I’ve been Jonas’s mom for almost five weeks now, and here are some of the things he’s taught me.
If Something Works, Do NOT Change What You Are Doing
Holding your baby with your left arm, singing the first verse of Baby Beluga, and patting his back in half time? Is your baby calm? Do NOT switch arms. Do NOT decide to try the second verse. Do NOT up the patting. Don’t even THINK about trying The Farmer In The Dell. Even if that worked last night. Stick with what is working now and take a deep breath.
Your Baby is Probably Fine
We’ve gone to both of our baby’s doctor appointments so far with a big list of questions– some of which we thought were about potentially serious issues. Heavy breathing and a sweaty forehead made us worried about a heart condition. Red spots that came and went convinced us our son had a serious allergy to something in the house, probably the cats, and we’d have to get rid of them. Turns out heavy breathing and a sweaty forehead are sometimes just heavy breathing and a sweaty forehead. Newborn skin is sensitive. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t ask your doctor about these things or make an appointment if you are concerned. It’s just that those appointments are probably scheduled so frequently at the beginning because the doctors save time answering new parents’ questions all at once instead of having them call four times a day in a panic.
Your Baby Probably Has Every Common Newborn Thing Ever
Yes, I know I just said your baby is probably fine. There is probably nothing major wrong with him or her. But your baby will probably also have every weird newborn thing that exists. Haven’t heard of cradle cap? You will be rubbing various oils on your head by week 3. Just add it to the routine after massaging the clogged tear duct. Also, check your kid’s neck flaps. Look a layer deeper than you thought existed and you’ll probably find a gross cheesy rash.
The Common Newborn Things Aren’t That Bad
You might feel like cradle cap, baby acne, goopy eyes make people think you are a neglectful parent with a dirty baby. Any parents will understand. Most other people probably won’t notice. Babies are adorable, and that is mostly what people see when they look at one.
It’s Not All Or Nothing
It seems like people are in one of two camps. There are “You’re tired, but cherish these moments. You will miss them and they grow up so fast” people and there are the hip, “It is ok not to cherish these moments. These moments are really hard and that is ok!” people. When Jonas was first born, I had a really hard time adjusting to the lack of sleep. Like thinking my body was going to stop functioning hard time. I told my husband that I felt bad because I knew he would only be little like this for a little bit and I wanted to really be present and enjoy it and he said “It’s not ALL enjoyable!” and I realized both of these sentiments can coexist. I can simultaneously love spending time with this little adorable person we made and hate being exhausted. I don’t have to pick.
Every Day Is Different
What Jonas likes one day is not necessarily what he will like the next. His schedule is changing every day as he learns new things about the world and grows and changes. I’m looking forward to all the new things I’ll learn.