There’s a popular myth that dads can’t deal with poopy diapers. That’s a really crappy thing to suggest. After all, you get so much shit from your friends, and your boss, and (sometimes) your partner, what’s a little baby waste going to … Oh dear god in heaven, what in the hell is that!?
Here’s the secret: nobody likes a poopy diaper. Not even your tough-as-nails partner who secretly gags during changes but never admits it. Your secret weapon? Knowledge. Here’s how open those diaper tabs and figure out what in the hell that is. Soon you’ll be an unflappable master of crap.
A Number 2 Timeline
From infancy to potty training your sweet little nugget will be squeezing out their own on the regular. Look for about 10 a day for the first 2 months. Then about 4 a day from month 2 to 4. It is normal for those numbers to fluctuate wildly.
The First Poop
It’s called meconium and it’s brownish green and super sticky. It contains swallowed amniotic fluid as well as the little hairs and waxy coating that protected your kid in the womb. And no way are you allowed to get grossed out by that, especially if you’ve ever eaten Arby’s.
The Next Several Hundred Poops
Between months 2 and 4, things get a little bit more colorful. That color will be different based on whether or not your kid is breastfed or formula fed. In general, their cute little feculence is a shade of mustard-y taupe, but a bit darker for formula kids. The color of Grey Poop-on, perhaps.
Breastfed baby’s stool smells “sweeter” than a formula fed baby’s stool. But both are somewhat grainy and loose with little milk-fat curds. Think, cottage cheese. Actually, no. Don’t think that.
Life After Solids
Once you’ve started giving the kid mashed banana and whatnot, their poop will change. The biggest difference will be in color as their crapola takes on a hue more familiar to what you’re used to: brown.
Don’t be surprised if these poops start getting even more colorful. Babies don’t have super long digestive tracts, so the transit time of what goes in their face is pretty short. You might see things show up fairly intact. Orange carrots. Green peas. Don’t be alarmed, unless there are purple horseshoes for no apparent reason.
At this point the mushy stools are going to get more solid and loaf-like. The consistency of their waste is what’s important here. Watery? That’s diarrhea. Dry and crumbly? You’re looking at constipation.
Sadly, this is when smell starts really becoming a factor. You know your little nugget is growing up when their own little nuggets start smelling like the men’s restroom after your senior VP takes some time in the stall with the latest issue of the Wall Street Journal.
There are circumstances when your kid’s poop is cause for actual concern. If you open the diaper and see any of the following, get the pediatrician on the phone:
- White Poop: Your kid could be having trouble producing bile, or have an infection.
- Black Poop: Might be a sign of digested blood. Never a good sign.
- Red Poop: Your kids stool should never be red (unless they’ve been eating lots of beets), streaks of red especially indicate bleeding.
- Mucusy Poop: If you see mucus-type substances in your kids poop it could be a sign of infection.
- Up-The-Back Blowouts: These are almost always indicative of diarrhea. Diarrhea is particularly bad for newborn babies (and anyone sliding into first).
Armed with your new knowledge, you will help dads everywhere beat the doody-denier stigma. Get in there and fight, Diaper Dan. You’re already used to taking crap, but this time it actually means something.