It’s alarming when changing your infant’s diaper you see specks or drops of blood in the stools.

Cancer might be the first thought that pops into your head when you spot what appears to be blood in your baby’s poops.

“Specks of blood in a baby’s stool most commonly are the result of constipation with an anal tear or irritation around the anus (such as with a diaper rash),” says Dr. Lisa Lewis, MD, a board certified pediatrician in Fort Worth, Texas, and author of “Feed the Baby Hummus, Pediatrician-Backed Secrets from Cultures Around the World.”

Other Causes of Blood in a Baby’s Poop

Dr. Lewis explains, “Other causes of specks of blood in baby poop include dairy intolerance, bacterial infection and a condition called intussusception.

“Intussusception is not common, but is truly a surgical emergency.

“If a child has specks of blood in the poop and looks normal, the doctor can be notified within 24 hours to evaluate.

“If a baby with blood specks in the stool is ill appearing, feverish or has large amounts of blood in the stool, the parents should proceed promptly to the emergency department.”


If there’s what looks like reddish jelly in the stool, this is suspicious for intussusception.

This condition is when a portion of the baby’s intestine slides into a nearby part.

This is a life-threatening condition. Though intussusception is rare, parents should always take note of stool appearance when changing a diaper – no matter how “gross” it is.

The good news is that you need not worry about cancer as a possible cause of blood specks in your baby’s poops.

This symptom in adults is commonly caused by hemorrhoids, but as far as serious disease, the likely culprits include a peptic ulcer and colon tumor.

Having 25+ years’ experience, Dr. Lewis completed her pediatrics residency at Texas A&M University Health Science Center, Scott and White Memorial Hospital. For two years afterward she was assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at Texas A&M University Health Science Center.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.