Having a baby is a blessing, but this blessing comes with huge responsibilities. To take care of an infant becomes difficult, as you have to understand what they are feeling. They can express themselves by crying, making faces, smiling, etc. But it's the family(mother/father) who has to understand what they want. One of the instances that every mom or dad could have experienced is, 'pooping problems'.
Even parents sometimes fail to understand why their child is crying while pooping. Just remember that pooping is new to him like every other thing in the world. If the baby is shouting while pooping, this could be due to another new experience. However, if you feel that it is not normal, then you should consult a doctor. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Vikram Kumar Principal Consultant - Paediatric Liver Transplantation, Gastroenterology & Hepatology Paediatric (Ped) Gastroenterology, Paediatric (Ped), about the causes of infants crying while pooping.
Causes of infants crying while pooping
According to Dr. Vikram, here are a few reasons for infants crying while pooping:
1. Immature Body
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Pooping while lying down is difficult, thus, your baby may be exerting more pressure on poop resulting in screams while having bowel movements. Your infant can’t sit and push his stool, he has to make extra efforts to coordinate his abdominal muscles to pass the stool while relaxing the anus. For the baby’s underdeveloped body, this is hard to do. Therefore, he cries while straining to poop.
2. Infant Constipation
If you have noticed your little one crying while straining to poop, you can certainly consider constipation as a possible reason. If the baby is passing firm, dry and pebbly stool and did not have any bowel movements from one week (breastfed baby) or three days (bottle-fed baby), he may be constipated. Constipation makes it difficult for the baby to pass stool, thus, he experiences pain.
To relieve constipation, increase the amount of his water intake. Add some form of sugar in his formula to soften his stools. If your baby is older than four months, you can possibly give him fresh fruit juice. If your child has started taking solids, add high fiber foods, such as spinach, peas, peaches, pears, and plums in his diet. If even after trying these remedies, constipation persistently troubles your child, call the doctor right away. Infant constipation occurs if your baby is not getting enough supply of fluids, and can result if you have just introduced new foods or fed him different types of formula.
3. Gas Pain
Another reason for the baby’s cries while pooping could be gas pain. The pain increases when babies poop. Gasiness in your baby could be a result of gulping excess of air while crying, inability to digest some nutrients received from breast milk, or hyperlactation syndrome (when a mother has an oversupply of milk). Formula feeding, constipation, and gastrointestinal infection may cause gas in the baby.
Gassiness in your baby can be relieved by burping your baby after every feeding, massaging baby’s tummy to release the extra trapped air, and giving anise water. Few drops of sugary water is another remedy to relieve gas in babies.
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Don't worry if your baby screams, groans and makes various facial expressions during a bowel movement. This does not necessarily imply a medical problem. But if your baby is inconsolable from the last few days while pooping, better see a doctor. However, you should try a change of baby formula or massage your baby’s belly before and after bowel movements for relieving gas troubles.
4. Infections or anal tear
If the baby suddenly starts crying while pooping then it can also be due to an anal tear, diaper rash or other infections. This can make passing the stool very difficult for the baby. Some foods can be a factor behind such issues.
Read more articles on Newborn Care
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