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Things New Parents Should Know - Useful Stuff [Sep. 7th, 2008|01:20 pm]
dalekboy
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[mood |contemplativecontemplative]

Things we have learned in the last two weeks that new parents may find useful. This is what works for us and Lex, some of it may not work for you, but if it gives you one handy hint that you can adapt to make your life easier, it's worth it.

Feel free to write in with other suggestions, or to say, "Arrgh, no, you're doing that wrong!"



If there are two of you looking after bub, share it as much as possible. Sounds obvious, but it's not what ends up happening. You should each be able to change nappies and wash baby on your own, but for the first few weeks, doing nappy changes together is useful for the surprise moments when you need a second set of hands or someone to go grab something that was forgotten.



Even if you're going to use cloth nappies, buy up disposables for the first few weeks. The learning curve you're on is huge, anything that reduces that is a help.



Buy flat nappies! They have many, many uses beyond just being used as nappies. We have 18, which gives us plenty, even when a bunch are in the wash.



Our change table set up as follows...
- flat nappy on the change table to catch spills. If there is a nasty spill you can fold a part of the flat nappy over it so the baby isn't lying in it or spreading it around with its feet. Basically it stops you having to wipe down the change table in mid-change anytime things go wrong.
- Spare flat nappy for the really impressive spills
- Cloth for wiping up vomit
- Cloth for covering willy to minimise the chances of you getting sprayed, or him soaking his clothes, the change table, the floor, the walls, the dog, etc.
- Baby wipes
- Nappy sacks. We always pre-open the next one when we finish, as some are hard to open and if you're dealing with bub on your own, you don't need to be trying to open the thing one handed.
- Nappies. We try to keep a small pile of at least three ready to go.
- Stuff for dealing with nappy rash.



We have a bin with a plastic bag in it next to the change table. We are filling the bin to the top daily. The plastic bag can be easily washed out and re-used.



Wherever Sharon goes to feed Lex, there is a flat nappy for burping or vomit catching, face-washer to catched leaking breast milk, and cream to put on sore nipples.



If bub has a sore tummy, laying it over one of your knees, with its legs hanging down one side, head down the other while you rub its back, can help relieve the immediate discomfort. Flat nappy over the knee to catch baby-vom.



This advice came from our favourite midwife Wendy, and over a week in, makes perfect sense. If people want to visit, don't be afraid to say no. And if you say yes, make it on the condition that they come over, do some jobs, then leave - no socialising - it's tiring, distracting, and ultimately distressing. People don't realise how much them just being there can disrupt your few chances to rest. To them it's a nice visit, to you it might be that one chance you had to catch an hour's sleep. So if they're going to be there, don't be afriad to get them to wash nappies, do dishes, cook meals, go shopping, etc. Everyday jobs are the most useful things people can do for you. Once they are done, they can leave. It sounds horrible, but you can make it up to them later. i.e. if they are coming around to help, that's what they should do.

Sidenote - according to one of the midwives, Post-natal Depression is almost unheard of in Vietnamese families. When the new mother comes home, family members come to stay for a few weeks. They cook, clean, wash, and basically do absolutely everything they can so that the new mum has nothing to do but get used to her new child. Other than tend to her needs, they don't disturb her.



The baby is not made of glass. If it were, coming through the birth canal would do lots of damage to it. If babies were so fragile, we wouldn't have survived as a species.



Do test trips as soon as you're able, before you need to actually be somewhere at a certain time, or away from home for hours. Pick a time that you want to get somewhere, then make a note of the time you start getting ready to leave, and the time you finally arrive at your destination, ready to do whathever.
We had two trips out in as many days, they killed us, but also showed us things we need to bring, things we could have left behind, etc.



On average we are doing a load of baby clothes, flat nappies, blankets, etc. every second day. This is without us changing clothes every time there is a bit of vomit on them. We've had a few days where we've had to do emergency loads because Lex managed to go through way more clothes than normal.



Travel bag - the bag we take with us on a trip to the shopping centre currently has the following in it...
- 2 nappy sacks
- 2 plastic bags (for dirty clothes, flat nappy that gets messed up, etc.)
- 2 face-washers (one for face, one for doodle coverage)
- 2 flat nappies
- 3 disposable nappies
- 1 Huggies disposable changing table cloth (given to us by another parent - good for when bub messes the one's you're carrying with you)
- Cream for nappy rash
- Nipple cream
- Hat for baby
- Baby wipes
- Headache tablets for us
- Water bottles for us
- And before we head out, we put two outfits in the bag, too. (When we were out recently, one outfit was taken out by a nappy leak within the first hour)



Based on advice from friends, we will be preparing a second travel bag. This allows us to return home exhausted, as we did last time, and have a bag ready to go if something crops up, even if we haven't gotten around to washing/replacing everything in the first bag.



A drive in the car is a great sleeping pill for the baby. Just make sure you have a light blanket that can be placed over the baby capsule to avoid direct sunlight sitting on bub's delicate skin for too long.



A trip in the pram is also a good sleeping pill. According to our favourite midwife, laying a bit of hose on the floor and rolling the pram back and forth over it is often a good way to get baby off to sleep. Haven't used that yet.



Your baby is already communicating with you in hundreds of small ways, you just need to learn to pay attention. Look and listen to them. When we're changing Lex, I'm pretty good at spotting the body movements and facial expressions that mean he's about to launch a bottom attack. I'd say I'm right about 60-70% of the time. It's changed a bit since he got colic. But it means that when Sharon's working down south, I can give her a warning, something for which she is rather grateful.

The listening and watching also allows you to sometimes start to pick when they need a feed, a change, etc. before they get themselves actually worked up enough to cry. Nicer for them, better for your head.



Lex sleeps in our room. He makes little noises all night long, which we sort of like. He is unlikely to keep us awake, given how tired he makes us. It also means we're right there when he needs a change, feed, cuddle, etc. This stops him getting too distressed and hard to settle before we get to him, in fact we sometimes get to him before he actually starts to cry.



If your baby is crying, don't make it a habit to go immediately to them. Lex will be fast asleep, startle himself awake, cry for five minutes, then settle down back to sleep. If you go to bub every time they give a bit of a cry, you may actually stir them up more, or train them to expect/need you every time they cry, rather than settle themselves down.
I've seen footage showing a baby wake up, lie there happily for a few minutes, cry experimentally, go back to being happy, cry some more... you could see the decision to cry again cross it's face. It cried on and off until it's parent finally came into the room, then started crying continuously until it was picked up.

This is not to suggest that every time they cry something isn't wrong, but they learn fast that they can get attention as soon as they want it. And while giving them cuddles and attention when they want it isn't a bad thing, if they are trained to expect it immediately, it's just way more stressful for both of you those times when it can't happen.



Remember, sometimes you just will not be able to stop them crying. It may give you a headache and break your heart, but it's useless to get too upset by it. All your stress does is get the baby stressed, making it cry more. If you can't get it settled, don't be afraid to pop it in its cot and go take a sanity break. If you have a partner, or a friend you can call to come over during the long hauls, do it.

I was dealing with a screaming colicy baby for six hours last night. Trust me, you need to take a break from that.



Don't creep around your house trying to be quiet, otherwise you train you baby to expect and need quiet, so that then any noise will wake it. Every time my mum says "oh we should be quiet or we'll wake the baby," I make a point of yelling loundly for several moments, often with Lex in the room, once while I was actually holding him. He rarely even stirs, and I have an overly loud voice. If you have a second child later, do you really think you'll be able to keep a toddler quiet all the time?

Additional note to this, a friend of mine who works in child care said that if children are being put in child care, it's even more important not to creep around quietly at home. If they are in child care, there will be another 30-odd bunch of kids who will always be making noise, crying, etc. It's really not fair on your child if you've kept them in a quiet, dark home, then put them into daycare where it won't be able to get what it has been trained by you to need for sleeping.

So make noise! Play loud music! Call out to each other!



Breastfeeding is healthy in that it helps download regular immune system updates to your child, and more importantly, it's cheap! Given how expensive the little buggers are, that's great! However, lots of people have problems with it. You're not a failure if you can't breastfeed. Sharon was ready to give up on breastfeedng in the first week - sleep deprivation combined with the constant pain and discomfort were wearing her down. After one good night's sleep, she turned a corner, got him mostly attaching okay, etc. She still has problems sometimes though.

Breastfeeding can take a fair while before you get used to it - if you do. Breastfeeding in bed is slightly different and may require time to find positions where bub's not hurting you when he feeds. By time I mean days... or weeks... Learning to breastfeed in bed has its obvious advantages though, so it's worth trying once you're comfy with it.

Make sure you lay down a flat nappy to catch spills, though even that won't save you if bub does a super-huge vomit... like the one Lex blessed us with the other night. It's worth considering a mattress protector under the sheets in the area of the bed where feeding will take palce.

We haven't tried this ourselves, not even sure we would, but had to share this story. At the breastfeeding classes we went to, the people taking it commented on how babies are psychic. They know when their parents are trying to have sex, and will always pick that time to want a feed or a change. One of the ladies commented that that was when feeding in bed could come in handy - you could roll on your side to feed the baby, the sex could continue from behind, you get the nice hormones from the let down during breast feeding, and the nice sensations of sex. The other woman boggled at this, and the first one commented that it wasn't for everyone, but it was an option.



Babies really like skin contact. They also like to be cuddled. If they have colic, having them upright against your chest can do wonders for quieting them down, but don't be surprised if that changes moment after you have them off the vertical.



Sometimes, when bub is feeling poorly, all you can do is hold them.



Some babies don't like baths. You can take them in the shower. Have someone there to hand you the baby and to take it from you when finished. Make sure you have a bath mat in there, or you're sitting on the floor. Water shouldn't be too hot. A flannel on your chest gives you a good surface to hold them against in case things get a little slippery. Keep bub held against your chest for most of the shower. Once you've washed it, hand your baby to the other person to dry while you finish washing yourself.



Our cot currently has a mattress protector, a sheet over that, another mattress protector over that, and another sheet over that. What this means is that while we're staggering around at four in the morning after the baby has managed to soak the sheet, all we have to do is pull off the top sheet and protector, and the bed is ready to go again.



After two weeks, Sharon and I finally managed some together time yesterday. I was about to have a shower, Lex had been fed and was being put down to sleep, and I suggested that Shaz join me. There was no sexual aspect, it was just about us having a little bit of time being close with each other, rather than always having to think about the third person in our lives. Lex graciously stayed asleep while we enjoyed alone-time and skin contact.

Grab the time and opportunity for this stuff when you can get it! You don't know when the next chance will come.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: callistra
2008-09-07 03:33 am (UTC)
Excellent post. Boy am I glad our family is complete.
:-)
It's so much hard work at first. It does get easier.
:-)
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-09-07 03:39 am (UTC)
Two weeks in, most of it's already way easier than the first week was. That said, it's still way harder than we could have expected, mostly because of the colic.

After six hours of him crying, and let's face it, he's crying because he's having a pretty shitty time, I was feeling quite grumpy and overwhelmed.

But other than that, we've got a bunch of stuff worked out that works for us, with the added surprises chucked in like three leaky nappies in a row that soak everything ;)
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[User Picture]From: tikiwanderer
2008-09-07 03:37 am (UTC)
I am making notes... and reading pertinent bits out aloud to James...
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-09-07 03:41 am (UTC)
*grin*

Hope you guys get to say both "Well, that was a handy tip!" and "Boy, he was full of crap on that score!" soon now :-)
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[User Picture]From: chaosmanor
2008-09-07 03:54 am (UTC)
Some babies hate having their clothes taken off in preparation for a bath. It can help to put them in the bath with their singlet/vest/grosuit still on, and remove the final layer in the bath. No panicking baby! Happy bathtimes!

Wire clotheshangers work on the floor, instead of the hosepipe, to wheel the pram backwards and forwards on. Beware though that you're not dooming yourself to months of rocking that bloody pram.

Colicky babies respond to having the outside of their calves stroked gently (accupuncture pressure points, I believe).

It's been a while since I've accessed this part of my experience--there must be more stored here...
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[User Picture]From: frzn_mmnt
2008-09-07 03:55 am (UTC)
As I read this, I kept saying "wow, I did that and that ... and that." Most of it came instinctual, didn't it? You just know because he's your baby!

Breastfeeding... such a touchy subject with some women I've met. But you're right, it takes a while to get a good rhythm going. I'm glad that Sharon is sticking it out. And I promise it will get easier and then she'll be glad she stayed with it, just for the lack of mess and not having to prepare bottles. The midwives and doctors kept saying "If you have a good latch, it won't hurt", but I had a good latch and it still hurt. That's because the nipple is not used to being THAT consistantly stimulated and becomes raw for a while, until it becomes used to the stimulation. It's takes a couple of weeks, but it does happen.

And if you're going to nurse in bed, make sure he goes back into his own bed when he's done. I got into trouble with that, as Aerin got used to being in our bed all the time and it took 2 or 3 months to get her sleeping in her own bed again. The problem is, nursing in bed is just so convenient for the middle of the night feedings. All babies are different though and I hope that Lex never gets those bad habits that Aerin did. :D

You're seriously sounding like old pros at this parenting thing. Make sure you are patting yourselves on the backs and then having a sleep.
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[User Picture]From: nephron
2008-09-07 04:34 am (UTC)
And if you're going to nurse in bed, make sure he goes back into his own bed when he's done.

You are absolutely right if you want to maintain a separate bed for the baby. Babies are happiest with what they know. Some people maintain co-sleeping, though, and find that the best system for their family.
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[User Picture]From: frzn_mmnt
2008-09-08 04:21 pm (UTC)
I know that co-sleeping works great for some families, but I found it just didn't work right for me but I'd gotten her into a bad habit and then had to break it.

She's going great now, thank heavens, but it sure took a lot of time.
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[User Picture]From: nephron
2008-09-08 04:23 pm (UTC)
You are absolutely right- and what I want (and hope I am managing) to get across is that there are many different parenting practices, styles and beliefs that are all equally valid, and what works for one family or even child within a family may not work for others.
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[User Picture]From: frzn_mmnt
2008-09-08 04:36 pm (UTC)
Well said! I am 100% in agreement with you!
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[User Picture]From: transcendancing
2008-09-07 04:03 am (UTC)
*love*

Making people work when they come over - totally a win. Babalon and I did this for Calli and Chesh recently and I'm looking forward to that same circle of knowing someone else will help with the coping. :)
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[User Picture]From: shrydar
2008-09-07 04:36 am (UTC)
Great post - some of that rings bells with my childhood.

I remember settling my youngest brother (ten years my junior) by pushing his pram back and forth across the bump at the end of the corridor where the floor changed from wood to carpet.

As for noise - I'm told I used to go to sleep the to the likes of Joe Cocker and Deep Purple, at whatever level Dad thought was sensible. Might explain a bit =)
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[User Picture]From: nephron
2008-09-07 04:36 am (UTC)
I think it is important to learn the difference between "trying my voice out" crying, and real distress. In my very limited experience, they're pretty easy to tell apart, but if people are determined to stick to either "run to your baby as soon as it makes noise" or "the baby needs to be independent from day 1", I think the difference between the cries can get lost.
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[User Picture]From: mireille21
2008-09-07 04:48 am (UTC)
Same with Chinese families from what I've heard. the new mother basically doesn't have to get out of bed for the first six weeks.

Of course that would work wonderfully if your family worked like that. I don't think my family works that way. :)
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[User Picture]From: cassiphone
2008-09-07 05:35 am (UTC)
Great post!

About getting people to do jobs - having a whiteboard or a regular note on the fridge with things that need to be done is a great idea. So when people ask what they can do to help, just point them at the board.

Also keep a running 'things we need' list so you can just hurl it at someone if they ask what they can fetch for you.

*Hugs* to Sharon about the breastfeeding. You don't realise just how much work it takes to get it right until you're in th emiddle of it. I had a miserable few weeks until it finally turned a corner. And thebest thing anyone ever said to me was a male midwife who said: in a month, you'll be doing it one handed with a cup of coffee in the other!

{and he was RIGHT)

My other bit of advice comes from the other end of breastfeeding. Make sure you stop before they're smarkt and verbal enough to talk you out of it. I didn't INTEND to still be breastfeeding her until two months short of her third birthday. But the wench was persuasive...
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[User Picture]From: cheshirenoir
2008-09-07 08:13 am (UTC)
Some notes that I remember:
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, breastfeeding won't work. Give it a really good try if you want to breastfeed, but don't beat yourself up if in the end you have to give up. Both our kids ended up on bottle, when after exhausting weeks of trying, both started to lose weight when they should have been gaining weight. It was spirit breaking (Specially with baby J, who gave up after 3 MONTHS) to have to give up breastfeeding, but we do live in a western civilisation and there are alternatives.

For some people (Us!) baby may be better off in the other room after about the 2-3 week mark. I sleep very shallowly, and will wake at the slightest baby sound. Moving the bubs to the room next to us meant I'd sleep better, but still wake up no problems when something is really wrong. This meant I was more able to cope with baby duties and relieve Calli.

Have a codeword for "all hands on deck". We had "code brown" which meant that this nappy change had gone horribly, horribly wrong. This just happens sometimes but having 4 sets of hands on hand rather than two meant a lot less mess.

Oh and the travelbag will thin down considerably in about 3 months, so don't panic.
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[User Picture]From: kaths
2008-09-07 09:39 am (UTC)
Ditto on the sleeping in a different room - I started that after about 3 weeks, it was disasterous having her in the same room, I just couldn't get a good sleep (she's a noisy sleeper!). I still hear her quite well in the other room and with an earplug in one ear!
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[User Picture]From: purrdence
2008-09-07 10:19 am (UTC)

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[User Picture]From: kaths
2008-09-07 10:29 am (UTC)
Change table: if you have back problems like me, try to keep everything close to you so you don't have to lean to the back of the change table to get it. I've jerry-rigged the wipes and a container for nappies to the outsides of the change table. Also, make sure it's a fairly tall one if you're tall. A chair can be good to put one knee on while standing at the table, as this helps keep a good posture.

"We have a bin with a plastic bag in it next to the change table. We are filling the bin to the top daily. The plastic bag can be easily washed out and re-used."

I assume you've worked out how to best wrap a nappy up using the tags to keep it fairly sealed before binning it, to reduce smells.

A bin with a foot-pedal operated flip lid is great as you can operate it without using any hands, and you don't have to bend down at all.

"Wherever Sharon goes to feed Lex, there is a flat nappy for burping or vomit catching, face-washer to catched leaking breast milk, and cream to put on sore nipples."

I also have the TV remote controls, a tin of teddy-bear biscuits (I live on these!) and a glass of water. Plus now a small container of toys for us to play with after a feed.

"The baby is not made of glass. If it were, coming through the birth canal would do lots of damage to it. If babies were so fragile, we wouldn't have survived as a species."

So much of it just getting confidence with handling them. I've not handled newborns before, but it wasn't long before I was holding and moving Clara around quite well. And once they get better neck control, they are much easier to manouever.

"On average we are doing a load of baby clothes, flat nappies, blankets, etc. every second day."

I was washing just about every day, but then realised I was doing extra work, and let it pile up to do a good load every 2 days. And I'm less fussy about changing Clara every time she gets a bit of vomit on her!

"Travel bag - the bag we take with us on a trip to the shopping centre currently has the following in it..."

Most times I go out, Clara manages to go through every single thing in my nappy bag :) There never seems to be enough cloths for wiping up vomit!

"Based on advice from friends, we will be preparing a second travel bag."

I have 3 on the go, basically ready to use at all times. A small one that just has one of everything, which goes with the pram when I go for a walk. A medium sized one which I use most of the time. And a big one to use when I'll be away for a few hours.

I tend not to take a handbag when I go with the medium or large one, it's just one more awkward thing to put over my shoulder, plus the baby. So everything goes in the nappy bag.

"A drive in the car is a great sleeping pill for the baby. Just make sure you have a light blanket that can be placed over the baby capsule to avoid direct sunlight sitting on bub's delicate skin for too long."

Try lying on your back outside and staring directly into the sun. That's what it can be like for a baby lying in a car capsule.

I tend to use a Muslin wrap over it, as the air gets through it better than a blanket.

"A trip in the pram is also a good sleeping pill. According to our favourite midwife, laying a bit of hose on the floor and rolling the pram back and forth over it is often a good way to get baby off to sleep. Haven't used that yet."

Is he sleeping in a bassinet or a cot? Either way, if it is on wheels, there should be enough movement to shake it back and forth a reasonable amount. That's become my main way of getting Clara to sleep when I'm at home.

"The listening and watching also allows you to sometimes start to pick when they need a feed, a change, etc. before they get themselves actually worked up enough to cry. Nicer for them, better for your head."

Yep, crying is their last resort, so it's best to get there before then if you can.

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[User Picture]From: kaths
2008-09-07 10:29 am (UTC)
(part 2)
"If you go to bub every time they give a bit of a cry, you may actually stir them up more, or train them to expect/need you every time they cry, rather than settle themselves down."

Everything I've read says that in the first few weeks, it's best to go to them immediately - they're too young to learn to 'self-settle' etc, and what they're learning is that their needs are responded to, which is comforting and makes for a more relaxed baby. Studies have shown that babies in the first few months whose cries are answered quickly actually cry less than babies who are made to wait.

Having said that, after a few weeks there are situation where they'll cry and then self-settle, and you can't always respond immediately anyway (eg you're on the toilet, the other end of the house etc). It's usually a matter of getting to know what kind of state they're in. Eg Clara doesn't need me to leap to her during the night with every noise, but during some daytime sleeps I need to respond quickly to get her back into her next sleep cycle, otherwise she may not at all.

"Don't creep around your house trying to be quiet, otherwise you train you baby to expect and need quiet, so that then any noise will wake it."

Absolutely, although when you've spent ages getting them to sleep, you'll do anything to keep things that way :)

They do tend to sleep through a lot more in the first few weeks than later. Just think of what it was like at the hospital, very noisy and bright etc. But in a few weeks you'll find he'll probably be more sensitive to sounds etc, no matter what you've been getting him used to, and that's all part of them become more aware of their surroundings. At which point things like a darkened room will help to keep him asleep.

Also, it can depend on what part of their sleep they are in. Eg sometimes it's really hard to wake Clara, other times all I have to do is have the chair squeak when I get up and she startles awake.

"Breastfeeding is healthy in that it helps download regular immune system updates to your child",

Upload too! I've read that if you have something in your system, eg coming down with a virus, the child will develop antibodies to it, and actually gives it back to the mother via the breastfeeding. How cool is that!!

"After one good night's sleep, she turned a corner, got him mostly attaching okay, etc. She still has problems sometimes though."

Fantastic that it has improved.

You remember the dramas I went through with it - but it's working so well now! Worth persisting if possible.

"Some babies don't like baths."

It helps if the water is decently hot, and that they are submerged in it up to their chinny chin chin. In the early weeks they can be a bit sensitive to being naked and wet, and a cloth sitting across their chest and tummy can help while they're in the bath. Getting them out and drying and dressing them is the killer, that's when they howl! But the good work of the soothing bath isn't undone, they'll feel really comfy and warm once they're dressed.

"Our cot currently has a mattress protector, a sheet over that, another mattress protector over that, and another sheet over that."

Haha, very good, I hadn't thought of that! Although touch wood, I've only had to change the sheets once because of that, she tends to do the mess poos after a breastfeed, not during the night.
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[User Picture]From: meljane
2008-09-08 09:22 am (UTC)
After reading your post I definetly know Ken and I couldn't handle a baby *hugs* .
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[User Picture]From: meljane
2008-09-08 09:26 am (UTC)
I lack very few sanity points as it is .
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[User Picture]From: battblush
2008-09-09 12:11 am (UTC)
You may already know this and have taken care of it, but it took me two babies to realise.

Change tables are cold. We put the baby on them and take their clothes off and then wonder why they cry about it.

Always have a thick towel covering the change table. Not only does this catch the spills that the flat nappies might miss, it also gives the baby a comfortable barrier against the cold material of the change table.

Another thing I've always done is wash the baby in warm water when I change them. Wipes are cold against the groin, but a warm flannel is soothing and is more effective against nappy rash.
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[User Picture]From: kaths
2008-09-09 10:03 pm (UTC)
Good suggestion, I now have a folded towel under the flat nappy. Nice and soft too!

Warm water when changing is a good idea, but it is a bit of a hassle trying to do it for each change, particularly when the water is at the other end of the house, plus flannels cool down so quickly after you wet them in warm water. Probably easiest to do when there's two people involved in the changing, and one person can bring down a bowl of warm water for the flannel while the other gets them ready.

Luckily my baby doesn't mind the cold wipes at all, even when I wipe down her back after she's done an explosive poo :)
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-09-11 07:05 am (UTC)
Only a parent can follow the words "explosive poo" with a smiley.
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[User Picture]From: kaths
2008-09-11 07:06 am (UTC)
Indeed :)
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[User Picture]From: rendragon
2008-09-09 03:20 am (UTC)
Flat nappies make great dusting/polishing rags once bub is out of them. The also make great security blankets/toys (my childhood one was made from them *wink*)
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[User Picture]From: termagent
2008-09-09 11:41 am (UTC)
The things we found that babies really scream about are gas and reflux. A way of working out the gas is to gently pump the upper leg while they are feeding (ie hold their foot and bend and straighten their leg).

The thing that really worked for us for reflux was to put a folded towel underneath the basinette mattress at the top to make it higher at the head end than the feet. Even a very gentle incline is enough to keep the reflux from burning their throats while they are lying down on their backs. (It is pretty similar to what they recommend for expectant mothers with reflux too). If you have a cot instead of a smaller basinette, it should be possible to put the head-end legs on a plank of wood or something else pretty stable to create an incline and it can make a huge difference to their level of comfort. It might also be a reason they don't like being on the change mat because they are on their backs without gravity to assist with the reflux. It could be worth trying a flat nappy folded in half two times to make a very small pillow just to give up a bit of elevation on the change mat.
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