Ever since Teddy was a few weeks old he has been a machine when it comes to spitting up. And I mean machine, he spits up constantly. We read all the blogs that said to cut out dairy, to hold him upright for 30 minutes after eating, to elevate his bed, to shorten his feeding sessions with more frequent burping and everything in between but nothing worked for us. The doctor told us it was an above average amount, but since Teddy was gaining weight and was not in pain there was nothing really wrong. It was not till several months later I was talking to a friend about Teddy’s spit up and she said she had read something that reminded her of Teddy; she said someone she knew in a Facebook group had a baby they called a “Happy Spitter”. I didn’t even have to hear the explanation I knew this was what Teddy was too.
So what is a happy spitter? A happy spitter is a baby who has excessive spit up without experiencing tummy discomfort. And the culprit of this excessive spit up is an underdeveloped esophageal tract that, as it matures, will eventually be strong enough to end the spitting up. So let's break that down:
A happy spitter is:
1) A baby who is gaining weight; this means they are getting enough milk and are therefore growing.
2) A baby who by observations seems to be spitting up a large portion of each feeding not only directly after a feeding but up to several hours after a feeding. Basically a happy spitter just sits around and casually spits up on themselves or whoever is holding them and could care less.
3) A baby who is NOT requiring medication due to suffering from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (AKA Reflux; AKA GERD). Reflux has its own recognizable symptoms such as scowling, cry/screaming, refuse to nurse, tightened abdominals or appears to be colic.
4) A baby who does NOT have an allergy. Allergies manifest with symptoms like rash, hives, other skin irritations, screaming, excessive crying, sleeplessness, obvious discomfort, colic, congestion, vomiting, strange poops, etc.
Teddy exhibits all of the things on the list above. Teddy can be casually playing with his toys one second and then be covered in spit up the next and be more irritated by the fact that I try to wipe it off them the fact that he spit up in the first place. However, it was nice to finally know that what he was doing was actually normal for some babies and that it would eventually stop. Although we are currently still waiting for it to stop, I have learned a few things from having a happy spitter. I am just going to share two things, although trust me, there are far more things I have learned during this sanctification process.
Two thing I have learned from having a happy spitter:
1. Not all bibs are the same
When you’re pregnant you get all these cute outfits with tiny pants and shirts and many of them come with a super cute bib and you think to yourself “Oh that’s so cute, it might come in handy to have a bib or two ”. Well when you have a happy spitter it is more like, “20-30 bibs might come in handy” and it will not always be the super cute bib that is the most functional. I was guilty of buying the cute bibs, but some of those cute bibs are now the bibs at the bottom of the stack that i dread grabbing because they just can’t hang with my kid’s overflow of the mouth. Trust me my mama heart wants to put Teddy in the cute bibs; he literally wears a bib every second of every day while he is awake and it sometime it stings just a little to cover up the cute shirt he is wearing with a neon green bib. But at the end of the day it has to be function over looks otherwise we would be neck deep, rather than just knee deep, in bibs and burp cloths. However, in the hunt for the perfect bib we have come across some winners. Some of our favorite bibs come from Kensie Baby, Advent and Neat Solutions.
Kenise Baby are hands down my favorite bib, they are water resistant, they have a clip instead of just velcro in the back and they are cute. The triple threat; however, I have only even been able to find them at T.J Maxx and I wish I would have bought every single one they had but alas. Neat Solutions would be my next favorite; they can be found at Target, they are also waterproof, cheap and come in solid colors. Admittingly they are not the cutest (the set we happen to have has neon green and yellow which are not my favorite) but they are extremely functional and therefore get used all the time. Advent is next, they are a bit more expensive and although they are not strictly waterproof they are very absorbent, have a clasp instead of velcro and come in cute patterns. The bibs that always find themselves at the bottom of the stack are bibs from Chick Pea and Carters. These bibs although probably the cutest are made of cotton and do not have an interior lining that is waterproof which just leads to a wet baby, more changes of clothes and more frequent loads of laundry. This is by no means an exhaustive list of bibs we have or have tried but they are just the ones we find we like the most and the ones we reach for the least.
So from a mama of a happy spitter, not all bibs are the same and function will always win out over the cute factor. Side note, we tend away from bandana bibs, the surface area is just not up to par with our kiddo’s “splash zone”, and reusable diaper cloths make superb burp cloths.
2. Wear it as a badge of honor
There is not a day that goes by that I do not wear spit up as part of my outfit. It has been in my hair, down my shirt, on my jeans, between my toes and everywhere in between; but as frustrating as it might be, the spit up is truly a badge of honor. The spit up is a sign that I have a beautiful, healthy baby boy who needs me. For my husband and I, the spit up is a reminder of our prayers, the faithfulness of our Heavenly father who blessed us with life and the blessing it is to parent him this side of heaven. Yes, it is frustrating and kind of disgusting and sometimes my frustration shows more than my thankfulness, but I will wear the spit up with honor because I know one day I will miss it.
Time is the thief of youth, Teddy will never be as small as he is today, he will never need me more than he does right now and I will never get this time back. So each day I need to get up and choose joy, joy in the laundry that needs to be done, joy in the shirt that will inevitably need to be changed and joy in the smell that sometimes feels like a permanent addition to my body. The spit up will one day end and on that day I will want it back because my baby is no longer the small baby he once was. So until that day comes, I will wear the spit up as a badge and I will wear it with thankfulness for the life the produces that spit up.
Kenzie Baby Bib
Neat Solutions Bib
Left to right : Kenzie Baby, Neat Solutions, Advent