My wife and I are expecting our second baby in February of next year. As we talk about this new addition to our family, I find myself thinking back to how the first few months were when our first baby was born. I was met with some surprises as a new father with my oldest son when he was born. I thought it might be helpful for me to remind myself what I learned as a new father of a new born by writing down a few thoughts in a blog post. Hopefully what I learned can be helpful for new fathers who may read this. One the biggest things I learned right away was stuff about poop and changing diapers.
Being the oldest child in a family of 8 children, I was around younger siblings and their poopy diapers constantly. I think I smelled a poopy diaper every day of my life until I was 18 years old. Even though I was around poopy diapers all the time, I mostly managed to avoid having to change my sibling’s diapers. On the few occasions when I did change their diapers I found myself gagging uncontrollably at the sight and smell of my siblings poop.
Unfortunately, this didn’t change for me as a new father of a new born. The first time I changed his diaper I found myself breaking out into a cold sweat even before I took his diaper off and then once I had his diaper off I gagged nonstop. This may not happen for all new fathers, but here is some information on poop and how to change diapers. I should also add that changing diapers eventually got easier for me and now I don’t even gag.
Different Kinds of Baby Poop
Lets first talk about the different kinds of poop. I bring this up because in the hospital it seems like the doctors and nurses are very interested/concerned in how many times your new born has pooped and peed. They are interested and/or concerned for good reason since all this indicates if everything is working internally.
Poop from new borns for the first few day will look like a combination of motor oil and caramel. It is very sticky. This kind of poop is called meconium. It looks this way because it is made up of the stuff (intestinal epithelial cells, lanugo, mucus, amniotic fluid, bile, and water) your baby ingested while in utero. You will find that meconium is hard to clean off your baby’s bum, but the good news is that it does not smell bad.
The second kind of poop you will see from your new born will be what is called transitional poop. This poop happens usually between 2 and 4 days old. Its lighter in color than meconium (kind of an army green and less sticky). Transitional poop is a sign that your new born is beginning to digest early breast milk or formula and that everything is okay with his intestinal track. This poop will last for the first week of life.
After transitional poop comes breastfed poop. This kind of poop often looks like Dijon mustard (yellow and/or greenish in color) with cottage cheese mixed in. It also may be dotted with seed-like flecks. For the benefit of fathers who struggle with poopy diapers this kind of poop does not smell all that bad.
If your baby is not breastfed then he will be formula fed which means his poop will look different. Formula fed or bottle fed poop is brown in color with a thick and creamy consistency. If the formula you give your new born is iron fortified then his poop will be dark brown or dark green.
When baby poop really starts to get smelly is when you start feeding your baby solid foods like infant cereal, pureed bananas, and stuff like that. This kind of poop is called solid-food poop. It’s brown or dark brown in color and thicker than peanut butter, but still mushy.
Step by Step Diaper Changing Instructions
One of the first times I changed my son’s diaper I got poop all over me. To avoid this it is good to follow some diaper changing instructions that make it less likely that you will get poop every where.
- Get all you supplies together: a new diaper, wipes, and diaper rash cream.
- Lay your new born baby face up on the changing table or floor.
- Take off any baby clothes that need to be removed in order to change a diaper.
- Pull out 5 to 6 wipes for poopy diapers. For wet diapers 1 wipe will do.
- Take off diaper.
- Wipe your baby’s bum clean making sure all the cracks and crevices are clean and poop free.
- Dispose of wipes in poopy diaper and then roll up diaper with wipes in it and secure diaper with diaper tabs.
- Open up the new diaper, lay it flat below the baby’s bum with the diaper tabs on top.
- Grab your baby’s ankles with one hand and gently lift you baby’s bum up and then slide the new diaper into place and then lower your baby’s bum down onto the diaper.
- Pull the diaper between your baby’s legs and make sure to secure the diaper to the baby’s body using the diapers tabs.
- Reclothe your baby and put him in a safe place if you are changing him on a changing table.
- Throw away poopy diaper.
- Wash hands.
I hope these tips help anyone who may be faced with the challenge of having to change a diaper for the first time. I know they would have helped me with my poopy diaper changing anxiety as a new father!