Written by Bavia blogger Emily, who is due with her first baby in January.
My husband and I recently traveled to Washington to meet the child who has made us Uncle and Aunt. It was a lovely visit, full of family and fat cheeks and lots of baby talk – both the “goo-goo-gaa-gaa” and “You ready for this, Em?” variety. Seeing this little boy – four weeks from the womb, out and about and eyes open and crying and farting and cooing – made my own little growing babe that much more real.
And it’s true: all that is Human Being Breathing Baby will be in my arms before I know it. Let’s just say I had a lot of pregnancy-related dreams while there. And a lot of daytime observations, too. I’ll save the dream details for another post, but here are a few lessons about the first month of being a mom that I took away from watching my amazing sister-in-law and her little baby Z.
1) Soothing a baby lets you work all your old dance moves. First try the rock, then the sway, then bounce, dip, spin, swirl, shimmy by the window, sashay around the kitchen table, and sing along. This is a great time to bust out your favorite tunes and dance like no one but your unconditionally adoring child is watching.
2) Babies come in different sizes. Our nephew’s niece, only two weeks younger than him, was about half his size. Some babies are just born ready to be big.
3) Be ready to go through a lot of diapers. Never again in your life will you so purposefully and tenderly and devotedly lift a butt to your nose and smell for the signs of poop. Oh: and there will be blowouts. In my sister-in-law’s words: “It flowed over the sides of the diaper like a river.”
3) Forget the crib: A co-sleeper is a God-send. This mini-baby-bed hooks right up to your mattress and allows you to sleep without worrying you’ll roll over your infant while at the same time keeping him or her in immediate view (or arm’s reach for those, ahem, one or two night time feedings).
4) Sleep in. Even if you have guests. Even if there’s laundry to do. Even if you haven’t taken a shower in a few days and you have an appointment at 10:00. If the baby is sleeping, so too should you.
5) A Baby Bjorn or some other carrying system is a must-have if you want to hold Baby close, yet still really really really need to do that laundry. Or just take a trip to the store and buy more socks instead.
5) Feed your body well. Recognize that you are burning a lot of calories, especially if you’re nursing, and that in order to have the necessary energy, you still need to eat just as well as you did when you were eating for two, because you still are, just in a different way. Eat your fruits and veggies. Try to stay away from junk food. Buy organic. It’s worth it.
6) Give big, squishy, noisy kisses. Your little one will love your voice, your smell, your face, and especially your touch. Love him or her up with every minute you have together, as they are not so little for very long.