Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mama Bean's baby Bean has stinky feet

Papa Bean is pretty sure we're not bathing Bean enough. Because I am lazy, I was inclined to disagree, until I smelled Bean's toes the other day. They smelled like adult feet. Adult feet in old flip-flops after an August day walking around outside. Okay, I'm exaggerating, but they did have that distinct baby toe-cheese aroma. So maybe we're not bathing him enough.

Everybody talks about how good babies smell. We have a friend who is addicted to "fresh" babies. Maybe she means babies less than about three months old. Bean smelled good for about three months. We didn't bathe him at all for, like, three weeks. I think in the hospital, newborns get washed off after they come out, but Bean was just sort of dried off with receiving blankets, and all the lovely protective vernix just gradually got rubbed into his skin as we went about our business. Feeding and diapering and trying to get sleep in two hour increments was overwhelming enough, I'm not sure I could have handled bathing him. Well, and the baby-pundits tend to agree (it happens!) you don't need to bother with more than sponge-bathing while the umbilical stump is still around, because you have to keep that stumpy dry. So we just let him ripen, lol. And he smelled really good, even with various amounts of errant breastmilk and pee sort of dripping about. This sounds so disgusting now, but at the time, at the Delirious silly time, it seemed totally fine. Weird. (Let's be totally honest, it was a miracle I had a daily shower during this time.)

Papa Bean was beyond excited to give Bean his first bath. When I told him we had to wait until the stumpy fell off, he insisted on a little washcloth wipe down - so cute! There is pictorial documentation. Stump fell off after a couple weeks (pictorial evidence of this was also collected) and then I made PB wait until the area looked healed. Bean needed a bath by then because a) there was cradle cap and b) there was cheese in his armpits and neck folds and finger/toe creases.

I used to scratch off the cradle cap while he nursed. It seems to basically be oil and dried sweat and dead scalp cells. I went a little overboard though, because he got little scabs where I scratched too much off. Man, I am making myself sound like the most Awesome Mother EVER in this post *sheesh* aaAAAnyway, the midwife told us to put a little shampoo on his head and scrub it fairly vigorously with one of those soft, dense bristled baby brushes, and it would wash away. And it did. I think we did that two or three times, and now we just rub his shampoo in with our fingers, and it hasn't come back. Lucky us, I know cradle cap is like a plague for some heads.

As for the crease-cheese, it just washes away also. It kept re-forming every three or four days, so that's how often we bathed him, except sometimes it was more like once a week. Keep in mind, Bean doesn't poop that often. Maybe if he was sending poo up the back of his diapers three or four times a day, I'd be more inclined to bathe him every day. Please don't call child services. I'm not neglecting his hygiene, I swear. But we really have Papa Bean to thank for that. He's a clean guy, this husband of mine. Thank goodness, eh?

The cheese stopped when we got a better handle on breastfeeding, and milk and spit-up weren't constantly dripping about into random places. Now, he smells for different reasons. I think he has started to sweat more. Leeeettle babies don't seem to sweat much. I mean, to hear grandmothers and aunties tell it, little babies are constantly too cold, and thus wouldn't ever have the opportunity to sweat. However, I think I detected some sweaty moments in the Delirious Early Days, but what do I know? I'm new at this. Now he sweats in his car seat, and sweats when he naps too long, and sweats if his diaper is full. Sweaty. He'll get sweatier (and stickier, etc.) from what I understand. Awesome.

Also, he eats solids now. Just rice cereal, a few times a day. Most of it does end up in his stomach, but some of it ends up on his face, in his nose, down his chins and neck, onto his hands, and into his clothing. Dried breastmilk doesn't really have an odour, but cereal definitely does. Plus, it looks like dried boogers when I don't wipe it all off after a meal. This is a whole realm of cleaning I never considered. Could someone create a thing that would hold his arms back and keep his hands out of his mouth while I'm simultaneously putting sticky carbohydrate porridge in there? Right now that thing is whichever parent isn't doing the feeding. But like, srsly, it's not supposed to take two people to feed a baby, right? So, yeah. And then, with solid food comes new poop. Less runny and milk seedy, more... poopy. And stinky. Frankly, I don't know why I was so worried about Bean only pooping every few days. Now, I kinda wish he'd only unleash this stuff on us once a week. It's gross. It gets grosser, from what I understand. Awesome, again.

So, we had almost gotten into the rhythm of bathing every other day, and now Papa Bean is pushing for daily. And given the status of Bean's stinky cheesy feet, I kind of agree. Plus, then I'll feel less negligent than I do having written this post for all the world to see. And if this wasn't way more than anyone ever wanted to know about my child's unbathedness, then I just don't know what TMI Tuesday is even for!


  1. He's pretty cute for being such a den of filth. :P

  2. Seriously, he is SO cute!! You need to post more pictures of him!!