If you have kids of your own, have ever attended a baby shower for a friend or family member, or have ever stood behind a pregnant woman in the checkout line at Walmart, you’ve no doubt heard at least one tidbit of advice on newborn care. And you probably had one of two responses:
1 – Ohemgee thank you so much, I’m logging that away and doing that very thing as soon as my first/next/imaginary baby comes!
2 – Uh… thanks. I’ll log that away next to “which weapon is most effective against zombies” and “10 things NOT to do with an out-of-tune piano”.
Having just had my own new addition arrive, and two before that besides, I’ve had my fair share of infant care tidbits. While I was pregnant with my first wee one, I wanted to be a good, diligent student of every passerby who wanted to impart to me of their many knowings, but… I ended up ignoring almost all of it and just went with what came naturally. Which leads me to the point of this post – here are some of the things I’ve learned about newborns, regardless of what other people told [or tried to tell] me:
TRUTH #1: Doing what comes naturally is WAY easier than doing what doesn’t come naturally. This is one of those things that seems totally “DUH” when you hear it, but for some reason it didn’t click with me until *cough* Baby E [my third] came. This covers everything from when to feed [“What do you mean she’s hungry again? I JUST finished nursing her 2 minutes ago!”] to how to hold her [“She doesn’t like it when I hold her that way, why is she letting you do it?”] to when/how to bathe [she goes right in the shower with us whenever we smell ourselves on her, or she just looks dingy, which is about once a week, and she’s never had a proper tub/sink bath. Which means there are no bath pictures, but I’ll deal with my guilt over that in another post…] to what to dress her in/whether to dress her at all [for the record, IF she goes in anything other than a onesie, it’s jammies – Dale put her in a dress the other day and she promptly yurped on it].
TRUTH #2: Newborns are happy to be held, fed, burped, changed and gas-free. Why make it more complicated than that when it will just stress both of you out? The answer: you shouldn’t. Just… don’t. There are enough stressful things going on already with all of you adjusting to living with each other, especially if you have other kids, work from home, educate at home, or basically… do anything else at all, so go easy on all of you, and K.I.S.S. [That’s cool-person-ese for Keep It Simple, Sweetie.]
TRUTH #3: That’s it. Seriously, that pretty much covers it. Newborns are simple creatures, thankfully. While it might not come completely naturally to everybody, it’s pretty straightforward to figure out. Plus, they’re pretty good about communicating their needs anyway, so just listen to them, then enjoy some celebratory snuggles after you’ve successfully communicated with your wee one.
Did I miss anything? What would you include on your list of “Newborn Truths I’ve Learned”?