My oldest daughter spat up from birth. "It's probably just a phase," the doctor told us. It turned out to be a solid eight-month "phase." When my second daughter was born, I thought there's no way Mother Nature would curse us with another baby who constantly spat up. We were wrong.
My father likes to poke fun at me, saying that it's karma. Turns out, I was a spitter as a baby, too. Ruling out any medical condition, these babies are lovingly referred to as "happy spitters." Well, I'm glad someone is happy about it, because it sure as hell isn't the parents.
So, for all the moms and dads of these babies, my sincere condolences. But for fun, here's 10 truths you can absolutely relate to. You know you're a parent of a "happy spitter" if...
1. You do full loads of laundry for only bibs and burp cloths. Every other day. In fact, you actually own more bibs for your baby than clothes for your baby. It's not unusual to go through 10-12 bibs and burp cloths in a day. When you see a friend or relative's baby registry only has one pack of bibs listed, you feel slight terror at the thought of only having three bibs in your possession.
2. You stop buying cute onesies because they're always covered up by a bib. Wearing a Christmas onesie in June? Who cares. No one can tell, because your baby is wearing a bib the size of her torso at all times.
3. Your house reeks of sour milk. You know how everyone's house has its own unique smell? Yours, unfortunately, has a lovely odor of spit-up due to the fact that every item in the house -- couch, carpet, bed, blankets, pillows -- has received a dousing of spit-up more times than can be counted. And no matter how hard you wash and scrub, that pungent smell remains.
4. You have "drying stations" around your house for wet bibs. Draped over the dining room chairs and over the edges of the table, these bibs are the ones that, while soaked through, are considered somewhat salvageable for another wear before getting tossed in the laundry.
5. Your baby ruins every photo-op by spitting up on her cute outfit. Bonus points if you have photo evidence of baby spitting as the camera snaps the picture. (I have multiple, but I'll spare you the visual here). Standard photo shoot practice dictates that you set up the area, place the baby, aim the camera, then whip off the bib and take the picture simultaneously.
6. You know exactly what spit up sounds like hitting the tile or hardwood floor. If I had a penny for every time I've heard "splat!" and looked down to see a puddle of baby vomit, I'd be a rich woman. Usually, these instances of spit-up fall into the "projectile" category, where the flow is so forceful it misses your shoulder and goes right over your back in a perfect arch to the floor below.
7. You go through multiple outfit changes before 10 a.m. And by "you," I don't just mean the baby. I actually mean YOU. It's not uncommon to wait until you're practically walking out the door to work before you actually put on your work clothes. Because it's a proven fact that if you get dressed any earlier and have any contact with your baby, she will undoubtedly spit up on you. Then smile.
8. You get anxiety when other people are holding your baby. "Careful," you warn as you hurriedly drape a burp cloth over their shoulder. "She's a spitter!" And despite the warning, you still feel horrible when the baby proceeds to spit up, as expected, all over them. Spitters don't pick and choose. They'll share their digested lunch with anyone -- even your boss (as has happened to me several times).
9. You've given up hope of trying to predict when the spit up will happen. Because heaven knows that there's absolutely no pattern of frequency or duration. It's just All. The. Time. Unlike other babies who may have a dribble after a feeding, the true spitter likes to surprise you with an eruption even hours after eating.
10. You are so used to the spit up, it doesn't even phase you anymore. The constant cleaning and changing clothes is so routine, you hardly bat an eye. It's only when you notice someone else's reaction that you realize this isn't the norm for many parents. "Wow, you really weren't kidding!" Or, "Holy &%$#!" are common responses you get from people.