Oftentimes when people who have never been parents think about the dreads of having a baby, they immediately think of how gross and unpleasant it would be to do diaper changes. While initially it does sound pleasant and obviously messy, when you do become a parent, you quickly realize that diaper changes are just an everyday reality of well, being a parent to an infant, and that it’s just a practical obvious thing that just needs to get done. In addition to that, sometimes, especially when your baby’s poops and pees are lagging, as a parent you can get very excited to finally see that long awaited poop or pee diaper.
To track growth and how much a baby is consuming, assuming they are not exclusively formula fed, if they are breast fed, the only way to fully understand (or as close as possible) what they are consuming is to see their “output,” in other words, their poops and pees. Your baby’s pediatrician will always ask the same questions at the beginning of every visit: are they formula or breast fed? If combo fed, what is the approximate ratio of formula to breast milk? What number of poop and pee diapers have we seen on average?
Breast milk diapers will have lots of pee, and the poop will always be a mustard-seedy texture and color. Funnily enough, breast fed baby diapers don’t have a very strong odor, either. I still remember when we saw Kaia’s first poopy diaper post meconium and how excited I was to see that it was mustard seedy, meaning that in fact, my milk HAD come in and she was actually consuming milk through my breasts. In subsequent diaper changes, when she has been backed up and constipated, I have gotten excited and well, even admired her poopy diapers when they finally came… after 2-3 days of waiting. Chris thought this was so weird that he told our night nurse about this, who found this all at once cute, funny, and strange.
So, want to track your baby’s progress outside of using a scale? Keep a log of their poops and pees. Everyone will expect you to do this.