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How to Change a Diaper in Ten Minutes or Less April 1, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

Warning:This post contains graphic descriptions of baby poop. Not to be read while eating.

Step 1. Start with a four month old infant who, while sitting on your lap, lets out a most lady-like string of farts that feel and sounded like tiny popping bubbles. Try to decide if it was just farts or something else.

It is something else. Infant starts squirming and sounding her distress call which sounds like “Wah! Uh, ah, ooooh, wah! Mmmmmm, wah!” Stand up and head to the nursery.

Step 2. Place infant on changing table, which usually elicits giggles and smiles. Hear the escalating distress call instead. Begin reassuring and cooing to infant while unzipping and peeling off her getting-to-be-too-tight sleeper.

“Who’s a pretty baby? YOU are. YOU are. Are you pretty? YESYOUARE!” Unfasten diaper.

Step 3. Involuntarily exclaim “Oh my GOD” as you see what the diaper holds. Overnight your infant’s poop has changed from dark greenish to bright mustard yellow with bits that look like cottage cheese (sorry, but it does). Her squirming has caused it to spread past her belly button.

Step 4. Begin apologizing profusely to baby while wiping. Use a Pampers Sensitive wipe which is made from water, chamomile and aloe vera. Notice how it is not very sensitive and the baby’s nether regions are turning bright red. Continue apologizing profusely.

Step 5. Remember the ingredients in the prescription diaper rash cream given to her in the hospital when she was two days old. Squeeze a blob of Aquaphor and a blob of Balmex onto your index finger. Rub them together and then apply thickly. Pull out a Pampers Swaddlers diaper with one hand while holding baby’s legs with the other hand. Remember you haven’t disposed of the soiled diaper yet, and if you let go of the baby her feet will flop down into the mess. Fold up the soiled diaper and push into Diaper Genie.

Be glad this one’s a girl and won’t pee into the air while naked. Notice that the thick layer of diaper rash goo has already soaked in to her skin, apply a second layer. Fasten diaper.

Step 6. Dress baby in clean onesie and sleeper. Pick her up and pat her back. Feel sympathy pains in your nether regions for her awful diaper rash. Remember reading that baby girls can get yeast infections and shudder with fear and dread of that day. Head into bathroom.

Step 7. Really only your right hand got “dirty” since your left hand was holding the baby, so decide that really only your right hand needs washing. Pump Vanilla Scented hand soap onto your right fingers and rub fingers and thumb together. Realize that the reason Balmex works on diaper rash is that it DOESN’T WASH OFF. Apply more soap, repeat.

Contemplate, just for a second, laying the baby down on the bathroom floor so as to wash both hands. Actually look at the bathroom floor and reconsider. When was the last time you mopped in here? GOD.

Dry hand by rubbing on bath towel. Hope bath towel was somewhat clean.

Decide this would make a fun blog post. Put baby in bouncy seat and start writing.

This post was inspired by Amy of amalah.com, whose writing style I love. She has a way of breaking up her paragraphs that I tried to emulate her. I’m not worthy, but I try. Anyway, she has a section in her sidebar where she puts a sentence or two that usually starts with “No one tells you” and ends with something about breastfeeding orbaby poop or spit up. The first time I saw that bright yellow poop in Ryan’s diaper, I wondered why the heck the baby books didn’t mention it.

And by Nancy’s “Motherhood, with honesty” post, which asks the question ” Why are so many of the difficult aspects of motherhood kept private from childless or expecting women…?” Many of the commenters questioned whether or not to tell childless or pregnant friends what it’s really like to be a mother, how exhausting and frustrating and self-denying it is. I say yes, if they ask you, tell them.

I would have found it helpful to know ahead of time that sometimes babies throw up and it doesn’t mean they’re sick, and that at four months the poop turns yellow. Why should we keep that kind of information to ourselves? In tribal cultures the older women tell stories or sing songs that teach the new mothers what they need to know. Think of blogs as the new “tribal culture”. Tell the stories, post your songs-of-motherhood. Be honest.



1. Lanna - April 1, 2006

Geez, I’m a mom. I’ve actually eaten while reading posts about poop and vomit and not missed a beat (or bite I suppose – and I’ve read much worse stories). And ds’s poop was always that bright mustard yellow with bits (he was breastfed) so I kinda freaked when his turned greenish the first time. Turned out it was just something *I* ate that caused it (i.e. no big deal).

Oh, and the way we deal with kinda scary poop like that (the stuff that’s *everywhere*) – shower. Stick the kid in the tub and hose ’em down. Still do that with our toddler. We’re lazy that way. πŸ™‚

2. sweatpantsmom - April 1, 2006

I think a Poop Color Chart should be required in all baby books. Sort of like the Homeland Security Threat Level chart, only useful…

3. Chelle - April 1, 2006

I love the idea of enlightenment! It is both sad and amusing to hear the “I was so shocked!” stories of new mothers when they encounter something totally unexpected.

I’d also like to add a wee story of my own: I will never, ever forget the day my Mom told me about a friend of hers (mother to 4 boys) who had developed vaginal hemorrhoids after her last child. She had to constantly tuck the hemorrhoids back up (sorry folks!) and wear a mentrual pad to keep everything in place (involuntary shudder). I remember thinking, “What?! Why don’t women talk about this stuff?” To this day, I have never heard anyone else mention this potential child-bearing problem so here’s a HEADS UP to those trying to conceive. :o) This stuff needs to be in books about babies, people!

4. mama_tulip - April 1, 2006

I love this post, Elizabeth! There are so many things I’d wished people would have been honest with me about after I had Julia, and poop colour/consistancy/frequency was definitely one of them!

5. Mightymouse Mommy - April 2, 2006

Hey Sissy, maybe you and I can start a co-op “mentor mom” blog, with other mommies as contributors? Whatcha think?

Also, did you see that the assho – er – guy that went on strike from his wife in your last post is a registered sex offender? Chris found that little tidbit tonight, I’ll get him to post the linky tomorrow.

Hey! btw, I posted my first non-depressing post in a long time on my blog! Come see! πŸ˜€

Give da muffinest and my boys some love from Auntie Mousie πŸ˜‰

6. Izzy - April 2, 2006

I wish people had told me stuff like this and all the other gory details. Maybe I wouldn’t have been so depressed if someone had told me it wasn’t going to be like a freaking Gerber commercial. Great post!

7. Elizabeth - April 2, 2006

Lanna-Believe me as soon as the weather gets warm enough, I’ll be attaching a sprayer to the bathtub faucet for that very purpose!

SP Mom-HA! “Today’s poop alert has been raised to yellow”!-Excellent.

Chelle-Vaginal WHAT now? Ewwww!

Mama T-I blame those baby wipe commercials that show the Mom gently wiping a CLEAN butt. Why don’t they show us how well their wipes work on a poop blowout?

Ms. Mouse-Um, another blog? Okaaay, but only if I can hire a nanny and housekeeper first. And that Detroit guy being a sex offender? Why am I not surprised? Ass. His poor wife.

Izzy-Exactly. I don’t need diaper commercials to tell me how well they stop leaks, I need to SEE how well they stop leaks, you know?

8. Nancy - April 2, 2006

That was a great post, Elizabeth. I think you captured the flavor of Amalah’s writing but definitely made it all your own.

Definitely the blowouts are one thing you don’t hear much about before you become a parent. But then again, I didn’t really go asking to change diapers before I had my own kid — I’d make the baby’s parents do it. So I was happily ignorant on that front. πŸ˜‰

9. Elizabeth - April 2, 2006

Nancy-Thanks! And it would have been helpful to me if I had ever even touched a baby before Ryan was born. I knew nothing about changing diapers, giving baths, feeding and burping. I sure could have used some prior experience.

10. MrsFortune - April 2, 2006

Yellow poop – check. But one thing, you’re setting yourself up for endless questions from me by being so honest about this stuff!!! When you get an e-mail from me in two months at 4 AM asking “is it normal for THAT to be coming out of THERE?” don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

11. Mightymouse Mommy - April 2, 2006

Bah you had Lou and the monkey dance a few times. But if I remember correctly those usually ended with “he just cried and cried and nothing we did would make him happy.” lol

12. Mother GooseMouse - April 2, 2006

Not only did I read this post while I was eating dinner, but in the middle of it, Tacy excused herself to go potty, then asked if anyone wanted to check out her poop, and Kyle not only went over to do so, but he COMPLIMENTED her. A little bit (or even a lot) of little bitty baby poop is not about to make me lose MY appetite (which knows no bounds anyway).

And when CJ was tiny, all I wanted was for her to be able to sit up on her own, so that I could put her down without wondering if the floor was clean enough for a baby’s head to rest upon it.

13. Dawn - April 3, 2006

I called those the Mustard Poops – and you knew when the baby had started eating something else when they got all Funky.

The only thing that worried me was the milk coming out of Em’s little nipples. EGAD- What the hell is that? Apparently, Baby Girls get a HUGE dose of Mommy Estrogen at the end and may produce a little breast milk. Skeeved me the hell out.

But Poop? Nah – no biggie. I am a professional poop handler.–>

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