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Baby Stool, Blood: When Should Parents Worry?

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Updated April 10, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Baby stool blood

Check the baby stool, blood may appear differently based on cause.

Anita Patterson
Question: Baby Stool, Blood: When Should Parents Worry?
I noticed today that in my son's baby stool, blood was mixed in. It wasn't a significant amount, should I be concerned? What may have caused blood to be in the baby poop?
Answer:

Before you assume what you saw was blood, do think about what foods your baby may have eaten recently. Foods can certainly cause stools to take on every shade of the rainbow. In the days ahead, you definitely want to monitor his baby stool. Blood that appears in baby poop can have several causes. Some of those causes are not all that alarming, others may require medical attention.

Baby Stool, Blood and Effects on Appearance

You want to note if the blood is mixed throughout the poop, appears only in one isolated spot, or looks like a red streak or stripe. How the blood appears in the baby stool may help indicate the source of the problem. A streak may indicate that there is a tiny tear in the anal tissue, whereas blood sort of marbled throughout the stool may indicate an different kind of problem. If the blood continues to appear in the stool, call your doctor and describe what it is that you are seeing.

Causes of Blood in Baby Poop

Here are just a few reasons why your baby may have blood in his stool:

Treating Blood in Baby Stool

In most instances, the issue is likely the small tear, possibly caused by a particularly explosive poop that you may have noted or by a very hard stool. If this is the case, the blood will likely appear as a spot or a long streak in the stool. These generally heal quickly, but your doctor may suggest lubricating your baby's rectum with a glycerin suppository.

If your baby's issue is not an anal tear, your doctor will be able to advise appropriate treatment once a diagnosis is made. Keep in mind that just a little bit of blood in the stool of a healthy baby can be normal. If your baby is showing signs of sickness such as fever, diarrhea, or abdominal pain, seek medical attention.

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