As you no doubt figured out pretty soon after giving birth, babies don't exactly poop like the rest of us. That's especially true at first, during the bizarre black-tar meconium phase of newborn elimination, but it continues to be the case throughout infancy — and it's not always consistent, either. So when you see your little one appearing to strain and push, or notice a drop in overall number of dirty diapers per day, you might worry about what you can do to get things moving. There are some things you should never do to make a baby poop, experts say, or at least almost never.
With all the changes in your baby's digestive habits, it can honestly be tricky to figure out if there's even a problem. Even when the only thing your baby is consuming is breastmilk, you may still find confusing variations to his poo: Sometimes it's yellow, sometimes it's green. Sometimes it's runny, sometimes it's lumpy. Sometimes it looks like it has seeds in it (??). And all of those things can be normal! The same goes for frequency: Sometimes babies poop multiple times a day, sometimes they go once a day, sometimes they go for days without moving their bowels at all. And all of those things can be normal, too!
But if, for whatever reason, you're concerned that your little one is having constipation issues, and you're tempted to help the process along, there are some methods experts say you should probably stay away from — as well as some common misconceptions parents have about how and when their baby should be pooping in the first place.