So, without further adieu ...
Up until my daughter turned 18-months-old, diaper changes were mostly easy. We did have a difficult rash situation for a while, but once that cleared up it was smooth sailing. No diarrhea, no constipation, no poop concerns whatsoever. And then, all of a sudden -- bam. Ten days after we stopped breastfeeding she had her first blowout. Sticky, icky and all over the place. We both cried.
I thought it was just a bump in the road, but unfortunately her poop has been sticky and icky ever since. She does not have diarrhea, but it is gross. Diaper changes require many baby wipes and sometimes a bath. I've actually gotten pretty good at quickly changing these yucky diapers. Yay, me!
Anyway, my first thought was that the delicate balance of bacteria in her gut had changed when she stopped receiving breastmilk. I thought it would re-regulate and everything would be back to normal soon. I knew (and still know) that a bug was not to blame -- she has never expressed any discomfort or signs of illness, and there was really no other explanation. I called the doctor, and she concurred. After a couple of weeks, though, it started to get a little annoying. I started asking friends, and some definitely reported similar experiences. Others, though, said the end of breastfeeding triggered no poop changes whatsoever. Hmmmm.
I started looking around for probiotics, thinking she might need a dose or two, but I haven't been able to find one that I'm comfortable with. So, I just upped her intake of fermented foods. She eats plenty of sauerkraut, lots of pickles, as much kefir as I'll allow and even some yogurt now and then. It is not making a difference. These foods are super healthy, so I'm going to continue giving them to her. But still ... I wish they would work their magic!
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I was feeling somewhat desperate. I wanted to see normal poop. I wanted to just flush the poop down the toilet rather than tying the diaper up in a plastic baggie and taking it outside to to the trash can (oh, the things you long for when you are a mom). So ... I offered white rice to my paleo baby. GASP!
First things first ... she was not interested. She took a couple of bites and threw the rest on the floor. I offered it to her the next day and she did the same thing, so it became a non-issue.
I should probably say here that I am personally not a fan of the idea of eating rice and almost cringed at the thought of giving it to my daughter. But my husband eats it, and he feels like it is pretty beneficial to him in terms of keeping his digestion in check. Also, quite a few paleo experts have deemed it a "safe starch" as of late. I'm not sure what that means exactly, and my (admittedly, minimal) research on the topic has failed to satisfy my curiosity or to justify its inclusion in a clean paleo diet. I guess to me, white rice is nothing but a highly-processed grain. It is drastically altered from its natural state and I don't see how it is paleo by any stretch of the imagination. But I was pretty much at the point with the poop situation that I didn't care all that much. White rice is void of nutrients, but I did not see the harm in giving her a small serving just to see. It is not like she is an adult with metabolic and blood sugar issues that could be aggravated by such a starchy and simple carb. Anyway, it was about as close as I was willing to get to the BRAT diet. I draw the line at toast (even though I love toast).
I suppose the point is that I never had the opportunity to find out if rice would help her because she refused to eat it. I am almost a bit relieved, but at the same time I really really want a reprieve from the icky sticky diapers! The biggest commonality I am finding between my daughter and other kids with similar issues is gender. Moms of girls are more often telling me that they had a similar experience, whereas as moms of boys are saying "nope, no poop issues after the conclusion of breastfeeding."
Not that this means a thing ... it is just what I am hearing. Am I worried? No. But I do wish there was something I could do. I am gong through wipes like crazy, and I find myself making sure that I time our outings around her poop schedule (because icky sticky diapers are a lot harder to deal with when you are not at home).
I'll try to report back if I see any changes or find a solution in case anyone else needs this information. Meanwhile, I would love to hear about your experience. Am I alone in this? Is there anything we can do? Also, what your thoughts on the whole white rice is safe starch thing? Am I just going to have to deal with this until she is potty trained? Thanks!!