Published Feb 3, 2013

Before we had this baby, everyone warned me that the lack of sleep would be my most formidable challenge. Although I’m writing this at a quarter of two in the morning, this has remarkably not been true so far. The baby’s a good enough sleeper, at least when he’s not covered in his own waste. In fact, it’s that part that has been my biggest challenge in fatherhood so far.

(Granted, fatherhood so far is a smidge over a week. But I’m sure we’re past all the hard stuff by now, smooth sailing from here!)

My biggest problem is managing not to sit those diapers low on Declan’s hips, setting them up not as a powerful barrier to wetness but as a paper funnel leading pee and poop right up my son’s back as he sleeps. I’ve got that funnel thing down, actually, earning me lots of quick diaper changes and extra laundry duty.

Now, it could be that I’m channeling my inner Phil Dunphy, but, no, I blame my nemesis, the sleep gown:Boy's baby clothes

Look, it’s cute! And it’s so clever, it’s got a tight part at the top and one at the bottom! I guess so that baby can’t slither out through the back door? Anyway, that’s two parts that I have to delicately slip over a ever-so-dubiously-placed diaper. Thanks, fashion industry!

Somehow, I’ll overcome. I mean, baby will be potty trained in no time, right? Right?

Oh, damn, I guess I do actually have to fix my diapering!

1 Comment

I think all new parents have leaky diaper problems! We certainly did. Here are several reassuring thoughts (from the oh-so-experienced parent of a four-month-old):

(1) As baby gets older - even just several months older - there will be less frequent peeing and pooping, especially at night. Contrary to what it may seem, babies don't really poop in their sleep; they have to (at least sort of) wake up, poop, and then go back to sleep. So when the little guy is sleeping through the night, there should be no nocturnal pooptastrophes.

(2) The design of that “sleep gown” looks abysmal. It forces you to tug poop-soiled clothing over your child's head, ugh! I MUCH prefer one-piece footie pajama outfits that have snaps or a zipper down the front so that you don't have to pull anything over the baby's head. Onesies are overrated, in my opinion. Just put the kid in a one-piece pajama suit that opens in the front, and cleaning blowouts will become much easier (though dealing with poop at 2 AM is never easy).

(3) Potty training doesn't have to be so very far in the future. Few cultures wait as long as Americans (3+ years) to potty train; many kids worldwide are trained between age 1 and 2. Nobody enjoys pooping in his pants, after all! I've started holding Irene over a small potty when she wakes up and when I'm changing her diaper anyway. She's gotten the hang of it quickly, and this saves us some dirty diapers. The idea of infant “elimination communication” (or EC) is catching on in the US, and there are lots of books on it if you're interested (though some of its proponents are too strident for my tastes).

Good luck in your new career as a waste management expert!