Meconium. Meh coh nee yum. The word itself I think sounds like a type of metal, or possibly a new form of plant. But in reality, it’s far worse. It’s that black, gooey, super viscous substance that leaks out from our teeny, tiny new-born. This is Scene 1 of the horror story that is nappy changing. This may seem a bit extreme an analogy, but black poop nappies really are disgusting. I mean what do we transfer over to baby in the womb that could possibly make them produce such a tar-like substance? At least it’s generally odour free (correct me if I’m wrong) which I guess is the only plus.
In the hospital, when you’re given the information sheet on how baby’s poop should appear during the first week of his life, were you utterly astounded like me? I mean it’s truly remarkable the colour change. It’s the Dulux new-born poop chart, but we’ll never actually be given a shade we like.
After meh coh nee yum comes what the midwives refer to as bird seed nappy or scrambled egg. This is due to its grainy consistency, and with it a gradual colour change from black, to blackish green, through to a browny yellow. I actually didn’t mind changing bird seed nappy. It seemed to keep well contained, despite a few seeds getting lost in-between Harris’ skin rolls.
So 12 weeks have passed. Harris is now firing out a slightly watery poop, vividly yellow, and managing to squirt through his nappy and multiple baby clothing layers, subsequently covering me and my clothing too. I do love that he’s permanently attached to me like a little limpet, but it does mean that I have the privilege of continual nappy checking/changing…cue husband conveniently leaving the room at the slightest whiff of a dirty nappy…
So here I have come up with a quick survival guide to nappy changing for us new mums.
- 1.Correct sized nappy minimises the mess.
Nappies are generally sold in sizes which corresponds with the weight of our baby. However, I use this guide very loosely (unlike how I wrap my nappies!) due to the fact that Harris was in size 1 (newborn) nappies for ages, longer than the recommended weight. I guess I saved some money too, as I was able to use up the stocks I had.
*Quick tangent – do any of my fellow mums feel a massive sense of pride and happiness when your baby goes up a nappy size?! No- Just me?
- 2. Strap ‘em in
Those little side straps aren’t there for no reason. I made this mistake the other day when I was changing the daddy of all nappies. Harris had recently gone up a size (insert my cheesey smile here) and I was probably so excited that I didn’t tuck the side straps in. Anyway, it was a sh*t storm. Literally. It had travelled up Harris’s bottom, back and shoulders. It had managed to leak through 3 layers of clothing and cover the blanket he had been lying in. Yup, no exaggeration. So to survive this disaster occurring, I highly recommend tightening those nappy straps right around the thighs. Leave no air pockets. Don’t be afraid that it’s too tight. It’ll loosen up anyway, and it certainly closes off a potential escape route!
- 3. I didn’t see it coming
Most of the time I hear it coming first. And I feel the sudden explosion. His little sheepish face gives it away when he’s brewing up a big one, the concentration, and he curls his lips up like a circle (an expression that my husband and I have named whistle face) And he has the cheek to smile at me afterwards too. Like he’s super proud of himself. So look out for the poop cues mummies!
- 4. Wipes for days
I’ve watched in awe of many mums mastering the nappy change. They have it down to a fine art. So speedy, no mess! They can use just one wipe, continually folding it down to a teeny little square. It’s like watching an origami wipe artist. I, however, have a more amateur-like approach, and it’s to use as many wipes as possible. I guess what I’m trying to say is to always have an abundance of wipes for any nappy eventuality, as often a surprise is waiting on us in there and it’s rarely pretty.
Good luck Mummas! Venture in to the world of dirty nappies at your own peril!