wife, mother, ph.d. student, hot stuff.

Monday, December 08, 2008

things I have learned about baby care in the first 3 months

I was writing a card to a friend who is expecting a baby in a couple months, and realized that some of the advice I was giving was worth putting down here as well.

- Even if you aren't going to cloth diaper, get a pile of prefolds. Those things soak up liquid like no one's business! Use them for burping, and for covering every surface the baby lies on, cause babies leak from practically every orifice. And keep them handy for diaper changes, cause YES, he WILL pee as soon as the diaper comes off. Speaking of which....
- Peepee Teepees don't work. I don't speak from specific experience, but lemme tell you, there is serious force behind baby piss. I laid a baby wipe on top of my son, and he peed... and the stream went THROUGH the wipe, and up a full inch above it. A Peepee Teepee would go flying.
- Humidifiers are useful both for moisture, and as a source of white noise to lull baby to sleep.
- Slings = insta-nap. I like the Maya wrap, or any other ring sling for newborns. Now that Julian's quite a bit bigger, we've moved on to a Kangaroo Korner pouch.
- Take advantage of baby's suck reflex - there's a reason pacifiers exist. It's like baby opium, totally calms them down. If you are convinced that pacifiers are evil, then you could also use a finger if desperate.
- Babies are adept at picking up your mood. Try to be cool and collected even if he is FREAKING OUT. If you are freaking out yourself, and just need to cry for a bit (totally ok!) give the baby to someone else to hold for a bit.
- Turn your cell phones off after 8pm to guarantee you and your partner a less interrupted night.
- Put a size reference in photos of your baby. I saw a series of photos of someone's baby next to a loaf of bread, and really wish I had done that.