Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Baby Advice

From almost exactly a year ago, written for friends who were about to become first time parents:

So, pal, you're days away from being a parent - woo-hoo! It was really frustrating tome that no one told me all this, but EVERYONE agrees if you talk about it. There's some unwritten rule that you can never talk about the ways parenting sucks.

1. You will love your baby, but you certainly won't like her at first. At first, it'll seem like the kid has ruined your life - you can't sleep, eat, or even brush your teeth regularly. To top it all off, there will be hours-long crying jags, and the kid won't really look at you, much less smile at you. It will get better around the 8 weekmark - the baby will look and even smile at you, she'll sleep, and not shit constantly.

2. Time will take on a weird, elastic property, so your life will seem completely suspended, and yet the days will fly by. It's very strange. Just go with it.
You are not losing your mind. I promise.

3. You and your partner might start to doubt each other's parenting abilities. One of you will put on the diaper "the wrong way". Don't fight these feelings, you
can't. Just acknowledge in saner moments that there are many ways to diaper/feed/dress/hold a kid.

4. The baby will breathe weirdly. This is normal. It's also normal to stare intently at her while she breathes, just to make sure it's happening. You could fight the feeling, but why? You'll spend just as much time actively concentrating on NOT LOOKING, so be gentle with yourself and just give into the neurosis. It'll pass.

5. At some point, you will become so tired that you will think about strapping the kid in the car seat and putting her in the closet for a few hours so you can
sleep. Don't do this. However, it is totally OK to strap her in and leave her unattended while you go to the bathroom, talk to another adult, etc. She won't die from being a little bit alone - hell, she won't even remember it.

6. Baby poop isn't super gross. While she eats, she'll unleash a torrent of poop. Wait a few minutes before changing her - there'll be more.

7. Babies are sometimes creepy. At some point, in the middle of some night, you will be exhausted. You will notice that the baby is staring intently at something
you can't see. It will seem like she is wordlessly communicating with this something. Don't worry - your baby is not a ghost whisperer - you are just sleep deprived.

8. Nursing hurts at first. A lot. Don't believe the lactation consultants that tell you if feels great. ALL LIES. Make sure the latch is correct, stock up on Lansinoh, and know that in about two weeks (which will feel like 184 years), it will feel great.

Happy parenting!

No comments: