The Gross Things That Can Happen With a Newbornby Elizabeth MacDonald
As you count down the weeks until your baby arrives, you imagine all of the sweet baby snuggles. There is truly nothing better than a new baby! But along with all of that sweetness comes a few unexpectedly weird, but not uncommon things that may completely gross you out.
I’m being serious here. I wouldn’t joke about this. Five babies later and I am still grossed out by most of these things!
Somehow you forget them while pregnant, but when they happen with baby #2, 3, or 5, it’s like a brick wall in your face. How could I possibly forget about the smell of baby vomit?
If this is your first baby, and you are preparing for all things newborn, make sure you take notes. All of these weird things can happen to your baby. They are normal and typically don’t warrant any kind of medical help. But being a first-time parent, you’ll probably still call the doctor… No worries, we all have done it.
Unexpectedly Gross Things That Can Happen With Newborns… (or expected and yet still gross)
The Damn Umbilical Cord Stump! It’s not surprising because it’s basically gross from birth, but it is delicate, ugly, scary, and can go wrong in so many ways!
Cord stump puss, green-ness, and blood. These are all reasons to see the doctor because the cord goes directly to baby’s bloodstream and an infection can land baby in the NICU. If the cord is knocked off before completely healing, the blood is terrifying!
Herniated Belly Button. Just gross looking.
Meconium – the first few days of poop. That stuff is like tar. You read about it, but in person, it’s nasty! My best advice is to sun dry anything that poop touches because it stains! (so does breastmilk.)
The Seedy Poop. The poop that comes next looks like mustard seeds and smells like movie theater buttered popcorn. You’ll never enjoy that popcorn again, folks. When a ‘blow out’ occurs and the shit hits the fan (almost literally – the poop seems to get EVERYWHERE), it’s quite hard to swallow your puke. The poop will get on you. You cannot prepare for this.
Baby Vomit. Your reaction will be to try and catch it. WHY? I don’t know. Motherhood is a freaking joy. There is spit up and there is vomit. The vomit is basically massive amounts of curdled milk chunks. You may want to eliminate dairy from your diet if this continues.
Baby Girl Periods. Yes, a period… as in blood from her vagina. This is actually common and some baby girls will have a mucus-y, bloody discharge.
Discharge. All baby girls will have discharge. It is gross, and you will wonder if you should wipe it, how much you should wipe, and where it is all coming from, but it is normal. Her little body is just cleaning itself out.
Swollen Genitals. Testicles the size of Texas or a labia that looks a bit enlarged compared to the rest of her body. There is a lot of blood flowing, and the genitals tend to stay swollen the longest. They will calm down – don’t worry!
Baby Butt Holes. Those suckers are pretty gross. They squirt poop at you like a missile. They get rashes and yeast and red rings that apparently clue you in on allergies.
Penile Adhesions. Yes, after a circumcision (which is no longer recommended, by the way!) it is common for the skin to reattach. This is painful and gross to see, but even more painful for the baby! (Circumcision care is way grosser than you can imagine, too.)
Labial Fusions. Yes, girls can have genital adhesions too. There is an estrogen ointment you can use to help or let it happen naturally over time.
Erections. Those penises will stand at attention quite often! Don’t freak out, it’s not sexual – just blood flow. However, it is common for circumcised boys to feel pain during erections, as their skin is now tighter than it was pre-cut.
An Extra Thumb. This is more unexpected than gross, but yet more common than you would think! It’s an easy procedure to remove, but talk about crazy looking!
Boogers… MASSIVE boogers. It’s such a tiny nose, but somehow those gross boogers can be an inch or more long!
Baby Roll Smells. Those chunky neck rolls hide milk, which then starts to stink. Oh my, the stink.
Eye Goop. An underdeveloped tear duct is to blame for all of the mucus. It’s pretty disgusting. (Squirting breastmilk on it helps!)
Sleeping with Open Eyes. For some reason, their little eyes don’t close all the way every time they fall asleep. It’s unexpectedly weird and can freak you out. I’m sure I’ve missed a few things here, but you get the gist! Newborns are more than sweet bundles of joy; they are also little poop squirters. Good thing they are so cute.