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How To Fix Your Baby's Poop & Sleep Issue

Updated: Aug 15, 2022

Do you have a 5 am pooper?

Have you ever asked yourself any of the following:

Why is my baby pooping at nighttime?

Why is my baby pooping during their naps?

Why does my baby poop in the early morning?

Then this read is for you!

There are many reasons why babies poop in the night, early morning or right after you put them down at nap time, let's dive into those!

1) Too many night feeds

Many parents tell me that they have to change their baby's diaper at night because either they've soaked through it, or they are pooping themselves (Note: It's normal for a newborn to poop at night!)

If your baby is over 4 months of age, is healthy, and is a good weight as per your doctor, then they typically don't need more than 1, maybe 2 night feeds.

As you can imagine, if your baby is drinking milk multiple times a night, their bladder will get full and their bowels will get stimulated from all the intake.

As we decrease the nighttime intake, we see an improvement in nighttime diaper leaks and poops.

2) Enough floor time/independent playtime

Your baby may need some more floor time and independent play time to give them a chance to have a bowel movement.

Babies often need to wiggle, stretch and crunch their legs to get their bowels moving, so let's make sure they get floor playtime, tummy time, bicycle legs, and maybe even a little alone playtime (with supervision from afar).

3) Eat-play-sleep

What's your daily routine like with feeds and sleeping?

Are you feeding your baby to sleep right before naps?

If so, that may be part of the issue!

By following an eat-play-sleep routine, which is when we feed a baby once they wake up from sleep, have playtime, and when they are tired, are put down for sleep without a feed, we can help avoid the nap time poopers.

The idea here would be that your baby would have a feed, some playtime to get their wiggles, and hopefully a bowel movement before they head off for a nap.

P.s. this is also how we help baby work on independent sleep ;)

4) If your baby is eating solids- let's take a closer look!

I know that in North America it's a thing to have a baby's first solids be rice cereal- which is interesting because it has very little nutritional value-such as fats and proteins- but is rather carb focused.

We also tend to be excited to give our babies fruit purees and add in a few veggies and small amounts of proteins.

Proteins, carbs, and fats- all play a role in the digestive system, and what we give at what time can help with having a bowel movement, or delaying a bowel movement.

Things to try if your baby is pooping in the early morning especially:

  • Swap out what you're giving them for dinner! Let's do breakfast foods for dinner, and dinner foods for breakfast (they don't know the difference!) Dinner foods can often have more fat, which helps to lubricate the digestive system. This can be a trick to help encourage their bowels to move earlier rather than later.

  • Add a banana as a bedtime snack. Bananas are known for their binding properties- which is why they are often suggested when someone had loose stools

  • If your child isn't pooping at other times of the day then let's work on that. Add quality fat into their diet, make sure they are hydrated, and let's add some fruit as well.

5) What about pooping at 5 am? How do I respond?

If your baby is waking up early, and you think they’ve pooped, first, do a sniff test!

It’s possible that they’ve just released gas, so give it a few minutes and see if the air has cleared.

If you think that they have indeed pooped, then you have a couple of options:

  1. If they are really upset, go and change them, and attempt to put them back to bed. If you do a diaper change, make it really quick, and really boring.

  2. If they aren’t that upset- wait a bit before getting them up for the day- some delay in reaction in the morning can help deal with the early morning wake up

One more consideration for early morning poops is- could they be cold?

Our body temperature naturally dips around 4 am, and if your baby feels cold, they may move around to get warm, thus stimulating their bowels (I’m telling you, there’s a lot that goes into this!).

Which of these tips are you going to try?

Hit reply and let me know what worked for you!

Here for you,

Melody Patton

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