A Guide to Baby Poop, Pee and Spit Up
Everything you wanted to know about baby’s bodily fluids (and then some)
What goes in must come out, and in the world of babies that fact takes on a whole new meaning. It will seem like your baby pees, poops, and spits up way more than he takes in, leaving you wondering if he’s getting any nourishment at all. To reassure yourself that he is not going to wither and die from malnutrition anytime soon, you will find that you inspect diaper contents with a zeal once reserved for an elegant gourmet dinner, then discuss them ad nauseam with your partner, relatives, friends, and strangers in the grocery checkout line. Anyone who has ever been a parent will relish the conversation, fully sympathizing with where you’re coming from. (Anyone who has never had this privilege will find you revolting, but who needs them right now anyway?) Meanwhile, there are really only a few things you need to get straight.
Pees and q’s. First off, it’s going to take a few days to jump start your baby’s system. If you’re breastfeeding, it may not be until your milk fully comes in (between two and five days) that she starts to wet the expected eight to ten diapers a day. The hospital staff will be keeping an eye on her production while you’re in there, but when you get home five or so wet diapers may be the norm for two or three days; then she’ll up the ante. If your baby’s urine output doesn’t seem to increase, check with your pediatrician ASAP.
In this era of super-absorbent disposable diapers, it can be tricky to tell if they’re actually wet. Our best advice is to familiarize yourself with the texture of the diaper layers when they’re dry, then touch them to see if they feel a bit puffier at the next change. The gels inside inflate as they absorb the urine. This will also make the diaper feel heavier. Still uncertain? Go ahead and give the diaper a sniff at the front leg area and see if you get a whiff of that unmistakable urine smell. (You’ll be doing a lot more gross stuff than this as time goes on.) Once you’ve started changing her, if you still can’t be sure there’s pee in it, put the diaper back on and wait another hour or so, then check again.