One challenge that can leave parents puzzled and concerned is when their baby cries while pooping. In this article, we'll explore the reasons why babies cry while pooping and offer some insights into how you can help your little one find comfort.
Reasons why your baby may cry while pooping
Babies communicate through crying, and when it comes to crying during bowel movements, there are several potential reasons:
Constipation is when babies have difficulty pooping. Constipation can be common for babies to experience, especially if your baby is new to solid foods. Some formulas, like Enfamil® Reguline® are designed to ease occasional constipation and may also help your little one.
Dehydration is when your baby is losing more fluids than taking in, and may be contributing to constipation, which may be the reason babies cry while pooping. If you suspect your baby is dehydrated, you should let your doctor know immediately.
Some babies may have an intolerance to certain formula types. If you suspect formula intolerance as the cause of your baby's distress during bowel movements, consult your pediatrician for guidance about switching formulas.
Infant dyschezia is a functional gastrointestinal condition where babies strain and cry 10-20 minutes before successful or unsuccessful attempts for bowel movements, often because they are learning how to coordinate their muscles for the task rather than struggling with normal bowel movements. The good news is that infant dyschezia is usually brief and will resolve on its own.
An anal fissure, a small tear in the skin near the anus, can cause pain and discomfort during bowel movements, leading to crying. If you notice your baby has any tears, cuts, or injuries in or around the anus, be sure to let your doctor know so that they can advise you on how to address it.
Colic is a catch-all term for excessive crying in otherwise healthy infants. While it's not directly related to bowel movements, it can be a source of distress for both babies and parents.
Baby is getting used to the sensation of pooping
In some cases, babies cry during bowel movements simply because they are getting used to the sensation of pooping, and they may become used to it over time.
When to see a pediatrician
While some degree of crying during bowel movements can be normal, there are instances when you should consult your doctor. If your baby's crying is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other concerning indicators, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice.
Tips for helping baby to stop crying while pooping
If your baby is experiencing discomfort during bowel movements, there are some strategies you can try to ease their distress:
Gently massage baby’s belly
Gentle massaging of your baby's belly can help ease discomfort and encourage bowel movements.
Include high fiber foods in baby’s diet (if they have started solids)
If your baby has started solids, incorporating high-fiber foods such as pureed fruits or vegetables into their diet can promote regular bowel movements.
If breastfeeding, change your diet
For breastfed babies, some mothers find that adjusting their diet can help reduce your baby's discomfort. Consult with a healthcare professional before making significant dietary changes.
Try a warm compress on baby’s belly
A warm compress applied to your baby's belly can relax their muscles and help provide relief during bowel movements.
Put baby in a frog leg position
Placing your baby in a frog leg (squatting) position may make bowel movements more comfortable for them.
Explore Enfamil Family Beginnings
For more parenting tips, advice, and support, consider exploring Enfamil Family Beginnings®. We provide valuable resources to help parents navigate the challenges and joys of parenthood. From free formula samples to rebates and rewards, Enfamil Family Beginnings is a no-cost-to-join program with no membership fees. Just come as you are and enjoy all the perks!