Hands up if you are woken in the early hours around 4 or 5am with your baby having done a poop! You are now wide awake, so is your baby and there seems no chance of anyone going back to sleep now.
This is such a common issue and strangely there may be a way around this. Of course what I suggest in the blog here is just suggestions, it is not medically supported or indeed a guarantee but it is safe and worth trying! Just be prepared it may take a good couple of weeks to readjust this arrival!
Read on to find out how....
All this stimulation of the bowel movement has really woken up your child. Like really REALLY woken them up! You know you have to go change that dirty nappy or you then will have a nappy rash to deal with or something just as bad, a leaky poo to have to clean up.
So, you go to change them, lights are on, perhaps a tub of cream dropped on the floor in your sleepy daze or you have stubbed your toe on the door and now your baby thinks it’s time to play! You maybe even try to feed them in the last hope they go back to sleep, please just another hour at least… It’s not happening so what else can you try..?
Well if this poop has been consistently arriving for a number of days, perhaps more than 10 days in a row or so there are a few things we can try to see if this helps push the arrival a little later. After all we don’t want this becoming a habit as early waking can be very hard to right.
Need help with early risings click here early-rising.html
Finding a solution to "pre-dawn poop arrival may take a good couple of weeks because you will need to track your child’s feeding movements and see what works and what is not, so be patient!
What may be the cause?
Are they in a developmental growth spurt? As the digestion system develops it will have an impact on the bowel movements. Perhaps they have a stomach bug right now? Even eating can trigger that bowel movement so if you have fed your child close to this time it may be the culprit. Many parents report their child is constipated during the introduction on weaning and solids so this may also have an impact. Is your child teething? Any of these things may be causing this poop alarm
Read more about teething here teething-guide.html
When is your child having fibre and any high fatty foods? If they are having either at every meal time try limiting it to just breakfast and lunch perhaps. Log the foods, times and when that poop arrives for a week or so and see if this is working. If not try shifting the foods to perhaps dinner time only and see if this makes a difference.
Toddlers and older
Older children who are in a bed may be able to take themselves to go to the loo independently. Ask them before they go to bed, perhaps just after bath time if they would like to sue the loo. A warm bath will relax muscles and the sensation of needing to go will be more apparent. For the night time they may like to have a potty in their room. If they prefer to use the bathroom you may like to give them a red light torch or a have a small red night light in the hall or bathroom to guide their way to the bathroom.
Here is a very small simple one from amazon you may like https://amzn.to/2Pbyi74
What has role play got to do with it?
Role play is great for encouraging them to go to the bathroom independently. It will give them the confidence to do this and boost their moral! You can use teddies and toys for younger children and read books to them. Pirate Pete Potty/ Princess Polly was a firm favourite in our home when I was potty training Leo and Chloe!
See here https://amzn.to/3gv2XHH
You may like to pop this book in the bathroom or next to their potty and give your child the time to go to the bathroom in the afternoon. Encourage them to spend some time there!
So there we have some possible solutions to your early morning pooper alert!
Please do share this blog with any friends who may also be waking up early doors with the poop alarm!
If you would like to listen to more check out my podcast HERE on this topic!
Happy sleeping and peaceful nights to you all as always,
Your Paediatric Sleep Consultant
(Disclaimer, this blog post has affiliate links. If you buy from the links it will not cost you any more, but i will earn a few pennies from the sale!)