Hello to the Happy Spitter Mom Club

happy spitter

photo by ByFive Photography

Dear happy spitter baby mamas, hang in there. It’s hard. The amount of paper towels in the trash can, clothes in the washer and burp cloths in the drawers is relentless. The endless pools of spit up are frustrating. No one is hurt. No one is losing sleep. But my goodness, it’s exhausting, and does it ever go away?!?

After my little one gave the doc a shining example of the problem I’d been so desperately trying to describe at our two month appointment, we were officially “diagnosed.” Yup, my baby was a happy spitter.

Happy spitter, in layman’s terms, means your kiddo spits up any time he/she well pleases, as much as he/she well pleases, WHERE he/she well pleases, for no justifiable reason and all with a happy smile on his/her face. Even with a doctor diagnosis, people still have a hard time accepting that our child basically spits up for the fun of it. And by spit up, I mean a gross, frequent amount that manages to seep onto our clothes, legs, floors, rugs, child’s clothes, couch, family dog, etcetera, all despite a perfectly positioned bib and burp cloth ready to “cup and catch.” That much.

“I bet he’s hungry? He just spit up his whole bottle!”

Yeah, no.

“Is it reflux? Does it hurt? Is he gaining weight? Colic? Have you talked to the doctor? Tried eliminating dairy? Added cereal to his bottle? Is it your breast milk? Switched formulas?”

Nope, nope, nope. Just a darn ole happy spitter.

It actually wasn’t until a month or two into mommyhood that I realized there are babies out there who barely spit up, if any at all. What? Pools of spit up immediately following and hours after a feed aren’t normal?!? You mean you don’t own over 30 burp cloths, 30 bibs and still have to change both you and your little one’s outfits a couple times a day? It seemed like I spent my entire maternity leave participating in a daily yoga fashion show – in and out of outfits like nobody’s business.

At least there’s a glimmer of hope that my future kid(s) spare me of this social problem, right? RIGHT?

And yes, it’s totally a social (and laundry!) problem. For the longest time I dreaded public outings because of the spit up. I was literally reluctant to bring my infant to my best friend’s baby shower (even after a personal request) for fear he’d spit up on everyone’s nice clothes, including my own. It’s all good till you feel something warm and look down to find yourself covered.

They say your baby eventually graduates from this problem, that once he/she begins spending more time upright, the reflux muscles will develop, and the spit up will subside. You hear this and think, “I’m not trying to rush my child through any stage, but universe, please have mercy on me. LET’S PLEASE SIT UP!”

Knock, knock, 9 months. We’re well into solids, sitting, crawling and bravely venturing into public without matching bibdanas. (You guys really thought I was accessorizing my child with neckerchiefs for fashion? Ha!) Things have improved, and I have semi-blocked out how daunting this spit up situation has been and some days still is. Though we see the horizon, every once in awhile when we’re naively off guard, that glorious spit up shows face, now stained with orange carrots and accompanied by an added stench of adult vomit. Lovely.

Friends. Family. Strangers. No one is safe from the spit up monster.

Sound familiar? I’m sorry. I really am. Hello to the happy spitter mom club.

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