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When Do Babies Stop Pooping At Night?

Babies pooping at night can be beyond frustrating. We’re exhausted from feedings that happen around the clock. We’ve got to work in the morning. Deep down, we want for them to hurry up and go back to sleep.

On the rare occasions that they do fall asleep quickly, they are wakened with a poopy diaper.

Fortunately, you’re not stuck changing poopy diapers every night for the rest of their infanthood. When babies stop eating through the night, they stop pooping at night. 

There Is No Specific Age When Babies Stop Pooping At Night

While I wish that I could give you a certain age, like one month, that little ones stop waking you up with poopy diapers, I can’t. This is because every little one is different. Some will stop eating through the night at two months old, and some will a little later. 

Babies Poop Soon After They Eat

Because little ones have smaller digestive systems, they tend to poop soon after eating. Most little ones pass a bowel movement within an hour after eating. That’s why it seems like as soon as they get settled at night, they poop. 

The Younger Babies Are, The Sooner They Poop

When your little one is younger and smaller, they tend to poop sooner after they eat than older babies. You’ll notice as your baby continues to grow, they will start to poop a little longer after they eat. 

Most Babies Stop Feeding At Night By Four Months Old

According to pediatricians, most babies are ready to stop eating at night by the time they are four months old.

Those that are still waking for a nighttime feeding will be able to sleep through the night, or at least not wake up to eat when they are six months old. 

Babies Can Start Pooping At Night Again When They Start Solid Foods

Baby being fed

When your little one starts solid foods, you might notice them waking up in the middle of the night to poop again. This could be because the food that they ate ran through them a little bit quicker than other foods.

Sometimes, babies tend to get an upset stomach from solid foods too. However, there are a few things you can do to cut back on those nighttime diaper changes when your little one starts solids. 

Wait An Hour Before Bedtime

Don’t feed your baby right before bedtime. If they are hungry, feed them, but then wait an hour or so before laying them down. This gives them plenty of time to poop, and then go to bed.

You won’t have to worry about them laying in a dirty diaper, or about them waking up as soon as they fall asleep. 

Try New Foods In The Morning

New foods are more likely to give your baby an upset stomach than other foods. If you’re still working your way through those first solids, try giving new foods earlier in the morning. If they give your baby diarrhea, it will be cleared up before bedtime. 

Skip The Nighttime Bottle

Formula and water tend to go through those tiny digestive systems quicker than solids do. So, if you feed your little one a nighttime bottle, they’re more likely to poop in the middle of the night.

(Keep in mind that if you do give your little one a bottle for bed, it should be full of water. Anything else can cause baby bottle tooth decay.)

Make Night Time Diaper Changes Easier

Those nighttime diaper changes make it seem like you’re never going to get any sleep.

While you’re still going to have to get through those until your little one is a bit older, there are a few things that you can do to make those poopy diapers a little bit easier in the middle of the night. 

Put Your Baby In Nightgowns

When my daughter was little, she had to be force-fed (back then, this was what her pediatrician recommended) so that she would gain more weight.

I woke her up, took an hour to feed her, and then got to sleep for an hour before having to get up to feed her again. This was often interrupted by poopy diapers. 

Putting her in nightgowns was one little thing that made those nights so much easier. There are no snaps, etc. Instead, you simply pull up their nightgown, change them, and then pull it back down. 

Keep Diapers And Wipes By The Bed

Keeping diaper changing supplies right by where your baby is sleeping is ideal. All you have to do is walk over to your baby, change them, and go back to bed. The following items should be right by where you’re going to change your little one: 

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Diaper pail

Gathering diaper changing supplies in the middle of the night is just one more thing you have to do. You can make it a lot easier on yourself by eliminating as many of those little things as you can. 

Consider A Co-Sleeper

How to Get a Newborn to Sleep in a Bassinet

A co-sleeper is designed for the baby to sleep next to you but in the safest manner possible. You and your baby enjoy all of the benefits of co-sleeping without any of the drawbacks.

One of the main benefits you’re going to love is convenience. When the baby wakes in the middle of the night with a poopy diaper, all you have to do is roll over to change them.

You sit up, change their diaper, and then go back to sleep. All without leaving your bed. Some co-sleepers are designed to sit next to the bed. These are about the same size as a bassinet, but they are missing a wall so the baby is still with you.

There are also portable co-sleepers that can be used. If it’s just you in the bed, you can put them on the other half of the bed. As a bonus, portable co-sleepers can be moved anywhere in the house.

(I used to work with the grandbaby snuggled into his co-sleeper beside me on the couch. It eliminated the danger of him rolling or scooting off the couch.)

In Conclusion

Your little one should be done pooping in the middle of the night by the time they are six months old. To help move things along a little faster, try to curb those nighttime feedings as soon as you can.

Once your baby starts solids, watch what they eat close to bedtime. In the meantime, make things convenient to get as much rest as you can.