Why Do Infants Cry While Pooping? Learn About the Causes From an Expert

Why Do Infants Cry While Pooping? Know The Causes From An Expert

Having a baby is a blessing, but it comes with immense responsibilities. Understanding an infant’s needs can be challenging, as they communicate through crying, facial expressions, and smiles. One common issue parents may encounter is difficulties with bowel movements.

Why Do Infants Cry While Pooping? Know The Causes From An Expert

Parents may sometimes struggle to understand why their child is crying during bowel movements. It’s important to remember that for the baby, every experience, including pooping, is new. While some fussiness during this time can be expected, if it seems excessive or abnormal, it’s advisable to consult a doctor.

The editorial team at Onlymyhealth spoke to Dr. Vikram Kumar, Principal Consultant in Paediatric Liver Transplantation, Gastroenterology & Hepatology Paediatric (Ped) Gastroenterology, to shed light on the potential causes of infants crying while pooping.

Reasons why babies cry during bowel movements

Dr. Vikram outlines several explanations for why infants cry during bowel movements:

1. Immature Body


Pooping while lying down can be challenging for babies, as they may need to exert more pressure to pass stool, leading to cries during bowel movements. Since infants can’t sit up and push their stool effectively, they must rely on coordinating their abdominal muscles while relaxing the anus, which can be difficult for their underdeveloped bodies. As a result, they may cry while straining to poop.

2. Infant Constipation

If you’ve noticed your baby crying while straining to poop, it’s worth considering constipation as a possible cause. Signs of constipation include passing firm, dry, and pebbly stool, and a lack of bowel movements for a week (for breastfed babies) or three days (for bottle-fed babies). Constipation can make it painful for the baby to pass stool.

To relieve constipation, you can increase your baby’s water intake and add a small amount of sugar to their formula to soften stools. For babies older than four months, you may consider offering them fresh fruit juice. If your baby has started solids, incorporate high-fiber foods like spinach, peas, peaches, pears, and plums into their diet. If constipation persists despite these measures, it’s important to consult a doctor promptly.

Infant constipation can occur if your baby isn’t getting enough fluids or if you’ve recently introduced new foods or changed their formula.

3. Gas Pain

Another potential reason for a baby’s cries during bowel movements could be gas pain. This discomfort often intensifies when babies pass stool. Gas in babies can stem from various factors such as swallowing excess air while crying, difficulties digesting certain nutrients in breast milk, or hyperlactation syndrome in mothers (which involves an oversupply of milk). Additionally, formula feeding, constipation, and gastrointestinal infections may contribute to gas in infants.

To alleviate gas in your baby, ensure to burp them after each feeding, gently massage their tummy to release trapped air, and consider giving them anise water or a few drops of sugary water.


It’s not uncommon for babies to cry, groan, and display various facial expressions during bowel movements, which doesn’t necessarily indicate a medical issue. However, if your baby has been inconsolable during bowel movements for several days, it’s advisable to seek medical advice. You may also consider switching the baby formula or massaging your baby’s belly before and after bowel movements to help alleviate gas troubles.

4.Infections or anal tears

Sudden crying during bowel movements in babies could also indicate an anal tear, diaper rash, or other infections, making passing stool very difficult for them. Certain foods may also contribute to these issues.