Baby makes strange sounds and gasps when pooping, after, and even when changing diapers. What can this be?

Let’s go through possible reasons here.

Many parents have added their thoughts and experiences in the comments section; make sure to check those, too!

baby gasping when poopingPin

Mom’s Question:

My 3-month-old baby just started making squeaky noises and almost a gasping sound during and after pooping.

He gets red and grunts while pooping, then makes this weird noise even while changing his diaper…

This is the only time he makes this noise, but it makes me a little worried; it just seems like he isn’t getting enough air, although he isn’t struggling or crying…

Does anyone know what this is?


Baby Gasping For Air When Pooping

I truly understand your concern. Even if your boy doesn’t have trouble breathing, I, too, believe that it can be wise to try and find the reason for his sounds.

Acid Reflux

One possible reason that comes to my mind is acid reflux. Some babies gasp or even throw up when pooping due to the stomach fluid being pushed up through their throat when pushing to poop. You can read about a baby that throws up when pooping here.

You also mention that he makes this sound when changing diapers. Again, this could also be due to reflux since the stomach fluids may enter the throat when laid down, particularly when his legs are held up to change diapers.


There is a condition called laryngopharyngeal reflux, which is when stomach acid travels up to the throat. This can lead to spasms, so-called laryngospasms, where the vocal cords have a muscle spasm. In children, noisy breathing is one of the symptoms of this. Most children grow out of their reflux, but treatment can be needed, so consider bringing this up with your baby’s doctor.

What is LPR (Laryngopharyngeal Reflux)? Acidic & Non-Acidic Throat Reflux


Another medical possibility is a condition called tracheomalacia. It is rare and most likely what your baby has, but since one of the symptoms is noisy breathing (stridor), I wanted to mention it. Tracheomalacia is a condition that involves a collapse of the airway when breathing. This means that when your child exhales, the trachea narrows or collapses so much that it may feel hard to breathe. Breathing usually comes out noisy.

However, since your baby only makes the gasping sound when pooping, tracheomalacia is not a likely reason.

You can read more about tracheomalacia here. (Opens in new window)

Babies with similar issues

Here is another discussion going on between several parents with a similar situation, and you can start by reading about what they have done and what the doctors have found in their cases: Read about other babies making gasping sounds when laid down here.

Finally, a tip: catch the gasping on film and show it to your baby’s pediatrician. That way, explaining why you do not think the sounds and behavior are normal will be much easier. Logging the incidents can also help the discussion (when does it happen, how often, for how long, and so on).

I wish you good luck!

Find comments to this question below.

Leave a Reply

This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. Milli

    Omg my 3month old does this too! Sounds like something out of a horror film but he doesn’t seem to be in distress at all. I have videos.

  2. Kelly

    My son is 4 months old and since he was born he has been making a weird noise after he poops. His face turns so red but his poops are normal consistency. Then I wait to hear that noise to change him because usually, that means he is done. It sounds like he is wheezing. As soon as I lay him down to change him, he is all smiles. He does not seem in distress or pain at all. I asked the doctor, and he said he just hopes he doesn’t do it when he is 13! We are going back for his 4-month checkup next week. I plan on taking a video and showing him. After doing research and reading all your comments, I want to find out what it is!

    Any comments are welcome!


  3. Lia

    My mom told me when she came over to see us that I used to act the same way as a baby. Fussy, grunting, red face, screaming, high pitch squeal, gassy, bloated, wouldn’t have a bowel movement that often and hurt when I did.

    Acid reflux, heartburn, and milk allergy. They put me on meds for the Heartburn and acid reflux and tried to tell my mom to try all sorts of different things…

    None of them worked till she bought a nanny goat and gave me goat’s milk. You can buy it at a grocery store. You don’t have to buy a goat lol.

    Yes, it worked perfectly for my son and me. But the bad news is that it never goes away. I still have to take Pills and can not have cows’ dairy products or even soy.

    As for the bowels, that too is the same, but a doctor will help once they are old enough to have to take something for it right now, like I said, the goat’s milk worked wonders on me and for my son right now. He sleeps through the night and is now a happy, beautiful boy. I hope this works for anyone else other than us. :)

  4. Amy

    My daughter is 7 weeks old and has been making these noises for the past 5 weeks or so only after she poops. I am glad that I found this because she is also on Gerber Good Start, and it seems to me maybe that is the problem.

    She goes for her 2-month check-up next week, so I am going to ask the pediatrician anyway, but I’m glad I’m not alone and it seems from everyone else’s responses that she is not in any danger.

  5. Reagan

    My grandchild was not pooping for six days at a time. A pediatrician told my daughter that some babies rectal sphincter ( opening to the anus ) is clamped shut and that they will hold their stool in.

    To help the baby go poop, use a vaseline-covered baby q-tip and gently push it into the anus, maybe a centimeter or so. This will usually get things going. You could also use a pediatric glycerine suppository to gently open the anus to allow things to start moving. Insert it into the anus about a centimeter and hold it in place for about 10 minutes.

  6. melissa

    My daughter is 6 months old and hardly poops because it’s so painful for her. She screams for ages, and then when she’s finished, she has only done a pea-sized amount. I took her to the doctor today, and he’s just giving me some cream for a slight nappy rash and said to see if that’s what’s wrong, but I know it’s not. Her problem is inside, but no one will listen to me. She holds her poop in because she doesn’t like that it hurts. How do I get through to the stupid doctors?

  7. Eva

    My little one has done this from the time she was 2 weeks old. It scared me, but the doctor said nothing was wrong, and she made the squeaky noise while she was pooping and then while I changed her. She always strained with red, watery eyes and a red nose, but the doc said a little prune juice would take care of did, but she still squealed. It turned out that as she got older (now 3 years), she started doing it before she had to go, making potty training easier! She doesn’t complain that it hurts or anything; she just squeals and then yells, “I got to go!”

  8. Worried

    My daughter just had a baby. She was breastfed for about 5 days; then we went to Good Start, the gentle plus. She would not burp at all but would pass gas a lot. It was upsetting her stomach. I think she started getting poss colic signs. The doctor advised us to change to soy. We did switch to the Good Start soy plus, and that’s when she started making the wheezing noises when she poops. Her bowels were very loose and yellow as well. She has been doing it for 2 days now. I’m not saying it is the formula, but now I’m starting to wonder! Another poss is.. we have given her the mylicon drops for gas and upset stomach. Does anyone else use them? Please let me know!

    Thank you

    1. Amanda

      We used Mylicon, but not until after the wheezing had begun. We used gripe water and it worked wonders.

      1. Worried

        Thank you, I’ll have to try that tonight .. well this morning were up and it is 3:27 am. called the doctor they adv us to switch back to the regular formula that they adv us to take her off of…She doesn’t seem to get into a deep sleep cause her stomach she is so gassy. But thank you for your response.

  9. Cora

    My son has done this since birth ( 2 years ago). It went away between 12 – 18 months and came back. The doctors say there is nothing wrong.
    I know he has a diaper rash whenever it happens, and it is always a loose stool. Does anyone think it is the acid level in the stool that may cause a burning sensation? I tried everything. He was on liquid gold (Enfamil Nutramigin)until a year, and then I did Lactaid. Now I am on Silk. One thing I did figure out, instead of using wipes when I see the yellowish bowel, I put him in the sink and wash him with warm water. It doesn’t happen. If I use a wipe, it is automatic. I’m so glad to know I am not alone. :)

    1. Amanda

      Well, I’ve recorded the things she eats every time this happens with my Nora and it seems like it’s always on days when she has toast with butter and cinnamon-splenda on top. Bagels are fine, but the bread or the margarine or something must have some allergen in it. That’s all I can think of. It sometimes happens on other days, but almost always happens on days when she has toast for breakfast.

      This doesn’t make any sense because she’s done it since birth. And like the last comment, she got better around 18 months and now it’s back (at 30 months). It seems like it must be an allergy because the diaper rash is so immediate. She’ll be completely clear in the morning and then when she poops, it’s an out-of-control rash.

      Thanks for the tip about the bath, though. The wipes seem to make it much worse for mine; I’ll try a bath next time.

      I’ve seen 6+ pediatricians, and no one has an answer…it’s obviously scary for my little one. She cries and cries. I wish we knew what was going on.

  10. Elizabeth

    my daughter will be 2 in Oct, and she has made that same noise, too… now she even does it when she hurts herself! we have had her checked everything was fine…in fact, it seems like she has perfected doing it, lol..she makes the noise when she tries to show she is shocked or surprised!

  11. Ann

    I wrote when my daughter was about 4 months old since this had just started. She is now 21 months old, and I can only say that it would happen on and off until about 3-4 months ago. I don’t remember any episodes since around Christmas, but it’s possible. Certainly, I haven’t heard any since about February. I know she was never on Good Start formula (she was actually on Nutramigen), and the Pediatric GI tested her for a bunch of things and said that she had no bowel issues or anything else that would make this noise. He wasn’t troubled by it, even when I showed him the video. But I have to say it was always disturbing for me as a parent to watch and wonder if she was in pain. She would ALWAYS get very red-faced when pooping. Now she still strains to poop, but it’s not as bad. Hope you all outgrow it too!

  12. Amanda

    I’ve posted previously about my daughter growing out of it, but lately (She is 2 and a half), she’s started doing it again. I can’t figure this out! She told me, “Mommy, it hurts! Poopy! Owie!” And she had a crazy diaper rash when I changed her. Same symptoms she’s had for her entire life. She didn’t get the diaper rash until around 6 months, but she squeaks like crazy. She’s had mild episodes, but yesterday’s was like an attack. Poor thing. I took videos to the doctor, who said she was producing the noise for who knows what reason…hmmm. Don’t think so.

  13. Natalie

    My son is 9 months old and does the same thing. He’s done it for a few months now. He has always had issues with pooping, he grunts and acts like he’s pushing for hours before he finally poops, and it’s always hard! I don’t think he’s constipated because he goes every day, but it’s just hard, and he screams and cries every time he goes. He makes the noise as he’s pooping and for a little bit afterward. I figure it is probably from the poop being hard, and it hurts his bottom. He is also on Good Start, and I’m beginning to wonder if the formula is causing him problems.

  14. Emilia

    my daughter had just turned a year and was fully breastfed when she started to do this. She’s on tonnes of meds and stuff to help her poop still doing got it on video GI doctor says its nothing, but she does red, then purple, then blue, then back to reg color so frustrated

  15. Amanda

    Wow, I never thought about it being her formula. I had mine on Good Start while the noises were at their worst. I switched to soy (Similac Isomil Advance), and it got better, but I never made the connection. She still made the noise after switching her formula, but it was better.

  16. Lily

    My baby makes these same noises, but I changed her formula a while ago, and she stopped… I now have her back on the Good Start; she is making these noises again. I’m not sure if maybe it’s the iron content, but she is also struggling when she is pooping. I feel very relieved that I am not the only mom with this problem… I was starting to get a little worried. If anyone else has their baby on Nestle Good Start and they are making these noises, please let me know so I can think about switching formulas again. thank you.

  17. Penelope

    We have been experiencing these noises with our baby girl for about a month now. It almost sounds similar to the noises of a squeaking toy, like a distorted inhaling squeak/gasping. She goes in for her two-month check-up in a few days, so I will try to find out why this is. She does this after she poops every time and sometimes while she poops. It doesn’t matter if it was a soft or hard stool, nor how long it took her to do it. We giggle at her when she makes the noises, but I can’t help but feel bad in case this means something is wrong. As soon as the diaper is getting changed, though, she starts to stop. Perhaps it’s her way of saying gross change me:) I will be back with my doctor’s feedback next week.

  18. Amanda

    My baby only does it AFTER pooping too. It seems to be tapering off. She’s almost 15 months and hasn’t done it in a couple of months. Now and then, she’ll make one little gasp as I wipe her bum, but no episodes since January. I hope this means they’ll grow out of it. I went to 4 pediatricians trying to get it figured out, and no one had an answer. It’s frustrating, but she’s doing much better on that front. Hope your babies do too!

  19. Ann

    Does anyone’s baby make this noise without pooping first? Mine only does it AFTER pooping and usually straining quite a bit. The GI specialist told us to try giving her 1 oz of prune juice in each bottle, and we just started that this month. So far, it seems to help reduce the occurrences, but it hasn’t eliminated them. She still makes the noise for a second or two but not as prolonged. And with the prune juice, she is pooping ALL THE TIME! Wonder if anyone else has an update.

  20. Gianna

    My daughter does the same exact thing!!! Her belly blows up, her chest caves in, and she makes a weird noise. It is so so scary. It only happens after we poop or eat. It doesn’t happen all the time. It used to happen about once a month starting at 2 months, and now it happens once or twice a week. I hate it!!! I have taken her to two doctors, who just tell me she will outgrow it. I felt so much better after reading everyone’s comments. I don’t think she struggles for air because we ensure she doesn’t turn colors. She sometimes smiles when it happens. It is so weird!

  21. Ann

    My daughter also makes this kind of noise usually during and after pooping. It’s worse if I move her or change her position during the pooping, and sometimes lasts on and off for 10 minutes. Also, she is treated with Zantax for her acid reflux. It started around 3 months and got worse before stopping around the 5 month mark. Now that she’s 6 months old, she’s back at it!

    We saw a pediatric GI doc when it started and he saw video clips of her doing it and said he saw “nothing alarming” and that she would “grow out of it.” Didn’t make me very happy. He offered NO explanation. It sounds a bit like the laryngeal malacia that my niece had but this is accompanied by a caving in of my daughter’s chest. She smiles and sometimes sings/cries through it, so I know it’s not a lack of air. But she makes the worst noise.

    Anyone have any updates on how to treat this?

  22. Amanda

    My baby does the same thing, 99% of the time after she poops. She started doing it at about 2 weeks old and continues to do it now (a year old). I caught it on video a few days ago and am taking the video to the doctor today to see what she says. Let me know if you find out what it is.

    I read the other discussion, which seems a little different. My baby doesn’t squeak/gasp when laid down, she does it when she’s pooping and after she’s pooped. Has your baby had long episodes? Mine had one about 2 weeks ago and it was really frightening. Anyway, I’ll let you know what the doctor says.

  23. RoseMarie

    My son did the same thing, my gut told me that he was in pain and seemed to not be comfortable at all. Turned out he had a mild bowel obstructions and was allergic to milk. Have him checked before you end up in the ER.