When Your Baby Eats Their Own Poo (And Other Stuff They Don’t Tell You in the Books)

Did you see the horrific photo of the back seat poo-eating baby? Spectacularly gross, isn’t it? And I admit, it made me cocky.

Seven years of parenting, three kids and no child of ours has ever tried to eat their own poo, I said to my husband.

That lucky streak ended spectacularly this week in a motel room in Dubbo (now known as the home of Western Plains Zoo AND the place our baby ate a butt nugget.)

There are certain parenting rites of passage that’ll burn their way onto your retinas. Glancing over and seeing your nine-month-old, face smeared with their own faeces, merrily going in for another bite, is one of them.

When Your Baby Eats Their Own PooWhen your baby eats their own poo

It’s a scene that plays out in homes all over the country. Child has a poo. Parent changes nappy and decides on some nappy free time. Both parties are happy. That happiness hinges on the fact that there is no more poo to be had. Because if you’re wrong? Well, you’ve got a nappy-less baby on the loose with the potential to go rogue.

And when we say ‘go rogue’, we mean ‘follow through on a fart, poo all over the rug and then proceed to eat said poo by the handful’. There’s no sugar coating that.

I know because it happened to me. I was the mother thinking (then saying out loud), “But what is she eating? We don’t have any Mars Bars?” followed swiftly by; “Oh MY GOD that’s not a Mars Bar!”

There was the spectacular high of realising I’d reached a new parenting level before the crushing low of accepting that level meant that yes, my child was eating their own poo. The joy of sharing the experience first-hand with my husband instead of sending him a text message after the fact reading; “So today was fun (poo emoji, baby emoji, crying emoji, vomit emoji.)”

My older children were also there to witness the event. They will now think twice about having their own babies till they’re at least in their mid thirties, so that’s a bonus.

When Your Baby Eats Their Own Poo

The stuff they don’t tell you in the baby books

Thankfully, the poo eater in question does not seem to have suffered any ill effects from their afternoon snack. It’s taken a few stiff drinks for my husband and I to say the same. I still vomit a little in my mouth when I glance at the scene of the crime. Because really, there is NOTHING that can prepare you for your precious bundle eating poo. They don’t tell you that in the baby books. There is no chapter alongside ‘teething remedies’ entitled ‘how to handle a poo eating incident and related topics’. Maybe there should be, because it’s just one example of the unexpected parenting moments I’ve experienced over the years.

Of course, once I semi-recovered from the shock of my kid’s shit snack, I realised it could have been worse. MUCH worse. Like what this dad had to deal with.

child paints poo everywhere
Image source: Parenthood the Struggle

There are (plenty) more revolting parenting moments. Here are some of the most unexpected AND memorable.

  1. The first time your baby eats their own snot.
  2. Realising that your child (literally) does not give a shit that they’re sitting in their own, well, shit.
  3. The infamous ‘bath poo’. Nothing can prepare you for your first ‘code brown’. But it’s a pretty good preparation for swimming lessons.
  4. Just how little you care about wee. BC (before children) the thought of throwing a bath towel over a urine soaked spot in the bed would have repulsed me. Now it just makes sense.
  5. How inadequate nappies often seem to be in containing liquid.
  6. How that inadequacy always strikes during a car ride.
  7. The fact that your child can be the most infuriating, repulsive creature alive one minute and then, with a single smile, becomes the greatest thing you’ve ever laid eyes on in YOUR LIFE. It’s witchcraft.

Need some more reassurance that you’re not the only parent out there who is sometimes shocked by what parenting has to throw at you? Check out our post on the stupid sh*t I used to say before I had kids

Avatar of Naomi Foxall

Naomi is 3/4 latte drinking, peanut butter obsessed former magazine girl who now does stuff with words for a living while juggling 2.5 kids, 2 cats, 1 rabbit, husband and an unhealthy obsession with slow cooking.

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