Our little man is four weeks old today!!! Remember all that waiting… and waiting… and four weeks just flew by!!!
I wanted to post a post that answered questions about caring for newborn babies – questions that I get from first time moms and even moms of many. I thought I would answer a few questions before it all gets buried in my brain again!!!
Here we go caring for a little one through the se7en Ages of a little man:
- The First Se7en Seconds: During the first se7en seconds of a new life I am always on such a roller coaster ride of emotions: mostly whoop!!! At that stage I am usually holding our baby and just too amazed to do anything else!!!
- The First Se7en Minutes: Usually within a couple of minutes of being born the umbilical cord is cut. With our first born we used surgical spirits and cleaned it out every nappy change. It was really yucky!!! Since then we discovered Wecesin powder, which is quite frankly heaven sent. Sprinkle some on at every nappy change and within two or three days the cord is off and gone and forgotten about!
- The First Se7en Hours: As soon after the birth as possible you need to give that baby an opportunity to nurse – lots of opportunities!!! And rather than reinventing the wheel here are se7en things I wish I had known about nursing. One thing about nursing is if it isn’t working get some help – from someone who knows about nursing – yes I have to clarify that – not every health care provider knows about nursing! Call your local La Leche League, they are in the phone book, and if they cannot help you they can put you onto someone who can.
Meanwhile just because you have nursed easily and successfully before doesn’t mean that will always be the case. I can honestly say your experience helps but your little one still needs to master the art! Newborns usually require all your hands, all your attention and all your concentration until they master the art of nursing. I know even I have this idea that they will just latch on and feed but Hood #8 proved me wrong and took much longer than I remember it taking, before getting the hang of it!!!
- The First Se7en Days: I always find the first week the hardest physically, luckily the emotional high gets me through!!! As my body recovers from the birth it is physically tired, babies need constant attention and the baby care learning curve is steep even the eight time around there is a lot to remember!!! So while your body feels like its in the worst shape ever you have to master newborn nappies (diapers) (no I will not post any photographs for all you sensitive viewers!!!), bathing, nursing and well everything! It can be overwhelming and the key here is keep it really simple! What nobody tells you is that by the time you master all these new skills your body feels a whole lot better and it all just gets that much more manageable.
If you have got this far then I probably don’t need to tell you beware of mad advice. For instance, I was told that you should change your babies nappy every time you feed. At that stage we had a baby who wanted to nurse for three minutes every twenty minutes round the clock. Now thats a lot of diapers to get through! Not to mention every time the child was hungry I spent ten minutes changing a nappy until the poor infant was totally frantic!!! Why it took me forever to figure out you only change a nappy when its dirty!!! Especially in the depths of night.
The trick in the early weeks seems to be being prepared… as soon as you finish nursing your baby get whatever you need ready for the next time you will be back there!!! Once your baby is hungry it is too late to go scrabbling round looking for your book and a drink. The same with bathing and changing the little ones, when you change a diaper leave another one ready for next time you will be back there.
- The First Se7en Weeks: Now we are at four weeks we have pretty much found our rhythm and are mastering getting out the door with ei8ght kids!!! No I don’t pack for a month… my bag is not much fuller than usual, two tiny diapers and a onsie tossed into it and we are good to go. If I use something when we are out then I just refill the bag as soon as we get home. That way we are always ready.
Also at four weeks I know we are headed for a growth spurt in a week or two. This quite frankly is when you think you have traded your baby for a leech. Actually babies are really clever in this regard – they recognize that they are going to take a magnificent leap in growth, mental, physical and emotional. They need more food so they become more attached, they increase their demand and wait while your body catches up and increases their supply. You can fight this apparent madness and it will take a week to find your balance or just take it in your stride and settle down with your baby for a day on the couch and re-adjust yourselves!
- The First Se7en Months: By now your little one will most likely be sitting and you will have forgotten all that gorgeous newborn-ness completely!!! And just when you have totally found your parenting rhythm you will be expected to have a “child,” let alone a toddler(!!!), who is toilet trained (I kid you not folk have asked this of one of my half-a-year-olds); Of course your child sleeps through the night (not really!!! they mostly wake once or twice a night for a good long while) and they will have stopped asking about solids because your baby will be eating three three-course meals a day by then – of course there is a vast ocean between what people expect and what actually happens. By the time you have survived pregnancy, child birth and infant hood you should know all that and take it the endless unsolicited advice in your stride – really take the advice you want and and need and leave the rest for dust!!!
- The First Se7en Years From someone who has been there and totally done that, with five kids between zero and se7en and three older than se7en, I feel totally qualified to say this: Here come my huge tip – Stop and smell the roses it goes by so fast!!! Now in the humdrum of getting meals, and chores, and laundry and activities done… trust me you can forget to just watch your little kids run on the beach or peel the crayons… they might want to have just one more book – humor them it is what they remember!!! We are always looking for bigger and better things to impress our kids: a more fabulous outing, a more wonderful birthday gift – but it is the time we spend with them (I bet they won’t remember what they got for their birthday last year – let alone two years ago) but they will remember the Saturday morning that you went back to bed after breakfast just to read Dr. Seuss… Trust me its the small things that make memories – theirs and yours.
I popped this post onto the Works For Me Wednesday Site – go and have a look there for all sorts of tips on absolutely anything.