Saturday, August 9, 2008

Dad tip #112: Do separate shirt and pant outfits result in more diaper blow-outs?

I believe that when your baby wears separate shirt and pant outfits, that he's more prone to having a diaper blow-out. And when I say shirt, I'm NOT including onesies; I'm referring to the times that your baby wears something like a t-shirt with a pair of shorts.

I'm not sure there's actually a pattern or even true logic behind my theory, but I do feel like onesies somehow provide some additional support in containing the poop in the diaper. At the very least, onesies do help prevent you from accidentally pulling the diaper down when you remove the pants for a diaper change.

When blow-outs do occur in this scenario, you should consider yourself lucky if your baby's shirt buttons all the way down the front so you don't get into a situation where you're in danger of dragging poo through his hair. As you'll recall, we've inadvertently painted poo-racing stripes down our son's legs. Imagine how much worse it would be if you were painting the poo through your kid's hair.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Dad tip #100: Boys start grabbing at their crotches pretty early

Happy 100th post to me, happy 100th post to me, happy 100th post to me, happy 100th post tooooooooo meeeeeeeeee!

Tonight's advice is more of a warning than anything else: Boys will naturally start grabbing at their crotches pretty early in life. As a result, right around when our son turned seven months, it became ridiculously difficult to change his diaper.

Why? Well for starters, his being much more alert and thus more distractible made the diaper change that much more challenging -- as did the ability to roll over. BUT, it's really his continuous grasping toward his nether-regions that makes the diaper change a little crazy and unnerving. Back in dad tip #10, I suggested placing a baby wipe over a baby boy's penis to avoid being peed on. Now, just 90 posts later, that advice has been completely negated because as soon as you put a wipe on our boy's penis, he's yanked it off and is pulling it toward his mouth. (And in case there's a misplaced modifier or some such in that sentence, it's the wipe he's yanked off and NOT his penis.)

Ick!

Furthermore, after taking the wipe away from him, he starts reaching directly for his penis. He's definitely found it and tried to grab it, but I'm not sure he's figured out that it's attached.

I should clarify that our boy isn't a weirdo constantly grabbing his crotch like Michael Jackson. He's just doing it during diaper changes.

For now.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Dad tip #86: Consolidate the baby and cat poop


We're a two baby family. We have a seven month old human baby and and a seven year old feline one.

One thing I got myself in the habit of doing is consolidating the baby and cat poop. When I empty the Diaper Champ, I also scoop the cat litter and deposit the pee clumps and poo into the not-quite-full bag from the Champ. It works out great for everyone involved and it reduces the number of plastic bags we waste.

On Bastille Day, I'll leave you with another of our famous songs with modified lyrics. To the tune of Frère Jacques:
Rancid feces, rancid feces
Cat and human, cat and human
Put them in the same bag, put them in the same bag
It's all poop, it's all poop
Bon nuit!

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dad tip #84: To let him sleep in a poopy diaper or not?

My wife and I just got home from our friends' wedding (which was beautiful, by the way). My parents were taking care of our son while we were out and, as usual, it sounded like they did a great job. We decided to check in on our son anyway and upon opening his bedroom door, we were immediately hit with the distinct odor of poo.

We backed out of the room to figure out our plan of action. After all, we REALLY didn't want to disturb his sleep pattern, but we didn't think good parents would let their child sleep another six or seven hours in a diaper full of poo. Ordinarily, I don't think he would've pooped his pants so soon after being put down for the night (or at all), but I suspect tonight was something of an exception because of the teething "symptoms".

Assuming that we could get him back down to sleep fairly easily, we decided that changing his diaper was the right decision. Like a finely tuned machine, we went in, changed his diaper, and had him back asleep with minimal disturbance all in about five minutes. (My wife and I are to middle-of-the-night diaper changes as Mulder and Scully are to paranormal investigations.)

After seeing and smelling the horrors that awaited us in the diaper, we knew we'd made the right decision. We also got a bonus out of the decision: seeing him smile at us in an adorable half-asleep (and grateful) way.

Perhaps the advice for dilemmas such as this would be to simply ask yourself: "Would you want to sleep in a pile of poop all night long?" Probably not.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dad tip #54: Cloth diapers make perfect burp cloths

Babies spit up, throw up, pee, and spill food. In general, they're incredibly capable of making wet messes in just about any situation.

As opposed to using things like paper towels (not particularly environmentally friendly) or designer burp cloths (not particularly economical), consider using cloth diapers. I'm definitely not suggesting you replace your Pampers (or Huggies or Luvs or whatever) with cloths diapers ... that's just more effort than I'd be willing to invest and more effort than I'd ever even propose to anyone else. I'm just suggesting that if you're considering buying actual burp cloths, consider using cloth diapers in their stead.

They're cheap, durable, convenient, and super-absorbent. We keep a stack in the living room and a stack in the nursery. It's allllllll good.

(Now I'm going to go resume SCREAMING at the television because the Lakers are kicking the POOP out of my Celtics in the first half of game four right now of the 2008 NBA Finals.)

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Dad tip #37: Some poo-splosions require more than one person to handle the diaper change

Hypothetically, let's say your child just recently started on rice cereal. Let's also say, hypothetically, that he hasn't pooped in three days. And let's add, hypothetically, that as a result he poops so vigorously that poo ninjas are not only lurking in every imaginable hiding place, but they're also aggressively seeking all possible egresses from the Pamper. For good hypothetical measure, your kid is also playing the "I'm going to pee on you no matter how hard you try to avoid it" game.

Y'know what? It's okay to admit that you need help. When there are too many poo ninjas to deal with on your own, you need to bring in reinforcements. If you don't, you risk making a bigger mess.

You can't expect to handle the situation single-handedly the way Kurt Thomas did kicking the poop out of Eastern European ninjas in Gymkata. Yes, that entire statement is ridiculous. If you've never seen Gymkata, you ... must ... go ... buy ... it ... NOW!!! It's one of my top ten favorite movies of all time because of how unintentionally funny it is.

Uh, what was I talking about again? Oh yes, getting help with poo-splosions.

Yeah, you should do that.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Dad tip #35: There's something to be said for brand loyalty in diapers

We've heard that parents of boys prefer Huggies while parents of girls prefer Pampers. For whatever reason, the design of the diapers supposedly favors pee and poo containment by gender and anatomy.

However, we've been using Pampers almost exclusively since day one. The hospital diapers were Pampers and we received a whole bunch of Pampers at the baby shower. We also received a couple of packs of Huggies that served us just fine, but we just preferred the Pampers. (By default, that also indicates that we prefer Sesame Street characters to Winnie the Pooh.)

We've also received some leftover Luvs diapers from a coworker after his child outgrew them. He did the smart thing and didn't fall into the "baby vanity sizing" trap. For the record, I think Luvs displayed Blue's Clues characters and again, Sesame Street reigns supreme.

Recently, in an effort to be more cost-minded, we tried a box of BJ's brand diapers. I think the brand is actually Berkley & Jensen; and in case you're wondering, the graphics on the diapers are generic yellow ducks. They're actually kind of cute.

Well, what we've found is that the BJ's diapers have some sort of strange funneling effect that drives large quantities of pee and poo up the front. In particularly large poo-splosions, the sack is even more covered in poo than "usual". And my wife has also been the victim of two instances where urine has shot up the front of our sons outfit when he's multi-tasking by eating and peeing at the same time in his high chair.

In a quick Googling of BJ's diapers, I found that the reviews are generally quite positive. I stumbled across a very thorough review complete with diagrams at the Paternity Chronicles. The review was very positive but the stay-at-home dad/blogger amended the article with incidents of leakage that were hypothetically caused by user error.

So back to brand loyalty ... long story short, we're probably going to go back to exclusively using Pampers because we've had a much better ratio of hazmat containment vs. accidental leakage.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Dad tip #34: Babies don't need vanity sizing

Technically, the title of this post is something of a misnomer. Vanity sizing is typically when a clothing line designer will change the size-numbering of their clothes to read smaller than the actual size to make people feel better about themselves. But the title sounds better than, "Babies on the cusp of outgrowing their diaper size will have 'accidents.'"

Anyway, misnaming aside, when adults choose to pack themselves into clothing a size too small, they may get muffin top, low sperm count, camel toe, and maybe even chaffing. When you choose to pack your baby into a diaper size that he's outgrown, you get pee leakage, poo-splosion overflow, moistened clothing and/or furniture, and quite possibly an unhappy crying baby. (And it should go without saying that an unhappy crying baby can lead to unhappy crying parents, too).

I've said it before, "Chicks do not dig poo on the sack." They also don't dig it on baby furniture or on the inside of a onesie. Just because you have some spare diapers in the old size does NOT mean you HAVE to use them.

Actually, now that I think of it, I kind of do like "Babies on the cusp of outgrowing their diaper size will have 'accidents.'" as a title.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dad tip #26: Save every plastic bag you can and bag poo separately

Today's post is the sequel to yesterday's commentary on the Diaper Champ versus the Diaper Genie. I had originally intended to make this post the second post in a trilogy all topically related in some fashion to the disposal of poopy diapers.

HOWEVER, my friend Jean stole my thunder with her comment in yesteday's post. If I were to complete my poo trilogy at this point it would be like making your kid watch the original Star Wars trilogy in the following order: A New Hope, Return of the Jedi, The Empire Strikes Back. What the heck would be the point in that? On the other hand, today's post wouldn't have been the same comparable quality of ESB anyway. It would've been much crappier ... pun intended.

Today's dad tip was going to be "Save every frickin' plastic bag you can" because you'll end up using it for something.

Tomorrow's post was going to be "Frickin' bag and dispose of poopy diapers separately" intending to guide the reader into not storing a feces-filled Pamper in the nursery for a couple of days. No matter how good your diaper disposal unit is, it'll still smell in the end ... pun intended again.

Okay, now I've got to go pick a topic for tomorrow. Dad tips don't grow on Giving Trees, y'know?

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dad tip #25: Diaper Champ versus Diaper Genie

If for some reason you don't have a waste receptacle dedicated to the disposal of soiled diapers in your nursery and you're thinking of getting one, this post is for you. While there appear to be a few knock-off products in this arena, there are essentially two major options from which you'll be choosing: the Diaper Champ and the Diaper Genie.

The Diaper Genie essentially makes what I like to refer to as "Giant Poo Sausages". The Genie uses these really long plastic bags that basically get twisted off in to segments into which you've placed a dirty diaper. So, no, it's not an entire sausage made of poo; it probably only has periodic poo links. The "gotcha" here is that you HAVE to buy their bag "refills". Once you marry into the Diaper Genie family, you're there for life. Or at least as long as you're changing your kid's diapers.

The Diaper Champ, on the other hand, will use any old plastic bag that will fit in it. Plastic bags that you bring your groceries home in work FANTASTIC. And yes, I know that's not the best solution environmentally, but for the time being, those bags are free and convenient. As opposed to the twisting motion required of the Diaper Genie, the Diaper Champ uses a flipping motion to hide away the stinky diaper.

My wife and I have only had limited exposure to the Diaper Genie. I seem to recall being marginally confused about how to properly use it once when babysitting our niece. We own the Diaper Champ and are perfectly satisfied with it. So, clearly I'm biased.

On the other hand, I suppose you could ignore all of this and just use a trash can ... an R2D2 trash can!!!

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dad tip #10: How to avoid getting peed on by a boy

One of my co-workers is going to be having his first boy in three months. Having only dealt with a daughter in the past, he expressed some concerns about getting peed on or perhaps peed at by his son. I know that the trailer for Riding in Cars with Boys scared me with that scene where an off-screen baby pees directly into Drew Barrymore's mouth, so I don't blame him!

So, let's start off with identifying when you're going to get peed on unexpectedly. For me, it's mainly when I'm changing his diaper. Early on I figured out that you could frequently visually identify when it was likely to happen as his penis looked ... well, full. Actually, PLUMP is probably a more accurate word for it. So, if your boy's equipment looks like it's about to erupt urine all over you, it's entirely possible that he is about to erupt urine all over you.

But then later, it might get harder to eyeball it. I think my son has turned it into a game where he tries to fool me into thinking that the coast is clear so he can blindside me with his baby firehose. The best advice I received to avoid this came from my brother-in-law. He basically said, "Baby wipes are cheap. Just throw an extra one over his unit while you're changing him."

Sure enough, it's a great strategy. Take a quick peek under the hood and toss a baby wipe over his crotch and you avoid getting pee all over the place if he decides that he likes peeing in open air better than in a diaper. (It's like a like using a Peepee Teepee but you get more coverage.)

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