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.


John Benren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JackT said...

Hi, Sorry for intruding into your personal blog, but I just read your post about caltech and kinda feel intrigued. But first of all I am amazed about how accomplished you are.

I was just wondering: In the end after accomplishing all these goals.. caltech, phd.. are you happy? It seems like you are.. but also, is it what you imagined it would be like? the process or maybe the result?

What you have done is very similar to the goals I have set for myself, so I was just wondering what it would really be like?

W said...

well, first of all, I'm still a long way off from accomplishing my goals :P I'm currently in year 3 of 5? 6? for my ph.d. And if, when I graduate, I still want to enter academics, then I have to postdoc as well. So I can't really comment on the result, as I'm very much still in the process, both with regards to my career, and my family!

As for what the process is like... it's WAY more tiring than I thought it would be now that Julian has been thrown into the mix. But the entire thing, from college to now, has definitely been fun, and rewarding. And that is how I know I am happy.

JackT said...

Hi. Thank you for taking the time to reply.

I have another question: What is something you regret the most? Maybe major? Did you major in Mechanical Engineering and then now realize that you like bio more?

Also, is it true that a large proportion of the people who plan to attend medical school end up rejected and feel like they have taken the wrong road all those years?

W said...

I think the things I regret the most are personal choices which I am not going to discuss here. I don't have any regrets with regards to the wacky academic route I took to where I am. My engineering background gives me a unique perspective on biology, and the math training inherent in engineering degrees (and not in biology) is incredibly useful.

As for your question about med school, I don't hang out with many med students (successful or no) so I am not the right person to ask that question to.

JackT said...

Well, thanks for the answer!