Saturday, June 21, 2008

Our top ten babycare tips (Part II)

The countdown started yesterday. Now, the Top 5 in the 10 tips we've distilled from our two months as parents:

No 5: Position can be critical
This one is for breastfeeding mothers: After dealing with sudden, inexplicable bawling fits midway through feeding, Mum discovered that just how she positioned Sonny relative to herself was a crucial factor. Maybe it's just that our son is too particular, but he'll at least be fidgety if he can't comfortably burrow in and suckle without extending himself. It can sometimes seem like a gymnastics session, but bothering to fine-tune the mutual contortions can produce a fuss-free feed.

No 4: Grow a third eye
We're not trying to be facetious. Babies, we've decided, try their darnedest to execute their mischief when your back's turned or attention's distracted - whether it's throwing up, expelling other waste products or yanking breakable objects. In the absence of supplementary eyes, we've had to train ourselves (imperfectly, thus far) to continually update ourselves on what Sonny is up to.

No 3: Get out and about with your little one
All right, we know you're not supposed to venture into crowded areas too soon, to avoid germs. But if you can be sensible about it (and just stay a shut-in for the first month, perhaps), there's nothing more therapeutic than a few hours in the open with your baby, reconnecting with the world, pointing things out to him and soaking in 'How cute' comments from strangers. Make it a half-empty park if you must. We favour a sarong slug over Mum's chest, with Sonny tucked inside, but carriage options extend to strollers and baby carriers.

No 2: Sing to baby (a bit of dancing won't hurt either)
When Sonny is crying at the slightest provocation, only one response has been effective almost without fail: Cradling the fella and singing any made-up ditty that comes to mind. We discovered this dodge early on (as some readers may recall), and it has unaccountably continued to work - so long as at least the lyrics are of our own making. But there's more to this: Singing to one's child taps into something primeval in all of us, and the way he responds - by settling, gurgling or just appearing to be attentive - is the closest we've come these first few months to two-way communication. There is magic in music.

No 1: Never fail to perform the Midnight Check
Sonny can sometimes seem to spend the whole day coming up with new ways of torturing us. The frustration can pile up, and we're guessing that the same thing happens with many a harried parent. We recommend this restorative: First, wait till your child is in deep slumber at close of day. Then, spend 10 full seconds gazing on his peacefully-sleeping visage. It's a solid guarantee that you'll feel at least morally refreshed - and all sorts of unworthy doubts will be swept aside. At least until the next wailing session.

[So that's our ten tips. Every mum and pa out there will have their own hard-earned nuggets of parenting wisdom. Part with them - and we'll thank you for telling us.]


Anonymous said...

Great tips, especially the third eye thing...You are definitely dead on. I have 5 rugrats and I must say that I have employed these strategies at varying degrees.

Cloudsters said...

Cheers! Affirmation from someone who's done what we're trying to do five times already means something.

Anonymous said...

you got a great blog here. nice post on babycare tips part I and part II. Your blog got great potential. Keep posting and updating us. Thank you

Cloudsters said...

Will do and thank you.