Welcome to Parenthood. Welcome to the sweet little coos, giggles, and adorable moments that you will embrace as a rookie or veteran parent. Now for my veterans, you know all about what I am going to write about when it comes to the first few days, to the first month. My rookie parents, here is the unedited, un-baby powered version of parenthood.
Baby’s job is to eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom. Your job is to not sleep, feed them, cuddle them, love them, and do your best to shield your face or in some cases your entire body from projectile fluids. Tiny tummies equal frequent feedings and if you are breastfeeding, prop up a pillow and try your best to levitate your child or invest in a Boppy. Some things that are super awesome when feeding your precious angel at 2am is when they start to roll back their eyes poltergeist style with the pure silence and darkness of the night and you’re sure to flashback every horror movie. When breastfeeding, if little one is ready to eat like a champ, sometimes if you don’t fully guide them toward your breast, they move their little heads so quickly as if they were little kittens and you were moving a red laser light back and forth super quick. Don’t forget it is 2am, you were just up 2.5-3 hours ago, and most likely your partner is next to you snoring.
Newborns eat often and need frequent diaper changes. In the beginning, those that lack experience will have so much fun when it comes to lava or mud explosions. The first sign of trouble can be in the form of a warm or wet feeling when holding baby. This simply means you didn’t secure the diaper correctly or what came out just didn’t fit in the diaper. Another sign can be the sound of an explosion coming from their tiny little coolie and do not be fooled. This tiny bottom has tiny space in that tiny diaper, but keep in mind that what is coming out will NOT be tiny. Always give baby time to finish going to the bathroom or during your changing time, baby will continue going in the form of lava. If your second diaper isn’t prepped properly, lava all over changing table, all over baby, and possibly you. Note to self, always have a diaper and wipes ready to go. Go in ready for a war, even if it is just a battle.
This is where having a little girl may be a little easier than a little boy. Little boys have fire hoses that at any second can go off. A chill in the air, entering bath time, or after changing a diaper and attempting to put on a clean one can trigger the evacuation of potty time. The worst is when you’re trying to be cute with baby and kiss baby’s tiny tummy and without any alarms, sprinkle tinkle on you. I admit I find it hilarious that my husband still doesn’t shield away, but it never fails when he tells me he was hosed.
I can’t stress how important it is to burp. Not you mom or dad reading this, your child. Few reasons the task of burping is not optional regardless if they just fell
asleep in your arms and it’s so cute. First, unless you want the deathly screams of your child to arise you from your sleep because you thought it was super cute to watch them sleep after a feeding and decided to skip it, BURP THE KID. 9 out of 10 times, little one will continue sleeping. Second, no burp equals an evacuation of what just went in. Besides making sure you burp little one so nothing comes back up, wait about 10 minutes before laying them down so nothing comes up as well.
Of course this will come with time, but even as newborns you can get some adorable giggles from them and adorable smiles. The only time this isn’t cute is when it is in the middle of the night, maybe you’re solo until someone gets home and then you hear it. You hear it from the monitor or the crib, it is dark in your house, and the movie Chucky flashes in your head. At the same time, a horror movie commercial comes on and all bets are off. You casually laugh at yourself and hope for the best.
Gas is good, but the smell is not. You want your baby to pass gas, and at that time it also gives dad a break of getting all the heat because from baby it is cute. I admit that when my little one wakes up and I am so tired, his 4-5 farts on the changing table make me laugh uncontrollably and remind me it too shall pass. However, the only time life will remind you of how gas isn’t a good time is when you are feeding little one and you are trapped. Bottle in one hand and the other hand supporting baby means nothing to shield your nostrils from the horrific smell that yes, just came from that adorable little baby. No, adding 4 cups of baby powder will not make the smell better. That my friends will make you a lava poop cake when it is all said and done.
Let me start with there are many baby products out there stating how they will make your baby sleep through the night. First, please keep in mind that newborns wake often for a reason. Newborns need to eat and maintain a healthy weight. Second, every baby is different. Yes, Karen will tell you that her baby slept 7 hours, but that does not guarantee you that your little one will. It does get better, the zombie feeling will fade, and then when you are finally able to get 5-6 hours of sleep, you are staring at your sleeping child wondering why they aren’t awake yet. Again, do what works for you and your baby.
All and all keep in mind that every baby is different. That is the most important thing to remember. You will get advice from every person you know from the in-laws and maybe even your mailman. Listen, but do not feel obligated to stand on your head when burping the baby because Sally said it was the best thing for her baby. Enjoy the lava poop, enjoy the stinky gas, because one day they will grow up and those zombie walks at night as you rock baby to sleep will be a great memory.