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:
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.
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.
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.
AMAZON AND DIAPERS.COM ARE YOUR NEW BFFs. Amazon Mom has great deals on diapers that PEOPLE WILL BRING TO YOUR HOUSE. Occasionally, diapers.com 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.
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!