Why Is My Baby Pooping in the Bath?

Megan Van Schaick

baby bathOne of the most horrifying (and scarring) moments of my life was being made to take a bath with my baby sister … who promptly proceeded to poop in the bathtub! And I’m not talking a little bit of poop here. This was major pooping. That instantly dissolved and got all over both of us.

Those of you with similar experiences are probably wondering why babies do that? And when does it stop?

Because emptying the bathwater and restarting the whooole process gets old real quick.

You know how relaxing a nice, warm bath can be. You sink in and feel all your muscles get jellified and loose.

The same thing is happening to your baby in the bathtub. All -- and I do mean all -- their muscles get nice and relaxed. And because they don’t have the coordination or control to stop it from happening, before you know it, they’ve “relaxed” themselves all over the tub.

Warm baths are so effective that some pediatricians recommend putting your constipated baby in a warm bath and rubbing her stomach!

If your baby poops in the bath, don’t freak out. It’s not dangerous -- even if she manages to take a gulp of water. Just remove her from the bath, rinse the tub, and start over with clean water. You do want to make sure to use baby soap in these instances, to get rid of any harmful fecal matter that might linger on her skin.

If she’s doing this with every bath time, it’s time to re-evaluate her feeding schedule. Sometimes moving feeding time up or bath time back by an hour will make all the difference.

As for how long this will go on? Sorry moms, it could occur well into toddlerhood. If he’s close to potty-training time, then you can take him right out of the tub and onto the potty when you see the “poop signs” -- squatting, the scrunched-up face. If not, and changing bath time hasn’t helped, try bathing him immediately following a poopy diaper change.

If your baby is pooping a lot, do keep an eye on it -- you want to make sure that the color is normal. Don’t hesitate to put in a call to your pediatrician if you are concerned -- that’s what they’re there for!

One last thing ... if you can help it, don’t make your baby bathe with his siblings. Trust me, they’ll never get over it.

Does your baby poop in the tub?


Image via Qole Pejorian/Flickr

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