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Pediatrics/White Stool in Toddler


Dear Sir or Ma'am,

My daughter is 14 months old and has had white or clay colored stool on and off since her first birthday. It is not 100% of the time; the ratio is about 4 white stools per 1 brown. She was very picky with her eating at 12 months which is what we thought was the problem--she only wanted milk and crackers most of the time--but now her appetite is back and she eats almost everything we give her. We feed her all home cooked stuff--wheat bread, fresh fruit, pasta, jasmine rice (only on occasion), iron rich cereal, oatmeal, grilled chicken, etc. We never fry our food, she never has fast food, and my parents watch her on occasion, but they are vegetarian so she is eating well over there too! She drinks about 3 8oz bottles of milk per day, but we make sure that she has equal amount of water and no more than 1/4 amount of juice daily. She has been screaming lately but I figured that it was a combination of her being a toddler and the fact that she got a new sister two months ago. A couple of other things... she cannot walk yet. She only tries when someone holds her hand (I don't know if this is relevant). AND she keeps banging her back on things! It started around the same time. She hits her back on the car seat, the high chair, the crib :( , and the port o crib. She starts out looking happy and then she balls her fists and starts screaming while still doing it! She doesn't want to sleep/lay down anymore. We have a routine that has not been changed, and as soon as we lay her down she sits back up! My husband checks on her at night and she will still be sitting up as late as 4am. She only has one nap a day anywhere from 1-4 hours long. We wake her at 8am, nap somewhere from 11-2pm and she fights us for that too but not as much. She seems very sleepy she just does not want to lay down! We find her in the morning hunched over like she fell asleep sitting up and her body just slumped over. :( I have taken her to the doctor for all of these things individually, but they don't seem to go away. For the stool, the dr said diet, but that's back to normal so now what? She said not to worry about not walking or banging her back as long as she does not hurt herself (told us to get a crib bumper, we did, but now she hits her head) and that she may have a virus which is why she doesn't want to lay down. I don't want the dr to think I'm a hypochondriac for bringing her in so much, but I'm so worried.

Thank you for your time,


Hi Nathalie,

Relax! There is nothing to worry about.

Stool color is of no practical significance. Just ignore it.

Everyone has a different sleep requirement: We can't alter it. There is nothing to worry if she doesn't sleep much, but is active during the day (and she is sooo active :))

Head/ Back banging is usually an attention seeking behaviour. It will go only after you start ignoring it totally. With more importance from you, it would only worsen.

Temper tantrums are common at this age (and you are right, sibling rivalry can make the matters worse)...They have to be dealt calmly, without reacting yourself and by positive reinforcement (i.e., encouraging good behaviour: liberally praising her whenever she behaves nicely) and distraction.

I would be concerned only if she is not walking till 15-16 months of age.

Best wishes,
Dr. Puneet Kumar,
Kumar Child Clinic, Dwarka,
New Delhi, India



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Dr. Puneet Kumar


I would be happy to answer general queries on prevention and treatment of ailments in newborn, infant, toddler, child or an adolescent. Needless to say, it will not be possible to answer any query that requires diagnosing, since it is not possible to examine a child online.


I have worked in various capacities (medical officer, resident, senior resident, consultant) in public as well as private sector in Pediatrics and Neonatology. Today, I have over 17 years of experience in the field.

Currently, I am running my own clinic (Kumar Child Clinic) in Dwarka, New Delhi and am attached to Lifeline Hospital, Dwarka as consultant pediatrics and neonatology. I am also developing my clinic website into a comprehensive child health/ parenting website (

(a) Chapter "National Immunization Schedule" in Frontiers of Social Pediatrics, Jaypee Publishers: 2nd edition, 2016. (b) Article, "All about Pertussis vaccines" in special issue of Indian Journal of Practical Pediatrics, July-Sept 2015 (c) Three chapters (DTP vaccines, Pneumococcal vaccines and Poliovirus vaccines) in "Textbook of Pediatrics for Post-graduates" First edition: 2015. (c) Chapter: "Alternative delivery methods of vaccines" in IAP textbook of Vaccines, First edition, 2014 (published by IAP/ Jaypee Brothers) (d) Special Article: "50 years of Immunization in India: Progress and Future" in January 2013 issue of Indian Pediatrics (e) Four chapters in "FAQ: Book on Vaccines and Immunization Practices" First edition, 2011 AND 2nd edition, 2015 published by Jaypee Brothers. (f) Three articles in special issue of Journal of Pediatric Sciences on “Controversies and Challenges in Pediatric Vaccination Today" in Sept, 2010. Co-edited the series also. (f) Regular column, “How do I treat” in Pediascene ( (g) Review article, “Role of Anti-Poliovirus Agents in Polio eradication and beyond” in Polio Pulse, April, 2008. (h) Chapter on “Acute Infectious Diarrhea” in Textbook of Infectious Diseases in Children. (An IAP Publication), 2007. 2nd edition in 2011. (i) Book-Review (IAP Pediatric Drug Formulary, 2004) in Pediascene, March 2005 ( ) (j) Case-report on Osteopetrosis. Jharkhand Journal of Pediatrics, Dec-2002.

After MBBS, I have done DNB residency in Pediatrics.

Awards and Honors
Winner of IAP practising pediatrician's quiz in 2001.

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