Poop Miss in the High Chair

Poop Miss in the High Chair

I just had a poop miss with my second baby in the high chair. Let me share with you how it happened and why it actually made me feel good.

She turned 6 months old a month or so ago, so she’s been introduced to sitting in the high chair during meals and being offered food (baby-led weaning-ish). With my first child, my son, I had placed him on the high chair much earlier and found that he pooped in it quite often. It’s my guess that the high chair (a plastic sitting contraption) feels similar to a potty. He had often pooped in the baby swing too. 

Armed with my experience with my first child, I altered my approach with my daughter. This is the approach I took:

  • Waiting to put her in the high chair. I waited until she was a bit older and ready to start solids before putting her in the high chair. I did this because I wanted to be more in tune with her pooping pattern to avoid having messy misses to clean up. I also think that with my first baby, I was trying to rush him along to meet all the milestones and practice sitting. I’m enjoying the babyhood of my second baby.

  • Pottying her before putting her in the high chair. I tried to time her high chair sessions so that they would happen AFTER she had pooped for the day. She was usually pooping once a day. So, I wanted to have her in the high chair after she had relieved herself so that she doesn’t associate the high chair with pooping, but rather a place that she doesn’t poop.

So how did the poop happen? She was almost 7 months old and it was her second day of not pooping… Yet. I didn’t know when to expect that large poop. I had thought that she would go in the morning, but she didn’t. I decided to just let go and let it happen when it would happen and trust that I would tune into her signals (usually a fart). I was bustling around the kitchen and throwing her chunks of food to try when I heard her fussing. I urged her to try some of the food I had in front of her while attending to my cooking, but her fussing just escalated. Here is what I noticed:

  • Disinterest in food.

  • Minor squawks.

  • Throwing food on the floor.

  • Slouching.

  • Louder squawks and calls.

  • Arching of the back in attempt to get out of the chair.

  • Crying.

That’s when it hit me. She doesn’t want to eat. She probably wants to poo. So I quickly removed her little table and pulled her out. I leaned her over my arm and unsnapped her diaper to find that she had begun to poop in there already. That’s why she was so upset.

I immediately placed her on the potty and she released a big one in the potty. Why didn’t I clean her bum off first? Whenever baby poops herself, I always place her on the potty because she probably just started her poop and needs to release the rest of it. That’s exactly what happened here. She had let a little go in the diaper because I didn’t catch on her signalling quick enough. As soon as she had the chance to relieve herself where she wanted to, she immediately went and was happy afterward. 

She went from crying and wailing to calm and alert after she had finished her business. The change in her mood was remarkable. 

This event had a strong impression on me. It showed me that she is indeed more potty trained than diaper trained. (If you want to read about what I mean by “diaper trained”, click HERE). What I mean is that she prefers eliminating on the potty and recognizes the potty as the proper place to do her business. She finds pooping in her diaper unpleasant and tries to hold it instead of just releasing her entire bowel movement in her diaper freely. 

She and I are on the same page. 

What modern societies do with diapering is allow baby no other option than to go in diapers that they’re clad in almost constantly. The babies get used to this. Then, when the time comes, they switch their expectation and try to train them to prefer being dry, sit on a potty, communicate about needing to eliminate, and go on the potty.

I’ve never experienced this, but I’ve heard of toddler potty resistance and children wanting a diaper back on when they want to defecate because it’s all they’ve ever known. There’s also that terrible battle of wills that happens at toddlerhood. I personally wouldn’t want to combine such a drastic change (potty training) with the terrible twos! 

But my baby girl and I already have the same perspective about pottying:

  • Potties are a normal part of life

  • Potties aren’t something to be afraid of

  • Potties are for eliminating in

  • Eliminating in a potty is more comfortable and preferable

My toddler son definitely went through some form of “terrible twos” (not quite finished them yet) where he was exploring his boundaries and pushing many of my buttons. However, there wasn’t any battling about the toilet. Using the toilet is such a natural, normal part of his life. It wasn’t something that I was pushing him to do and he didn’t want to. It was just normal for him.

I hope to have a similar experience with my daughter as she gets older.

This poop miss in the high chair reminded me that I’m really doing all of this for my baby. I’m doing this to meet her present need and help her in the things she can’t do herself. I’m doing this to make her comfortable, healthy, and clean. 

Anyways, after she finished her poop up in the potty, I washed my distressed girls’s bum off in the sink, patted her dry, cleaned the potty, and put her back on the highchair. She went back to eating!

Have you had poop misses lately? Any in the highchair?

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