As a mom, you know that the number one rule of thumb is never wake a sleeping infant. But what if that baby's diaper needs to be changed — and it's more than just wet? Do you change your baby if she poops in her sleep?

It may be tempting to let her snooze, but the American Pregnancy Organization warns that the acid content of a bowel movement may irritate your baby's skin and you should change her as soon as possible.

"But, what if my baby has been crying nonstop for hours, and just as she fell asleep, she farted really loudly," you may ask. "I'm afraid that if I check her diaper she'll wake up and start wailing again."

Nothing turns a cranky baby's disposition around better than a good nap. But, you should always check the diaper, especially if you suspect that it was already a little wet. "Some of the bacteria in your baby’s poo release an enzyme that can cause ammonia to be released from urine," according to Baby Center. "This, in turn, raises your baby’s skin pH level. Rising pH levels on the skin can increase the activity of things that irritate your baby’s skin and decrease the growth of healthy skin micro-flora that would protect her."

If you think your baby is cranky now, wait until she has an uncomfortable diaper rash.


But then you may wonder, if your child is sick, could the stinky smell simply be a reaction to their antibiotics. Not so much. Your baby could get a yeast infection. Two things that can cause a yeast infection in a baby are antibiotics and dirty diapers, according to Livestrong. Antibiotics kill off the healthy bacteria that keeps yeast under control and since candida yeast thrives in warm, wet diapers, the combination of pee and poop make baby's skin more susceptible to infection. Yeast infections must be treated by an anti-fungal cream which will require a trip to the pediatrician. It will also mean several applications of the medication and even more frequent diaper changes. Changing her now can prevent this.

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Then there's the car seat issue. Car seat carriers are warm and snugly, and babies often fall asleep inside of them. The problem is that the warmth of the car seat cushioning, combined with the limited cool air flow the baby receives when facing away from the car's air conditioner, can create a breeding ground of bacteria in your baby's diaper. When you add poop to the mix, your baby is at greater risk of getting a urinary tract infection according to WebMD.

Changing a poopy diaper right away, even if your little one is asleep, is a simple way you can help prevent your baby from experiencing these painful and potentially traumatizing situations.