Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dad tip #113: Babies are like ... Play-Doh Fun Factories

Tonight's advice is the second in a series of "Babies are like" posts. The first post in the series compared babies to drunks, and had a virtual laundry-list of reasons why they're alike.

This post, on the other hand, will only have one REALLY GOOD reason why babies are like Play-Doh Fun Factories. Have you ever watched a commercial for the Play-Doh Fun Factory or ever watched one in action live? If you have, then prepare yourself for the very real possibility that you'll seeing something very similar during a diaper change.

I'm not referring to an ordinary diaper change. I'm referring to one where your child suddenly decides that they're not done pooping yet (mid-diaper change) and starts squeezing out as much additional poo as they can produce. If this scenario were to read like a GRE analogy it would look like:
Play-Doh : Fun Factory :: Poop : Your kid's butt-hole
So, the advice is, very simply, be prepared for it.

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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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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dad tip #96: How to tell if your baby is pooing

Contrary to popular belief, odor is not necessarily the first sign that your baby is actively filling his diaper with poop. Nor are traditional fart noises the first sign that your baby is pooping.

Tonight's advice is simply going to be a quick list of alternate poo-indicators that we've cataloged while observing our son pooping (usually while sitting in his highchair):
  1. Grunting. Y'know, like "Ennnnnh. Enh! Ennnh..."
  2. "Eye of the tiger." That is to say, the look of adult seriousness that only manifests itself in babies in regard to serious matters -- like pooping.
  3. Face turning red as if straining with effort.
  4. Grabbing a magazine and heading toward the bathroom.
Okay, that last one's an indicator that I'm about to poo. But the other three bullets are totally gimmes that our baby boy is pooping. Do not ignore the signs!

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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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Friday, June 20, 2008

Dad tip #62: Prunes perform as advertised

Our beautiful baby boy recently expanded his diet beyond rice and oatmeal cereals to include apples and bananas. Do you know what cereal, apples, and bananas all have in common? They all have the ability to make your baby uncomfortably constipated with rock-hard poo.

So, we temporarily cut back on the apples and bananas and introduced prunes to help our little guy out. Based off of the two major poo-splosions that my wife had to deal with today, I'd say that prunes definitely perform as advertised.

When your wife says, "It looked like someone took a paint brush and painted his legs with poo," you know that it was no ordinary bowel movement. There was some kind of supernatural force urging those poo ninjas out of there.

Do NOT underestimate the power of prunes.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Dad tip #41: "Sleep when the baby sleeps" cliché is true

The old cliché advice "sleep when the baby sleeps" is typically given when your child is a newborn. During that phase of your life, every 15 minutes of sleep you can steal count.

There are times even now, six months in, where I think that cliché is relevant advice -- say, on a day where you got up early for a business call to India (they're nine and a half hours ahead of us) and the Celtics are in Detroit trying to close out the NBA Eastern Conference Finals in six games and tip off is at 8:30pm (which means the game will end after 11:00pm). I certainly could and should go to sleep early because yard work and Home Depot await tomorrow. But you're positively insane if you think I'm missing this game.

Anyhow, I got to thinking, could there be alternate yet equally sound bits of advice that I could squeeze out of "sleep when the baby sleeps"? Let's try these on for size:
"Drink a bunch of breast milk and spit up when the baby drinks a bunch of breast milk and spits up."

"Grab anything within arm's reach and jam it in your mouth when your baby grabs anything within arm's reach and jams it in his mouth."

"Accidentally roll on to your stomach and have a red-faced fit when your baby accidentally rolls on to his stomach and has a red-faced fit.

"Poo yourself and have it erupt out of your pants when your baby poos himself and it erupts out of his pants."
Honestly, I thought about this and struggled to find a bit of advice structured like this that I really believed in. What I did come up with was: "Find joy in the ordinary simple things in life when your baby finds joy in the ordinary simple things of life." Hmm ... the more I think about it, the more I like that!

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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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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Dad tip #14: "Chicks do not dig poo on the sack"

You'll find that you'll start to say all kinds of bizarre stuff to your baby to keep him/her and yourself entertained during mundane tasks like diaper changes. Cleaning up after one particularly large poo-splosion, I found myself giving my son the very practical advice of "Chicks do not dig poo on the sack."

I mean, really, can ANYONE dispute that? However, that in itself isn't the lesson for the day. More so, the lesson is that you really need to look in all the nooks and crannies to find where all the poo hides after your child fills his diaper with a steaming hot pile.

It's almost like there are poo ninjas, skilled in the arts of stealth and trickery, attempting to evade detection. But for your child's sake, you must be the Snake Eyes to the poo's Storm Shadow.

Did you check behind the scrotum in your son's crotch jowls? Both sides? How about the space between the bottom of his penis and his ball sack? How about the space between his sack and his taint? How about in the chubby fold of flesh between the back of his leg and his butt? Yep, poo ninjas in ALL of those hiding places.

Hmm ... In retrospect, I suppose the secondary lesson here REALLY is "Chicks do not dig poo on the sack."

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dad tip #3: Don't flinch when your kid poops on you

Like the title says, "Don't flinch when your kid poops on you" (and your kid, more than likely, WILL poop on you). You might be asking "poop directly ON you" and not just "GET poop on you"? So, let me tell you a short story:
Once upon a time, there was a man. This man was taking wonderful care of his baby one afternoon. By chance this fine afternoon, the baby was feeling gassy and also having slightly watery bowel movements. During one diaper change, the baby launched a substantial volley of baby feces (also known in this household as "rocket poo") all over the man's arm. The end.

No big deal. A few baby wipes, a spare diaper, an extra load of laundry and we were good to go. Now, let me tell you the sequel to this story:
Once upon a time, there was a man (the same man as before). This man was taking wonderful care of his baby one evening. And by chance, the baby was feeling gassy and also having slightly watery bowel movements again. During one diaper change, the baby sprayed -- SPRAYED! -- rocket poo out of his butt. Alas, the man's reflexes weren't fast enough and upon flinching, that is to say vigorously yanking his arm out of the way, created poo-themed Jackson Pollock-like "artwork" all over the changing table, the wall, and yes, the white curtains three feet away. The end.

It should go without saying that the moral of the story simply is, "Don't flinch when your kid poops on you."

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