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.

Labels: , , ,

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.

Labels: , , ,

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!

Labels: ,

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.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, July 4, 2008

Dad tip #76: How holiday baby outfits affect your life

You'll discover pretty early on that people love buying your baby outfits -- not just individual items of clothing, but entire outfits. This behavior becomes even more prevalent around the holidays. I suspect that you may find that holiday-themed outfits frequently end up being funny, inconvenient, frustrating, and/or impractical; but always well-intentioned.

For example, our boy received about a half dozen Christmas outfits within the first few weeks of his life. If I recall correctly, we actually changed his outfit two or three times on Christmas Eve and Christmas day to make sure that we didn't offend anyone by not having him at least appear in a photo with each outfit. Among the many outfits were an obligatory "My First Christmas" onesie and a full-fledged Santa Claus outfit (sans beard).

On Saint Patrick's Day we dressed our son briefly in a shamrock-patterned hand-me-down onesie that made him look more like a girl than a thousand pink bows would've. On Easter, our son had so much poop erupt out of his diaper that we had to dispose of his "My First Easter" onsies half way through the day. And today, he wore a very patriotic red, white, and blue striped t-shirt that he promptly spit up on after his first meal of the day.

There's always some underlying aggravation when something happens to the outfit of choice, but thanks to friends and family, you may very well have a back up (or even a back up to the back up). So, the advice here is appreciate that people are considerate and thinking of you baby and try not to get to frustrated if the outfit doesn't make it through the whole day.

Happy 4th of July!

Labels: , , , , , ,

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.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dad tip #59: Expect to have at least one conversation about poop a day

Guess what? Now that you've got a baby, you have a being in your house who poops his pants regularly. Sometimes you'll change the diaper. Sometimes your wife will. Sometimes it's a two person operation. No matter which scenario, you'll end up with a conversation about poop. The conversations may include phrases like:
"Oh my god, I can't believe how bad that poop smelled!"

"Ewwww! I got poop on my finger!"

"Did he poop today? No? When was the last time he pooped?"

"I went through five diapers because he just kept pooping!"

"There's poo erupting out of his diaper in the back AND the front!"

"I'll go do a load of poo-laundry..."
And on and on and on. But you know what? The last thing I'll say about poop tonight is that I hope the Celtics kick the poop out of the Lakers and close out the finals tonight!

Labels: ,

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.)

Labels: , , , ,

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.

Labels: , , ,

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."

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dad tip #4: Baby wants to hear you sing and doesn't care how bad you're messing up the song

If there were a time in your life that you wanted to sing your heart out with reckless abandon and no fear of embarrassment, regardless of how good or bad your voice is and regardless of whether or not you even remotely know the words, NOW is the time to do it. Baby is not American Idol's Simon Cowell and baby is also not that high school English teacher that forced you to memorize Shakespearean sonnets word for word.

What this means is: Baby wants to hear you sing and doesn't care how bad you're messing up the song. For example, my wife and I have both composed many "alternate" verses to a well-known children's lullaby, but I'll just share with you a few of mine that you're welcome to adapt for your own child:

Hush little {insert child's name} don't you cry,
Daddy's gonna buy you an apple pie.
And if that apple pie is good,
Daddy's gonna buy some vanilla Hood.

Hush little {insert child's name} don't you fuss.
Daddy's gonna buy you a brand new bus.
The bus will have a lot of seats,
Space for apple pie and treats.

Hush little {insert child's name} don't you kick,
Daddy's gonna buy you a car named KITT.
KITT might try to talk a lot,
That's 'cuz he's a car-robot.

We recommend mixing up the lyrics to traditional children's songs, contemporary pop, and even holiday music. Oh, what's that? You want another sample of our lyrical mastery? Try this one on for size (to the tune of Oh Christmas Tree):

Oh {insert child's name}, oh {insert child's name},
You love to fill your diaper.

You like to pee, you like to poop,
You fill it up, I need a scoop.

Oh {insert child's name}, oh {insert child's name},
You love to fill your diaper.

They say that "music soothes the savage beast". Well, it's a lesser known fact that babies are actually the distant cousins of savage beasts. So enjoy making up words and enjoy singing them because your baby will love you for it. Knight Rider's David Hasselhoff will love you for it too.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

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."

Labels: , , , ,