Crying before pooping

Kelly - posted on 10/30/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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Is it normal for exclusively breastfed babies to cry and fuss before they poop? My son is one month old and cries and fusses non-stop before he can work the poopy out. I feel terrible for him and hate that I can't soothe him. Anyone have experience with this?

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Jessica - posted on 11/06/2010

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I think this happens to a lot of newborns regardless of how they feed!
Have a look at 'elimination communication' - it might help if he's not in a diaper, or particular positions might be more comfortable. And once he gets the idea that that you are there to help him through this, just knowing that will help him fuss less.

Kelly - posted on 11/10/2010

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Thank you all for the input! It seems to be getting a little better just as he is getting a little older (so fast!). After speaking with a lactation specialist, I know it isn't constipation or diarrhea. Some of you mentioned that it probably is gas, not the poop, and I think you may be right. Laying him on our laps has not been too helpful, but bicycle legs helps a little, and Daddy figured out a fun game of holding him in a standing position and bouncing him. He stops crying and seems to love it! It's so silly, but it works, so we're figuring it out. I will also try the warm cloth on the tummy. I wouldn't have thought of that. Thank you all for the help!! :)

Diana - posted on 11/08/2010

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It sounds exactly like what I found with my son. I was going to suggest you read about 'Natural Infant Hygiene' or 'Elimination Communication' or EC-ing. I didn't learn of these things until I read one of the books on the topic when my son was 11 months old. Then a light went on and his earlier experiences all made so much sense! In any case, even late there are some benefits: by 12 months he was nappy-free at night (no accidents ever) and by 1 3/4 years he was nappy free full time. If only I had been aware of the wisdom (and the wonderful connection) of EC-ing with ones baby, when my son was younger.



Good luck to you!

Amanda - posted on 11/07/2010

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I am also going to suggest looking into 'Elimination Communication'. Maybe your baby doesn't like going in a diaper? (who would?) When he starts to fuss maybe you could try holding him over a little potty without a diaper on. It can't hurt to try anyway. :) This link has more info if you are interested. http://www.diaperfreebaby.org good luck! :)

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My daughter had that problem...it was BAD. I eliminated all dairy from my diet and in a week it stopped completely. Wish I had done it sooner!

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TIFFANIE - posted on 05/13/2013

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I AM ON A NON DAIRY DIET BECAUSE A GI SPECIALIST HAS TOLD US THAT MY SON HAS AN INTOLERANCE TO DAIRY. MY QUESTION IS ARE THERE ANY GOOD RECIPES OR TIPS FOR THIS DIET BECAUSE I AM FINDIND IT VERY HARD TO COOK FOR MY FAMILY AND MYSELF WITH THIS RESTRICTED DIET.

Kelly - posted on 11/10/2010

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Oh btw, I am also experimenting with my diet to see if we make some further progress. It's tough that there are no hard and fast rules since everyone is different, but we will get there. Thank you again for some experienced wisdom. It is appreciated!

Jessa - posted on 11/06/2010

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I have never had that kind of thing happen with any of my kids, all 4 were breast fed and weaned on their own when they were ready. My suggestion would be to watch your diet as something your eating could be irritating his bowels and causing excess gas, cramping, or other pains when he is trying to go. A lot of times the biggest culprits are dairy or gluten.

Casey - posted on 11/06/2010

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As long as your baby has loose stools then they aren't constipated. My baby girl used to strain and fuss like crazy and I would swear she was constipated BUT every doctor friend of mine as well as her pediatrician said if they are having loose stools and not solid pellets then they can't be constipated. I used those gas drops which were hit or miss and I would hold her across my legs where my thigh would provide pressure on her tummy and I'd either bounce her gently or pat her back and that usually helped to get gas out

Ginger - posted on 11/06/2010

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My baby girl did the same thing. She's 5 months now and it's gotten much better. For a while there, it seemed like she was always working on a poo, day and night! haha
Anyway, I have a book called Infant Massage that's really helped with her gas (in the chapter for colic). And I found that tummy time helped a lot. When Baby is on her tummy it's easier to "push out the bubbles", as I call them. :)
It's VERY rare for an exclusively breastfed baby to have constipation problems. The only thing you might want to keep an eye out for is if it's really mucusy or there's any blood in the stool, as that could indicate an allergy (usually to dairy, wheat, or citrus).
Best wishes!!

Keara - posted on 11/06/2010

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haven't you ever had a sore belly before you poop?? its the same with them... my son gets fussy before a poop and right after because he doesn't like his dirty diaper... when his belly is sore its usually the gas thats hurting him so i turn him over my knee so that his belly is on my knee and rub and pat his back... its funny watching his little legs stretch right out every time he farts, but i feel bad knowing theres not much i can do to help... if the knee thing doesn't work try putting a warm cloth on his belly, make sure its not too hot and don't let it get cold either... also, gently stretching his legs out and then pushing him up onto his belly will help get it out once things get moving... and if theres anything that you eat that gives you gas or makes you poop then it will probably do it to him too so try to avoid those... theres not really a whole lot more you can do... just stay calm and he'll relax eventually because you are, and then when everything works out you can give him some extra love and cuddles to reassure him and you too!! thats my favourite part... good luck!!!

Micky - posted on 11/06/2010

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Oh my goodness, my son used to wail when he was trying to poop. I found the best thing to do was put him over my knee and pat his back. It doesn't do a whole lot, but it helped. It should stop around three months. It was so terrible, we would both be crying by the end of it. Just hang in there.

Kara - posted on 11/06/2010

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What colour/consistency is his poop? Both of my sons would get fussy right before a bowel movement, but it seemed mostly to be caused by gas, not the actual bowel movement itself. However my first son was having green foamy bowel movements and it turned out to be a lactose imbalance (he was getting too much fore milk and not enough fat rich hind milk at each feeding so he wasn't properly digesting the lactose in my milk which was causing extra gas, and acidic poop) I simply found that feeding him on only one side at each feeding, and really making sure he did a good job of emptying each side before switching to the next fixed the problem.

Olivia - posted on 10/30/2010

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My little man used to do that when he was constipated. I would try massaging his tummy or bicycling his legs and pushing his knees to his tummy to try and help him get it out. If that didn't work I would give him a warm bath. With breastfeeding we always have to watch what we eat because it effects their little tummy's. So maybe if you notice that it only happens when you eat something certain, try cutting that out. I used to love buffalo sauce and then realized it gave him a tummy ache so had to cut it out for a while =(( then had to cut out chilli because the beans made him constipated. Hope this helps!

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