When I was handed my brand new bundle of joy, I suddenly realised that I didn’t know how to change a nappy. This of course was a bit of a problem as it was something I was going to need to do countless times a day. Nor did I know how to hold her whilst bathing her or how to look after the umbilical cord stump on the belly button? The more I sat there and thought about the realities of having a brand new baby, the more I realised how little I knew.
But it’s not just those first few days that are a learning curve, over the following few weeks I stumbled across lots of things that they just don’t tell you about it! So here’s my list of the things they really should share with you:
1. When you open baby’s nappy, they’ll wee on you! No parent has ever made it to potty training without being weed on at least once. So, what’s the best thing to do? I say, open the nappy, let the air in, put nappy back up and wait for baby to do it’s thing.
2. You never stop worrying. Ever. I spend a good three quarters of my day just checking that she’s breathing.
3. Health visitors don’t know it all. Mine told me she didn’t recognise when both her babies were cold and instead thought they were just whinging. See, even the professionals miss things too!
4. The soft spot on a baby’s head is freaky. One minute you barely know it’s there, the next it’s pulsating like crazy and you wonder whether something’s going to come jumping out of it.
5. Baby’s poop is a very strange colour. From yellow to green you wonder whether there’s something wrong with baby every time you open their nappy. Just what is in the milk she’s been drinking! But no, it’s perfectly normal to be all these strange colours and every one in between.
6. Their nails grow like crazy, particularly the finger nails. Just when you’ve clipped and filed them they’re back again ready to scratch you and baby’s face.
7. Socks are pointless. Well not completely pointless, you obviously need to keep baby’s feet warm, but be prepared to lose socks whilst doing your grocery shop, find stray socks down the back of the sofa weeks after they went missing and for the washing machine monster to eat one of every pair. And when baby’s a bit bigger? She’ll kick and kick and kick until the sock comes flying off so she can discover her toes. Seriously, these things need to come with velcro or something – and the same goes for scratch mitts!
8. They don’t wash baby before handing him/her to you. In fact they advise against washing baby for 24 hours after birth. I was a little bit ‘Eurgh!’ at this, I mean she’d just come out of my you know what, was covered in all sorts of gunk and gunge and you’re telling me to leave her like that for a day?!
So that’s my list of things they should tell you about babies. What do you wish you’d been told about babies before bringing your little one home?