Baby Poops During Cry It Out – What To do?

Written by Daisy
Last updated:
Reviewed by Margaret

Dealing with a crying baby and a dirty diaper can be a frustrating experience for any parent. And it can be even more challenging when your baby poops during “cry it out”. But don’t worry; you’re not alone! 

I’ll show you how to keep your little one clean and protected during this “sleep training” phase. Plus, I’ve got you covered with some savvy tips for handling those less-than-pleasant diaper changes! 

Let’s dive into the solution together!

What is the “Cry It Out” (CIO) Method?

CIO stands for “Cry It Out.” It’s a sleep-training technique to teach babies to fall asleep independently. The idea is to let the baby cry for a set amount of time before going in to comfort them. Over time, the period the baby is left to cry increases. The final goal is to teach the baby to self-soothe and fall back asleep without parental intervention.

Keep in mind that CIO isn’t for everyone and has sparked some debate among parenting experts. While it may be an effective sleep-training method, it could cause emotional distress. Parents should weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether to try this technique. 

Should I Change My Baby During CIO?

If your baby poops during CIO, it’s important to assess the situation and your baby’s needs. Some babies may be able to hold off until the end of the CIO session to be changed, while others may need a change immediately.

If your little one is uncomfortable or upset, attend to their needs as soon as possible. It’s okay to break the CIO session to change a dirty diaper. Your baby’s comfort and well-being should always be your top priority.

Let’s now take a closer look at baby’s pooping habits.

Understanding Baby Pooping Habits at Night

Getting to know your baby’s unique pooping habits is very important. Believe it or not, these habits can actually differ from day to night! While some babies have a bowel movement every time they eat, others may have less frequent movements. 

And here are some tips to understand your baby’s nighttime pooping:

  • Observe their routine and track bowel movements. You can use a journal for this purpose.
  • Watch for changes in frequency and consistency.
  • Consider their diet and ask for advice from your pediatrician.

Why Do Babies Poop at Night?

You may have experienced a sudden poop eruption in the middle of the night. Don’t worry; it’s common! Babies tend to have bowel movements at night because, during the day, their activity helps waste food through the digestive system. 

At night, when they’re relaxed and less active, digestion slows down and can lead to a poop eruption.

Is Nighttime Pooping Normal for Babies?

Yes, nighttime pooping is a normal part of a baby’s routine. Their digestive systems are still developing, and nighttime pooping is a common occurrence. 

In fact, it’s not uncommon for babies to have several bowel movements a day, including during the night.

How Does Formula Affect Nighttime Pooping?

Formula-fed babies tend to poop more often than breastfed babies. This can have a big impact on their nighttime routine.

I remember how much my baby was pooping after switching from breast milk to formula. The difference was noticeable, and it seemed like we were changing diapers non-stop!

So, what’s behind this difference? 

Well, the formula is not as easily digested as breast milk. It moves more slowly through a baby’s digestive system. This can lead to more frequent pooping. Also, babies are more likely to have firmer stools, which can cause additional discomfort.

Addressing Nighttime Pooping Issues

You must be tired of dealing with your baby’s nighttime pooping. And I totally feel your pain!

But don’t worry; there are ways to address this issue and get a peaceful night.

So what can you do?

Consider changing your baby’s diet or formula. Another piece of advice is to give them a warm bath before bedtime. Finally, be mindful of what you eat if breastfeeding. These small changes can make a big difference.

Also, remember that some babies have more frequent bowel movements. If this is the case, be prepared with extra clothes and sheets.

What Should I Do If My Baby Poops During Sleep?

Dealing with a poopy diaper during sleep can be tough, but there are ways to make it easier:

  • Stay calm and composed.
  • Change the diaper gently, making sure to clean the baby thoroughly.
  • Use a nightlight or dim lamp to see what you’re doing without disturbing your baby’s sleep.
  • Prepare everything you need, such as a clean diaper, wipes, and diaper cream.

Understanding Baby Pooping Behaviors

Deciphering baby pooping patterns can be one of the most puzzling parts of parenting. Every baby is unique and has a rhythm in bowel movements. Some little ones may surprise you with multiple daily poops, while others may take a break for a few days. 

Loose or even runny stools are common, especially in the early months. Introducing solid foods can also affect a baby’s pooping behavior. So, be a pooping detective and observe your baby’s pattern. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician for guidance.

Is There a Connection Between Crying and Pooping in Babies?

Crying and pooping often go hand-in-hand with babies. Crying can indicate discomfort or hunger, while pooping can cause discomfort. Conversely, crying can also stimulate digestion and bring on a bowel movement.

How Do I Change a Diaper Without Disturbing Sleep?

Changing a sleeping baby’s diaper requires preparation and a gentle touch. Gather everything you need, have a lit room, and place the baby on a surface the same height as their crib. 

Remove the dirty diaper, clean it with a wipe, and fasten a fresh one. If the baby stirs, soothe with a soft voice or a gentle rub. Over time, you’ll find the best routine for you and your baby.

What Should I Do About Explosive Pooping in Newborns?

Explosive pooping is another common challenge for new parents. Newborns have delicate digestive systems, causing frequent and runny poop. To handle it, use absorbent diapers, change them often, and keep the baby’s skin clean.

And don’t panic! As a baby’s digestive system matures, explosive pooping will become a thing of the past. In the meantime, equip yourself with a sense of humor and a stash of baby wipes.

Baby Poops During Cry It Out

FAQ: Baby Pooping Habits by Age 

How Can I Manage Nighttime Pooping for 4-7-Month-Old Babies?

Establish a bedtime routine, switch to solid foods, and reduce evening milk. Always keep the diaper snug and changed before bed, offer a pacifier, and try a warm bath.

What Should I Know About 8-12 Month-Old Baby’s Nighttime Pooping Habits?

It’s normal for 8-12-month-old babies to have occasional nighttime poops. Frequency varies, but as long as their stools are soft and comfortable, it’s likely normal. Diet, potty training, diapers, and comfort all play a role in reducing nighttime pooping.

How Can I Deal with Nighttime Pooping for 1-2-Year-Old Babies?

Encourage potty training and limit drinks before bedtime. Use overnight diapers, establish a bedtime routine, and provide a comfortable sleeping environment.


Dealing with a crying baby and messy diapers is never easy. It can be especially challenging when the baby poops during “cry it out.” 

Remember, your baby’s comfort and well-being should always be your top priority. To tackle night time pooping, pay attention to your baby’s pooping patterns. 

You may need to change their diet or give them a warm bath before bed to help. And if your baby does have a poop explosion during sleep, stay calm and gently change their diaper. With patience and the right tools, you can overcome any nighttime pooping challenges.

Good luck!

Photo of author
Daisy Martinez, a Certified Financial Planner and mother of two, blends finance expertise from Ohio State and Anderson School of Management with hands-on parenting insights. Founder of "" and "", she's passionate about guiding parents in financial and parenting realms.

Get a freebie every week!

Join 40,000+ parents and teachers , and you'll get a freebie in your inbox at least once a week, along with tips, information, and other resources!

Subscribe to the Mamallove newsletter: