Discovering that your baby has sampled coffee grounds can be scary for any parent.
While almost 99.9% of the incidents don’t lead to any issues, coffee grounds are high in caffeine and potentially cause harm to babies if they eat a lot of it.
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If your baby only ate a little, you can calm down. Nothing is going to happen to your LO.
In this post, I’ll go over what you should do if your baby ate coffee grounds. I’ll also talk about the risks and everything else you need to know.
What Happens If A Baby Eats Coffee Grounds?
The issue with coffee grounds is that they contain caffeine, and caffeine can be dangerous for babies. Plus, coffee grounds are very acidic and can irritate a baby’s digestive system.
Also Read: Baby Won’t Drink Nutramigen
If your baby ate a small amount of coffee grounds, it will likely pass through their digestive system without causing much issue.
A small amount like this gets diluted by the milk/formula in the baby’s stomach and shouldn’t irritate the lining.
However, you might still see some mildly stimulant effects as the caffeine absorbs like increased heart rate, jitteriness or trouble sleeping.
However, this small dose should not be dangerous.
If Your Baby Ate A Lot Of Grounds
If a large amount is ingested, it can be more problematic. The coarse texture and abrasive nature of the grounds can irritate and damage the digestive tract lining, especially the mucosa.
This can lead to issues like nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
Furthermore, the high dose of caffeine from the grounds is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, leading to dangerous hyperstimulation like an elevated heart rate and agitation.
If your baby ate A TON of it, the grounds can even obstruct or block part of the intestines. This requires prompt medical treatment.
Read about how much caffeine is bad for a baby here.
The coffee grounds may temporarily turn your baby’s poop black or dark brown as they pass through, but this harmless color change is temporary.
What To Do If My Baby Ate Coffee Grounds?
Here are some tips on what to do next:
- Remain calm. While coffee grounds are not toxic, the caffeine can make babies jittery and irritable.
- Find out how many grounds they may have ingested.
- If they ate a lot, call your pediatrician and describe what happened and how much they ate.
- If not, they’ll be fine – but keep an eye out for signs like increased heart rate, rapid breathing, agitation, trouble sleeping, and diarrhea.
- Call your doctor if any concerning symptoms develop.
- Encourage fluids. Have them drink more breastmilk or formula to help flush out the coffee grounds. Water in a bottle or sippy cup can help too for older babies.
- Irritability is common after ingesting caffeine so try things like rocking, singing, or going for a walk to help soothe them.
- Avoid giving more caffeine.
And most importantly, learn from the incident.
Make sure coffee grounds or any caffeinated drinks stay far out of baby’s reach in the future to prevent situations like this.
Toddler Ate Coffee Beans
The biggest risk of eating coffee beans is that they can be a choking hazard.
The caffeine in one or two coffee beans is typically not enough to cause any issues, but it might make them jittery, irritable, or affect their sleep.
However, coffee beans can cause nausea, stomach pain or diarrhea as they move through the GI tract.
Also Read: Hair In Baby’s Poop
So your baby might have a tummy ache, but that’s all.
If your baby ate coffee grounds – don’t worry. They’ll be fine.
Exploring with their mouth is a natural part of your baby’s development. So take precautions to keep your curious baby from eating coffee grounds again.
You can put the used grounds out of reach, like in a lidded trash can.
And remember, coffee grounds can also be a choking hazard for babies.