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One thing some new parents may be a little anxious about is changing their baby's first diaper. You have probably heard about meconium, that sticky substance that lines a baby's intestines during its time in the uterus. Sometimes, meconium is passed during labor or even before that, but most babies have their first bowel movement within a day after they are born. What does it look like?

Meconium is pretty tough stuff. It looks a lot like tar, and will be stuck to your baby's bottom as well as his diaper! If you are in hospital when your baby has his first bowel movement, a nurse may help you clean it up. If you are at home, or are doing it yourself despite being in hospital, you may be in for a little shock. After having cleaned two meconium diapers for my two babies I would advise you to clean most of the meconium off with wet wipes first. Open the diaper, but leave it underneath your baby, and wipe that little newborn bum clean as much as possible.

It is probably impossible to remove all that sticky goo with wet wipes, do you can then either give your baby a bath (no soap needed, just lukewarm water) or clean him with a (really quite) wet towel or cloth. The whole process may take quite a while longer than you expected! But don't worry not all of your baby's diapers will be like this! Once the meconium is out, changing diapers will seem like a dream. Infant poo is really no big deal, apart from that very first diaper. If your baby has not had any bowel movement at all the second day after birth, you should tell your pediatrician about that. Also check that your baby is peeing regularly.

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