“Wet wipes!” I typed a WhatsApp to my husband who was at the shops using the knuckle of my pinkie, which was the only part of my hand not covered in baby poo. Slytherin Baby whimpered and whined up at me from her position splayed on the changing mat. “What are you moaning about kid?” I muttered as I used the second to last wet wipe to wipe the poo from off her neck. “If anyone should be crying,” I continued as the last wet wipe was used to wipe poo from inside her bellybutton, “it’s me.” I picked up her poo-soaked vest and baby grow with two fingers and looked longingly at the bin, before throwing them into the wash basket.
“We had almost half a packet of wet wipes yesterday,” said Himself as he handed over an optimistically small packet an hour later.
“That was yesterday,” I explained patiently. “Since then we’ve had three poonamis. During the last one I used a record-breaking thirteen wipes.”
“You know, wet wipes are expensive. We need to be careful we’re not using too many at each change.”
“Tell you what,” I suggested through gritted teeth, “next change, you show me how to not use too many.”
“Oh shit!” I heard a few hours later. After a few more minutes of swearing, I popped my head into the nursery. “Don’t forget to go easy on the wet wipes,” I called helpfully from the doorway. Slytherin Baby whimpered pathetically, as she lay naked, vulnerable and covered in poo, no doubt sensing she was about to become a child of a broken home.
I moved forward to reassure her, but then stopped short. “How did she manage to get poo in her hair?” I exclaimed.
“That might have been me,” Himself admitted. “But her clothes were covered in poop and I had to get that vest off her somehow.”
“You do know that the shoulders of the vest can be pulled down so you don’t have to pull it over her head,” I told him. There was a long moment of silence as Himself glared first at me and then at the laundry basket. Slytherin Baby whimpered again.
“This isn’t normal,” I murmured as I tried to find a clean spot to pat my child.
“Obviously not,” said Himself. “If this were normal, the human race would have died out long ago!”
“I think this is diarrhoea.”
“How many poos has she had this week?” he asked.
“I lost count somewhere around Wednesday; but I do know I’ve washed seventeen baby grows, four sheets, a mattress protector and the car seat. Maybe that’s not normal.”
“What have we been doing about it?” Himself wrestled another wet wipe out of the packet.
“We are giving her water, and massaging her stomach, and rubbing her back, and washing her clothes over and over again.”
Slytherin Baby kicked her poo-covered feet against Himself’s white t-shirt.
“We need to call someone,” I fretted.
“It’s the middle of the night; we can’t disturb anyone now. We’ll just have to white-knuckle it till morning.”
Slytherin Baby glared up at us.
“You’re right; we need to cut back on wet wipes,” said Himself decidedly. He picked up the baby and holding her a safe distance from himself marched out the room.
“Where are you going? And what are we going to do?” I called after him.
I trailed him to the bathroom where he held Slytherin Baby over the bath with one hand and hosed her off with the handheld shower in the other.
“We need to change her formula,” he said with great conviction.
“It’ll never be that easy,” I retorted over Slytherin Baby’s indignant squeals. “Besides we’re using Nan, that’s the one the doctor suggested so it must be good. Maybe I should look it up on Goo–”
“NO! No looking up anything on Google! Phone your doctor friend in the morning, but I’m telling you, we just need to change her formula.”
I rolled my eyes at his nativity. As if a problem could be solved easily!
“You do know I’m not a paediatrician,” my friend told me the next morning.
“Yes, but you did a rotation in the paediatric ward.”
“I know. And I vowed never to work in that department again. I can’t handle the neurotic mothers. Now, why aren’t you phoning your normal paediatrician?” she asked.
“Because it’s five thirty in the morning. I can’t phone him now,” I replied.
“No,” said The Doctor Friend somewhat drily. “That would be ridiculous.”
“Well?” Himself demanded five minutes later.
“It’s diarrhoea and we’re going to change her formula.”
Himself raised an eyebrow. “If only someone had suggested that sooner.”
Slytherin Baby grunted. I shared her scepticism.
The formula aisle stretched before us like some terrifying test we had to pass. “How do we choose?” I whispered.
“We look for the one that will suit our needs,” replied Himself confidently.
“Which one is that? This one is called AR, this one is HA, this one,” a hysterical note crept into my voice, “is just a number! What does that mean? How many times you feed her? How many times you have a nervous breakdown?” I paced nervously in front of the overwhelming tins. “She’s a girl, so we do we get the pink tin? We want the best for her, do we get the gold tin?”
“This one. We get this one,” Himself picked up a tin.
“Novalac AD. Why that one?”
“AD stands for anti-diarrhoea. Call me crazy, but I think that might be the one.”
I stared doubtfully. No way was any problem involving Slytherin Baby going to be solved just like that. I fidgeted anxiously with my phone.
“I’m not going to Google.”
“You’re asking your Bad Moms’ group, aren’t you?”
“We prefer our full name – The Badass Moms’ group,” I said stiffly. Himself and Slytherin Baby shared a look, deploring my insecurity.
“Ok,” I said a few minutes later. “Novalac is a good formula.” Himself took off running for the tills with the tin before I could read any more replies.
Slytherin Baby was smiling. I didn’t know she did that. I mean I knew she was physically capable; I just figured she was one of those people who never smiled. Apparently I was wrong.
“A week of normal poos! Can I choose a formula or can I choose a formula? Do you know how much we’re going to save on wet wipes and diapers and washing?” Himself was very excited at the thought as he stood over my shoulder and watched me open a wet nappy.
“Yes,” I cooed at my daughter. “Do you know how much diapers cost?” Slytherin Baby cooed back at me with a grin.
“Do you know, I wonder how much of her personality was just grumpiness at the wrong formula?” mused Himself.
I looked into the eyes of my smiling baby as I used a single wet wipe to clean her. “Do you think we have a Hufflepuff?” I asked, worried, as I slid a clean nappy under her; she helpfully lifted her legs. And then pooed all over my hand and the new nappy. Slytherin Baby smiled and waved up at us.
This article was written for and originally posted on the BabyYumYum website here https://babyyumyum.co.za/choosing-the-right-infant-formula-can-help-with-diarrhoea/