Q&A: pooping in her sleep

Carole writes:

"Is there any way I can engineer my 9 1/2 month old baby's diet toreduce the likelihood of us waking up to her in a messy diaper?

We sleep trained her about a month ago (and it's AMAZING, happy happy girl she is now that she's well rested), and have her on a pretty solid schedule, but when we go in to her at 7am she's been poopy for the last three mornings.  She generally poops twice a day.

I breastfeed her at 7pm, 7am and 1am.  She gets formula at 2:30 when I'm at work, breastmilk when I'm home.  She's a big eater, and loves everything, curry, mildly spiced thai food, fish, tofu, whatever we're having for dinner.  Should I make her evening meal more grains and less meat or fiber?  Are there any suggestions for helping avoid making her sit in poop?  (Other than going in to her every time she wakes up and cries for a minute?  She's usually back asleep again within 5 minutes.)"

See, this is yet another situation in which my Trained Monkey Assistants would come in handy. (I've had this idea for years that I should open a ranch where we train monkeys to do things for tired parents like pop back in dropped pacifiers in the middle of the night, wash out sippy cups of milk, match baby socks, etc. Changing middle-of-the-night poop diapers would be a great job for the TMA. Then my friend who actually works in primate research had to shatter my dream by telling me she thinks monkeys would mostly be ill-suited for this job temperament-wise. Easy come, easy go, I guess.)

I think you have two options: 1) Experiment with stuffing her full of binding foods (like rice and Veggie Booty) a few hours before bed, or 2) Wait it out until her pooping pattern changes on its own.

Feeding her binding foods could do the trick, or it could have no effect whatsoever. There's really no way to tell. And I guess it's also possible that you could end up going too far and constipating her for a day or two until you work the balance back out. But, if you are the kind of person who likes to be actively working on a problem, then you might as well try it and see what happens.

The real truth is that it's going to stop eventually, because as her eating and movement changes her pooping is going to change, too. So you could just cut to the chase and wait it out. If you're feeling particularly tired or worn out, that's certainly going to be the best option. But if you want to work on the problem, try messing around with her food, and it may ease things more quickly, or eventually she'll just stop pooping at night on her own.

If she were older, I'd tell you to teach her to yell out "poop"or some special sign when she's actually pooped, so you'd know it was that and not just that little night-waking thing some kids do. At this age, she could probably learn a hand sign for poop, but that doesn't help any of you in the middle of the night.

Any suggestions to help Carole get to her daughter when she's pooped, without having to go in for every little peep? Did anyone else go through a night-time pooping stage with a baby this old?