts: 2,235
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for my three-year-old, the loose poop thing was in relation to her food allergies/sesitivities and digestion.. have you looked into that?
sunnygir1's Avatar sunnygir1
06:24 PM Liked: 36
#13 of 20
07-30-2008 | Posts: 2,248
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Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
It sounds to me like it's within the range of normal. Maybe get a note from the child's doctor to send to daycare so they stop overreacting to what's normal for her?

My dd is 17 months. I have never found a solid, still formed, turd in her diaper. Her stools are definitely soft.

When she poops in the toilet or on the floor it does stay formed, so I don't worry that it's too runny. It also generally has lots of bits of undigested things...skins from grapes, broken pumpkin seeds, kernels of corn...you get the idea.

I think if your lo gets a diverse diet of healthy, whole foods, and doesn't have any symptoms of digestive troubles that you shouldn't worry...especially if your doctor agrees.
chipmunck's Avatar chipmunck
06:51 PM Liked: 0
#14 of 20
07-30-2008 | Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2008
It sounds like the diet is pretty healthy, I also think it has to do with what she eats, and it being what comes out. Doesn't sound like anything to be alarmed about.

Though, my son was always the opposite, very hard poops. I think to each child their own. And it would be something to worry about if the child is actually sick! I know for myself, Not to be TMI here, but... I can go through a day eating all sorts of things and sometimes It comes out soft and sometimes harder. I feel I'm still pretty healthy.

I think the suggestion of a doctors note is a good idea. They should at least listen to your doctor saying "I've checked her out, she is good to go" (no pun intended. hehe)
Masel's Avatar Masel
07:25 PM Liked: 40
#15 of 20
07-30-2008 | Posts: 1,734
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Like Vegamatato my DD's loose stool seemed to be related to her alleries. Milk had definately done this to her in the past. When her BM suddenly became runny in the winter it turned out that she was getting milk from something served at day care. (I suspect the ingredients changed on them it had been something I previewed.) Recently a few weeks of loose stools were distresssing DD because she had gotten so good at using the potty for BMs but wasn't sensing them anymore. It turned out we had to eliminate hummus. She's become an amazing pooper.
She's 2 and a half.
milkeriffic mama's Avatar milkeriffic mama
07:59 PM Liked: 0
#16 of 20
07-30-2008 | Posts: 259
Joined: Aug 2007
i didn't have a chance to read all the responses, but this sounds identical to our previous situation with daycare. We got a note from the pedi and also met with the daycare director to discuss the issue. That really helped. Your DC's poops sound completely normal to me.
vegemamato's Avatar vegemamato
09:40 PM Liked: 25
#17 of 20
07-30-2008 | Posts: 2,235
Joined: Jul 2007
Originally Posted by Masel View Post
She's become an amazing pooper.
we use the term super-pooper here..
RachelD's Avatar RachelD (TS)
01:18 AM Liked: 0
#18 of 20
07-31-2008 | Posts: 138
Joined: Dec 2005
Thanks for the input everyone. This whole poop-consistency thing didn't seem like a big deal to me...but I figured, well, the day care sees lots of kids so maybe it really is abnormal. Thanks for some data points demonstrating that it's not.

I did hand over a note from our ped. this morning, so I'm hoping this will be the end of it. I know I sure am tired of talking about poop!
amyleigh33's Avatar amyleigh33
01:29 AM Liked: 0
#19 of 20
07-31-2008 | Posts: 1,386
Joined: Nov 2006
Glad you got it sorted out with the Ped note. Wanted to add that poop that's been smushed into a diaper, unless it's really solid, tends to look a bit mushy. Dontcha think? Honestly, not to overreact in the other direction, but I'd be mildly concerned that my child care providers didn't know what diarrhea was.
AlpineMama's Avatar AlpineMama
01:39 AM Liked: 12
#20 of 20
07-31-2008 | Posts: 1,780
Joined: Aug 2007
Originally Posted by Jennifer1208 View Post
Her poops are all over the place... from loose & mushy, to thick peanut butter, and the occasional hard, formed nugget.
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