Why This Plastic Buttock Tube Is the Best Baby Gadget of All Time
For the first eight months of my son’s life, I kept track of every little thing his little body did. And I mean everything, damn it . It started when a breastfeeding consultant advised me to record his feedings and diapers due to breast milk problems early after an emergency caesarean section. It turned into me obsessively opening the Notes app on my phone to jot down the details of every feeding and pumping session, as well as every sleep, urine, poop, smile, gurgle, bath, grandparents visit, grocery trip, and more. … In hindsight, I realize that this was probably my way of dealing with postpartum anxiety, but it made me keenly aware that my son has digestion – and lack of it. So, of course, I still know that the first time I helped my son poop was on Monday afternoon, February 8, 2016, when he was only seven weeks old.
Of course, everyone poops. And farts too. In the end. But when you’re a beginner whose gut and muscles don’t quite know how to make this (literal) shit function, sometimes you just need a little help getting it all out. Introducing the 21st century’s greatest parenting device: the Windi . Brought to you by Fridababy from Florida – the same company that gave the world this seemingly disgusting but super-efficient Swedish snot NoseFrida – Windi has become my favorite baby shower gift. This is also my two-word answer to every question regarding gas or constipation on the moms Facebook forums. Does the newborn seem gassed? “Windy!” Does your child have problems with pooping since they start eating solid foods? “Windy!”
A three-inch tubing made of fairly soft BPA-free plastic, Windi is basically a farting catheter or, as my husband likes to call it, an applied tube. And when used correctly, it is almost guaranteed to leave you with a much happier child, as long as you are comfortable putting something on your child’s butt. And if this idea makes you nervous, the brand offers an animated video tutorial on its website that makes handling this plastic butt straw and getting punched in the face with baby farting looks amazing.
Once you stop feeling like a monster by placing a piece of plastic where the sun doesn’t shine for your tiny toddler, Windi is really pretty easy to use. The narrow and rounded end designed for insertion has a large ergonomic shroud and finger grip so it never goes too far. And the instructions are simple: first you do a little preparation, rubbing the baby’s belly with downward strokes so that everything moves inside, then you lubricate the tip (I always used coconut oil), lift the baby’s legs, then just gently insert the Windi – remember, thanks to the security guard, there is no risk shove it too far and it will do the rest. That’s where the scary part ends, and you can just hold it down, coo and make faces to distract your gas-soaked bundle of joy, until that great relief finally arrives.
Here’s my only gripe with Windi: the instructions say it only takes “a few seconds” to work, but in my experience it took 30 seconds to two minutes to get results. What these results are, of course, will entirely depend on your child’s unique situation and can range from a graceful pop or whistle to a full blown blast. And since you never know what you are getting yourself into, you should always have a diaper under your baby and the napkins should be open and ready.
The brand refers to this magical little tool as a “gas vent,” and while its primary goal is to get rid of gas in babies, if there’s anything else to do, Windi will do the job too. This is because, by its very nature, it can stimulate bowel movement – just like a rectal thermometer can. The cheaper DIY method involves a cotton swab, petroleum jelly, courage, precision, and confidence. And while I know that you should never stick a cotton swab into a child’s anything, if you dip the tip in Vaseline or Aquaphor, then squeeze it about half an inch under the cotton pad and stick it very lightly into the child’s bottom. – holding your fingers firmly in place so there is no chance of going too far – you will end up with similar results.
However, the built-in security measures make the Windi a much more attractive option, even if not exactly cheap, at $ 15 for a 10-pack. But I have a little workaround too. The packaging states very clearly that the Windi is a disposable device and should be thrown away immediately after first use, which makes sense given where it goes. Sometimes, however, after less dirty activities, I would wash it in very hot water with soap and then immerse it in hydrogen peroxide for a long time.
Like everything else about my child’s digestion, I was probably overly addicted to Windy. My husband has repeatedly expressed concern that if I help our child to poop too often, he will never learn to do it himself. But I’m happy to report that once his body got used to digesting solids, he had no more problems. And long before he was two years old, he regularly washed himself in the pot – without any help from me or our friend Windy. And I didn’t log or track things anymore.