Friday, June 20, 2008

Our top ten babycare tips (Part I)

Two months into our parenting gig, here are 10 things we've learned the hard way:

No 10: Babies smell nice... only if you work at it
Sonny arrived with a clean, fresh aroma that we took to be the mythically pure 'baby smell' - but turned out to be something that is only maintained by infant shampoo and lotion. At least once per feeding, Sonny will regurgitate some milk, which inevitably gunk-ifies in his hair as well as all over his mouth, neck and chest. A few applications of this emulsion and he's positively ripe.

No 9: Con/beg/blackmail someone - anyone - into helping out
Trust us: However good you are at nappy-changing, infant-soothing and so on, the endless iterations of childcare will wear you out - unless there's someone who can step in for at least a few hours while you recharge. Once you're tired, by the way, you're less slick with your care - and the baby bawls all the more. Sonny's grandmothers were willing collaborators, and we had a confinement lady for the first month - failing which, we might have had to kidnap someone off the street...

No 8: Don't buy too much clothing... and prize hand-me-downs
Sure, Sonny is messy and needs changing several times a day - but somehow it's the same few comfortable outfits that get reused. We have a mound of garments, many of them gifts, that have been hardly touched: Also, it has been used items from relatives that we often found to be the easiest on the skin, easiest to put on and easiest to handwash.

No 7: The middle name of all babies is 'Changeable'
Just when you think you've nailed down what causes your little one to cry, or worked out the ideal sleep-feed cycle, everything will change. Time and again, we've found it necessary to disregard what we'd learned and use Sherlock Holmes as our model (as we've blogged about before) to deduce the new irritant, snooze pattern or preferred sleeping position. Steel yourself for this and take it as a challenging game.

No 6: Practise guerrilla bathing
One of most horrible experiences we've had is trying to bathe a writhing, wailing baby. One of the most enjoyable? Bathing a cooing, amiable Sonny. To avoid the former, we've found it best not to have too fixed a bath time, but to pounce on those moments when he's in a good mood. This is usually not immediately after a meal (chances of vomiting and other 'accidents' in the water are too high) or on waking up (grumpiness quotient is high), but sometime in between.

[Halfway there. We unveil our Top Five tips in tomorrow's post].


Mumsgather said...

I didn't do No 9 and we ended up almost tearing off each others hair. Haha. But we survived so we did a repeat performance for No. 2.

Cloudsters said...

Sigh. We had help and we were still nearly at each others' throats at times...