“My newborn daughters’ sh*t did not stink. Its smell was reminiscent of popcorn. After introducing solid foods though, their poops became smelly recaps of the meals we’d shared together. If 100 blueberries or black beans went in, 100 would come out, embedded in fecal matter but otherwise unchanged. Recently, our daycare provider forgot to put a disposable liner between M’s bum and the absorbent pad of her cloth diaper. (We use liners so that poo can be dumped into the toilet instead of being mashed into the cloth.) Of course, M took a dump in the linerless diaper, which made its way back to us in the bag with the other soiled cloth diapers. That night, as my partner breastfed and enjoyed some quiet time with M, I was in the bathroom, scraping at the feces in her fouled diaper with delicate wads of toilet paper. M had eaten black beans and a whole lot else, I can tell you. With some of the moisture sucked out of it, the poop of a toddler would make a fabulous adhesive.”—Lee
“I’m waiting at the doctor’s office. She’s late and my two-month-old girl is fussy, so I’m bouncing her in a carrier around the waiting room like a crazy person. A nice old lady points at my leg saying, ‘Uh oh, uh oh.’ I look down, and that runny yellow poo is leaking down my jeans, past my knees. A nurse gave me a private room to change, but of all the stuff I lugged with me: no clean outfits. I stripped her down, used her sleeper to wipe my jeans and wrapped her in a blanket. The doctor just laughed when she saw us. After the appointment, I hauled ass to the car with my naked baby like I’d just stolen something from a corner store. Never forgot outfits again.”—Mandy
“My first visit to work with my month-old baby, all I brought was my wallet. No diaper bag. No diapers. Sure enough, as she’s making the rounds, everyone cooing over her, she takes a huge sh*t. What saved me and my rookie stupidity? I was in the office of a women’s magazine. The story ends with me changing her on a meeting table, bubble envelope as change pad, using makeup-removal wipes and a single sample diaper.” —Lauren
“I was nervous about my first flight with my 18-month-old girl, a four-hour journey to see my sister, but the advice I got was unanimous: nurse upon takeoff and landing, and whenever she seemed to feel like it. She was down to bedtime feedings by this point, but it worked like a charm—she spent a good deal of the flight in my lap, nursing. It was very sweet and we enjoyed the cuddle time. I did one diaper change on the plane, then we landed, met up with my sister and got right to sightseeing, nursing my girl on the go since she was still really into it. Then I smelled it: The unmistakable scent of newborn milk poo—only this load was toddler-sized. My girl had had too much breastmilk and the hour of reckoning had come. Blocks from my sister’s place, the diaper could not contain it. The yellow goo was halfway up her back and all over the stroller. We hustled back, gave her a bath, and I made sure we returned to solids ASAP.”—Lora
“Hotel rooms don’t generally have change tables. So I changed my newly mobile baby on a towel on the floor. I thought it was funny when he escaped—clean but diaperless—and crawled between the couch and the drapes to play an adorable game of pantsless peekaboo. Until, that is, he quietly took a big sh*t on the carpet mid-peek. Turns out, it is possible to clean sh*t out of carpet with a washcloth and a bar of hotel hand soap. (I was still glad we were checking out that morning, however.)”—Ariel
“My toddler was having trouble passing a round golf-ball-type situation, so I stuck my finger in to break it up and help ease it out. I did not wear gloves (moms don’t wear gloves), but I did use Vaseline.” —Lindsay
A version of this article appeared in our January 2016 issue, titled “You vs. Poo, pp. 51-56.