Wednesday, December 4, 2013

WHY Pee Outweighs Poop

2 weeks into raising a newborn, we all become pros in changing diapers. We do this 7~8 times a day, even when we're half asleep at night. At first, I prided myself to be able to change diapers with just one hand (yes, it can be done!) but even that got boring soon. Recently, I find myself playing guessing games with my wife whether the diaper will contain (1) pee, (2) poop or (3) both. 

This brings me to today's topic of pee'ing and poop'ing. When my son was at the maternity ward for 48 hours after being born, the nurses and doctors constantly made us record the pee / poop cycle. When I asked them why, they said it was an important health indicator. As a matter of fact, my son didn't pee until almost 36 hours after birth and the nurses were getting really worried. Common sense tells us that a living organism should excrete waste, but for babies it has much serious implications. 

As we visited our pediatrician, the staff unanimously reminded us not to worry about poop cycles but focus on that of pee'ing. We were to monitor that the baby is wetting its diaper at least 6 times a day. Which then made me wonder, WHY pee and not poop? What do pee cycles tell us about the baby?

Humans need water and food (nutrient) to survive. For babies, breast milk (or formula) provides both and us mindless parents don't have to worry about forgetting one. This means that if they are peeing frequently, they are getting enough water as well as getting enough nutrients in their body. What a wonderful confirmation to get from a living creature that cannot speak their needs! 

Like my wife, the mother's breast may not be making enough milk in the immediate weeks after giving birth. During this time, even if the baby is "breast fed" for a good 20~30 minutes, there may have not been enough milk. To make matters worse, the baby probably wouldn't cry because it is sucking and the mother could believe that she has fed it enough. That is why nature has given us pee, and modern day humans have decorated it with the beautiful blue wetness indicator on diapers. We get confirmation that the baby is getting enough to eat and drink, not once but 6+ times a day. 



Oh, yes, we forgot about poop. Yes, it is important to monitor poop. Not too much the frequency but the color, texture, and the wateriness of it. Babies that are breast fed would typically have a yellowish curry-like texture and the color can be impacted by what the mother eats. Poop may tell you certain conditions about the baby but for vitals, there is nothing more important than pee.