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Talking Dirty (nappies)

September 1, 2010

As I grabbed hold of Lyra and lifted her up for a cursory bottom sniff to see if that terrible whiff was coming from her or one of the larger children who were trampling all over her in the softplay area this morning, I thought fondly of how far I had come in a few short months.

This time last year, apart from being the size of a house and eagerly awaiting the joys of motherhood (which was so much pinker, cleaner and involved more embroidery in my imagination) I would have been very squeamish at the thought of dealing with vomit or poo belonging to another being.  But here I am, happy as Larry to get up to my elbows in poo, wee, snot, vomit… you name it, I’ve probably gone to Tescos wearing a little bit of it.

And I really have thrown myself whole heartedly into the whole poo thing.  As a new parent you have to.  You’ve been waiting for nine months for this small person to appear and make your life complete.  You will be a ‘Happy Family’.  It will be joyful.  There will be running and laughing and kittens and trips to the zoo… except that there is this little bit at the beginning where your ticket to Butlins-Style-Family-Fun doesn’t really do a whole heap besides eat, sleep and poo.  Of the three pooing is certainly the most interesting.  So I found myself, a new mum, friends with other new mums talking incessantly about poo.  Honestly.  Who’d have thought it.  I have a degree from Oxford you know.

You wouldn’t believe how much there is to talk about – volume, colour, texture, frequency.  Those who moved to formula assured me that smell became a factor then too.  And it’s not just poo… I can remember proclaiming very proudly to my midwife on day three that Lyra had done a LOT of very heavy nappies.

“Hooray!  My Child Can Wee for England!  Let’s throw a party!”

A few months later and you move onto solid food.  And suddenly you’re like some kind of archaeologist “Oh she really did eat a lot of broccoli for dinner last night”…  “Oh, I see that she can’t digest olives” and so on and so forth.  I still remember vividly how very proud my hubby was when Lyra first started solids.  “Landmark moment!” he proclaimed “There is a bit of bran in Lyra’s poo!”  I almost expected him to frame the nappy for posterity.

And now… Teething…. Teething…. Teething…. As we all know, there is not a lot that can’t be blamed on teething and it certainly does produce nuclear nappies.  So poo has been right back at the top of the ‘most talked about’ list in our house the last few days.

I’m sure you’ll be relieved to hear though, that as tooth number two has finally appeared, Lyra’s poo has resumed the ideal consistency of soft clay I have been told to aim for by the health visitor (you just couldn’t make this stuff up).


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  1. ROFL- Can you put Poo Archaeologist on a resume? Because I totally would! Love it!!

    • Of course. Along with risk assessment expert (on entering ANY room with a crawler) and choking hazard consultant…

  2. seeingasiam permalink

    A treat to read…as ever.

  3. I have a non-parent query, not regarding poo but to do with snot – years ago, I read an interview in some TV magazine (I think it was the Radio Times, a quality publication if ever there was one) with Barry from Eastenders (it was a while back) and he said that when his baby had a cold, he had to cover his child’s nose with his mouth and suck the snot out.

    Now…can you please confirm whether this is in fact necessary as a parent or is there another way of weathering the influenza storm?

    • Apparently good mothers do. I however don’t love my daughter *that* much! Instead I bought a special little sucking device. Like a mini nose Hoover!

      What a strange interview..

      • mummyandkatie permalink

        the nose hoover scared me… I could see the little filter between me and the snot, but didn’t trust it. I f
        find by covering one nostrel she does the blowing naturally

        As for dirty nappies, noone told me how explosive breastmilk poo is. SOOOOO many vests disgarded forever.

      • It’s so true. I didn’t explore exploding nappies here though as I have a lot of friends who aren’t parents yet and I don’t want to put them off for life!

  4. That is too funny for words – and loving the pic

  5. It’s a universal truth–you have a baby and the whole family sits down to dinner and that’s what you talk about–the baby poo. And you’re too sleep deprived to realize that there’s anything strange about it!

    • I have to work hard to stop myself talking baby poo over dinner with non parent friends. It freaks them out rather…

  6. Mary permalink

    That’s so true. Poo obsessives all of us. Sniffing another human being’s bum in public is another thing I never thought I’d do. Luckily I only do that to my kids though and not to random strangers.

    The NCT does this brilliant colour guide to different types of baby poo. I kid you not. We were given it at one of the classes. What’s possibly more disturbing is that I actually referred to it quite a lot in the early months with Grace.

    By the way, am I alone in thinking that newborn (breastfed) baby poo smells divine? It’s like buttery scrambled eggs. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t eat it on toast or anything, but it does smell good. Is it to lure us into a false sense of security before the smellier stuff is produced later? To help with bonding?

    • A poo colour guide?!?!!? Wow now that is amazing! I remember being shown nappies with mustard and marmite in. scarily accurate!

      Not sure I’d go with divine but I certainly did miss the sweet smelling poo when we moved onto solids. You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone..

  7. I love it love it love it! Just so you know I moved and am now at which is a shame as this was my first ping (is that the right word?)

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