Health & Safety Kids

Why Do Newborn’s Farts Smell Like Rotten Eggs? (And What To Do)

If you are a new parent you may be surprised to learn that while your little one may certainly look angelic, the smell of their farts and poop is anything but!

It’s normal for babies to fart multiple times per day, and a lot of this gas may not actually smell, because they are caused by swallowing too much (for example during feeds or when crying).

However, there are occasions when a newborn’s fart smell pretty bad, and at these times the only way to describe the odor is to liken it to rotten eggs.

So let’s take a look at why your baby’s fart’s may smell bad like a rotten egg, and what you can do about it.

Why Do Newborn’s Farts Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

1. Mom’s Diet

If your baby is breastfed, then the reason for their bad smelling farts may be down to what mom is eating.

Certain foods, like broccoli, eggs, cauliflower and beans can all contain fiber, starch and sulphur.

These compounds can all naturally produce more and smellier gas in our digestive system.

Given that what you eat is transferred to your baby through breast milk, it may be your diet which is indirectly causing the rotten egg smell in your baby’s farts (we’ll cover what you can do about this shortly).

2. Difficulty Digesting Milk

Both formula and breast milk contain lactose.

If you’re wondering what exactly lactose is, it’s the sugar that is found in milk, and breast milk contains around 7% of the stuff.

Lactose is important to a baby’s health because it helps your little one absorb calcium and supports the growth of good bacteria in their intestinal tract.

At this stage it’s worth point out that genuine lactose intolerance is actually quite rare in babies, and the AAP states that is doesn’t usually develop until a child is over 3 years of age.

Rather than an intolerance, the issue your baby may be facing is their young digestive system.

A newborn’s digestive system is still developing, so for that reason it may not be able to easily digest the proteins, fats and carbohydrates in milk until it develops a bit more.

So until your child’s digestive system has developed further, their gas may smell bad and their farts may smell like sulphur or rotten eggs.

3. The Food They Are Eating

If your baby is a little older and has moved on to solids, then the food they are eating may be causing them to have foul smelling farts.

As mentioned, certain foods like child friendly vegetables and meat (which babies can safely eat several times per week) are high in fiber, starch and sulphur, and these may therefore be causing your baby’s gas to be smelly.

Again, the issue may be down to the fact that your little one has a developing digestive system, which may be making it more difficult to fully and easily digest the proteins, fats and carbohydrates in their food.

The Reason Why Breastfed Baby Farts Smell Bad?

Are you wondering what causes smelly gas in breastfed babies?

If your breastfed baby’s gas smells like eggs that have gone off, then it’s likely to be caused by either mom’s diet or your child’s inability to fully digest lactose.

So if you are eating sulphur rich foods like eggs, beef, chickpeas, beans and broccoli, then these may be causing your little one’s farts to have a bad odor.

Tips To Avoid Baby Gas Smelling Like Rotten Eggs?

Now we’ve covered why a baby’s farts smell bad, let’s take a look at what you can do about it and what could help solve the issue.

1. Consider reducing the amount of sulphur rich foods that you eat. Some popular culprits that may be causing bad smelling gas are green leaves, eggs, meat, broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, onions and garlic.

2. If you eat a lot of dairy, you may want to experiment by cutting out sources of diary from your diet, and seeing if this makes a difference.

3. If your baby has moved on to solids, try slowly removing and reintroducing foods that are high in sulphur to see if this makes a difference. Once your baby is over 6 months and 12 months they can start consuming yogurt and milk respectively, so it’s worth testing whether these products are causing their digestive issues.

4. If you’re breastfeeding your baby and think your little one may be experiencing negative effects from the food you are eating, then an elimination diet can help you determine if a food or food group is causing digestive problems. Elimination diets generally work in two ways:

                      • Eliminate all the food groups you want to at the start, and wait for 2-4 weeks to see if your baby improves. Then slowly introduce new types of food one at a time and see what effect it has on your baby (as a tip, most moms like to reintroduce the food they’re missing the most first)!
                      • Eliminate one food group at a time, assess whether your baby’s symptoms have improved, and then re-introduce the food group after 2-4 weeks provided your little one’s digestive issues or smelly farts haven’t improved during the elimination period.

Tori is mama to 3 year old Isabella and co-founder of Rockinbaby. She has a BSc in Psychology, is a certified yoga teacher and is a working mom. In her free time Tori loves cooking delicious foods and baked treats, entertaining and working out. Learn more about Tori here.

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