Baby Poop Smells Like Vinegar: What It Means

As a parent, one of the most important jobs is to ensure that your baby is healthy and happy. A part of this is taking notice of their bowel movements, which can give clues to their overall health. If you notice that your baby poop smells like vinegar, it’s normal to be concerned.

Why does my baby’s poop smell like vinegar? One possible explanation for the vinegar-like odor of your baby’s poop is an issue with their digestive system. Infants have delicate digestive systems that are still developing, so issues like acid reflux or lactose intolerance can cause changes in their bowel movements and result in unusual smells.

Another potential cause of the vinegar scent could be dehydration. When babies aren’t getting enough fluids, their urine becomes concentrated and strong-smelling, which can affect the odor of their poop as well. If your baby’s diaper hasn’t been particularly wet lately, try offering them more breast milk or formula to see if that improves the situation.

Baby Poop Smells Like Vinegar – 9 Possible Causes

There are few things in life as alarming for new parents as discovering that their baby’s poop smells like vinegar. It can be concerning and confusing, leaving many wondering what could be causing this unusual smell.

While it’s not uncommon for babies to have strange-smelling bowel movements, the smell of vinegar is something that should be taken seriously. Sometimes Toddler’s Poop Smells Like Mothballs and you don’t know what to do and why it happened.

Nutrient Malabsorption

Nutrient malabsorption is a common issue that many people face, particularly infants. One of the telltale signs of malabsorption in babies is when their poop smells like vinegar. This can be concerning for parents, but it’s important to understand what may be causing this issue.

Gut Microflora Imbalance

Gut microflora imbalance is a common issue that affects people of all ages, including babies. One sign that your baby may be experiencing gut microflora imbalance is if their poop smells like vinegar. This can be concerning for parents, but there are several possible causes for this smell.

One potential cause is an overgrowth of certain bacteria in the gut, such as lactobacillus or acetic acid-producing bacteria. These bacteria produce acidic compounds that can give off a vinegar-like odor.


Some medications can alter the way your baby’s body processes food, leading to changes in their digestive system and stool. Antibiotics, for example, are known to disrupt the balance of good bacteria in the gut which can cause diarrhea and changes in stool odor.

Similarly, iron supplements can also lead to changes in poop smell due to increased iron levels causing constipation or darkening of stools.

If your baby has been prescribed any medication recently and you notice a change in their poop smell, it’s best to consult with their healthcare provider about potential side effects or alternative options.


Allergies are a common occurrence, and they can manifest in various ways. One strange symptom that many parents may notice is baby poop that smells like vinegar. This odor can be concerning for caregivers, but it may not always be a cause for alarm.

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It causes inflammation and irritation in the digestive tract, leading to painful symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, and malnutrition.

Although there is no known cure for Crohn’s disease, treatment options are available to help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

One common symptom experienced by individuals with Crohn’s disease is a change in bowel habits. Bowel movements may become more frequent or urgent, and stool consistency may vary from loose to watery.

One unusual change that some people with Crohn’s disease experience is a strong vinegar-like smell in their baby’s poop. This can be alarming for parents who may not understand the connection between their own health condition and their baby’s bowel movements.

Food Sensitivity

Food sensitivities occur when your body has difficulty digesting certain types of foods. This can lead to a variety of symptoms, including bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation.

If you suspect that your baby may have food sensitivity, there are steps you can take to help alleviate their discomfort. One approach is to eliminate common allergens from their diets such as dairy products, gluten-containing grains, soy products, and nuts. It’s also important to introduce new foods slowly and monitor their reaction over time.

Furthermore, keeping track of the ingredients in your baby’s meals can be helpful for identifying potential triggers for their food sensitivity symptoms.

Sudden Diet Change

If you’ve noticed a sudden change in your baby’s poop smell, it could be due to their diet. In particular, if your baby’s poop smells like vinegar, this could be a sign that they are not getting enough breast milk or formula.

This is because when the body doesn’t receive enough nutrients through food intake, it breaks down fats in the body for energy production. One of the byproducts of this process is acetic acid, which has a distinctive vinegar-like smell.

Another reason why your baby’s poop may smell like vinegar is due to an abrupt change in their diet. If you recently switched from breastfeeding to formula or changed the type of formula you’re using, your baby’s digestive system may need time to adjust.

Rotavirus or Other Illness

When faced with a smelly diaper that smells like vinegar, it’s easy to worry about whether your little one has contracted rotavirus or another illness. Rotavirus is a highly contagious virus that can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting in babies and young children. However, there are other illnesses and conditions that can also cause foul-smelling baby poop.

If your baby’s poop smells like vinegar, it could be due to a variety of factors. One possible explanation is an overgrowth of bacteria in their digestive system.

Another potential cause could be an intolerance or allergy to certain foods, such as dairy products or gluten. It’s important to monitor your baby’s symptoms closely and speak with their pediatrician if you suspect they may have an underlying health issue.


Teething is a crucial milestone for every baby, and it can be an exciting yet stressful time for parents. One of the common symptoms that babies experience during teething is excessive drooling, which may lead to skin irritation around their mouth and chin.

However, what many parents do not know is that teething can also cause changes in their baby’s poop.

If you notice that your baby’s poop smells like vinegar, it could be a sign of teething. This happens because when babies are teething, they tend to put everything in their mouths, including their hands and toys.

As a result, they ingest more saliva than usual, which increases the acidity levels in their digestive system.

Baby Poop Smells Like Vinegar

Normal Breastfed Baby Poop

The poop of a breastfed baby is typically yellow, seedy, and has a soft, mushy consistency. This is because breast milk is easily digestible and provides the baby with everything they need, so their poop reflects that. It might also have a slightly sweet or sour smell but should not be overly foul-smelling.

Normal Poop for Formula-Fed Babies

Formula-fed babies tend to have bigger, more solid poops than breastfed babies. Their poop is usually yellow or brown in color and has a thicker, pasty consistency. This is because formula milk is not as easily digestible as breast milk, so it takes longer to pass through the baby’s digestive system. Sometimes babies drink old formula which causes health issues.

The poop of formula-fed babies might also have a stronger odor compared to breastfed babies, which is normal due to the difference in the composition of breast milk and formula. You have to take care of how many scoops you are adding while making the formula milk.

However, if the odor becomes extremely foul or the baby’s poop has a drastically different color or consistency, it’s essential to consult your pediatrician or healthcare provider to ensure your baby’s health and well-being. Check out When Should a Son Stop Sleeping With Mom?

When To Be Concerned About Your Baby’s Poop

It’s essential to keep an eye on your baby’s poop, as it can be an indicator of their health. While some variations in color and consistency are normal, there are certain signs that might warrant concern and a consultation with your pediatrician or healthcare provider.

Here are some instances when you should be concerned about your baby’s poop:

  1. Consistency: Watery or explosive diarrhea can indicate an infection, intolerance, or illness. Conversely, hard, pebble-like stools may signal constipation.
  2. Color: Certain colors like black (after the meconium stage), bright red, or white/clay-colored poop could indicate potential health issues.
  3. Frequency: If your baby is not pooping as often as it should be, this could be a sign of constipation or other digestive issues. On the other hand, very frequent bowel movements might also indicate a problem.
  4. Blood or mucus: The presence of blood or mucus in your baby’s poop can be a sign of infection, allergy, or injury to the digestive tract. Sometimes toddlers start throwing mucus because of different causes.
  5. Foul smell: While it’s normal for baby poop to have a certain odor, a sudden and extremely foul smell might indicate a problem.
  6. General distress: If your baby is consistently fussy, crying, or appears to be in pain during or after bowel movements, this could be a sign of a digestive issue or other health concern. Learn about Understanding Encopresis: Child Pooping in Pants for Attention

Related Questions:

Why Is My Baby Pooping So Much?

It is normal for a baby to poop multiple times a day, so if your baby is pooping frequently it is likely nothing to worry about. The frequency of a baby’s bowel movements can vary depending on their age and diet. A newborn may have as many as 5-10 bowel movements per day while an older baby may only have 1-3. Breastfed babies tend to have more frequent and looser stools than formula-fed babies.

If the frequency of your baby’s poops increases suddenly or the consistency of their stools changes drastically, it could be a sign that something else is going on. In this case, it would be best to speak with your pediatrician about any concerns you may have. They will be able to assess the situation and recommend any necessary action.
Overall, if your baby is pooping regularly it is likely nothing to worry about.

How Often Should a 1-Month-Old Poop?

Generally, a 1-month-old baby should be pooping several times a day. It is normal for newborns to have anywhere from 1 to 10 bowel movements per day, and this can vary widely depending on the individual infant. Some babies may have more frequent bowel movements while others may go days between poops.

The consistency of a 1-month-old’s poop will change over time as the baby starts to eat solid foods. At this age, their poop should be yellow or brown and soft or pasty in consistency. If you notice any changes in color, texture, or frequency of your baby’s bowel movements, it is best to consult your pediatrician for advice.

It is important to keep an eye on your baby’s pooping habits so that you can identify any issues early on.


Baby poop smells like vinegar is a strange but common occurrence. Knowing the potential causes and when to worry, however, can help parents keep their little ones healthy and happy.

If your baby’s poop consistently smells sour or acidic, it’s best to speak with your pediatrician. They will be able to provide further guidance and advice on how to proceed. As always, paying attention to your baby’s health and well-being is key to keeping them safe and happy. Read Great Show-and-Tell Ideas for Kids.

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