Oh my goodness, but posts like these are tough to write! I just want to pretend that poop can’t get any grosser. After all, kids just poop everywhere, not that they can help it when they are small. Their diapers, their clothing, their beds, cribs, car seats, the floor, rugs, everywhere.
Just thinking about noodles in the baby’s poop make me want to vomit in my mouth a little bit. Like I can feel the hurl sort of bubbling up. When you open up the diaper, you might not think much of seeing something like noodles in the baby’s diaper.
If you recently fed your baby noodles, then it is possible that your baby is just passing through something she ate without digesting it. Seems unlikely that noodles can go all the way through her body to the diaper intact, but I guess it is possible.
But more likely, if you are seeing noodles in the baby’s diaper, what you are probably seeing are an outbreak of worms.
Unfortunately, kids get worms, just like dogs and cats do. And if you are not careful, your other kids, plus mom and dad can get them to.
What types of worms are common for babies to get?
Pinworms are the most common type of worms you will see in young children. (They are also known as threadworms). Generally, you will see school age children get this sort of infestation, but they can occur in any human of any age. This is especially the case if your children attend a busy daycare, where the kids there also have older brothers or sisters in elementary school.
Pinworms are small, white worms, which look like quarter-long pieces of dental floss. If you look closely, you might even see them moving around, or waving.
There are several other different kinds of worms (such as roundworms). But in general, if you spot something that looks like noodles in the baby’s diaper and there is no reason for noodles to be there, you are probably looking at one of the kinds of worms.
Will the worms hurt my child? Like permanently?
The worms won’t cause any lasting damage, in most cases. Worms are unfortunately (and disgustingly) really common. Once you’ve identified them, they aren’t too difficult to treat.
However, your child may experience some significant discomfort while infested. He may find that his bottom is very itchy, which is generally worse at night (that’s when they are most active), he may feel restless, gassy, bloated, and experience stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting.
In some cases, a sufferer might even lose weight inexplicably.
For babies, they can’t tell you that they are itchy, or really understand what is happening. They may struggle to fall asleep at night, or act more fussy than usual.
How did my child get worms?
Kids get infected with worms by swallowing the eggs somehow.
The worms crawl out of the anus to lay eggs on the outer skin. Kids touch their itchy bottoms, which is how kids are able to get them on their hands and spread them around.
Kids then touch something at school, in a bathroom, or on the playground that has been touched by someone with the eggs on their hands, and then eat something or just put their fingers in their mouth. They might also get them after coming into contact with worm infected dust, toys, clothing, or bedding.
The swallowed eggs pass down into the small intestine, where they hatch and then lay eggs. Kids scratch their bottoms, and then put their fingers in their mouth, and the cycle continues.
If kids touch things around the house without washing their hands, the eggs can easily spread around the house. The same is true if your child crawls into bed with you at night. It is stunningly easy for parents to get infected if they are not careful.
Should I take my child to the doctor?
Yep, I would recommend it. They’ll be able to figure out which type of worms are in there, and get you the right kind of medication to get rid of them quickly.
Most likely everyone in the household will end up needing to receive treatment, to keep the cycle from continuing (like head lice).
Are worms easy to get rid of?
Yes and no. It is pretty easy to treat the worms with a dewormer. But reinfection happens often if you are not super aggressive about cleaning up all of the eggs and making sure that all family members take precautions against reinfection.
In some cases, it is pretty obvious when there is a worm infestation. But in other cases, the carrier of the worms has no idea, has no itchiness, sees no worms, and just goes about his business completely unaware. This type of carrier can continue to spread eggs everywhere he or she goes without even knowing that it is happening.
How can I prevent worms in the future?
Encourage your children to wash their hands before they put anything in their mouths, especially before eating and after spending any time in the bathroom. Have them wash hands first thing when they arrive home from school.
Keep your child’s nails short, as the nails can be used to scratch an infected area, then act as a collection and spreading device, and then eventually but put into someone’s mouth.
If your child has an itchy bottom, investigate the cause. If it doesn’t look like worms, ask him to keep his hands out of his pants to scratch himself, or take steps to alleviate the scratching (such as by wiping better or bathing).
Clean your toilets regularly, especially after visitors from other households use it.
Change and wash underclothing regularly.
Shower or bath daily (morning is a better time to remove eggs).
I don’t like chemical treatments. Is there a natural way to get rid of the worms?
Sure, you can try them, there are several different recipes floating around the internet. I’ve seen various concoctions composed of:
- raw papaya
- pumpkin seeds
- carom seeds
- apple cider vinegar
As for me, if it is my children we are talking about, I probably won’t spend any time trying out carrots and coconuts. If it were just me, maybe. But with kids, they cannot be directed or controlled. The longer we mess around with remedies that aren’t really working, the more they can spread the eggs around and make it harder for us to avoid reinfection.
But to each his own.
It is gross when it looks like noodles in baby poop, but it’s not the end of the world
Once you know what you are dealing with, they are fairly easy to handle. However, I think it is honestly a toss-up as to whether I’d rather deal with worms or head lice.
Frankly, I’d just rather not have to deal with either. Which is why all my kids have shaved heads and shower daily.
Thanks for stopping by!
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Emily Anderson is a mother of three children, ages 8, 6, and 3. Located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, Emily is a full-time mom and part-time blogger, jumping in front of the screen when the kids are occupied. She can be reached through the Contact Us page.