In the beginning a newborn's poo looks like black tar, or molasses with greeny tinge. Yes. Green. It's thick, it's sticky and it's pain in the arse to get off. Literally. They do let you know in the hospital that it's all normal etc but nothing can prepare you for the sight of all that black, sticky shit pasted on the backside of your tiny little baby. Where did it all come from? What the hell is it made out of it? Why doesn't it stink to high heaven, because it looks like it should? And how the hell do you get it off? You learn pretty quickly that you'll be going through at least 240 baby wipes in the period of a week. Minimum. But more on that later...
The black sticky ass poo, or Meconium, only lasts for a day or two. If you're breastfeeding, which we are, then we're onto the good stuff as your milk comes in. Poo's turn more green and less black and start looking grainy and weird. It's equally disgusting but still fascinating. It's true, your baby's poo is fascinating. Over the course of a few days the poo will turn into a disgusting yellow colour (baby shit yellow anyone?) and will have the consistency of god know's what. I would like to reiterate that the fascination with poo comes from it being one of the first signs if your baby is unwell. If you're baby's poo is different from normal, bloody or extremely runny, then they might be a sick little one!
So there you are, at least 4 times a day, with your head stuck in your baby's shitty nappy, checking their crap so you can rule out illness. Most of the time I just marvel at the sheer amount of shit that comes out. It's hilarious. I've even on occasion called out to the Juffin and asked him to bear witness.
When there's a particularly large offering, it can take at least 10 wipes to get the Mushroom all clean again. Baby's have folds of skin. Just when you think you've got it all, there's a big smear of it hiding under his ball sack. Sneaky bugger. There's also the surprise urination, or the 'haven't quite finished' scenario to factor in also. On numerous occasions we have been sprayed with urine and shit simultaneously. Mushroom thinks this is hilarious. Typical male. As if pissing on your own face would be fun for anyone other than a member of the male sex?
Mushroom poo's on average 4 or 5 times a day. The rest are wee's. So there's a constant stream of poo, and wee's, all day long. Last night I changed his nappy 3 times before he went to bed. You'd think I'd have learnt to wait half an hour from hearing the explosion to changing but by the size of the ejection, I thought he was well and truly finished. It was also past his bedtime and he will not go to sleep if there is the slightest amount of soilage in his pants. What a superstar, I was thinking at the time, but ruminated some more and had to agree with him, because frankly, there's no way I'd be able to sleep with shit in my pants either!
When I do the night feed, I try not to change him as this will well and truly wake him up but sometimes it's inevitable. He can wet through to his clothes and then we have to do a whole outfit change as well. It then takes even longer to get him back down. Poor little man. I've been experimenting with a variety of different liners to try to rule this out but it's not happening. I've even tried disposables at night but it just leaks out the side!
With all this shitting and peeing, the Mushroom is going through at least 10 nappies in a 24 hr period. We're using cloth nappies. Which isn't that hard. During the day we use a biodegradable liner, so we can flush that straight in the loo, rinse off the nappy in the laundry sink and pop it in the soaker bucket which has been set up. Every morning, whilst the Mushroom gurgles happily on the ground, I dump all the soaked nappies from the full bucket into the washing machine, add half a capful of baby friendly detergent and away we go.
You're probably thinking that cloth nappies take up too much time and time is precious when you have a newborn. I'll be honest. I was a bit worried myself, but seriously, it's not bad at all. The rinsing off of the nappy after each change takes so little time, as does the washing and hanging out, that I can't even fathom not doing cloth. They take 20 minutes to dry on the line and when I fold them up I just pre-fold so most of the hard work is done. I think out of my day this would probably take about half hour, tops. With the cost of baby wipes and all the other stuff you need, there's no way we could afford to do disposables anyway. Yes, the initial outlay to buy the nappies is expensive but mine are good quality, organic cotton and they're standing up to the test. I would like to add that I didn't buy the nappies I'm using, my mother in law did, but I had my own ready to go.
To end, I would like to share the following story: The other morning Mushroom and Juffin were having a cuddle in bed, and Juffin was trying to encourage our super serious son to smile by sitting him on his tummy and talking nonsense to him whilst grinning like an idiot. In retaliation for trying to coax things out of our when he's not in the mood, the Juffin was pooped on. Good and proper. The force in which the turd evacuated Mushroom's body meant it not only leaked out the side but sprayed. It was like a tide that wouldn't turn. So there's Juffin covered in poo, holding our son aloft as he coo's happily whilst shit dribbles down his leg onto our nice clean, white sheets. Places where our son hasn't shit, not outnumbers the places that he has. We've now had shit on the change table, the carpet, the laundry wall , washing machine and floor (I nearly forgot about that one!), pee on his face, pee on his mother, pee and shit on Juffin, and shit all over our bed. I'm the only one who hasn't been shat on. After writing that short passage, I realise it's only a matter of time....
|My cloth nappies, hanging on the line|