I saw an article on Baby Center today that sparked my interest, "5 Things You Don't Know About Newborns." Anyone will tell you that for as comfortable as you may be around babies when you are pregnant with your own for the first time you freak out about everything to come and after that baby is born you truly just fly by the seat of your pants.
Here are the points of the article and my comments to go along with them.
- Newborns are funny looking. Most newborns have cone shaped heads because of the journey through the birth canal (c-section babies like mine have pretty round heads). Newborns also have wrinkly dry skin so they can look like really old bald people. Some of them if they're early are covered in hair! Or more specifically Lanugo. But it falls out quickly. You'll also find that most newborns are covered in white stuff, vernix, that just doesn't come off all the way when they get washed off after delivery. In fact my baby still had some of it on her when we brought her home in the creases of her chubby legs. Everyone thinks their own baby is perfect and beautiful on the day it's born even if it does look like an alien. Is anyone willing to admit that their baby wasn't cute on day 1?
- Babies can be explosive. Boy is this ever true. It comes from both ends! Especially the first few days your baby is going to spit up some clear fluid as well as milk. C-section babies will spit up more of the clear stuff (amniotic fluid) because they didn't get it sqeezed out of them during delivery. It's pretty scary when they choke on it. Your newborn will spit up on you and you'll have to change your clothes as often if not more often than you change hers and you'll probably leave your house with spit up on you somewhere. It's really fun when the explosion comes from the other end. I remember a few days after Mia was born my brother and his family came to visit and my brother was holding her when she had a massive poop. It was so loud that it startled him. The thing about babies is that they can't control it themselves yet so sometimes it builds up in there until it just explodes. You WILL have a dirty diaper so bad that it requires a bath and lots of laundry within the first few months. Do you have a funny story to share?
- Babies are unexpectedly time consuming. If you think you will have time to get projects done or get your house organized and clean when you're off on maternity leave think again! It doesn't matter what kind of delivery you have, though c-sections are prohibited to do such things under doctor's orders. As soon as you start your dishes your baby will cry because she's hungry (which is totally unpredictable). When you sit down to fold laundry your baby will spit up. When you try to go to the bathroom your baby will have an explosive poop. Your baby needs your attention for lots of reasons not only because of their basic needs, but to learn and develop. You need to play with your baby, read to your baby and do tummy time with your baby whether they like it or not (mine doesn't at all!). These are exercise for baby's body and mind. You have to help your baby learn to focus and follow things and learn to lift her head up. When your baby smiles at you for the first time because she sees your face you will know the piles of undone laundry and smelly dishes are worth it. Did your baby take up more of your time than you were banking on?
- Bonding follows it's own timeline. For me it was instantaneous I fell in love with Mia the moment I saw her. For some people it's not like that it takes time for them to gradually fall in love with their baby. For those who have hard time getting to that moment the best advice is to get away. Going out for a few hours and leaving your baby with a sitter could help make the bonding process along. I loved my baby right away and I miss her terribly while I'm away, but when I see her in the evening after she's been at the sitter all day I get so excited and all I want to do is talk to her and play with her so the quality of my time with her is better I think. Did you bond with your baby right away? Or did it take a few weeks?
- You'll be a different kind of parent than you expected. I didn't have much predecided about parenting I just tried to weed out the best advice I got while I was pregnant and work with what fits me and Mia. The only thing I can think of is that I did say I wasn't going to give my baby formula, but my milk only goes so far so we've started adding formula to breastmilk to make it stretch further (2oz of breastmilk to every 1oz of formula). Most of my parenting ideas will apply later and will probably change as Mia grows into the child and young woman she chooses to be. Does this apply to you? What did you say you'd never do as a parent that you ended up doing after all?
If you want to read the actual article here's the link: http://www.babycenter.com/0_5-things-you-didnt-know-about-newborns_10357995.bc