Day 45: Grunting baby syndrome


A lot of my time with Tommy is spent trying to help him poo. To be clear, I don't know if what I'm doing is actually helping, it's just something for me to do while he struggles. He has something called infant dyschezia (or grunting baby syndrome), which is apparently normal? 

Babies aren't born with the reflex to relax their butt when they try to poo, but some pick it up quicker than others. Tommy will get red the face trying to push his liquid yellow poo out against his clenched anus and will cry with frustration when he can't. It's hard to watch! "Pediatricians believe these infants cry to produce the necessary abdominal pressure to poop, not because they’re in pain." Idk how they know they're not in pain, I'm pretty sure they just threw that sentence into the article to make the parents feel better.

Anyway, I hold Tommy in different positions (mostly this squatty potty simulating one in the photo), make ocean noises in his ear, and repeat over and over "You can do this!" to him. My favorite sound right now is Tommy's fart or, even better, the unmistakable sound of poo coming out.

You know how they say "everything is a phase, nothing is forever" to tired parents. Like ya, I know. But sometimes I catch myself thinking what if he never learns to poo and I'm holding him like this when he's 5? 10? 25?? Now I get why that mantra is so useful.