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Whatever You Do, If Your Baby Isn't Pooping, Do NOT Do This

Photograph by Twenty20

As a first-time mom, I remember how giddy I felt when it was time to introduce my son to solids. I'd heard from friends and family his belly would be fuller, which would make him sleep through the night. Isn't that what any new mom dreams of hearing?

I'd started counting down the days until I could reap the benefits of a better night’s sleep, and thought for sure it would be the answer to my prayers the first night I fed him his watered-down cereal. Turns out, I was holding my breath for nothing. It totally didn't work.

He didn't sleep any better that night than he had been sleeping the first six months of his life. The next night wasn't much better and, in the weeks that followed, his sleep habits didn't change. But his pooping habits did.

Basically, he didn't poop for six days. Being a novice mom, I had no idea constipation could be a problem for some babies as they made the transition from having only formula or breast milk to having solids added to their diet.

After calling my pediatrician, she recommended giving him some prunes and laying off the cereal until he moved his bowels.

That afternoon, I went out and bought all the prunes. I gave him some, but nothing happened that day or the next, even though I followed the doctor's orders. I turned into a mama who was craving sleep while watching for poop every second of the day.

One day, I decided to take a break from poop watch and put the baby in the jumper so I might clean out my closet. Then it happened.

My son was happily bouncing away when I noticed his yellow footie pajamas were a warm shade of brown in the leg and foot area. His head was bent down to gaze at the brown muck pooling around his toes, and it seemed he was trying to slap his foot on the ground.

This epic explosion was nothing like I'd ever seen.

I started walking closer and he looked up at me. His face was red and he was grunting. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to get him out of the diarrhea explosion I'd obviously caused by feeding him too much cereal, then too many prunes, but he obviously had more coming down the pike.

Do I let him finish? Do I get him in the bath and let him finish there? No, then it might get in other places and won't be as contained as it is right now. (Although, this situation wasn't exactly clean, either.)

This epic explosion was nothing like I'd ever seen. I knew I wasn't getting out of it clean, no matter what I did, so I stripped down, unzipped him, undid his diaper, lifted him out of the swing, the diaper and his soiled pajamas.

The whole ensemble had to be thrown away. There was no way to clean up the sewage that was steaming in the seat of that thing and dripping onto the floor. I wanted to burn the entire house down.

We managed to get clean — and I managed not to throw up — but the lesson I learned was this: If your baby goes some time without pooping, even one day, do not put them in a jumper. Chances are, that's when everything will let loose. Something about that up-and-down motion causes brown magic to happen.

Even if it's a small amount of turd, it won't stay where you want it to, with all the bouncy fun.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

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