When do babies stop Pooping at night? It’s not that I don’t mind waking up to deal with a ‘Code Brown’, I’m just erm…asking for a friend…
Having a new-born is exciting, but sacrificing your sleep at night to clean your baby’s poop can be beyond frustrating. Drink, sleep, and poop make up most of the baby’s routine. You make your baby fall asleep by singing numerous lullabies and swinging him in your arms for what seems like an eternity. You have invested in a Beautiful Sleeping aid to ensure they stay asleep, and even weaned them away from needing a Dummy. And just when you are thinking of catching some sleep for yourself, you hear a muffled sound of crying, and guess what? Your baby is awake, and a dirty poopy diaper is waiting for mommy.
Babies pooping in their sleep is extremely common. But will this regimen ever end? The good news is that changing dirty and soiled diapers every night is not permanent. And this, too, shall pass. But when do babies stop pooping at night? Read this article to find out when you can expect some relief and have a sound sleep at night.
Understanding the Science behind Pooping at Night
We don’t poop while sleeping. Right? That’s because adults have a slower metabolism rate. And our bodies go into a resting mode during sleep. When the bowel movements are not active, there is no poop while we sleep.
Babies have a smaller digestive system which is not fully matured and takes time to develop. Therefore, it doesn’t have the capability to digest complex foods; this is the reason that babies are not given solid foods initially. And liquids consisting of breast milk or formula milk, which are easy to break down, are the prefferred choice of Nourishment.
As the muscles of the digestive tract strengthen and the enzymes required to break down the food are developed, solids are introduced. And liquids consisting of breast milk or formula milk, which are easy to break down, are given.
Babies digestive systems are not developed properly, so they have a fast metabolism rate. Hence the food passes through the body quickly, resulting in frequent bowel movements.
Why is Pooping Important?
Pooping is an essential part of a baby’s healthy growth. Regular bowel movements indicate that your baby is taking enough nutrients, which are frequently digested and absorbed by the body. And the waste products are eliminated from the body, preventing constipation.
Why Do Babies Poop At Night?
Baby can poop anywhere and anytime. The baby’s bowel movement doesn’t care if it’s daytime or night-time for a tired mommy to have some rest. The baby is on a Wake, Eat, Sleep cycle, therefore, pooping, which happens soon after eating, can happen before sleeping.
At night time, there is less awake and playtime, so the baby passes bowel during sleeping. In fact, your baby is most likely to soil his diaper after a good sound sleep as things come out smoothly after their body feels relaxed.
Pooping Frequency in babies
Although a baby’s arrival is a matter of joy for parents, it also comes with the struggle to understand the baby’s body functioning and pooping at unexpected times.
Due to their smaller digestive systems, babies pass a bowel soon after eating, likely within an hour. That’s why, as soon as you feed the baby and it is settled, Oops, you can smell poop.
However, as the baby grows older, you will notice a decrease in the frequency of their pooping. And the consistency of poop also changes towards the thicker end. To your relief, your baby who is pooping multiple times in a 24-hour period will start pooping once a day or even less frequently.
When Do New-borns Stop Pooping At Night?
New-borns don’t find much difference between daytime and night-time. Transitioning from the dark womb to our world is challenging for their little bodies. Hence their bodies do not have a concept of routine. And it is completely normal for a new-born baby of 0-3 months age to poop frequently in day and night as well. To put it bluntly, your Baby does not intend to stop Pooping in the night anytime soon!
Your baby is not only feeding to fill its tummy but, also as a self-soothing technique. Therefore, night-time pooping is likely to happen after every feed, and you will have to sacrifice your sleep a lot.
When Do Babies Stop Pooping At Night?
The good news is that around 6-8 weeks, the baby’s body begins to figure out day and night and tends to sleep a bit longer. Normally by 4 months, the night-time feeding and pooping become lesser, and the baby begins sleeping for longer periods at night. But pooping doesn’t stop completely, but by this time, babies start to adjust to the consistent nap schedule.
Toddlers: As the babies reach 12-18 months, they are able to control their bowels. They start to show independence and power over some things, like controlling their eating, sleep, and poop.
How Can I Know if my baby Has Pooped?
The smell of the baby’s poop is so strong that even your neighbour will know that the baby needs a diaper change. Otherwise, do a quick smell test, lift your baby, and smell its bum. Gross right? But when you have a little pooping machine, nothing feels eww or gross anymore. In fact, parents feel relieved to see the poop of their little ones as it is an indicator of a healthy baby.
Due to the thickness of many Nappies, when your Baby farts, the smell can often hang around for a while. If in doubt, it’s always worth doing a visual check in otder to establish whether you have a ‘Code Brown’ on your hands.
Factors Affecting Night-time Pooping:
In the early days, pooping at irregular intervals is normal. It is a sign of a healthy baby. But as they grow a bit older, the poop frequency decreases, and if they poop a lot in their sleep, there can be various reasons for this to happen.
Babies grow at an impressive rate, and by the time they reach 5 months, they are double in weight compared to their birth weight. To have healthy growth, they need a lot of nutrients from milk in their early stages.
With their smaller digestive systems and faster metabolism rate, they digest the milk quickly and pass the waste as poop. They soil a diaper within one hour of eating. Since they take feeds at night time as well, so pooping also happens at night as soon as they take the milk.
New-born babies find it challenging to adapt to the new environment around them. From the calm, warm, and dark womb, they are introduced to this chaotic world. Hence their bodies do not have a concept of routine.
They don’t have a developed internal clock, which is necessary for a healthy body as it controls our moods and metabolic activities. As bedtime approaches, our brain tells our digestive tracks to rest and shut down. However, babies don’t have this process initially. That is why they can get hungry in the middle of the night and poop after filling their tummies.
With the passage of time, the brain’s internal clock or circadian rhythm adapts to the cycle of day and night. And the gaps between feeds at night increases hence the pooping decreases.
As the babies are introduced to solids by 6 months, food becomes an important factor having a great effect on the baby’s poop. If you notice an increase in your Baby Pooping at night, then look at what your baby is eating. Try to experiment with new foods in the afternoons rather than before bedtime. This will allow the reaction to new foods to be monitored during the daytime, and it will also save you from diaper changes at night.
An illness resulting in an upset tummy can change the pooping patterns of the baby. If you notice that the baby is pooping more than normal, then look out for symptoms like fever, rashes, uneasiness, and vomiting. Consult your Doctor or Midwife is anything is out of place.
When Do Babies Stop Pooping at night?
There is no specific answer to this question. As each baby is different, and the age at which one baby stops pooping at night may vary from another. Even twins may not have the same schedule.
Generally, around 4-6 weeks, the poop frequency starts to change as the circadian rhythm starts to kick in. And after 4 months, you will notice a significant change in their pooping routine at night.
By the age of 6 months, most babies stop dirtying their diapers at night because, since then, their digestive systems have matured enough.
However, when the babies start eating solids, there may be some disturbance in their bowel movements, making them poop at night. This is because the food travels quickly through the digestive tract. Once the body starts processing food slowly, the pooping at night will settle again.
How to Make Diaper Change Easier at Night?
Changing a dirty diaper is not fun, especially when you are interrupted from your peaceful sleep. And you also do not want to wake up the baby in the middle of the night. But the poop has to be cleaned, or the baby will have rashes. The following tips can make changing the soiled diaper more manageable:
Keep Diapers And Wipes By The Bed
This is really helpful in saving time as you will have everything near you. Gathering the diaper-changing essentials in the middle of the night will be a tiring task for you. Therefore, Keep the diaper, wipes, and rash cream in a place that is easily accessible. We recommend a changing table with storage sleeves – you will be changing that Diaper faster than a Formula 1 pit stop team!
Use A Sleep Sack Or Zippered Sleeper
A sleeper with a zipper or a sleep sack at the bottom is best for night-time diaper changes. You can easily remove the dirty diaper without waking the baby up.
Keep The Lights Low
Use as little light as possible to avoid waking your baby. Keep the lights low so the baby knows that it is not the time to wake up but just a little poppy inconvenience. Many of the Sleeping Aids we discuss in this article will provide a gentle light. Alternatively, we recommend the Groegg as a suitable light-source – it will even let you know if the temperature has shifted, and if the room is no longer the ideal temperature for your baby!
Consider a co-sleeper
A co-sleeper is specially designed so you can make the baby sleep next to you in the safest manner. It is just like a bassinet without a side wall and can be placed on the side of the bed. The most important benefit is that if the baby wakes up in the middle of the night, you can feed and change him without leaving your bed. We highly recommend the SnuzPod – And still use ours to this very day!
Tips to Get Your Baby to Stop Pooping at Night
Pooping is a normal part of growing and shows that the baby is healthy. However, here are some tips and tricks that can help the baby sleep throughout the night and make life easier for parents. Because good quality, uninterrupted sleep is important for both your baby AND yourselves!
Develop a night-time routine
To develop a baby’s internal clock, you must follow a night-time routine. In the daytime, keep the lights on, open the curtains, and allow noise in the home even if the baby is sleeping.
However, as bedtime is approaching, create a calm, peaceful environment, dim the lights, don’t make noise, and change the baby into comfortable pyjamas. Baby will soon adapt to the idea that night is for calm and rest.
Use Diaper Cream
Always cover baby’s cute little bum with a lot of diaper cream before sleeping. So in case you miss changing the diaper, the thick layer of cream will protect the tender skin from developing any irritation or rashes. Irritation can also interrupt the baby’s sleep making it uneasy.
Wait An Hour Before Bedtime
Food passes though babies digestive system incredibly quickly, therefore, don’t put the baby to sleep right after the feed. New-borns and small babies cannot control their hunger and often fall asleep while feeding. But for babies above 8-9 months, give them some time to digest the food before sleeping to minimize the risk of your baby pooping in the middle of the night.
Eat, Play, Sleep Strategy
Babies are on the eat, sleep, poop cycle instead. Use the Eat, Play, and Sleep method. So the baby has enough time for digestion before sleeping. Moreover, feed your baby when he wakes up, rather than the sleep time. In this way, the baby is more likely to poop during the wake or playtime. However, be careful not to over-stimulate your Baby whilst playing, as this could cause challenges in establishing a Bed-Time Routine.
Keep the baby hydrated
Constipation changes the pooping routine a lot because the poop needs to come when it needs to come. Therefore, keep your little one hydrated to avoid constipation and have a smooth flow of poops.
A tummy massage before a bath helps the little one in pooping. It relaxes the baby’s tummy muscles. Therefore, give a massage and make the baby do bicycle leg exercises before the bath so the baby gets relieved during the daytime. We discuss this in greater deal here.
Do you like to poop around other humans? Obviously not. Just like us adults, babies also like privacy. Give your baby some alone time or independent playtime during the day. So the baby can poop alone during playtime rather than alone during sleep time.
This is not helpful for infants as they have no control over their bodies, but as the baby grows older and reaches the crawling or walking stage, they enjoy the independence and control over their bodies. Some alone time during the day is what your baby may need to stop the poop coming at night.
Introduce New Food in the Morning
As the baby’s stomach is in the development stage, new foods can upset the tummy. Therefore, try experimenting with new foods in the morning. So if your baby gets diarrhoea from any food, you can do every possible thing to sort that out before bedtime. Poomageddon is much easier to deal with during daylight hours!
Keep a Food Log
When the little one starts its solids journey, keep a food log to check which particular foods are the source of your baby’s poop. Give high-fibre food like pears, plums and prunes earlier in the day as they can relieve the baby’s tummy resulting in poop. For dinner, you can try more starchy carbs like sweet potatoes. You can introduce toast, pasta, meat, and other fruits as your child grows. It may help to purchase an Inexpensive Baby Food Log to make your life easier!
When the baby reaches the teething phase, i.e., at almost 4 months, he experiences a lot of drooling due to swollen gums. The baby puts everything from toys to a TV remote in his mouth to relieve the pain of swelling. This can lead to loose stools and may cause night-time accidents in the diaper.
It is best to alleviate symptoms of teething and to stop the baby pooping at unexpected times due to an upset stomach. You can make teething biscuits or simply give a solid carrot to chew, which will make teething easier for the baby. Starchy foods like sweet potatoes are also helpful while teething. We personally recommend Sophie la Girafe as a great teething toy (Our Daughter loved hers!) however there are a wide range of teething toys to suit all Babies!
Many parents also utilise Teething gels which can be applied to the Baby’s Gums.
When do Babies stop pooping in the night? Not soon enough! Joking aside, It is normal for babies to Poop at night while sleeping. The pooping habits change as the baby grows and their digestive system matures. If you want to help the baby in developing his night routine, you can follow the above-mentioned tips and tricks.
Have you had any Nightmare ‘Code Browns’? Survived the Poomaggedon? Had a visit from the Poo Poo Fairy? Share your stories with us in the comments – we would love to hear!