Getting ready for the baby #1: Pooping


In case the title didn't clue you in, this post is going to be mostly about shit. Baby shit, as a matter of fact. It may be that the disinterested or squeamish want to skip.

As I mentioned last week, my friend E, a brilliant mom of 11 month-old twins, has been sending me long, detailed emails about the things I am going to need as a new mom that I might not have thought of already. I appreciate these missives more than I can tell you, and thought that, since they're so helpful, immortalizing them here might be a good idea. E. has split her advice up into categories: pooping, eating, sleeping, etc. And due to sheer volume, I think I'll post them the same way. What better place to start than with excrement?

These are the things I am advised to have on hand:

1. Oil

This is to clean Buzzy's bum after her first meconium poops. E says olive oil will work fine. It is also useful in the case of cradle cap.

2. Q-tips and rubbing alcohol.

This is to clean the cord stump until it falls off, which E suggests doing at every diaper change (thus relating it to the subject at hand).

3. Diaper Genie.

E explains:

You NEED this. It's environmentally nightmarish, to take your baby's poop, wrap it in a disposable diaper, wrap THAT in plastic, and throw it away, but you need it anyhow. Start composting dryer lint or cat fur or something to make up for it.

4. Diapers.

The advice (E knows we'll be using disposables):

Buy a couple of packs of newborn diapers, and see what works best for Buzzy's body, and your preferences as diaper changers. We started with Huggies, whch we liked because they had 1) good elastic in the back to catch diaper blowouts, 2) a wetness indicator stripe*, and 3) didn't smell weird like Pampers. We use Pampers Sensitive Swaddlers now, because Huggies doesn't have a wetness indicator stripe past size 2*, and the Pampers don't have branded characters on them, for which I'm willing to deal with the odd smell. *The wetness indicator stripe is REALLY handy. It's blue, change the diaper. Yes, the diaper is telling you what to do. Things like checking for yourself, and autonomous decision-making are for people without newborns.

She adds:

AMAZON AND DIAPERS.COM ARE YOUR NEW BFFs. Amazon Mom has great deals on diapers that PEOPLE WILL BRING TO YOUR HOUSE. Occasionally, has a better deal, so it's worth checking both. We find that they're consistently the best prices, plus the not-having-to-go-out-to-get-stuff bonus.

5. Wipes and wipes warmer.

E recommends the gentle/natural wipes from Costco. Of a wipes warmer, she says:

At first, I was like, "Fucking yuppies and their gadget for every fucking thing - who the FUCK needs a wipes warmer?" Answer, "you do, asshole." And, really, it makes sense that it would make changing easier: it's 2 am - which do you want placed on your feces-covered genitals in the pitch dark, a warm wet cloth, or a cold one? Which will make it easier to get back to sleep?

6. Diaper cream.

E recommends California Baby Calming Diaper Rash Cream for mild irritation and Triple Paste and/or medicated A&D cream for really bad diaper rash.

7. Cloth diapers.

Even though we plan to use disposables, E says:

Go to Green Mountain Diapers and get yourself a dozen or so of their two-sided cloth wipes and a dozen or so of the orange and/or yellow prefold diapers (depending on how often you want to do laundry). These things are the BEST. The wipes make great general mop-ups for spitting up, etc., and you can use them as actual wipes if Buzzy gets a bad, painful diaper rash (the flannel side is very soft). The cloth diapers are AMAZING for putting down on your diaper changing pad (on top of the cover). That way, when you're changing diapers, if something gets dirty, it's likely to be the prefold, so you'll wash the cover less often. You can also put a prefold on your lap under the baby during a feeding, if Buzzy turns out to like to poop while she eats.

8. Changing table pad cover.

E says she has the Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad and three covers, so that there is nearly always a clean one available.

9. Bath stuff.

Apparently, for moms of babies, bathing is a sub-category of pooping. E recommends California Baby Calming Shampoo and Body Wash and Calming or Overtired & Cranky Lotion. She uses a Tummy Tub for baby bathing and likes that. The Green Mountain wipes mentioned above, she says, make excellent baby washclothes.

10. Laundry detergent.

Like bathing, E sees laundry as a sub-category of pooping. She recommends going with a regular dye and perfume free detergent and skipping baby brands. She also says that I will become very much enamored with OxiClean Free, as a bucket of hot water with OxiClean Free will take care of most stains. Pro tip: OxiClean Free and OxiClean Baby are the same thing, but Free is cheaper. She says to skip fabric softener, which we do anyway.

That all seems manageable, if a bit nauseating. Any additions? Please comment!


Great post! I respect your friend's list, and the fact that every parent's list will be unique, but my experience was a little different. My baby is a year old now, but I still remember that newborn stage pretty well. We did cloth diapers with a service, so there's that big difference (we had prefolds, covers, snappis, and wet bags instead of disposables), but I'd also make the following adjustments:

No need for Q-tips and rubbing alcohol in our experience. Our midwife and pediatrician both said we didn't have to clean the cord stump. In fact, the doctor said don't even bother with a bath until it had fallen off and healed. We never used alcohol or Q-tips for any other reason, either.

We bought the most natural wipes we could find, but you can even use cloth and water. No need for alcohol or soap, said our doctor.

We rarely bathed our baby because he just didn't get that dirty. And never used any lotion on him (just coconut oil). Our doctor says his skin is great. One pump-top bottle of California Baby gentle shampoo/soap has lasted us a year and there's plenty left.

And, in fact, coconut oil was wonderful. Any time we saw a little redness during a change, we applied it. He never had any diaper rash (but the cloth diapers help with that, too). We never used another diaper cream.

We were fine with just 2 changing pad covers.

We did not ever have or ever feel a need for a wipe's warmer.

Detergent - we like Charlie's Soap for his diaper covers but just send everything else out to the laundromat (NYC apartment with no washer/dryer here). I bought a small bottle of 7th Generation baby-friendly detergent to wash a load of newborn stuff before he was born, but quickly stopped having time to do his laundry after his birth. ;)

For me, pooping stuff would also include a portable changing pad for the diaper bag. We like Skip Hop's Pronto. I started with a cheaper one, which fell apart quickly, so it was worth it to me to spend more.

My kid is now clawing at my arm, so I'd better end here! ;) Looking forward to more "baby gear" posts!

P. S. we had and liked the Tummy Tub, too. As did our baby. Until...suddenly he didn't any more and would just scream. We don't have a bathtub in our apartment, do we started taking him in the shower with us around 4 months or so. And we gave the Tummy Tub to some friends.

We never used a wipes warmer. But I totally agree with E on almost everything else. I definitely agree with buying prefolds even if you are 100% disposable diapering as they really are very useful.

re: a diaper Genie - we never had one but if there are ever other babies in this house? Heck yes we are buying one. The newest version even has a foot petal!

Huggies worked WAY better for us than Pampers, all the way up. R is still wearing Huggies Snug & Dry. The Costco brand diapers are the most like Huggies, we've also been really happy with those. Costco wipes rock. I think I actually prefer them over name brand.

I was given a diaper genie, but I hated it. It seemed to need 2 hands to operate. Luckily I discovered this before I opened mine and was able to return it for a different style. I have no idea what it was called, but it had a foot lever to open the top and an inner opening to cut down on smell. I could use standard kitchen trash bags which was very handy. I used cloth wipes, with warm water and vastly preferred them to commercial wipes.

My tip is to make up an emergency diaper bag to live in each car. Just 1-2 diapers, wipes and maybe a onesie. I can't tell you how often it came in handy, when baby had more dirty/wet diapers than you could imagine or oops that 15 min trip to the grocery turned longer or whatever. I also learned to have a clean shirt for me in the car - its so nice when baby has a blow out or copious spit up. Yes, I learned that one the hard way...

We never used our wipe warmer. My poor children and their cold feces covered genitals. lol

One thing that I would add is hand sanitizer. If baby has a super diaper blow out, you might want to clean your hands before applying diaper cream and sometimes it's hard (or impossible) to run to a sink.

Also, I LOVE the Costo wipes too. They're a lot more pliable than both the Pampers sensitive wipes and the Huggies naturals and it seems like they're gentler than those too.

Completely agree on the diaper pail, wipe warmer and Tummy Tub--they are genius. My pediatrician said skip the oil and the alcohol for cord stump. Honestly, you don't need a ton of stuff for a newborn. I'd just add, get some onesies that are easy to get on and off for the nighttime changings when you're so tired you can't see straight. Also, if you plan to breastfeed (I tried really hard to but couldn't) don't skimp on your breast pump--get the best you can afford.

We didn't get a wipe warmer, Dez doesn't seem to mind.

We buy the cheap grocery store brand diapers, even with coupons, they're still easily a dollar or more less than the huggies or pampers.

For bathing, we got a wash pod which was awesome. It props the baby up and supports them. When he outgrew it we switched to baths in the sink and now he just gets baths in the tub.

Never cleaned his cord, just watched to make sure it wasn't red or irritated. Drs told us only sponge baths until the stump falls off and healed.

I like E's writing style, I can't wait to see the rest!

We started with Pampers swaddlers sensitive (both were very sensitive to being wet, and these are super super dry), and then when they got older moved on to Target diapers. Love the polka dots.

Never had a diaper genie- we've lived with plastic grocery bags in a small basket- not too stinky with breastmilk poo. Once we introduced solids and formula, we would just change it out after a big stinky poo. If I were home full time with them, I'd get a diaper genie, but I figure daycare has to deal with half our diapers :).

Also never cleaned the cord. It fell off in about a week with both of mine.

Never heard of coconut oil for the bum, but I love that idea! I might have to get some.

I use perfume free laundry detergent for all of us (method) and do all our laundry together. Too much trouble to try and separate stuff or do anything special.

Ditto the usefulness of prefolds around the house! And, they are perfect for dusting. :) Just the right texture and absorbency. Throw one down for tummy time if you have a spitter or a drooler.

And one more very important thing for your baby:

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May 2012

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