October 10, 2006

Deemed Useful

Notes for the benefit of future breeders. First in a series?

1. Little blankets, often called receiving blankets (not the larger blankets discussed earlier) are insanely handy. But only if they're absorbent flannel, which grabs spit-up milk. The slick satiny blankets let that stuff run right off onto your pants. Baby puke still smells like puke.

2. Observation: newborn baby doesn't like being laid down to have his diaper changed. It's disempowering. It makes his face red. Thus: putting newborns babies in things that involve pant legs is counterproductive. Pant legs are for walking; newborns don't walk. (Some baby clothes have pockets. Babies don't keep things in their pockets!) The system of elaborate snaps that's needed to furnish the illusion that your baby is about to amble off for a bipedal stroll in the park just about triples the time required to access that key item -- the diaper -- thus tripling a key quantity -- the baby's rage. Baby gowns are way, way faster. (Just as it says in the books, we change the diaper 10 to 15 times a day.) The onesy, despite our fond hopes, doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense at this age. It leaves their legs totally exposed, and so their feet turn blue. Rage builds, face turns red, etc., etc. So you just end up wrapping them in another layer (see item #1, receiving blankets), and then you might as well have put them in a gown in the first place.

3. Swaddling seems to work. You bind their little arms, and they can't gesticulate with them like they'd like to, so they give up and settle down. Sometimes.

4. Having a laundry machine on the same floor as all the mess is about the best thing ever. The yuppies are dead-on about this one.



Kati P. said...

To insert a bit of morbidity into the conversation, we recently wrote about a south suburban dad charged in his child's death. The baby was two months old and had multiple fractures, etc. The dad's defense: he played rough with the child. He told the judge that he liked to toss the kid in the air and catch him. And not with a blanket, mind you. Can you imagine?

Henrie family said...

Addendum to items deemed useful

1. True, receiving blankets are great. In Salt Lake there is a craft store called Hemstitch Lullaby, and they sell blankets and matching flannel burp cloths. I really recommend having your mom send you some of the burp cloths from there. They are shaped to fit on your shoulder. I haven't seen anything like them elsewhere.

Amy you can relax because as soon as they get to be about 1 they can have a blanket. Aidan has a special polar fleece blanket, and he can't sleep without it. Also have a back-up! Even if they are itentical use them both, or the child will not accept the back-up.

2. Here we disagree. It depends on the baby. Aidan was a very active baby, and gowns ended up around is belly in a matter of minutes. Socks were also a complete waste of time. One peice PJs were the best.

3. Swaddling is good. We have been meaning to write a book with different swaddling methods (baby burrito, egyptian wrap). Aidan also managed to wiggle his hands out in a matter of minutes, but we swaddled him anyway.

4. Yup.

Henrie family said...

I totally forgot to add one really great item to your list. If you want to breastfeed buy a BOBBY. Bobbys are cresent shaped pillows that you can put on your lap. They really help get the baby into the right position, so that you don't use bad posture while nursing. Four of my other nursing friends also think they are great. IF YOU DON'T ALREADY HAVE ONE BORROW, OR BUY ONE AND SEE IF YOU LIKE IT.

When the baby starts to sit up they are also great to use as a support for the baby. A regular pillow has limited functionality because you generally put it behind the baby, and they tend to fall in any direction when they practice reaching. The cresent shape gives them more protection when they fall sideways.

Note the ungodly hour that this was posted. I have been up with both kids from 12:30 until 1:15, and now I have insomnia, so I am going to work...