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Baby has blood in stool

baby has blood in stool

Should I worry about the blood I found in my 1 month old’s diaper yesterday? She had this bloody diaper yesterday and two normal diapers since. She is not fussy and growing well.

Not yet. Fortunately, this is a small amount of blood - more "blood streaked" than really bloody. A single blood streaked stool in a healthy, well grown baby is common. If this remains an isolated event simply continue to monitor the situation. If the bloody stools continue or worse call your doctor.

The two most common causes of bright red blood in a one month old’s stool are rectal fissures (tears) and milk intolerance.

Rectal Fissure - After the first 2 weeks of life, rectal fissures are the most common cause of bloody stools. Rectal fissures are anal tears caused large, forceful or hard stools. They usually cause small amounts of bright red blood in a baby’s stool. Given time (and soft stools) they self resolve.

Milk intolerance - Milk intolerance is usually milk protein allergy. This can happen in both formula and breast fed infants. With formula fed children the most effective switch is to an elemental formula like Alimentum or Nutramingen. In breast fed babies with milk protein intolerance the mother must stop eating milk products.

In the early stages of breast feeding, cracked/sore maternal nipples are often the source of bloody stools. Typically, this blood is darker and not “bright red” as it was exposed to the acidic environment of the stomach.

Other rarer causes of bloody stools in babies:

Infections - Infections such as salmonella and shigella can cause bloody stools. These pathogens could be acquired from poor care giver hand washing. In 14 years of pediatrics, I have seen one 2 month old with bloody stools and fussiness that was caused by Salmonella.

Medications - This year, I had an infant with bloody stools secondary to her vitamin D supplement. Her symptoms resolved when the medication was stopped and the blood resumed when the medication was re-tried.

Intussusception is a rare cause of bloody stools seen in fussy, sick babies. Intussusception is an intestinal obstruction cause by an individuals intestines telescoping into itself. There is usually a large amount of dark “current jelly” stools seen.


Written May 2013 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician






gregorygordonmd.com is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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