theAsianparent Logo

How daddies deal with baby poop ... and those other stinky moments.

Hold your breath; this one’s gonna get dirty.

How dad deals with diaper changing How dad deals with diaper changing

Being the macho no-holds-barred alpha male that we are, we’re not afraid to roll up our sleeves and get down and dirty just to see things done, right?

Riiiiight! So put on your game face now, push your chest out and tuck your tummy in. Hold your breath; this one’s gonna get dirty. Here we go....

Let’s talk about baby poop.

That last word above is a bomb more toxic than any biological weapon. It’s stinky business. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try to avoid it, poop happens. It can explode in your face, your sensibilities, and your precious sense of manliness, right? How you wish you can wear a Haz-mat suit and use a ten-foot tong when you find yourself in this extremely challenging situation.

Truth be told, after four kids, I still haven’t got the hang of wiping a baby’s tiny bottoms. I have devised and tried all tricks just to dodge ass-wiping duties. I still clearly remember my first explosive incident. It happened during one of those blissfully peaceful afternoons when I was alone with my little bundle of joy. I was playing the hero to the wife by bravely saying yes, she can go take a break while I take care of the baby. At first, it was fine. My baby was comfortably curled up on my chest fast asleep. I can still remember how sweet his hair smells, how soft his skin was. The scene was perfect --just like what you see in glossy magazines. It seemed like the most perfect, most serene moment of my life. And then the little rascal started to stir and grunt -- his face alternately turning red and blue.

At that moment, I believed it was the worst, and the most helpless situation a man can get into. You see, my wife told me that when the baby is doing his “thing,” you should not startle him so I didn’t dare move a muscle. I lay prone on the couch for like an eternity, not wanting to acknowledge the reality of the situation more than not wanting to disturb my baby’s potty schtick. I remained immobile for another lifetime before I accepted the fact that I have to clean poo. To make the story short, my wife came home to a clean happy baby and a beaming proud daddy.

Poop happens and we should be men enough to stand up to it. After all, what’s a handful of warm turd? We’ve seen worse. So like the real men that we are, let’s get down to the brass tacks...or should we say to the bottom of things? Let’s start with...

The anatomy of a poop

A baby’s first excrement is something that may scare the crap out of you. It’s tarry black poop. You’d think it is coagulated blood. It’s called meconium, and it’s what’s left of what your baby ingested while inside mummy’s tummy. Subsequent stools will gradually progress to colors more familiar to you like shades of yellow, orange, etc.

Babies who are breastfed have soft stools that may look somewhat like mustard. Bottle-fed babies have firmer poops, and pass them less often. Experts swear that baby poops of breastfed babies are sweeter smelling compared to the poops of bottle-fed babies. I didn’t attempt to check if it’s true. A poop is a poop, and the word “poop” alongside “sweet” doesn’t sound right to me. Anyway, the real effluvious trouble starts when you begin to add other foods to his diet besides milk – things begin to stink big time!

Wiping asses, changing diapers, and bathing the baby

Don’t panic. Wiping baby bottoms should always be accompanied by that Zen act of changing diapers, what were you thinking? And since a baby bomb could sometimes be so explosive the extent of damage and mess could be widespread (get it? Wide....Spread) bathing the baby is the more practical option. (Stop whining!)

When doing all these heroic acts, first rule of thumb is to gather all the materials (towel, baby soap, powder, lotion, etc.) within reach around the tub or sink before bringing the baby for the exercise. To remove the soiled diaper, place the baby on his back, unsnap the diaper tabs, grasp both legs, take a deep breath and hold it in, raise the legs and remove the diaper. Begin wiping (don’t use adult hand wipe as they may contain alcohol that may cause your baby to go berserk if he has diaper rash). Generally, I would recommend water over wipes.

Important reminders:

1. If the trash bin is a few steps away, never attempt to walk towards it in your rush to dispose of the poop-laden evidence.
2. Baby’s legs must be secured prior to the removal of the diaper. Your baby’s flailing legs could squish and paint poo all over your arms and shirt.
3. The longer you can hold your breath the lesser chance you’d gag.
4. Watch out for sprinklers especially if it’s a boy.

By this stage, you must be well beyond the difficult part. You can either proceed to bathing the baby - which is the most fun. Babies generally like water (warm...not hot or cold). This is also a good time to bond with the baby as you can dip in the tub with him. Too much cootsie-cooing (or baby talk) would make you sound silly. I’d strongly suggest you use real words. If you don’t know what to say, just describe everything that you do or simply name objects around you.

When done, gently pat dry the baby with a soft cotton towel. Apply lotion or baby oil all over his body. I won’t recommend powder as this could be inhaled by the baby. Remember not to wrap the diaper too tight.

Important reminders:

1. Never attempt to reach for things that are not within your arm’s length. Accidents happen this way.
2. If possible, talk to your baby all throughout these activities. Good for his mental and emotional development.
3. As much as possible, don’t brag to your wife about how easy and enjoyable the activities were for you – she’d get the wrong idea and give you more ass-wiping duties.