Babies are just like little adults, so it should come as no surprise that what comes in must also go out. Your baby is going to pee, poop and spit up way more than you can even imagine, leaving you to wonder if anything is actually getting through. Don’t worry; your little one is not going to wither away to nothing due to malnutrition. This is completely normal, and any other parent is going to sympathize with these feelings. No matter the case, there are a few things you need to understand about your baby’s bodily functions.
Mind Your Pees and Qs
First, you should know that it takes just a few days for the baby’s system to really start working. If you choose to breastfeed, your milk does not fully come in for up to five days. Once this happens, your baby will start to make up to 10 wet diapers each day. When you are in the hospital, staff members will help keep an eye on production. When you get home, you need to ensure that the initial five wet diapers increases after two to three days. It is important to contact your baby’s pediatrician as soon as possible if urine output fails to increase soon.
Today, disposable diapers tends to be super-absorbent. In fact, it might be tricky for you to determine if the diapers are really wet. We advise that you become familiar with the texture of the diapers you intend to use. Get to know what they feel and look like when they are dry, examining the layers and puffiness. These diapers work with gels that inflate as urine absorbs into them. As a result, the diaper feels heavier than when it is dry. You might even notice a slight sag.
If you still aren’t sure that the diaper is wet, take a whiff. You can smell the front leg area of the diaper for that unmistakable scent of urine. It’s not the most fun way to spend these early years, but it can save you plenty of trouble in the long run.
Let’s Talk About Poop
You have already heard that babies who are breastfed tend to have runnier bowel movements. You might even notice that they tend to be more mustard-colored than normal feces. This tends to happen after the first week or so, and it’s totally normal.
Immediately after birth, babies tend to produce poop that is thicker, almost like tar. This is called meconoium, and the nurses tend to handle things like this. You might not ever see it.
Once you get home and start to breastfeed or use formula, you will notice that stools become pastier. Babies who are fed formula will continue with this type of stool, except that it becomes more formed and colors may vary. Breastfed babies will experience thinner, yellow stools.
Next, you need to know how often you should expect to change a soiled diaper. Breastfed babies often soil their diapers during or right after each feeding, but this is not the case for each little one. Babies who are fed formula experience bowel movements after nearly every feeding. Babies who are fed formula are definitely less frequent to create soiled diapers. It may take several days for some.
Unfortunately, this irregular system can create some concern in new parents. It is easy to see when babies are passing stools; they tend to strain and grunt; however, it is also easy to see when they are constipated. Fortunately, this is not very often. Babies simply have their own bowel habits. Any pediatrician is likely to halt your concerns. Just make sure to check the stool to make sure it is soft. If it is hard, there could be a problem.
It is important that you pay attention to the amount of iron your baby is getting. In adults, iron supplements can cause severe binding. With babies, this is not the case. Low-iron formulas are not a good idea, and most medical experts agree. Your baby needs lots of iron for her brain to develop properly. Best of all, it will not cause constipation. Your pediatrician may even recommend iron supplements if your baby is breastfed. Don’t let anybody talk you out of this; it’s important.
While the mouth may be at the opposite end of the body, it creates fluids of its own. Babies can spit up as many as 12 times each day. Sometimes it’s a major eruption, and other times the spit sort of trickles out. No matter the case, it can be pretty messy. Baby is going to spit up on you or herself at some point. It may be a nuisance, but it’s a pretty big one.
Why do babies spit up so often? It has a lot to do with the digestive tract and the muscle between the stomach and esophagus. It is quite immature, failing to tighten up until the baby is about six months old.
You don’t need to concern yourself with spitting up. There is not very much nutrition lost to spit up, usually only one tablespoon, but it may seem like more. Just make sure that you have lots of bibs, towels and a change of clothes ready. You might want to consider keeping an extra change of clothes for yourself while you are at it.
Try these tips to minimize spit up:
Provide more frequent feedings throughout the day, but make them smaller.
Don’t force your baby to finish a bottle if she seems to be full.
Keep your baby in an upright position post-feeding. The gravity helps your baby digest food.
Make sure to burp the baby regularly.
If you use formula, discuss spitting up with your pediatrician. You might find that some brands are easier for your little one to digest than others.
Spit-up warrants medical attention in only a few situations. For instance, if your baby becomes irritable and fussy after feedings, you may have a problem. It is also a problem if your baby becomes prone to spitting up all the time. The issue could be as simple as reflux, which is easily solved via medication prescribed by the doctor.
You also need to pay attention to the spit-up itself. Make sure your baby is not vomiting, which includes expelling a large amount of her stomach contents. You also want to make sure that your baby is not experiencing diarrhea, bloating and lack of weight gain in addition to spitting up. Milk allergies are also not uncommon in babies, so you should discuss concerns about the condition with your doctor. While these conditions may not be the most common, they do happen. If you notice your baby is spitting up blood or there is a yellow-green bile blockage, it is important to call your doctor.