Tuesday, June 23, 2009

advice for the newbies

I was trimming my gigantic baby's fingerclaws today. They grow so quickly, that I have to trim them back every 45 minutes, nearly, or risk being scratched to death every time I hold him. (Which is all the time.)

While I was trimming them, I was transported in time to a baby class my husband and I took before our first bundle of miraculousness was born. Our teacher was a nurse, not married, and without children. Not that it matters, but it did. Our class was chock full of first time parents. This particular class was towards the end of the once-a-week-for-six-week sessions. We were learning about the proper care and keeping of newborns. How to bathe, change, feed etc our soon-to-be born babies.

I'll never forget her words of caution about trimming a baby's fingernails. "You MUST use a clipper that is designed specifically for babies. OR ELSE, you might cut off the tip of the baby's finger!"

Oh. My. Goodness.

Be careful when bathing---DROWNING! And feeding---CHOKING! And napping---SIDS!

Watch for fevers.

And Jaundice.

I remember leaving that day feeling a bit panicked. How in the world could we manage?

When she was born and we brought her home, we took turns staying up holding her those first few nights...too afraid to lay her in her crib.

I wish that nurse would have said, "Relax. You'll do just fine."

Because we did. Eventually.

If I could give advice to new parents, it would be this:


  • Your baby is fragile, but you won't break his arms or legs when you dress him for the first time.
  • If you need to put your baby in his car seat while you shower, that's okay.
  • If you need to put your baby in his car seat while you eat a tub of ice cream, that's okay, too.
  • You can't keep your baby away from every germ.
  • A held baby lacks motivation....so hold him every single moment that you can.
  • You will give your first born the worst sleep habits. It's all your fault. But it's okay. When they are 10 months old, you will read the book "Sleeping Through the Night" and will be wiser with all the babies that come next. It does eventually get better.
  • Sometimes it isn't any fun. But that doesn't mean you don't love your baby.
  • Sometimes your baby will cry for no good reason.
  • Sometimes you will cry for no good reason.
  • Sometimes you will cry for good reason.
  • Sometimes you will understand how the crazy people feel.
  • Nursing is a good thing.
  • Nursing is not a beautiful thing right away.
  • Nursing - even with a correct latch - can be PAINFUL LIKE YOU WANT TO DIE for the first six weeks. But! IT GETS BETTER!! Press on!!
  • No one knows your baby like you do. Even right away.
  • Relax. You'll do just fine.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

sage advice for all new parents, now if they will only put it in to practice

Heather said...

A first time parent must-read!

underthebigbluesky said...

best advice ever, highly recommended. i remember our family doctor meeting me in the hospital the day after delivery and tossing Emmy around a bit saying, look she's not going to break, she'll be just fine. he really set the scene.

i do remember with my first calling my mother and saying, should she really be sleeping for four or five hours, should i wake her and my mother saying, sweetie, go sleep, this isn't going to last.

Rooney's Little Musings said...

Thank You! ~From a first time mom!

Anonymous said...

I am printing this and hanging it on our fridge. Thanks! Love Jenny S.