Poops, Pukes, and Other Projectiles!
Hey there Dad! It’s been a few weeks, and you are feeling like you’ve got this rad dad thing down pretty well. Good on you! Celebrate those daily wins, just as much as you loathe those harder difficult days. By now, Baby has probably churned out some pretty gnarly diapers, right? The once thick blackish greenish excretion is now a little more liquid, yellow, and EVERYWHERE! And it’s the poops…er the pits.
This little toothless wonder has smells and sounds that have you saying aloud, “what did you eat?!”. The little burps that were sometimes accompanied with spots of curdled milk, are now being hurled over your shoulder like a liquid shot put. Putting Linda Blair to shame. And let’s not forget the stream of urine that feels like it’s filling a balloon target at a carnival game. These (and other fun baby bodily functions) are all telling of the baby’s health.
At birth, the baby’s first bowel movement mimics that of tar. It’s black, sticky, and thick. This substance is called meconium, and is what the baby has digested and rejected while feasting in the womb. Meconium will begin to be digested out as baby feeds on milk, whether it be breast milk or formula. Around day 3 outside of the womb, baby’s poop will begin to transition into a greenish color. This is a great indication that the baby is eating and that the body is digesting the milk. As days 5-10 rolls around, baby’s bowels will be a completely different color and consistency. You will now see yellow mustard-y or seedy substances greeting you as you grab for the wipes. This is due to the maturing of the body, and the nutrients that the baby has now been receiving through their milk.
Baby’s poop consistency and color may change as the baby’s diet changes. For breastfed babies, their poop color will change with that of their mother’s diet. More greens this week mom? Expect to have more of a greenish-tinted poo. For little girls, you will see a red-tinted soiled diaper. This indicates functional female reproduction. This may be present in or or a few diapers and is completely normal. Expect to change 4-5 wet diapers and at MINIMUM one poop diaper a day. As baby ages, poops in breastfed babies may do days in-between.
- Black tar poop (birth-5days)
- Green poop (3-7days as milk transitions)
- Yellow poop (3-10+ body is absorbing milk)
- Daily bowel movements (with breaks in days for breastfed babies over 4 weeks)
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
- Red in the poop (This can be an indication of digestional issue or bleeding)
- Greenish poop with mucus tendency (May be an indication of milk allergy)
- No bowel movement within a 24-hour period for formula fed or supplementally fed babies
Projectile vomit is never fun to encounter, especially when it comes in the form of a weapon through the air. So why is this happening, and what does it mean? What goes in, must come out, right? Therefore all of the milky goodness that baby has been indulging in to grow and gain, gets filtered through the body and then disposed of. This can come in the forms of pee, poop, or puke. When a baby burps and spits up, that’s normal. This spit up could have spots of milk curds. This can be as small as a drool or as large as a half-dollar. All still normal, and the baby isn’t phased by the incident. This may occur after every bottle or every so often. When the puke is within 30 mins of a feed, larger than a half-dollar, and/or accompanied with an irritated cry or cry of pain, that’s a call for action. Baby could be experiencing GERD or reflux. For some, reflux goes away and doesn’t impact eating or growth. For others, this is very painful and inhibits growth and development. Either way, checking in with your pediatrician for guidance and next steps is always a great option.
Some ways to provide comfortable, enjoyable feedings for babies are to burp halfway through feeds to aid in helping the baby digest the milk. Paced-bottle feeding baby will allow the baby to sit upright when feedings (Hey! Like we do). While one may worry about taking in air, air is not the culprit for discomforts, and the burping between feeds help. This also allows the baby room to pause and breath as they feast, and not like they are shotgunning.
- Spit up (less than a half-dollar)
- Curds of milk seen
- Size of half dollar in amount
- Baby is unphased
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
- Projectile spit up
- Milk consistency is that of undigested; looks like a feed
- Amount is unmeasurable, or flows out like a fountain
- Baby is upset, in pain, unsettled
Other projectiles to watch out for and expect, are hair follicles. Postpartum, moms especially, will be shedding and the hair may be found here, there, and everywhere. Keep a keen eye in the genitals area during a diaper change to keep hair from collecting around the penis or lodged in the vulva, creating tourniquet. Baby’s themselves like to hurl backwards and arch their backs. Whether it be in a stretch after a siesta, in a withering of pain, or in a fit of fury babies like to perform cirque du soleil in and outside of the womb. Keeping a firm grasp on the baby, as well as watchful eyes can provide peace. Football hold is a great hold for a new nervous dad holding a wee baby. Don’t forget babies are slippery when wet. Watch the baby closely during baby bath times, and enlist a co-pilot if warranted.
Speaking of bath time, bath time is also when baby’s body becomes more relaxed, and the sphincter muscles loosen which make baby more likely to have the poops in the water. Peeing in the water is also a very common occurrence. In fact, anytime that diaper is open, it’s open range. Once the little firing missile is raised, expect it to fire at full force. Grab an extra wipe, a washcloth, or a peepee teepee to cover the culprit.
- Stretching and wiggling after a nap (think how your pooch stretches after napping)
- At a change of clothes or diaper
- Just because
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
- Withering side to side, with or without cries or grunts (baby could be working on a gas bubble and may need your assistance)
- During bath times or when baby is wet (they are very slippery)
- At the breast (this could be an indication of many factors. Scheduling a consult with a lactation professional is a good idea)
There you go. Whether you are put on poops patrol or cleaning up a milk-catastrophe, here are just some of the fun bodily functions you can expect with your new baby. You’re doing a great job, give yourself a pat on the back. Don’t forget, you don’t have to know everything, you just have to know where to find the information. Your doulas at Vegas Family Doulas are with you every step of the way.