What Does It Mean When My 16-Month-Old Baby Is Pooping Green?

Much about a baby's health is reflected in the contents of his diapers, and most parents monitor their child's poop for abnormalities. Though green poop may seem gross or surprising, most babies produce green poop sometimes. Most of the time when a 16-month-old poops green, it is not a cause for concern. If your child appears ill, however, contact your pediatrician.

Baby in a diaper (Image: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc./Blend Images/Getty Images)

Maternal Diet

Many 16-month-olds still nurse. If your baby is still breastfeeding, the most common cause of a green stool is something you ate. Green foods, especially broccoli and foods containing dye, may color your baby's poop. Sensitivities to dairy products may also cause moderate green diarrhea. If you've recently eaten a new food, this may temporarily alter the composition of your breast milk and irritate your baby's stomach. Unless your baby shows signs of discomfort, the stool color should return to normal in a few days.

Baby Diet

Just as the food a breastfeeding mother eats affects her child, so too does the child's own food intake. Green and dyed foods may turn your baby's poop green. Pediatrician William Sears reports that iron-fortified formula may turn a child's poop green. This is especially common among children who have recently switched formula brands.

Illness

Diarrhea and intestinal infections may cause green poop. Most cases of diarrhea clear up on their own, but it's important to ensure that your baby remains hydrated. Give her lots of water and avoid sugary juices and sweetened foods. Respiratory and other infections may also cause green poop, particularly as the infection clears up and the body attempts to eliminate waste.

When to Worry

If your child's poop is full of mucous or blood, if she is soiling more than two diapers every hour or if she continues to have diarrhea for more than a few hours, contact her pediatrician immediately. Your child's doctor may prescribe medication to treat an infection, may make dietary recommendations and, if your child is extremely ill or dehydrated, may hospitalize your child.

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