Toddler not digesting food!! - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-27-2008, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is this normal?

Her poop often contains pieces of whole undigested food. She just had a poop that was almost all whole beans and nothing else. She's 14 months old - we have gradually introduced table foods, starting around 1 year or so.

Any thoughts??? Thanks! DH and I are very worried...
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Old 02-27-2008, 09:15 PM
 
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No, it isn't normal, and is a sign of a food allergy or gut damage. I suggest you look into an elimination diet to help control the symptoms while you figure out what's going on.

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Old 02-27-2008, 09:48 PM
 
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Totally and completely normal at that age.

-Angela
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Old 02-27-2008, 09:52 PM
 
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No, it isn't normal, and is a sign of a food allergy or gut damage. I suggest you look into an elimination diet to help control the symptoms while you figure out what's going on.
I strongly disagree. Toddler poop naturally has bits of food in it.

Heck even grown up poop does - especially things like corn and such.

-Angela
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:31 PM
 
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I strongly disagree. Toddler poop naturally has bits of food in it.

Heck even grown up poop does - especially things like corn and such.

-Angela
It really depends on the amount and frequency. Do you see food chunks with every bowel movement? What's the consistency of the rest of the poop? If it's diarrhea-like, then I'd say the whole picture isn't normal and I'd be concerned about leaky gut or food allergies. If it's occasional and she doesn't have diarrhea, I wouldn't be overly worried, but I'd still watch it. I'd also start giving probiotics and CLO daily.
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:36 PM
 
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It sounds like, for whatever reason, your baby isn't ready to digest many of the foods she's eaten. This is nature's built-in way to make sure kids don't fill up on too many solids before they're ready, reducing the quantity of breastmilk in the diet. If she's no longer nursing, I'd be a lot more concerned about her nutritional intake.

It's important to remember that this is a 14mo, not a 1.5yo- both of whom could be classified as "toddlers" but who's maturity levels are far different.

Also, as for the "stool that was all beans"- did you actually squish the "undigested" beans to see if they were actually undigested, rather than whole bean skins filled with feces? She might have simply not chewed up the bean skins very well, rather than actually not digested the beans at all.

And how frequent are her stools? A "whole stool filled with undigested food" is a big deal if she poops once every 3 days- but if she poops several times a day, and one of those stools looked "abnormal" while the others were normal, then it's far less concerning.

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Old 02-27-2008, 11:29 PM
 
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My children, even when they had beans, didn't pass them whole and indigested- they were in pieces and partially digested. Hence my comments.

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Old 02-27-2008, 11:30 PM
 
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I strongly disagree. Toddler poop naturally has bits of food in it.

Heck even grown up poop does - especially things like corn and such.

-Angela
Except the didn't say bits. She said whole and undigested.

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Old 02-27-2008, 11:46 PM
 
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As mentioned, many things can come out looking whole and undigested. Olives always came out in chunks for dd raisins often erm, re-inflate. Beans can be skins. etc.

-Angela
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:37 AM
 
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As mentioned, many things can come out looking whole and undigested. Olives always came out in chunks for dd raisins often erm, re-inflate. Beans can be skins. etc.

-Angela
Ahh, the world of toddler poop!
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:44 AM
 
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Does she have molars? I was worried about this with my DS and one of the wise mamas in my DDC suggested the lack of molars as a cause. It's pretty hard to mash food up effectively with 2 or 4 or 8 front teeth, and those large pieces do tend to come out partially undigested...
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:12 AM
 
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Interesting topic. No help from me--my younger child (22mos) has most of his teeth, just two 2yr molars remain to come in, and recently I saw a very pumpkin-seedy diaper. It was depressing because he enjoyed the heck out of eating the pumpkin seeds, but I don't think he got a lot of nutrition from them. FWIW, if I give him whole beans, I usually see a diaper a day later that looks very beany. I think my solution, right now, will be grinding the pumpkin seeds and making/using refried beans more than whole. My daughter seemed similar, and I have no idea when she outgrew it, but now, at age 4, her poop doesn't have this sort of variation.
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:19 AM
 
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I say it's normal - my 18mo likes to swallow things without chewing and I think they then pass through too quickly to be really digested. Beans are one of those things (like corn) that I think you always see a bit of.

Christi

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Old 02-28-2008, 03:23 AM
 
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I say normal - I have seen corn, kidney beans, carrots cubes, you name it. Of course my DH often comments on nights we have corn that tomorrow will be a "corn poop" day....
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:26 PM
 
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When we feed DS beans, I usually cut them each in 1/2. I read that the skins are hard to digest and if I cut them in 1/2 he seems to more easily be able to squish out the insides and get some nutrition from them. I think this is normal though as long as it's not all the time etc.
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:12 PM
 
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this used to really concern me but i started asking all the mamas around and most everyone i talked to had a similar experience . my ds doesn't like to chew his food! we're working on it, i remind him every time he eats and gnash my teeth.
pretty much i still mash a lot of stuff... beans esp. i squish with a fork before i serve it up.
though he loves raisins so...they reincarnate through his system back to sorry looking grapes almost always.
seeds in general..even for adults are often passed whole.
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:12 PM
 
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Weird. I guess my kids just chewed better than others. I never had that problem with my kids, which is why I immediately assumed allergies.

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Old 02-29-2008, 02:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of the replies! I'll see if I can answer some of the many questions.

She is still nursing, but I've been working more lately, so she eats more during the day. We'll have a holiday from this soon, though, so she can nurse exclusively if she wants to.

I have wondered whether mashing foods really increases the digestion or just keeps us from being able to tell that they aren't being digested.

Her poops are usually soft. Rarely diarrhea - she was sick recently with vomiting and lots of very loose yellow poops, but now she's back to mostly soft things. She's always had some hunks of food mixed in, like carrot pieces and things - but it's usually more soft "poop" with food and not almost all food. But the other day, the poop literally looked like we had just opened a can of beans and dumped it in her diaper.

She doesn't have molars yet and is just learning to try to chew. Good point!

I suppose we will just continue to watch and mash things up for her until she begins to chew more regularly. I still do worry about what the first replier said, though, cause we have had a lot of dietary indiscretion since we've been traveling. We try to have healthy things for her to eat, but sometimes we don't or she just really wants some of whatever we're eating. So allergies are definitely a concern.

I appreciate all of the sharing!
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Old 02-29-2008, 02:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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still learning how to work these things...
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Old 02-29-2008, 02:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
It sounds like, for whatever reason, your baby isn't ready to digest many of the foods she's eaten. This is nature's built-in way to make sure kids don't fill up on too many solids before they're ready, reducing the quantity of breastmilk in the diet. If she's no longer nursing, I'd be a lot more concerned about her nutritional intake.

It's important to remember that this is a 14mo, not a 1.5yo- both of whom could be classified as "toddlers" but who's maturity levels are far different.

Also, as for the "stool that was all beans"- did you actually squish the "undigested" beans to see if they were actually undigested, rather than whole bean skins filled with feces? She might have simply not chewed up the bean skins very well, rather than actually not digested the beans at all.

And how frequent are her stools? A "whole stool filled with undigested food" is a big deal if she poops once every 3 days- but if she poops several times a day, and one of those stools looked "abnormal" while the others were normal, then it's far less concerning.
Thanks. This makes sense. She often has several poops a day. Every now and then she'll go a day without any. But, for the most part, they are more poop-like with food in them (but often same size pieces as what we gave her). The bean one was an extreme.

I feel better when applying your logic to the situation!
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:16 AM
 
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I have wondered whether mashing foods really increases the digestion or just keeps us from being able to tell that they aren't being digested.
Personally I think we just can't tell...

-Angela
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Personally I think we just can't tell...

-Angela
Good point. Short of doing some sort of extensive stool analyses and comparison of what goes in and what comes out .

Not wanting to go there, I think my worrying will stop with the wonderful logical wisdom offered by all of you mamas! Looking at the whole picture...
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