When I had my first child, we were going to a friend’s house, and she decided to pee all over our bed and peed right through her diaper. We went to change her, and the cold air made her shiver, and pee even more, and it went everywhere. Well, we wrapped her in a towel to give her a quick bath, and she began to grunt.
My fiancé and I shared an equally frightened look of dread, played rock paper scissors to determine who would be checking the towel, and then we peeked in the diaper... And we went pale at the mess in the towel.
This happens. It’s gross, it’s stinky, but it happens. And man oh man, do I wish someone had warned me about it before I had to deal with it. I had no idea that girls could hose you down like boys could! I really didn’t!
So, without further ado, here’s 16 Things to Know For Baby’s First Year
16 Babies Are Like Fire Hoses
Boy or girl, it does not matter one bit... They can and will spray you down as fast as you can yell “Oh no!” And it seems that the rush of cold air on a diaper change sets them off, and starts the hosing down. Until you’ve been shot in the chest with pee while out in the mall, you have no idea just how bad it can get.
And yes, it’s happened to me. Thank goodness for air dryers... Tip: Always have a diaper ready to go when doing diaper changes, and also...use swift hands to quickly put that clean diaper into position and clasp in place.
15 Exorcist Vomit...
Out of nowhere, a simple burping turns into something straight out of a horror flick... It’s everywhere...down your shirt, on your arm, dripping off your hair... Baby feels better, but now you smell like something that should be living in a sewer with four overgrown turtles. And if it’s curdled...blech.
Oh, and they always seem to miss that rag you hang on the shoulder...every time. Tip: Burping baby more often can help prevent the overwhelming overflow of baby vomit. Every couple of ounces, give them a burp. It’ll save your clothes and help baby’s tummy.
14 Tar Baby Poop
When I had my first, I was prepped for poop when she was born. I was not prepped for poop so thick and dark that it could likely be made of tar from a prehistoric tar pit, and for it to be almost non-removable from baby’s little tush. It’s called meconium, and you hear more about it when discussing the potential poops baby can take in-utero.
It’s thick, almost black, and smells rancid...more rancid than regular poops. Tip: To get this tarry, nasty first poop off baby’s bottom, take a small amount of olive or baby oil, and lightly coat baby’s bum with it before diapers go on. The meconium will wipe right off.
13 Rock And Roll All Night
So, we all have that friend that preaches about how well their baby sleeps, and how they never wake up at night... This is the exception, not the norm. Just keep that in mind. You’re likely to wake up feeling like an extra on a zombie flick, and making the sound effects to boot, getting up every few hours for the many feedings of a normal, yet demanding, newborn or infant.
Coffee is your friend, and caffeine is your life, and you feel like you will never get a good night’s sleep again. It does get better, but those first weeks make you feel like you’ll never get used to this. Tip: Try white noise machines or music in the baby’s room to help soothe them and help them to get better rest!
12 Stinky Formula
Have you ever smelled Kimchi? Kimchi is a fermented vegetable dish popular in Korea... It has a pungent aroma, and it smells slightly better than infant formula. I’m not even joking... It’s awful. Infant formula has this reeking scent that will make the best of us, the people with the iron stomachs, heave with disgust. And imagine that interesting scent if it’s been regurgitated back up and onto your clothing...
It’s enough to make you dry heave thinking about it. Tip: Well, there’s not a lot you can do about the smell of formula... You can breastfeed to avoid having to deal with this stuff, but honestly some babies or moms actually can’t, and some really don’t want to. (And that’s OK, to each their own!) This is one thing you’ll just have to learn to deal with.
11 Diapers Leak... Everywhere...
You do not know frustration until you pick up a happy, wiggly baby in the morning, and your hands become instantly coated in a layer of pee. You groan, and you gingerly pat the mattress and crib sheet...pee. Pee everywhere.
It’s not hygienic, and it’s generally just gross. Unfortunately, some diapers just leak for some babies, the cut doesn’t work for them, and there’s nothing to be done about it. Or, is there? Tip: If one brand is leaking, get a small pack of another brand, and try those instead. They may work better for your little one.
10 Toys? Who Needs Toys?
Have you ever given a child an awesome, and rather expensive, toy for a holiday, and they were more interested in the box or the wrapping paper? It totally happens, and the first time it happens, it may leave you slightly frustrated. “I just spent $100 on that toy, and she prefers the box...” I know how annoying it is, but just remember, whatever makes your baby happy is what should truly matter.
Tip: Instead of stressing over getting lots of fancy gifts, the smaller, more meaningful ones, and clothing, make for much better gifts during the child’s first year. And believe me, you’ll need a lot of clothes, because...
9 Newborn? 0-3M? Does ANYTHING Fit?
It’s going to happen, and it will happen a LOT. You’ll be getting out clothes that you swear just fit yesterday, and when you go to put them on baby, out of nowhere, they don’t fit anymore. Babies grow like weeds, and they have numerous growth spurts in the first year alone. You’ll likely get annoyed ever so slightly that the new clothing you just got your little bundle of love just doesn’t fit anymore.
Keep in mind that your kiddo is going to be outgrowing clothing faster than you can turn your head. Tip: Keep multiple sizes on hand for all stages of your little one’s life. Oh, and when you go to the hospital, don’t just bring Newborn size clothes in, because a lot of babies are already bigger than that when they’re born. Bring 0-3M size clothes too.
8 Pooping In The tub? It’s A Thing.
There’s nothing quite as icky as giving your kid a bath, wondering where that brown stuff came from, then gasping in horror as you get a good whiff of the air and realizing that your precious little one has literally pooped in the bath. And it can happen at any time, from birth up until potty training.
It’s not only gross, but it’s inconvenient, because you have to let the water out and refill it after every floater you find, and with good reason of course. Tip: Try and give baths at the same time every day or night, but always be prepared with some antibacterial cleaner and a towel, just in case you need to pull baby out of the tub, fast.
7 Everything Will Worry You
There is a reason helicopter parenting is a thing. When you have your first child, you worry a lot about them and their every move. Baby bumps their forehead? Quick, make sure there’s no brain damage! Sniffles? Oh my...let’s make sure it’s not the flu!
Of course, there are times to worry, but take it from someone who’s been there and done that, you don’t need to worry about every bump, bruise, fall, or runny nose. Tip: Going to the Doctor can actually expose your little one to more germs. Be sure a visit is needed before risking exposure to other illnesses.
6 They Will Roll Off Of EVERYTHING
It happens, you’re sitting with the baby on the couch with you, baby leans forward, and thump... Baby has rolled onto the floor. Don’t panic! In most cases, your baby will be fine! Look for bruises and bumps on the head, and check the soft spots.
Watch the baby for vomiting and lethargic behavior, and if in doubt, head to the hospital, but honestly, most of the time baby is fine. Tip: Always keep an eye on baby when he or she is on the furniture to prevent things like this from happening.
5 Baby Food Stains...Badly.
You’re feeding the little one their yummy carrots or sweet potatoes with a side of prunes, and all of a sudden, a glob gets onto that shirt. Oh well, no big deal... Or is it? You take a wipe and start trying to get it off, but it’s not budging.
Baby food sets into clothing very quickly, and is a pain in the backside to get out. Get the clothing off quickly if you want to be able to get the food out of the clothes. Tip: Soak food stained clothes in dish soap to help loosen up the set in stain, and wash it out easier.
4 Once They Start They Will NOT Stop!
Talking, that is! Babies are little chatterboxes once they start talking! Once the first words are out, the next words are fast to follow. And all it takes is you talking to them, and interacting with them , and soon enough, the words ma-ma, da-da, and more will come out of that adorable little face.
Baby talk is crucial, and every noise that you make and they mimic helps them to learn how to talk. And believe me, they’re not going to stop! They learn more and more every single day! Tip: Read to baby before bed every night to help promote talking in babies.
3 Who Needs Sleep? Not Me!
Babies do not have the same sleep schedule as an adult or even a small child or toddler. They are up whenever they need to feed, which is usually every 3-4 hours at first, and they sleep a lot during the day. You’re going to be tired, you’re going to be up a lot, but believe me it’s worth it.
Coffee was my friend, but I am totally not advocating the use of delicious caffeine to keep yourself up. Tip: Get sleep whenever you can. Nap when the baby naps if you get the chance. Trust me, those cat naps will help so much.
2 Ow ow ow OW, Not The Hair!
Yeah, did anyone tell you that babies like to pull hair, earrings, necklaces... Everything? No? Yeah, me either. I learned the hard way that babies love to yank on hair and things, and give mommy some ouchies. Babies learn about their environment by using their hands, so when they yank your hair, they’re actually learning all about everything in their environment.
Tip: Keep redirecting baby from pulling hair when they’re old enough. Just move their hand gently and tell them, “No, ow. That hurts.” and keep them from pulling again if you can. If they pull again, repeat the process. Eventually, redirection can help babies learn not to pull hair or hit.
1 Please Stop Eating That...
You know how babies touch everything? Well, a lot of the time, when they touch it, the item in question goes right for their mouth. Babies mouth items as another way of learning about things in the environment, it’s totally normal, but it can get really unhygienic and can get baby sick, so it’s something you want to keep an eye on.
Keep toys washed to minimize exposure to germs due to mouthing things. Tip: If baby is mouthing things they should not be mouthing, use redirection again to try and help keep baby from mouthing the items and exposing themselves to more germs.
So, all of these things have their ups and downs, but it’s always worth it to get through this stage, and into toddlerhood. Babies aren’t babies forever. Cherish the little things. Before you know it, they’ll be up and running around, and you’ll be missing the coos and the pee spray. Ok...maybe not the pee spray.