the IT city, the I.T. Baby


Disaster recovery and failure planning in infant poop management

Laptop babyOne of the things you learn as an IT professional is that if there is a point of failure, at some point you will meet this failure. This applies to routers, switches, ISPs, things that claim 99.9% uptime, and of course children.

There’s also Murphy’s law for babying – If you can run out of wet wipes, you will run out of wet wipes when there’s a poocano happening. If you can run out of diapers, you will run out of diapers. These are events to plan for although unfortunately the best laid plans will go south.

Much like getting a good backup back on a server is a must when down, getting a good diaper on a cleaned baby is the IT parent’s goal. Get the beast back in operation, minimize the number of lost poops or free-flowing pees.

So looking at a baby’s diaper changing as downtime, assume the stashed locations for replacement parts/diaper/wipes will have been moved or utilized by another member of the team and make sure you have a stash somewhere within quick hopping distance holding a poocano that can be used.

Good tips for poocano management include having a mini tub stored near the changing table in the event that a befouled baby requires placing off the changing table (straps? Hah, that ain’t going to hold baby!).

I always assume these days when I’m going into a diaper changing situation that the wet wipes are not there, or they’re going to be out, the diapers will mysteriously be missing, and that the existing downed baby will explode the instant the diaper is off. I’ve also made plans for the changing table to be inaccessible for one reason or another, and have a backup plan involving the front lawn, a newspaper, and some duct tape.

The thing is, I don’t think we think during the first kid too much about how IT principals can be related to baby things. I know my router is going to fail, that’s why I have a backup config of it and a replacement ready. I know my ISP is going to fail, that’s why I have a router than can handle multiple uplinks and two ISPs.

No battle plan survives contact with the enemy – Helmuth von Moltke (elder)

Similarly I know that every portion of my plan with the baby doesn’t have to require on the spot improvisation with a volcano of green diarrhea spurting off in all directions while I wander around the house looking for wet wipes.

I’ve got three places in mind to put baby in case ideal place #1 fails. I’ve got three sources of poo-wiping materials in case I can’t find wet wipes. I can at least stop the creeping poos until I can place baby and properly clean. I’ve got a tub if all else fails that I can place a naked poo covered monster in for a second if I just need some hands free.

Most of the plans I have I’ll never use, but I’ve at least given them a thought and when confronted with situation X I’m not rushing around to come up with a solution knowing that every second I delay there’s more effluence flowing from baby rectum.

Most of the plans honestly aren’t all that good, but they’ll at least do to prevent yet another twenty minute clean up.

There is no remote maintenance ability with the current generation of infant humans. You can’t fix a problem in the living room from the toilet unfortunately.

Besides planning for environmental and diaper failure, keep a quick plan on the back burner for when you come down with the funk and have to operate with extremely limited mobility. Until I had kids I don’t think I’d ever suffered from something that pinned me in the bathroom before. Luckily the bathroom has a temporary baby storage location (bathtub,) and toilet paper so baby just had to sit in a stinky room.

Backup, backup, backup

In this particular instance, this means stashing some things within two steps of where you might need them. Do not misread this and try to make a new infant in case something goes wrong with the old one. More infants are not the solution to a pooping problem.

I have diaper changing abilities in the baby room, my three year old’s room, the living room, and upstairs even though I only change at one location. The thing about wet wipes is they’re useful for next to anything, so a stash nearby is always useful. Diapers are not a problem anywhere.

The main issues encountered tend to be what surface to put the baby on rather than cleaning or changing.

Always assume your hub will go down while your backups are offlined for guests

During parties especially I’ve noticed children seem to forget they’re potty trained and suddenly there’s a very long involved changing of a kid going in unfamiliar (to them,) locations on while your little one is leaking brown.

Of course all your little stashes have been removed from view for the party. Someone’s in the potty. The changing table it taken. Good time to remember the emergency changing kit you have in the car.

Cascading party poop loop

I’m not sure how this happens but when one goes expect a cascade. This means your storage is going to fill up a lot more quickly than you might have anticipated. Make a plan to swap out poo storage as part of the operation.

Don’t wait to ask what brown can do for you.

Improvise, organize, sanitize

While your situation may vary, some simple things to remember are stay away from porous surfaces, anywhere with an exposed USB cable with an adapter plugged in, outlets, etc. If poo or baby spit can penetrate a surface, it will.

That’s it for now.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.