Saturday, 30 October 2010

Let's talk about poo!

Poo - before you become parents you can't believe you can or would have whole conversations about the contents of your babies nappy, but you do. A baby's poo tells you a lot about your baby and their health. Pooey nappies was one of the few drawbacks of becoming a parent again. I joked that the baby would be potty trained by six months or not start solids till they were out of nappies! Within a short time after introducing complementary foods the change starts.

The day after having his 'first meal' of avacado he did a huge thick poo. This was a reminder for me of one of the main benefits of not introducing solids too early. Breastmilk only poo is quite sweet in comparison to babies' poos once they are on solids. I can't comment on the sweetness of poos of babies on formula milk but one additional benefit of breastmilk only is that the babies do not need to poo so often as breastmilk contains so very little waste as it is individually prepared just for that baby. Ben was doing a poo just once a week before starting solids.

In fact a woman's body continually changes the make up of the breastmilk in response to the growing baby. It is thought that the 'growth spurt' cluster feeds - where a baby goes out of routine and starts feeding a lot for a day or two - triggers that change, as a signal to the woman's body. Breast milk also becomes more watery in hot weather; it contains less calories at night and more brain building components.

Interestingly (or not) I had noticed that before I had given Ben any solids his poo had started to change and to be more paste like than watery. Perhaps a sign that his digestive system was developing. Now we are here and the poos are changing. Fortunately, being a vegetarian I will not be giving Ben any meat till a year or so, and will thus avoid the very worst, but even so it is surprising how quick baby poo becomes like adult poo. Not fun - but at least with washable nappies it will not be sitting in our bin!

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