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Mom’s Question:

My baby cries in pain when she goes to the toilet for a soft or hard poo.

Why can that be?

Katie


Baby Helpline:

Reasons For Painful Pooping In Babies

Depending on how old your baby is, this could have to do with normal newborn straining, or some other reason. If she is older than 3 months, her intestines should be mature enough to prevent her from being in pain just from normal bowel movements (soft).

Some babies seem to be extra sensitive to harder poop, especially those who have been breastfed and then start with solid foods. The poop doesn’t have to be very hard at all for some of the babies to cry. (I’ve had one baby like that.)

If your baby just recently started to cry, and hasn’t had any problems earlier, an anal tear or diaper rash could be making the bowel movement painful. Some food intolerances could also be causing problems.

If she on the other hand has always had these problems, you should contact a doctor to exclude any blockage or other issues that make the pooping painful.

You may also want to read the following forum discussion, where parents with similar situations share their situation:

Baby Screams In Pain With Every Bowel Movement

I hope you soon find out what is wrong! Don’t hesitate to take your baby to a doctor to discuss the situation.

Paula
(Answer approved by our Medical Reference Team)

Find comments to this question below.

Comments for “Baby Cries In Pain When Pooping Even When Loose Stools”

May 04, 2011I know how you feel!

by: Anonymous

I had the EXACT same problem, here’s what I did:
The Dr. told me that if a hard poop has ever ripped your baby, then every bowel movement could be terrifying for them because it reminds them of the hurt from the first time. Since it hurt them at one point, they associate pooping with something scary. It seems that they are in pain when really they’re freaked out. You need to reassure your baby that pooping is ok and not scary!

Every time he would poop and scream and cry, I’d say ” good boy” “it’s ok, keep going” “you’ll be ok, you’re a good boy!” You need to encourage them with a smile and excitement NOT a sad face!

He has LITERALLY stopped crying when he poops! It took a couple of times for it to catch on, like probably half a month, but now he doesn’t cry…if the crying persists call the dr!


Sep 18, 2011Same way here

by: Anonymous

My baby girl does the same thing and has since she was born. I have talked to her doctor about it and she told us to change her formula. I have since then changed her formula 6 times and still nothing has worked. We’ve tried lactose-free milk-based and even soy. I’m not sure what else I should do. She is 5 weeks old and was a month early. Does anyone have any ideas?


Sep 19, 20116 weeks old hard poop

by: Anonymous

I have a 6-week old that is really straining to poop. She cries and is fussy for hours.
She is 4 weeks early but this only started 3 weeks ago. She poops a few times a day but it’s only a small amount of hard poop. I’ve tried Nestle Good start & that had her foaming at the mouth and the sheet was shocked when I would get her from waking. I tried Soy formula & that she had diarrhea after every bottle for the 5 days she was on it.

Now I have her on the original which is PC liquid and she is having these rabbit poops every few hours but she is in pain trying to poop though. I have no idea what to do.


Dec 08, 201111 MONTH OLD SON SCREAMING IN TREMENDOUS PAIN every time HE POOPS WHETHER THE STOOL IS HARD OR SOFT

by: Anonymous


SINCE MY SON HAS BEEN 5 MONTHS HE HAS BEEN IN TREMENDOUS PAIN every time HE POOPS…HE HAS HAD HIS STOMACH X-RAYED IT’S FINE, HE HAS HAD HIS COLIN X-RAYED IT’S FINE, AND I HAVE NO CLUE ON WHAT TO DO…HIS RECTUM SEEMS A BIT SENSITIVE, BUT I CAN’T BEAR TO SEE MY SON IN SUCH PAIN…IT’S QUITE SCARY HE COULD BE CRAWLING OR PLAYING AND AS SOON AS HE FEEL IT COMING ON HE JUST TAKES OFF…SO I HAVE TO KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON HIM SO THAT HE MAY NOT HIT HIS HEAD OR CRAWL INTO A WALL…PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME!!!!


Dec 08, 2011More people in your situation!

by: Paula (Baby Help Line)


To the person writing on December 8, What you describe doesn’t seem alright and I think you should continue to seek medical advice. There is a thread with parents experiencing a similar situation, and I’ll give you the link below. A few of the babies there were finally diagnosed with anal stenosis, other with milk protein allergy.

Don’t give up!

https://www.easybabylife.com/baby-screams-with-every-bowel-movement.html

Warm wishes,

Paula


Jan 11, 2012baby cries when poos

by: Anonymous


My little girl is 11 months old every time she poops, she screams the house down. It is horrible, I can’t do anything for her. her poos are soft so cant understand how they can be hurting she could pass a tiny bit and still get in a state I don’t know what to do for her anymore any ideas please help :(


Jan 12, 2012Have her examined!

by: Paula (Baby Help Line)

Hi,

Have you checked your daughter for diaper rash or signs of any small wounds close to the anus? If she seems completely fine from what you can see, I think you should take her to a doctor for examination. Pooping soft stools should not be painful.

For how long has this been going on? Can you relate it to any introduction of new foods or possibly to any period of constipation.? Sometimes, small children can become scared of pooping after an illness or constipation (when pooping really was painful). Try to help her stay calm if she does seem scared, by cuddling her, patting her back, smiling at her, and showing in all ways you can that it is not dangerous.

Best,

Paula


Feb 05, 2012Still going Though it!

by: Anonymous

My daughter has had diarrhea dice birth-6 mths, and we changed her formula 4 times in that time period! Since starting solids about a month n a half ago, she is now almost 8 mths, he poo is pasty, nowhere near hard, but she screams and strains, almost every BM unless it’s complete diarrhea, we’ve taken her to the doctor, but they say it’s her formula, and rite now I’m getting worried because she shouldn’t be experiencing pain like that for soft pasty stools!!! Any ideas on how I should be going about this? And if I were to bring her back to her dr. What specific questions should I be asking, in order to get a proper assessment?


Feb 26, 2012soft poop but still cry when trying to poop.

by: Anonymous


and they told me it is normal but are they even sure the said she has acid reflux and gave her meds 4 that but she still is crying when she poops and she is 7 wks old please any help !!


Mar 15, 20122-year-old cries in pain when having a BM.

by: Cathy

I too have a child that cries and screams in pain from having a BM. He has done this since he was born. He suffered from gas, vomiting, constipation, and frequency issues to the point where I had to put prune juice in his formula and give him Ovol or Gripe water all the time. When he first started trying to use his stomach muscles to sit up or roll over he would vomit. If he coughs or cries too much he has a bought of intense vomiting. Every doctor that has seen him said it was a formula issue and changed it. He eventually was on Alimentum which I took him off of because it made matters even worse. I’ve switched doctors 3 times and he’s had x-rays on both his stomach and bowels. He was even hospitalized at one point. He does gain weight but has never been above the 25th percentile. Now they say he is underweight for his height and age. He doesn’t appear to suffer from any other health issues and is a very active and happy boy.

He is over 2 years old now and I finally have an appointment with a pediatrician now because of his age. For some reason now it is a major medical concern. All the years that I fought with doctors, changed doctors, and begged them to send my son to either a pediatrician or a specialist to no avail angers me. I still don’t know at this point what is wrong with my son but I encourage all the other parents out there with a child with the same problem not to give up.

Fight hard if you think that it’s more than just a formula issue. I too was told that my son would grow out of it or that everything was fine. I will post more when I know more about his condition.


May 03, 2012Since he was born

by: Anonymous


My son has been having problems with his bowel movements SINCE HE WAS BORN, he’s 11 months old now. He’s been on regular formula and been on soy now since he was 2 months. He starts screaming, crying, straining so bad, he would stretch his legs out and get all stiff. We’ve taken him to so many doctors had X-rays done still nothing. We’ve tried suppositories, prune juice, drinking more water, more green veggies, nothing works for My family and I still feel like there’s something being missed there’s Something still wrong. Please help, I don’t what other doctors to go to.


May 25, 2012Not trying to scare anyone

by: Anonymous

I’m not trying to scare anyone but it’s more than likely that one of your children has been born with a twisted bowel that is wrapped around its self. I’m not a doctor only 23 but my little sister always had trouble pooping said it hurt really bad. My parents did not know when she said it hurt it really did because of her twisted bowels. Well kids with this condition do not live past the age of 4. She got flu-like symptoms one night and in the morning she just died. I don’t mean to scare anyone but if they are complaining take them to the doctor get an X-ray to make sure there isn’t something going on. My sister could have been saved with a simple surgery had we known about it. Please don’t let yourself regret that too


Dec 19, 2012My baby is not crying but pushing badly though loose poop

by: Bal


My baby is nearly two months. Actually she is not crying but pushing badly when poop though her poop is loose. Does anyone have an idea is it normal or not?


Dec 27, 2012strain while poo

by: sim


My baby is 1 month old and he feels the strain in poo. All our elders say that it is common in infants. It’s really hard to see him when he feels the strain in poo.


Apr 15, 20135months

by: Anonymous

Hi, everybody, my son has also had the same issue since he was born he is now 5months old. I have taken him to the doctors they have given me cream for his bum which he rashed up from they gave me Gaviscon which didn’t seem to help iv tried nearly everything to help him (gripe water, natural remedies, massaging) and nothing works. He screams every time, he will end up passing it but not without screaming. He is mixed fed with nurture gold digestive plus and we have tried solids in his diet because we thought it may just be the soft stools that are making it difficult. I really hope it will get better soon as its really hard watching him go through so much pain.


Apr 24, 2013my son has an anal tear what should I do?

by: Anonymous

my 22 months old always cries n screams every time he has a bm since he was about a year he has had this problem I tried everything juices fruit prune juice everything and it still not working just the other day he had a BM and I changed diaper he wasn’t finished and the BM was really hard and bloody and it looked as if he had a tear should I take him to the ER? will that need surgery?


Apr 24, 2013my son has an anal tear what should I do?
by: Anonymous


I recently found an anal tear while changing my baby diaper. what should I do because it’s causing him pain every time he has a BM? will he need surgery to correct it? PLZ HELP!!!!


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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Brittany Lashae Blankenship

    My little girl is 18 months and has had problems pooping since she was 3 days old . She screams to the top of her lungs and turns purple while pushing she acts like it hurts her so bad and this is with soft or hard poop I took her to the dr and they put her on meralax to help it but it Don’t so now their talking about doing surgery to stretch her bowels we take her to a specialist on Wednesday to find out the real reason of why it’s hurting her so bad

  2. Avatar
    Kayla

    My daughter is 2.5 years old and since about 4 days ago when she poops, it is so painful that she screams in pain. sometimes its diarrhea and others its not but its not hard. She does NOT have a diaper rash and is not red down there. I have not changed anything for her eating habits so I don’t know what is going on. I feel so bad because I cant help her. When she does poop she never finishes because it is so painful.