Constipation & 5 Nappy-Related Truths

My first year as a Mum I found out and learnt so much.

Baby nappy changing matters was no exception.

I come to you bringing five wonderful tips & tricks I discovered in the land of pee-ing, poo-ing, constipation and nappy changes.

 

Nappy cream is not essential

I had seen it done in the past, and as a pre-teen, I changed a few diapers and put cream on their little bums during the process.

Fast forward to my pregnancy days, and I found out at antenatal classes that nappy cream is not necessary. I repeat, not necessary, except your baby has a rash. From my experiences, it’s true! You really do not need to apply nappy cream on your baby’s bottom at every diaper change. Nappy cream is made for helping a baby’s bottom heal from nappy rash, so if there’s no rash, no cream is required.

The best way to keep your baby nappy-rash free, is to simply change your baby’s diaper as often as need be. When they are very small, their diaper changes colour typically, every two hours or so to indicate a wet diaper. As they grow older, you look out for a thick, sagging diaper or change every four hours or so.

If a small rash appears, a mum shared on instagram that she fights it by applying a little bit of coconut oil. It works wonders and is natural, too.

Frequent nappy leaks could mean THIS!

I can never forget how annoyed I was with myself when I discovered this one. Night after night (ok, it might have been two nights or so), my baby was wetting her onesie.

That meant, both our sleeps were interrupted just because of the wetness. Then I would be spending extra precious minutes fiddling in dim light (so she wouldn’t be too awake and struggle to go back to sleep). Them I would get a new onesie, put it on and trying to do up those baby onesie snaps. But, I discovered the solution; drum roll…

It turned out she had grown dramatically in 3 weeks, over the Christmas holidays and now needed to wear the next diaper size up. A mummy friend came to my rescue with this tip and now I am happy to pass it on.

If you have two leaked wet diapers in a short space of time, when normally the diaper would be OK– it may mean it’s time to move up one diaper size.

 

Baby constipation, oh baby constipation

Nobody tells you this is one of the most painful pains you would go through as a mother! There are many joint mummy & newborn pains including: teething, colic, reflux, baby colds, nappy rash – you will feel these pains for your child, deeply, as though you are in physical pain yourself!

With constipation, some of the pain is in discovering whether or not it is constipation your baby is actually suffering from. There’s colour changes to bear in mind when assessing poo, then, how hard the poo looks, whether it formed as pellets or soft. There’s more terminology that includes watery, runny, loose and smelly.

Waiting for your baby to poo and the joy and excitement you feel when you see that poo, is something that will excite and terrify you at the same time. It’s one of those milestones that welcomes you wholeheartedly to motherhood.

 

Babies learn to poo

Yes we are born with the ability, but the pushing down and the strange sensation as the poo makes it’s way down, can be a little too much for some babies. Babies learn to get comfortable with how poo-ing works.

Baby’s muscles have to be relaxed around the anus, but tensed up in some ways too (around the stomach). This  can make it very tricky or just weird for some babies to poo, and they may show it by straining or crying or making funny faces.

Very small babies also do the number two while lying dow; doctors say this is not as easy as poo-ing while sitting or standing. All of this may make baby decide, ‘I don’t like this poo-ing sensation, I’ll hold it all in’, until they’ve put it off too long and are feeling uncomfortable from it. You may then be quite worried and  suspecting baby is constipated because they haven’t poo-ed in days or weeks.

You can’t help your baby learn to poo, but warm baths, bicycle legs and baby massage, may help relax baby and their little muscles.  If it’s constipation, baby’s poo comes out hard and in pellets. If the poo is soft, it may be a sign that your baby is just learning to get used to the sensation of poo-ing. I know, lovely!

 

Exclusively breastfed newborns do not get constipated

Another fun fact I learnt when my baby was little was that breastfed babies cannot get constipated.

It is considered normal for your breastfed baby to go days without pooing after their first six weeks. Because breastmilk is so perfectly formulated, baby’s body absorbs most of it.

Trust your gut with this one. A Doctor might tell you, no poo for 10 days is normal in a breastfed baby, but as a Mum if you notice straining and discomfort in baby after day three of no poo, go back and disturb your paediatrician. That’s what I would do anyway.  If baby seems unduly uncomfortable, it might be worth sharing the signs you see, to check everything is looking normal in baby’s tummy.

 

When we were going through potty training, poo took on a whole, new meaning. But that is a story for another day!

 

Mums, what stories about poo can you share form those early days with baby? Any discoveries, funny stories, or things people told you to do in relation to poo? Please share your experience in the comments.  Your contribution could be what provides another Mum a breakthrough in her worries. Thank you for sharing.

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