Skip to main content

Phantom of the Diaper

Today I'm going to discuss an unusual phenomenon. I don't know if anyone else will relate, but I'm going to put this out there. I know that at least my sister has experienced the same phenomenon, so I don't think I'm completely alone. I like to call it... Phantom Poop Smell.

The first time this happened to me, the Pumpkin was only a few weeks old. She would poop pretty often, and it was those breastmilk poops that were so liquidy but not truly rancid smelling. (It's a mommyblog. Of course I'm going to discuss poop in detail!) Poopsplosions were not uncommon in (or out of) our house. (BTW, I totally thought I made up this word one night in the first few weeks of babyhood! But apparently other people, especially other parents, use this word too! For us, it indicated the poop exploding out of the baby with such a force and amount that it would blow out the back and sides of the diaper. Those who've had babies know exactly what I'm talking about.)

One evening, I'm nursing the Pumpkin in the chair in our bedroom. I was right next to the changing table in our room and across from the Diaper Champ (love it!). I'm just sitting there, and I SWEAR I smell baby poop. It's a distinctive smell, for those who haven't had the pleasure, so I know that is what the smell was. After the Pumpkin is done nursing, I search all over for poop that might have splattered on something. I sniff over the Diaper Champ (which is letting no smells out, as usual). I even thoroughly check the Pumpkin. No poop anywhere.

I think I'm crazy or hormonal or just too exhausted to be smelling clearly. Or maybe I've just missed it. Or maybe I've just been around too much poop. Anyway, I let it go.

But within the next few months, every now and then, I smell my baby's poop. Sometimes, she's no where near me. I could be at work, and I smell it. I know there is no poop near me, not even a diaper bag! But I get this twinge of smell. The Phantom Poop Smell!

After she started solids, the smell of her poop changed. Phantom Poop Smell changed to match it. I don't smell it nearly as often, but every now and then, I get a whiff. Then there was the one time I was really confused in the car when the Phantom Poop Smell wouldn't go away--it turns out that I DID leave a poopy diaper in the car by accident! It was on this occassion I told my sister the whole phenomenon, and she admitted to gettting the Phantom Poop Smell at times as well!

I can't remember the last time I smelled it. It's been months. I hope it's gone for good. But you can never be sure when (or who) it will strike next! Before you call me crazy, be sure you have something good-smelling near you to combat the Phantom Poop Smell in case it gets you too!


Becoming Mommy said…
It's gotta be the baby version of SBDs. Sasha has been having Phantom Poop smells since we went on solids. When he was nursing, we never had Phantom poops since he pooped it seemed nonstop.
We did have LOTS of Poopsplosions...however, we called them Lake Icky Caca.
It never completely goes away, at least not in my experience. You'll go months and months and suddenly bam! there it is. But there's no poop.

My "favorite" poop-related thing is how I can identify my kid's poop in a room full of Toddler's. I can get a whiff and know for a fact whether it's my kid that needs changed or someone else's. Crazy, I know, but it's absolutely true (although, when it's someone else's, I play stupid so that the parental unit responsible for the poop doesn't think I'm being weird and bossy).
caramama said…
becoming mommy: What are SBDs?

BB's Mom: I am the same way with both being able to identify my baby's poop and playing dumb when it's not mine!
Karen said…
I have to say that I don't remember that phenom if I ever lived through it. Too many years of sleep deprivation will do that to a memory. I do smell poop now, and search all over the house looking for where the untrained dogs dropped the deuce this time, only to discover it's the baby. My instincts are headed in reverse very quickly. I WAS the mom that could identify my baby's poop as I was walking down the hall to the church nursery.
nutmeg96 said…
When our beagle was having poop issues a while back, I kept smelling it everywhere. I was examining the bottom of my shoe at work and whatnot, thinking I must have stepped in it. So maybe this isn't just a baby thing. Or maybe I really HAD stepped in it. :P
Cloud said…
I definitely get the Phantom Poop thing. I'm always sniffing Pumpkin's butt when she doesn't have a full diaper and wondering what the heck I smelled. She's gassy, but not THAT gassy!
-KZ said…
SBDs are silent-but-deadly farts :-)

i have experienced the "phantom poop smell" only there was always a scientific explanation. I want to believe, really i do!

ours likes to play tricks on us - grunting and pushing and only farting, or not really doing anything noticeable and filling up her diaper. it's like the baby who cried wolf sometimes :-)
ImpostorMom said…
I get that sometimes but not really when I'm not around Boog so I just assume it's a toot or the diaper pail. I've never had one strike at work though, that's funny. :P
Becoming Mommy said…
SBDs--in adults it's called Silent But Deadlys.
Anonymous said…
I have been 100% postive that the Main Man had a stinky in his pants, only to change him and it had disappeared. And the other day at work I was visited by the Phantom Poop Smell. I could have swearn that it was on me somewhere. I was literally looking on the bottom of my shoes.
caramama said…
SBD! Right!

Thanks, everyone. Glad to know I'm not completely crazy. And maybe it's not just a baby thing. :-)

Popular posts from this blog

Baby Fidgets in Sleep (and While Awake)

Since I've started this blog, I've had quite a few visitors find me through a search for something like "baby fidgets in sleep" or "baby fidgets in bed" or simply "baby fidgets." This leads me to believe that there are others out there with fidgety babies who drive them crazy enough to search on the internet for some information about fidgeting babies. So I thought I'd do a whole post to discuss the fidgety nature of my child and how I deal with it.

Do you want to know when my child first started fidgeting? IN UTERO!! I'm not kidding. When I was pregnant, this baby moved a lot. She was very often kicking and pushing and hiccuping. OMG, the hiccups! I thought they would drive me nuts. Every. Single. Day. For. Months. Straight. Often more than once a day. I am not exaggerating--you can ask Londo or the many people I worked with, all of whom had to hear about it. I just thought it was part of being pregnant, and it probably is, but I've al…

Some Babies Just Fidget

I have mentioned before that we had a very fidgety baby. It's been a while sinced I talked about it. Although she is still pretty fidgety, at her currently toddler stage it seems more normal and has in many ways translated into bigger, general movements, like climbing.

But I still get a ton of search hits that have to do with baby fidgeting or flailing while sleeping or nursing. Some people stay around and read a bit, and I hope they get what they need from the posts I wrote specifically aboutthis topic hoping that others realize they are not alone. Most people don't stay at all, and I figure they are probably looking for medical reasons why babies fidget (like I would).

Then I got this comment, which does indeed show that people are looking for medical reason. Anonymous said that she wasn't sure if the Pumpkin's fidgets were as severe are her 3.5 month old. Well anonymous, I can't be positive since I haven't seen your child, but at some points they were as bad …

Fidgety Baby Growing Up

My daughter was a very fidgety baby. More fidgety than any other baby I knew through all my years of babysitting, being an aunt and having friends and family with babies. So fidgety that I wondered if something was wrong, if there was an underlying reason for her fidgetiness.

There really wasn’t anything wrong. As far as I can tell, she simply has a LOT of energy in her body. Her father is the same way. Londo is full of energy and has always been a fidgeter. And me? I can’t sit in one position for a long period of time. I don’t really fidget so much as I shift positions periodically, and I don’t think I ever simply sit normal, facing forward with both feet on the ground when I’m in a chair. In fact, sitting normal sounds like torture to me.

But three years ago, when the Pumpkin was a few months old and through her babyhood, I didn’t know why she was fidgeting so much. When I would nurse her, when we’d be rocking her to sleep, when we would try to hold her calmly, when we’d be lying in…