29 Weird Things I Didn’t Expect To Do As a Parent

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A no-holds-barred confession of the weirdest things I never expected to do as a parent and how you can learn from them

Being a parent is a beautiful thing. It’s the most difficult and yet rewarding experience in the world. However, caring for your little one involves doing some weird things you never expected to do.

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Check out this list of the WEIRDEST things I’ve found myself doing as a parent. If bodily fluids make you squeamish, you might want to stop here.

1. Woke my child up at 3 am to check her butt for pinworms.

If you know ANYTHING about this process, you know where I’m going with this. Pinworms are a super common parasite among kiddos that make them scratch their butt, especially at night. The doctor informed me that the best way to check for pinworms is to–I shit you not–check their butthole in the middle of the night.

In order to treat your child for pinworms, you have to first make sure they have pinworms, and the most accurate way to do that is to completely invade their little toddler sense of privacy, wake them up in the middle of the night, and check their butthole.

The doctor gave us a little sticky tool to swab her anus with, because the goal is to get a sample of the eggs that are laid by momma worm at night.

I am not kidding when I say I was completely traumatized by the thought of doing this. Before the alarm went off for the 3 am booty check, I was literally having a nightmare about doing so.

For more info about this super fun topic, check out this article by Nemour’s Children’s Health.

**Pro tip: don’t use diaper rash cream the night before. The cream prevents anything from sticking to the paddle or tape.

2. Fished my daughter’s poopy diaper out of the trash and sifted through its contents.

This was definitely one of those “never thought I’d find myself doing THIS” kind of moments. Why on God’s green earth did I do this? Well, the FIRST time I went to the doc about the pinworm concern, I was told I could bring in a poop sample to try and detect pinworms. Lucky for me at the time, she had pooped right before the appointment, so I had a sample ready and waiting.

Spoiler alert: the poop sample didn’t work out. I was told the lab could not use a poop sample to check for pinworms, so the poop sifting was for absolutely nothing.

Please learn from my mistake to avoid this disgusting waste of time.

3. Let my toddler sleep with a fistful of cicada shells.

I’m blaming my husband for this one, although I don’t know if I’d have been able to prevent it either. My daughter loves bugs, and she and her dad enjoyed a fun time of collecting cicada shells from around the yard. Dads, am I right?

Anyway–come nap time, she was not willing to give up the shells she had been hoarding. Rather than crush up the shells trying to pry them from the jaws of life that are a toddler’s fist, he just let her sleep with them.

child touching cicada shell
Photo by Sen on Unsplash

4. Changed my baby’s diaper in the McDonald’s drive-through.

You gotta do what you gotta do.

(The car was not moving at the time, and my husband was driving–don’t come after me.)

5. Attempted to get a diaper cream booty stain out of the back seat of my husband’s truck.

Did you know diaper rash creams will stain leather? Me either. My husband’s truck will forever have a perfect baby bum stain in the back seat.

6. Painted my daughter’s mouth (and my nipples) purple.

One word: Thrush.

Thrush is a very contagious yeast infection babies can get in their mouths, and it’s transferred to anything their mouth comes into contact with. So, if you’re nursing (as I was in the beginning), you have to treat baby’s mouth, your nipples, and sanitize everything in between.

One of the treatments for Thrush is Gentian Violet, a deep purple ointment. It’s applied by painting the affected area with it. Baby’s mouth and mom’s nipples will be stained purple for a week or so.

For info on thrush and how to prevent it, check out this article by Banner Health.

7. Fed my baby purple breastmilk.

Guess what happens when you treat your nipples with Gentian Violet? Your breastmilk turns purple!

(Don’t worry–it’s safe for baby to drink).

8. Wiped down every square inch of library books brought home with Clorox wipes.

In the age of Covid and these ever-lasting cold and flu seasons, I’m just a wee bit extra careful bringing home germs. We read hoards of board books from the library, and it’s fantastic that we can get so many books for free. The only catch is that I will absolutely be wiping them down page-by-page just in case the little reader before us was sick.

9. Frequently kissed my daughter’s forehead to check for fever.

As you may know, the best way to get an accurate feel for your little one’s temperature (before actually using a thermometer) is to kiss their forehead. If it feels normal, no fever. (Of course, this super scientific and precise method shouldn’t be used right after drinking very hot or very cold liquids).

So, during cold and flu season, or if I just suspect my daughter is coming down with something–which is ALL THE TIME–you’ll often find me kissing my daughter’s forehead.

Anyone else do this on a regular basis during cold and flu season? No, just me? Cool.

10. Caught my daughter’s poop in my hand during our newborn photoshoot.

You know those adorable pictures of nakey newborn babies? They are the CUTEST–but yes, lots of pooping and peeing behind the scenes for those pictures. I just happened to catch my daughter’s poo in the act before it hit the fluffy blanket she was curled up on.

“Only a mother’s love…”

11. Took pictures of her poop to show the pediatrician.

I felt very odd taking pictures of my newborn’s rock-hard pebble poop (later attributed to a milk allergy). However, the pediatrician’s response was, “Good thinking, Mom. A picture’s worth a thousand words.” Ha! Take that, haters!

(P.S. If your newborn also has rock-hard pebble poops, speak with the pediatrician about a possible milk allergy or some other GI issue).

12. Took pictures of her diaper rash to show the pediatrician.

Since my response the first time I showed the pediatrician was positive, I figured this was a smart move. She kept getting diaper rashes, and this one in particular kept coming back and looked different from the rest. However, I felt very weird having that picture on my phone and ended up deleting it. I could just imagine showing someone cute photos of my baby on my phone and then accidentally swiping to a baby crotch shot…

13. Wrapped my newborn up in a Billi swaddle and could only roam as far as the charging cord would allow.

We called her our little glow worm that first week home. Our little glow worm that we had to keep on a charging cord.

The day after we took our newborn home from the hospital, we found out she was very jaundiced. This is pretty common and not a huge deal, but means she had to lay under Bili lights at home. However, she totally rejected the traditional Bili bed because it prevented her from being swaddled. She could not STAND to not be swaddled, so we moved onto the Bili swaddle.

With the Bili swaddle, you have to put the little flat surface emitting the Bili lights under all of baby’s clothes, then clothe and swaddle baby. The electric cord that powers the lights is about as long as a laptop charger, and baby is always connected to that battery pack.

If you think changing 53 newborn diapers a day is inconvenient, try doing it with this contraption!

My little glow worm, attached to her battery pack and charging cord

(Take my advice here and make sure baby’s biliruben levels are excellent before leaving the hospital. Those Bili lights are much easier in-hospital than having to bring them home).

For more on dealing with Jaundice, check out this article from Healthline. Know that it is fairly common, especially among breastfed newborns.

14. Wiped my daughter’s nose with the most random objects.

If you’ve had a toddler who constantly brought home daycare illnesses, you probably know what it’s like to have a toddler with an endlessly runny nose. Sometimes you just aren’t able to grab a tissue. My shirt, a sock, and my hand have all been used as tissues at some point.

15. Sucked my baby’s snot out of a tube.

Ah, the NoseFrida. It sounds disgusting, but it sure is effective! I’d argue that it’s WAY more effective than electric snot suckers or the nose bulb your mom used to use.

16. Had to train my toddler NOT to eat the dog’s food

You’d think after sneaking a taste of it once she would learn her lesson. No such luck. Evidently the dog food is quite tasty.

17. Fished chicken nuggets from the dog’s fur.

Little ones just LOVE feeding the dog from their highchairs, and dogs love them for it. It’s all fun and games until it’s time to fish out those chicken nugget chunks and spaghetti noodles stuck in Lassie’s fur.

18. Followed my diaper-free toddler around the house cleaning up her pee puddles.

Two words: diaper rash.

If your little one is like mine and constantly suffers from diaper rash, you probably know one of the best ways to get rid of it is to let the diaper area breath. In order to do so, you gotta let baby run around without a diaper. Sometimes that means cleaning up pee puddles–all over the house.

Check out these tips for dealing with frequent diaper rash.

Photo by Ion Ceban @ionelceban: https://www.pexels.com/photo/faceless-little-child-walking-on-sandy-shore-near-mother-5129477/

19. Let my toddler eat fistfuls of food most people would consider a condiment or spread.

Ketchup is a toddler delicacy. Ketchup, hummus, and peanut butter have all been eaten by the fistful by my tot.

Sometimes, you’re just happy they’re eating.

20. Read my child a book about how teeth are not for biting because she was the resident “biter” at daycare.

We read lots of books, but this was an unexpected one.

This biting phase thankfully did not last long. Did reading Teeth Are Not for Biting help? Who knows, but it probably didn’t hurt.

21. Played “Wheels on the Bus” on repeat in the car for hour-long roundtrip car rides.

This was not ideal. But you know what? As my mom always says, “sometimes we just have to choose our battles.”

22. Took my baby to get yeast infection and staph infection suctioned out of her EAR.

What, you didn’t know this was possible? We didn’t either.

Ear infection after ear infection sent us to the ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist) when my daughter was around nine months old. Evidently, the ear infection kept coming back because, even though we went through all the antibiotics, it had turned into a YEAST infection. Yeast infections need to be treated with antifungal, not antibiotics.

A yeast infection in the ear is not very common, and is something that is typically diagnosed by an ENT. Because this infection was just raging in my daughter’s ear after all the antibiotics rounds and months of ear infection after ear infection, it also turned into staph infection. Not surprisingly, staph infection needs to be treated differently than yeast infection.

Needless to say, if your little one has an ear infection that just keeps coming back (or won’t go away), it’s probably time to meet the ENT.

23. Pooped with my daughter on my lap at the Pediatrician’s office.

One thing they don’t warn you about as a new parent is the anxiety of having to use the restroom at the pediatrician’s office.

Sometimes, when you gotta go, you gotta GO. A caffeine-fuled 45 minute drive to the pediatrician’s office paired with the anxiety of having a sick baby is a recipe for needing to use the toilet.

Since you can’t just leave your baby in the room or ask the nurse to babysit them, your only real option is to do your business while holding baby. I mean, you could strap baby back into the car seat and take them into the restroom that way, but when you’ve already stripped baby down to diaper and they’re having a melt down because they don’t want to be at the doctor’s office, strapping them into a car seat really just escalates the situation.

Next time you find yourself pooping with baby on your lap at the pediatrician’s office, just know that you’re not alone. (I mean, you’re definitely alone in that bathroom with baby, but you’re not alone in this experience. You know what I mean).

Pro tip: find a good Baby Bjorn. It might make this experience a bit easier.

24. Found my toddler sorting her toys in her toddler toilet.

One of my daughter’s favorite pastimes is “sorting” her toys. She puts things in something, she takes them out, and repeat.

We got her a little toddler toilet to get used to the idea of a toilet and, theoretically, learn what a toilet is for.

Well, my daughter found her own use for her toilet. She found it to be a great bucket to sort her little animal erasers in.

25. Gave my toddler a jar of Q-tips to play with.

Sometimes, things lying around the house make the very best toy–especially if your little one thinks they are not supposed to be played with. When I figured out my daughter just loves to sort small objects, I started using this to my advantage when I really needed her occupied in order to get things done. As it turns out, a jar of Q-tips can make a fantastic toy!

26. Watched my toddler fall asleep with her eyes wide open.

This happened a couple times. It happened during late-night couch snuggles when my daughter was teething and the only thing that seemed to soothe her was snuggling up on the couch together with teething crackers until she fell asleep. No books or entertainment, mommy and daughter snuggles until she fell back asleep.

One of these nights, after her breathing had slowed down and she had gone very still, I checked to see if she was asleep and her eyes were still wide open. At first I thought she was staring off into space, and then I heard her soft snores and realized she was actually asleep, eyes WIDE open.

The second time this happened, she was holding a teething cracker in the air, eyes wide open, fast asleep.

27. Photographed my baby’s nastiest blowouts.

Because these were hilarious parenting moments. Nasty blowouts are a parenting rite of passage.

28. Found joy in activities I used to hate, like grocery shopping.

Only while flying solo, of course.

As a parent, there is no freedom like the freedom of being able to go shopping alone.

Photo by Aditya Saxena on Unsplash

29. Found myself singing “Does Your Chain Hang Low” to calm my baby during a diaper changing session because for some odd reason, it was the only song I could think of to sing.

One skill I didn’t realize would be handy as a parent is having a constantly evolving mental list of nursery rhymes and other easy sing-alongs that I could just pull from at any given moment to entertain baby with.

This is especially handy while trying to put baby to sleep and diaper changing sessions that resemble alligator wrestling matches.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of my absolute weirdest parenting moments. Let me know if you’ve experienced any of these in the comments. Or, let me know if you’ve got some weird moments to top these!

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