Sticky stool in the baby

What is sticky bowel movements?

The bowel movements of babies and young children can provide various indications of intolerance or illness. Often times, a lot of information about possible causes can be determined from the consistency of the bowel movements. Sticky stools in babies or toddlers can be recognized by their greasy consistency. For example, if the stool gets stuck on the diaper, this can be an indication of sticky stool. Stool that sticks to the inside of the toilet and is difficult to come off can also be a sign of this. It is important to distinguish whether the bowel movement has changed acutely or whether the consistency has changed for a long time. This also allows conclusions to be drawn as to whether it might be a disease and what the possible causes could be.

Read more on this topic at: Defecation in the baby

Causes of sticky bowel movements

The causes of sticky stools in babies and young children can be very diverse. To find out, it is important to assess whether there are other symptoms such as gas or abdominal pain in the baby. The duration of the symptoms can also be helpful in drawing conclusions about the cause.

In principle, sticky stools in babies and small children can be an indication of impaired fat digestion. The digestive juices of the gallbladder and pancreas are crucial for fat digestion. If their function is restricted by an illness, this can lead to impaired fat digestion and the resulting sticky stools. Related illnesses are rare in babies and young children, but they can occur.

Chronic inflammatory bowel diseases could also be responsible for disturbed fat digestion. These diseases are also relatively rare in babies or early toddlers, but should be clarified if the symptoms persist.

In order to also exclude intolerance to certain foods, such as celiac disease (gluten intolerance), it is important to assess whether the sticky stool occurs in connection with certain foods. If you do without these foods, symptoms should improve. If the symptoms persist despite not eating these foods, other causes or other causes should be looked for.


The diagnosis of the disease can be made in different ways. If it is an intolerance that is responsible for the sticky stool, these foods should be avoided for a while. Symptoms should improve over the time that certain foods are avoided. To confirm an intolerance, blood tests or tissue samples may also be necessary. In order to diagnose gallbladder disease or pancreatic disease, blood tests are usually also required. There, certain laboratory values ​​that would speak for such diseases can then be checked. Imaging techniques can also be used to make a diagnosis. For example, the ultrasound, with which the gall bladder and pancreas can be displayed, is suitable.

These symptoms tell me if my baby is sick

Sticky stool can be recognized by its tough and greasy consistency. This is noticeable, for example, when the stool in the diaper of the baby or toddler, unlike usual, sticks much more strongly. This is also often noticed when the stool sticks to the skin and it is more difficult to clean. Stool that sticks to the inside of the toilet and is difficult to come off can also indicate sticky stools. Since sticky stool usually consists of a lot of fat, small droplets of fat floating on the surface of the toilet water can sometimes be observed.

In addition to the sticky consistency, there are usually bad smells and changes in the color of the stool. These can also be indicative of a disease. In the case of fat digestion disorders, for example, the stool is often referred to as clay-colored. Sticky bowel movements are also often associated with other symptoms. This can be gas, for example. Over time, these can lead to severe abdominal pain or cramps. Diarrhea in babies can sometimes appear as a further symptom in addition to sticky stools. In the course of this, it can lead to painful or itchy areas of skin around the anal area. These painful areas of skin occur as a result of bowel movements, as they can irritate the skin.

Green bowel movements

The color of the stool can often provide information about the possible causes of a disease. A clay-colored to green color can sometimes be observed with sticky stools. This can be another sign of a fat digestion disorder. Because there is more fat in the stool than usual, its color changes. However, green bowel movements alone are not proof of a fat digestion disorder, as there can be many other causes as well.

Read more on the subject at: Green stool in the baby


Sticky stools in babies and toddlers are common with other symptoms, such as gas. Flatulence is an excessive development of gas within the intestinal system. This often manifests itself in the form of abdominal pain or cramps. They are usually an accompanying symptom in babies and toddlers who have sticky stools. Abdominal pain or abdominal cramps occur when very large amounts of gas develop in a short period of time or when these cannot leave the intestinal system. Some foods can cause flatulence, but diseases of the intestinal system can also lead to flatulence.

Read more on the subject at: Flatulence in the baby


Treatment for sticky stool in babies or young children differs depending on the cause of the condition and symptoms.
If the cause is an intolerance to certain foods, it is advisable to avoid these foods first. If the symptoms do not improve afterwards, another cause or other causes should be looked for. If the symptoms are not related to an intolerance but to another disease, the treatment is usually more extensive.

The treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, for example, takes place in several stages. Treatment is carried out through both nutritional therapy and drug therapy. Medicines that are used in treatment, for example, contain anti-inflammatory agents. The spectrum of therapy for gallbladder diseases and pancreatic diseases is very broad, depending on the cause. Surgery as well as drug treatments and nutritional therapies may be necessary. The decision as to which therapy to use should be clarified with a medical professional after extensive diagnostics.

Duration / forecast

If sticky stools occur in babies or small children, these should definitely be medically clarified if symptoms recur. This usually also shortens the duration and prognosis of the disease. If the symptoms are recognized early, they can usually be treated better. If the causes are more harmless and lead to sticky stools, such as an improper diet, the prognosis for the disease is usually quite good as soon as these foods are avoided. If other diseases, such as chronic inflammatory bowel disease, are responsible for the symptoms, then it is usually a significantly longer duration of the disease and a poorer prognosis.

Course of disease

The course of sticky stools in babies and young children can vary greatly depending on the cause. The accompanying symptoms are also decisive for the course. Flatulence and diarrhea, for example, can lead to severe abdominal pain during the course and have a negative effect. If an intolerance is responsible for the sticky stool, the symptoms usually subside quickly as soon as these foods are avoided. The course of the disease is then usually harmless. If more serious illnesses are diagnosed as the cause, the course is usually longer and involves major treatments. This can be positively influenced if therapy is started quickly and the symptoms subside quickly.