Baby Poop Looks Like Cottage Cheese: A Parent’s Guide

Breast Milk Poop Doesn’t Look Like Regular Adult Human Poop!

Does your baby’s poop look like cottage cheese? Don’t freak out, it is quite normal for an infant’s poop to look seedy, cheesy, chunky, or like cottage cheese.

Cottage cheese poop is just one of the joys…

Oh, the joys of parenthood. People don’t tell you at your baby shower how much time you’ll spend talking about poop. You’ll analyze poop. Compare poop. And notice that sometimes baby poop looks like cottage cheese.

Let me tell you more about my cottage cheese baby poop experience…

It was a great day to get out, especially after a long winter. We hit the local trail with our toddler toddling along and our baby in her backpack. Then, it happened. The squish. You know it. Our boy pounced through a fresh pile of dog poo. We scraped his shoe bottoms with sticks and pushed on, doing our best to ignore the smell that followed us down the trail. It became a new game of discovery, dodging turds and trying to identify who or what left them. The scatology of the walk was a learning experience, finding out that bunnies, deer, and dogs all had been there before us. But that smell …

Back at the car we removed the soiled shoes and found a new smell. Our daughter had let loose a poop of her own. The smell wasn’t too bad, but the color and curds made for an interesting sight. It brought me back to the bowl of cottage cheese and fruit I had earlier that morning.

Baby poop in all its forms

I admit it: I study everything when it comes to what my kids eat and pass through their bodies. And seeing those yellow curds brought out my worries. Was it normal? Was she sick? Since this was our second child I thought I would be beyond this by now. So, I resigned myself to the fact that I would never stop worrying.

But here’s the thing: poop is an indicator of everything that goes in our baby’s mouths and what their little bodies are experiencing at that moment. Color, consistency, and odor. They are all tell-tale signs of what she ate and how her body is processing those foods. I called the pediatrician just to be safe. Fever? No. Vomiting? No. Constipation? Definitely not. After a few minutes on the phone, I felt safe to reassure myself that all was well in her belly.

Those curds were normal, as she was breastfed. Our son was not breastfed, so this was a whole new discovery in parenting. Her stool was soft and curdled, almost delicate. Our formula-fed son, at the same age, had thick poops that were more like pudding. And darker. I can’t tell you that the smell was much different, only that they both smelled like, well, poop. However, I will take baby poop over toddler poop any day when it comes to the smell.

Those curds in her diaper were normal and healthy. The smell was undeniable but dainty, in the way that only baby poop can be.

Just like on our walk earlier that day, I came to acquaint myself with all the shapes, sizes, and smells of the poops made by our baby girl. Except these poops weren’t underfoot, instead they were right there in her diaper for our examination. I’ve come to recognize now that the poop is always changing, along with her diet and my own.

Decoding Baby Poop

If your baby’s poop has you worried, take everything into consideration before worrying yourself over it. Okay, you are going to worry. I can’t stop you. But before it goes too far, always consider what your baby has eaten that day. Is she formula or breastfed? Is she starting on solids? These are all indicators that will let you know if the poop is indeed normal.

For breastfed babies, those cottage cheese curdles are perfectly normal. The color can be a light to mustardy yellow and seedy-flecks are common. Also remember to take into account what you ate. This will impact the consistency and color, too. Have you had a recent diet change? Remember to note that when you examine her poop. For babies on formula, the poop will be thicker and darker. It will probably resemble a dark yellow to light brown, but the variations will be there depending upon brand of formula and other factors.

As your baby grows, the poop will change. That soft, mushy mess in the diaper will thicken and darken with the introduction of solid foods. Enjoy those curds for now.

No matter the age, your baby’s poop should never roll out of the diaper. It’s a sign of constipation. We take constipation matter-of-factly in our own lives. But for our little ones, it’s beyond uncomfortable. It’s painful. Consider checking to see that she’s receiving enough feedings to stay hydrated. This will literally keep things moving.

Changes in your baby’s poop

There are signs to look for in poop that indicate issues. Light yellow to brown is perfectly fine in those cottage cheese curds in her diaper. But if you notice white or black stools, these could indicate a problem, either with low bile production or digested blood. Tell-tale streaks of red are likely to be an indicator of bleeding in the lower digestive tract.  

More common things to watch out for are dramatic changes in color or consistency. For example, take note of this especially after introducing new foods. It could indicate a food allergy or intolerance. As a parent of children with food allergies, I think of this often. I wonder if our pediatrician would have diagnosed food allergies sooner if we had explored these small details further. Instead, we thought it was colic or indigestion. If there is no fever or sign of infection, then be on the lookout here as food allergies are sadly becoming all too common.

As a parent, don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician with any concerns. They’re used to the calls, and sometimes you just need that professional reassurance that all is indeed well.

We’re walking again today. The trail is sunlit and rolling out before us. We’re taking in all the sights and wonders, and exploring each new poop we fumble across. Some are different, as the bunnies are munching on grass instead of winter roughage. And our baby girl just passed her own cottage cheese poop with a smile. At least that is something I don’t need to worry about.

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