My baby pooped after I put him down - can I change him?

If we had a dollar for every time pooping had ruined a nap or caused an early morning waking, we’d be inventing a “poop sensor” just for this purpose! You can’t control your baby’s bodily functions, but you can maximize his ability to go back to sleep by handling the situation swiftly. If you’ve determined that your baby has pooped (usually you can smell it during a check-in), pick him up, change him quickly without talking or interacting, then put him back down again. If he’s had most of a nap or close to a full night’s sleep, the probability that he’ll go back to sleep is low. However, what you are teaching him is that no matter what, you determine wake-up time. If there is more than half an hour left before that sleep period is over, be patient. Do your check-ins if you’d like (though some parents find that extending the intervals of check-ins following a poop incident works best, as changing him is quite stimulating), or just leave him be. Eventually, he should learn to go back to sleep. That having been said, there are some babies who are what we call “punctual poopers.” They poop on time, every day, at exactly the same time. If you are unlucky, this time might be 5:30 am (and your target wake time might be 6:00 am). If you are feeding your child solids, watch what he’s eating right before bed; fruit or high-fiber foods might be contributing to the early-morning poop. If your child never goes back to sleep, even after a week or ten days of staying consistent with check-ins but not getting him up, you might need to settle for the early wake time, in which case you’ll want to adjust the bedtime a bit earlier to make sure he’s at least well rested at that hour.

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