Babies are adorable; the way they gurgle and coo, the way that they feel and the way that they smell when they are fresh from the bath are just gorgeous. Everything about them is designed to stoke our love and build that eternal bond between parent and child. The hundreds of different baby books and magazines that are available all tell us how wonderful they are, how perfect they are and how this life changing event has undoubtedly changed our lives for the better. What they fail to tell us is that it won’t always feel like the change has been a positive one.
Ask a new parent a few weeks into their new life whether they are still upbeat and positive and you may get a slightly different answer. Have you ever taken a look at a new parent? A real hard close up look and noticed the physical effects that a new baby in the house has caused? Look at the bags under their eyes for a start, and doesn’t that happy smile look just a little bit forced? Their skin seems to be lacking some of its usual glow and their hair is not as perfectly coiffed as in the pre baby days. Even the most committed new parent shows these signs, though they will try to gloss over them the best that they can.
In The Beginning
The baby books tell you that of course baby will be awake for a time through the night for the ‘occasional night feed’, what they fail to tell you is that if you are breastfeeding this could be every hour on the hour, and the thing about breastfeeding is that basically you are a one woman milk bank and your partner is pretty much useless to you. Even bottle fed babies don’t always stick to the every four hour feeding routine.
If you have a greedy, sorry, hungry baby, you could be up and down all night. The same goes if you have a lazy baby, and yes, some babies are lazy, they take as much feed as they need to satisfy the hunger and then fall asleep, and no amount of coaxing will get them to finish the bottle, which means that they will wake up looking for more food pretty quickly. Be prepared to watch the sun set and them watch it rise again, until you get some kind of routine established.
A Well Oiled Machine
If you were under the impression that you were going to fall into a routine as soon as you got baby home, you have been deluding yourself. Sometimes no matter how hard you try baby just will not settle into any kind of routine, and this is a trait that they will probably carry with them throughout their lives. As much as you like to be organised you are going to have to adapt to leaving the house covered in baby sick, because you just don’t have time to go and get changed. Baby will end up in the boot of the car having its nappy changed, and you will be seen on many occasions stood with a dummy/pacifier in your mouth without even realising it.