I never had any truck with spit-up before. The idea of it has always been super gross. This little human is going to be vomiting up milk onto your clothing. No thanks.

In fact, that was one of the chief reasons I never wanted to hold any of my nephews when they were that age. I don’t want to have to deal with that or any other body fluids.

But becoming a parent changes all of that. It’s not that I enjoy spit-up, it’s just that I don’t mind it. It doesn’t gross me out. He’s mine and I am his. His spit up, somehow, is ours.

And the fact that it gets on your clothes? So what. That’s what washing machines are for. If he spits up on himself, I go and change his clothing — I don’t want the wetness of it to give him a chill. If he spits up on me, I just wipe it off and go on with my day. I’ll go to the grocery store with dried spit-up on my shoulder. I wear it like a badge of honor.

Still, it’s to be avoided. When Finn spits up, it’s usually because of two causes: He either has a gas bubble under what he’s recently eaten or I’ve laid him down (to sleep or to change a diaper) too soon after eating.

To prevent it, I burp him after every couple of ounces (more on that technique later) and I keep him up against my chest for a while after he’s finished eating — 20 or 30 minutes usually works.

O happy living things! no tongue
Their beauty might declare:
A spring of love gushed from my heart,
And I blessed them unaware:
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I blessed them unaware.

–Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

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