Let’s get one thing straight – wondering when do babies stop pooping at night doesn’t make you a bad parent. Getting a good night’s sleep is important, especially for new parents. Lord knows you need that extra bit of bedtime and energy to get you through the next day.
We’ve all been there – there’s nothing more comforting than your sunshine finally drifting off to sleep as you then get some time for yourself. It’s well-deserved, and something you’ve been thinking of the whole day. Motherhood truly turns us into night owls…
You do your bedtime routine, wash your face, and put on your comfy pajamas before cuddling up to your baby and falling asleep. Then, you get a rather unpleasant wake-up call…
Having to come back to reality from your long-awaited sleep and deal with dirty diapers is a common thing for most parents. Getting out of your warm bed and changing your baby’s diapers while still half asleep makes you wonder – “When does it stop?!”
Our babies have magic metabolisms that make eating, drinking, and pooping the main parts of their infant days. After all, their body weight is expected to double in less than 6 months.
Because of that, they’re not exactly able to choose when they poop. But we’re here to help you understand when and if it ever stops. The most important thing is – you’re not alone, and yes, it does get frustrating.
Is it normal for a baby to poop while sleeping?
In short – yes, it’s normal for a baby to poop while sleeping. Although our babies are fragile and small, their metabolism has superhero-like abilities. It sometimes feels like our babies change overnight, and that’s not far from the truth.
Their bodies are fast-growing and require a lot of calories, as well as sleep. Because babies consume a lot more than you’d expect compared to their weight, it’s normal that they poop more frequently, too.
As a new parent, you might start wondering if it’s normal that your baby eats every few hours. After all, how much food does such a small human need?!
A lot of it, actually. Because of that, your newborn will probably poop soon after eating. If you feed your baby right before sleep, you can expect some not-so-pleasant surprises during the night. In the first months of your baby’s life, you can expect her to poop more frequently.
So, when do babies stop pooping at night? It depends on many factors, but one thing is for sure – it’s normal that it happens, and there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.
Why do babies poop at night?
Okay, your baby eats a lot, so it’s logical that she poops a lot, too. But why does it happen at night? There are many reasons that contribute to this, but we’ve got some good news for you. It means your lovely baby is healthy, and that her body is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do.
To understand why it happens at the most inconvenient time of the day, let’s cover two of the most important factors that make your baby fill her diapers at night – sleep and super fast metabolism.
1. Their sleep pattern plays a big role
When she was all safe and sound in your womb, your baby got used to living in the dark. She has no idea what day and night are, which means she has no concept of any kind of routine associated with these two periods of the day.
Naturally, your baby might need some time to adapt to this huge difference, and that’s not always an easy process. It’s a whole new world for your baby once she’s out of the womb, which is why her body doesn’t know how to react properly.
On top of that, her life is pretty much controlled by various hormones. Even as adults, our internal clocks control our metabolism, energy, and our emotions – and it’s no different with infants.
So, in short – your baby can’t tell a difference between night and day, so she poops, eats, and sleeps whenever she feels like it! What a way to live…
2. Their magic metabolism
As we’ve already mentioned, our babies’ metabolism can go hand in hand with that of Captain America. They grow incredibly fast. You’ve probably heard your baby’s grandparents tell you how she’s changed in a couple of days they haven’t seen her, and they’re not exaggerating.
By the time your little one is 5 months old, she should already double her weight. Because of that, her body requires a lot of food and a lot of sleep. Since her food is in liquid form, she’ll also poop a lot.
Their tiny digestive systems don’t take a lot of time to do their thing and turn all that food into poop. Their diet combined with superhero metabolism results in a huge amount of dirty diapers. Baby doo-doo doesn’t ask what time of day it is, so you better keep the wipes on your nightstand.
When do babies stop pooping at night?
So, when do babies stop pooping at night? Is your good night’s sleep a thing of the past? We wish we could give you a proper answer to this question but, unfortunately, that’s not possible.
If this isn’t your first baby, then you may have noticed how wildly different she is from her sibling. That’s completely normal, as every baby varies, and so will your experiences. There isn’t one answer that could fit everyone.
However, as your baby grows, you’ll probably notice a change in her nighttime poops. Although we can’t answer your question with the exact time and age, we can tell you one thing.
There’s a chance your little one might stop doing it completely once she turns two or three months! Especially when you change her diet and she starts eating more solid food. You’ll notice a lot of changes in her, including her pooping schedule.
So hang in there, momma! You’ll get your sleep in no time, you just have to change a bit more dirty diapers half-asleep before you forget you’ve even done it.
Tips on how to get your baby to stop pooping at night
If you’re googling “when do babies stop pooping at night” because your little one is already big enough not to do it, then you might have to change a couple of things in her routine. Some babies need additional help, and that’s completely okay. Here are some tips.
1. Avoid trying new foods at night
You should always be careful when introducing your baby to new foods. Not only should you pay close attention to any possible allergic reactions, but your little one might also experience some stomach issues in the process.
Because of that, it’s important not to try new foods in the evening. It could be dangerous as it would be impossible for you to monitor your baby for any reactions, but also because you don’t know how her digestive system will react.
If you’d like to keep her diapers clean throughout the night, experiment with new foods in the morning. That way, you’ll know how her body reacts to it, and you might even get some long-awaited sleep.
2. Don’t feed your baby right before bedtime
The best thing you can do for yourself and your baby is to introduce her to the Eat, Play, Sleep routine. This method has a lot of benefits, one of the biggest ones being the ability for you to control her sleeping and pooping schedule.
How do you do it? Simply start feeding your baby right after she wakes up, instead of when it’s time for her to sleep. Although it might be easier for you to lull her to sleep with a bottle, she’ll most definitely poop in her sleep.
When you feed her after she wakes up, you’ll give her body enough time to digest and poop before it’s time to go to sleep again. Although it might take some time for your little one to get used to it, it will make your life a lot easier.
3. Tracking might be your life-saver
Even though it’s one of the most beautiful things to experience, having a newborn is far from easy. Any sort of order becomes almost impossible to achieve. To gain some control over the whole situation, you can try tracking when she eats, sleeps, and poops.
That way, you’ll get an idea of what might be influencing her nighttime poops. It’s a great way to become a little more aware of your routine, as well as what are some things you might want to change.
4. Cuddle up your baby in a nightgown
If everything fails, your baby simply might like to poop when she’s sleeping, and it will be something you’ll laugh about when she’s older. If that’s the case, you can do some things that’ll make your life easier, such as putting her in a nightgown.
Although it might not stop her from pooping and interrupting your sleep, it will be a lot easier for you to change her diapers with your eyes half-closed. We all know how annoying snaps can be, especially in the middle of the night.
Read more: Baby’s Poop Smells Like Vinegar: Should You Be Worried?