This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
I know Will isn’t even 4 days old, but I feel like I’m learning so much already. Here are a few things:
— Newborns are not nearly as fragile as I thought. Will is sturdy and supports his own head more than I ever imagined he would. At first I was afraid to even touch him but now I’m winging him around with one hand because I know he’s strong.
— Baby socks are pretty pointless. Maybe Will is just a natural born kicker, but he’s got those things off his feet two seconds after we put them on.
— Diaper changes are not that bad. The meconium (black, tarry substance) has faded and been replaced by poop. Lots and lots of poop. This is definitely my child and he has a long future of stopping up toilets ahead of him.
— When you have a baby boy, it’s important to take certain precautions when changing him. Namely, protect yourself at all times or you will be peed on. It’s happened several times already. I have a penis, so you think I’d realize the dangers but I sorely underestimated Will’s reach. This kid can hit me, the window and himself with a steady stream of urine. Also, if you don’t point it down during the diaper change you end up with a baby who pees straight up and out of his diaper. Thankfully grandpa got the brunt of that one and not me.
— You start learning your baby’s noises immediately. I’ve already figured out when he has to nurse, when he needs to be changed and when he’s just uncomfortable and wants the pacifier to suck on. I’ve always been very observant when it comes to this stuff, even with the dogs. It’s kinda cool.
— Although I have nothing to do with breastfeeding, I’ve learned it is not easy. I just thought the baby sucks, gets the milk and that’s it. But how wrong I was. It involves latching and success can depend on the positioning of the baby…it’s really an involved and complicated process. Not to mention fairly painful as MJ will readily attest. Yet we wouldn’t have it any other way.
— And finally, sleep is going to be hard to come by. But so far not as hard as we thought. Will nurses every two hours on the dot, but seems to give us a reprieve in the middle of the night when he goes four hours between feedings, allowing us both 3-4 hours of sleep which is HUGE. But MJ and I trade off changing duties so she sleeps when I’m up and vice versa.
Any further tips from you experienced moms or dads out there? I’m all ears.