Why Some Babies’ Poo Smells Like Cupcakes Or Buttered Popcorn

baby in diaper
skynesher: Getty

I had three kids very close together and, for three months, they were all in diapers at the same time. I shit you not, I had dreams I was in a diaper-changing assembly line and if I didn’t get the diapers changed before the buzzer went off, all my kids would get taken away from me. Do you think I might have been overwhelmed?

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Then there was the night after they all had the squirts for 24 hours and we went through a box and a half of diapers, I dreamt I was locked in an outhouse and the shitter was overflowing and leaking on my toes.It wasn’t very far my from reality and I woke up wondering when I’d be out of this butt-truffle business.

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I saw the light at the end of the tunnel when my 3-year-old and 2-year-old potty trained at the same time, which was a whole other story in itself (I’m still recovering and it’s been 13 years), but in the end, it was worth it because we saved a shit ton of money on diapers.

With my assembly line diaper-changing days behind me, I began to notice something: Whenever I’d get my youngest (who was about 3 months old) from his crib and proceed to change his nap time nuggets, I’d open the door to his room and it smelled like a bakery up in there. I’m not kidding. His crappy diapers smelled…pretty good.

At first I started asking myself if I’d baked a cake that day. Did the scent waft up the stairs and get trapped in his room?

But after noticing his room smelled like cake batter, vanilla frosting, or freshly baked pancakes every damn day, and I was pretty sure I didn’t have anything in the oven, I started to think my mind was playing tricks on me. Maybe the only reason I found his sewer serpents smelled pleasant was because I only had one diaper to tend with now, or maybe it was the chronic sleep deprivation playing tricks on me.

But after I went to get him one sunny afternoon when his turds really had time to brew, and I got the craving for buttercream frosting and swore he must have had a sugar cookie candle burning in his room, I began to think I might be losing my damn mind.

Perhaps I love my chubby, shiny baby a little too much, I thought as I reached for the wipes as he smiled at me. Whose shit smells like a damn wedding cake?

One day, my oldest son burst in the room and asked if I was eating cookies in there, and I felt a little more validated. But I still kept the fact that I liked the smell of my child’s bowel movements to myself.

After all, how does one talk about such things? Do you simply ask you mom friends if they enjoy inhaling their child’s turds as much as you do?

One night after my vanilla cake batter squirter went to bed, he woke up a few hours later with a brown trout floating in his diaper and my husband went up to change him. When he came downstairs with the dirty diaper in hand and asked, “Why doesn’t Jack’s poop smell like pancakes,” I jumped up.

I wasn’t losing my damn mind, his poop did smell delicious! 

I could finally let go of my insecurities about liking the smell of my child’s shit and it was glorious. It’s so gratifying when you aren’t the only one who gets a craving for sheet cake after your baby blows mud.

After looking to Google, even though sweet smelling baby poop didn’t pertain to my first two children, I found that it actually is a thing and my child didn’t have magic powers as I’d hoped.

In an article for Momaha, Mara Paradis, M.D. explains if your baby is breastfed, their poop “has a mustard yellow, green or brown color, and often a seedy texture. The stool may be runny enough to resemble diarrhea and may smell sweet, unlike regular bowel-movement odor.”

If you formula feed, you can expect “a color spectrum from yellow to brown shades with a pasty consistency similar to peanut butter. There are typically fewer stools than a breastfed baby, but can come in larger sizes and may have a more foul odor,” says Paradis.

However, sweet smells and peanut butter aren’t the only scents your baby’s bottom can make. Ashley Olen, labor and delivery nurse and childbirth educator tells new moms their babies bowel movements “may resemble buttered popcorn.”

Who knew our babes could mimic the scents of some of our favorite foods? No need to light candles or buy air fresheners any longer, just have the breastfed baby take a crap before those dinner guests come over and they may think you have something delicious baking in the oven, or you are popping popcorn as an appetizer.

Yummers.

Scary Mommy talked to a few other moms who agreed their babies bowels weren’t really that stinky.

Rachel K., mother of two, says, “Both my kids had poops that smelled like buttered popcorn.”

And Heather B. said her child’s poop “smelled sweet and creamy,” and adds, “It wasn’t until we started feeding her solid food when she was one that her poop had an icky smell.”

Jessica K says, “Our first daughter’s poop smelled like vanilla cupcakes (to me!)… My father-in-law thought this was so hilarious, he decided to constantly bring me vanilla cupcakes from the grocery store when he’d visit.”

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If you have been loving the smell of your babies poop and and it actually makes you crave sweets like Grandma used to make as you enter their room to change their loaded diaper, have peace mind knowing you are not alone, and your secret is safe with us.