...what we've learned so far(hope you have an hour or so free to go through this all hehe)
During the first months we've learned heaps of new stuff. Here's a list of some of the things we can remember...
- Most of what we were told or taught beforehand is a mixture of hand waving and fudging.
- Our opinion - Plunket sucks Now thats not saying that all Plunket nurses are bad, but much of the advice we have received is just wrong.
- - grinding their teeth does not automatically mean they have worms, it may just be that they enjoy the new sensation or the fact that they can make this cool new sound with their teeth.
- - Not all babies will wake for half an hour, feed and then go back to sleep again.
- - Not all older babies will sleep then wake for an hour then go back to sleep.
- - Dummies are something you should make your own mind up on. Some babies do well, others don't. If you are getting up every half an hour during the night to put the thing back in the baby's mouth because they woke up when it dropped out, then you have a problem. Some dummy use can lead to thumb sucking. It depends on your child, trial and error is probably the best advice anyone could give you, about anything concerned with babies for that matter.
- Bottle feeding is not shameful, some babies don't like the breast, some mothers, like myself don't have enough milk.
- Remember, it is their job to help you by giving you good advice and assistance, if you think something they tell you is wrong, get a second opinion. If you do not like them, ask nicely if you can see a different one.
- Do not expect them to turn up on time, either they are really busy, or they think you have all the time in the day to sit around and wait for them to arrive. One of my nurses made an appointment and then didn't turn up at all, didn't even ring till a week later to apologise for not turning up. HOW RUDE!
- Nappies - forget using cloth nappies... search out a nappy wholesaler. Here in Christchurch New Zealand, Southern Discount Baby Supplies has three stores (in January 2005)
Cloth nappies are cheaper if you're totally strapped for money, but there's so much time involved with soaking, washing and trying to get them all dry. You also have to fork out a lot for the nappy powder (NappySan, NappySard etc). If it doesn't irritate your hands from washing the nappies in the solution, it may irritate the baby's bottom. Nappy rash is very bad. When disposables are as low as 30 cents a nappy you'll save money buying them in bulk.
- 380 A Ferry Rd Christchurch 0-3-389 3311
- Shop 77 Carnaby Mall Christchurch 0-3-382 0515
- 474 Papanui Rd Christchurch 0-3-352 6500
- P.O. Box 5452 Christchurch 0-3-352 9966
- Bottles need sterilising, but there's no need to blow a fortune on a sterilising machine or sterilising tablets. A big pot with room for three or more bottles and enough water to cover and boil them for 5 minutes is sufficient.
- Lots of people, mostly those who do not have young children, or who have never had them, will make you feel as though you sit on you behind and do nothing all day. I was once asked what i was going to do now that i was a lady of leisure. I was so shocked i didn't know what to say. If only i had one of those timely witty comeback lines at hand, but alas, i didn't.
- I found that expressing breast milk took a lot of time and effort for not much return. I didn't have enough milk and no matter how many hours i spent on the milking machine looking like a prized cow, i still had to supplement with formula. I promptly ditched the expressor in favour of sleep as i could only express when bubs was asleep.
- Shouting at or near the baby encourages the baby to throw tantrums later. Sometimes it will scare them a lot and they will burst into tears.
- Your baby will cry, a lot! You will wrack your brain for hours on end trying everything you can think of, and the darn thing will still be crying. Remember you are not alone, it happens to every parent. (even to parents of teenagers, but it is not crying that you have to deal with at that age) The best advice i can give is to take turns dealing with the baby, make sure when it is not your turn to look after bubs, be well out of hearing distance, what you can't hear won't stress you. Have a cuppa and try to relax. If you are alone, get a friend or relative over, it is amazing how just having someone else around can help a huge amount.
- Baby proofing your home should be done well before the birth so you get used to where everything is, that way you won't have to have a mad search through the house to find the toilet paper or the soap. When you go to someone else's place with the baby (especially from crawling time onwards) you'll appreciate how safe a prepared room is, when compared to an average room. Also, expect to have to change things. Luke started flicking on and off power points which is really irritating when its your computer or whatever that he turns off. The answer was to calmly remove him to a new part of the room and distract him for a moment. We got some of those plastic plug guards, and have put one in every power socket, even the ones he can't get to yet, because guaranteed he will someday find an unprotected one. Kids are like that.
- First birthdays - the baby will love the boxes and wrapping paper just as much as any presents. Just be careful they don't choke on it when they put it in their mouths.
- Take lots of photos - get a digital camera if you can afford it... much cheaper than film. However remember to back up the photos to disk and store them elsewhere (work or grandparents home).
- Show the baby photos of themselves with you and other family members so they learn to recognise themselves. Showing them their reflection in the mirror is also fun, initially they think the baby in the mirror is someone else, but eventually they learn.
- Shit, piss, vomit, spill, snot, tears, will all clean up later. You will get at least some of these on you, your clothes, floors or furniture, or anywhere within shooting distance from the baby. Guaranteed.
- Sleep is overrated. You will be tired. You will be grumpy. People will make allowances for that at work... but only you can fix it. Unfortunately that may mean a night every now and again apart so that one of you can get some sleep. If you're doing it on your own, Christ help you.
- Babies have massive eyes when compared to the size of their heads. Likewise their heads are massive in proportion to their bodies. Its really rude to say things like "your baby is ugly" to the parents.
- Daycare is not a bad thing. The kids love the socialising, even if you are not too keen to let go of them while they are still small and vulnerable.
- They will learn to crawl in their own way and in their own time. Our boy did the army crawl for the first 10 months before he got up on his hands and knees. Likewise they will learn to walk and talk in their own time as well. Remember, once they have started, there is no going back, so just relax and enjoy the time you have with them being able to be put down and still be in the same place the very next second.
- We have found that always feeding him in the high chair stops a lot of messes. If he is not in the chair, you will more than likely find what ever he was eating some months later all mushed up in some hard to get to place that he crawled into.
- Another story about the food is, get a plastic cover for the floor under the high chair to catch the food that gets dropped or thrown off the table. Sometimes even that large 10 feet square of plastic may not be large enough depending of how far your baby can throw it. I swear our boy has thrown some things clean across the room.
- Do not to laugh at the things they do that you don't want them doing again, they think it is cool to make people laugh, therefore they will do anything they think will work.
- They love mushy food and they love smearing it anywhere they can(another warning here not to laugh at them as it encourages them) they will probably smear it all over themselves. We have found food in our boy's ears, hair, down his undersuit, (after him pulling it out a bit and mushing a handful of food down the top, then squishing his top into his chest) yum!.
- They like to yell at the top of their lungs, they will learn this from you when you get frustrated enough to blow your top, or they will learn it from their older siblings when they are playing or having tantrums.
- They will bang their heads on everything. You can get soft little corners to put over the corners of any tables, this softens the blow when they bang their heads, which they will do time and time again.
- As soon as they can get the hang of holding on to anything, it will go into their mouth, be it paper, food, baby wipes, soap, dirt, insects, and a lot of much more disgusting things. It will all end up in the mouth at some stage.
- All flowers are poisonous in large quantities, some in small quantities, make a note to keep all flowers well away from the baby until they have passed the stage of shoving everything into their mouthes. Even the dead petals that fall onto the floor are bad.
- Babies get sick, just like we all do.
- We have found that some thermometers are not as good as others. The digital ones that go in the ear don't always read correctly as they are dependant on proper insertion, which is not always possible when dealing with tiny little ears on babies that just won't sit still. Also they have to be checked every year to make sure they are working correctly. We have a digital one that goes under the arm, sometimes it is an effort to keep Luke from trying to pull at it and stick it in his mouth, but it doesn't take anywhere near as long to get a reading as the old mercury types that you have to watch the line go up on. Also they have to be checked every year to make sure they are wokring correctly.
- We have found the best way to get any liquid medicine into Luke is to use a syringe as it is hard to spit out when put onto the back of the tongue, not so far as to choke him though. Also they have very clear measuring lines, so you can measure things like 6.3 mL correctly, not like the measuring cups that only have 5 10 and 15 ml markings.
- In New Zealand the PINK paracetamol from the chemist is the 120mg/5ml type that is suitable for the young ones. If you are unsure about this at all, ring the chemist for advice.
- In New Zealand the ORANGE paracetamol from the chemist is the 250mg/5ml type that is suitable for older children. Again, if you are unsure, ring the chemist for advice.
- You will get puked on!
- A cool bath is a good way to get the temperature down, but need to take the baby out if they start shivering as shivering is one way the body tried to heat itself up, not the desired effect when the baby has a temperature.
- You may end up spending a few hours in hospital, make sure you have a bag packed full of nappies and spare clothes for the baby, though sometimes the hospital may provide nappies, don't count on it.
This file last modified Wednesday May 31, 2006
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