WRITTEN BY: MELISSA CASTAN
My husband and I were highly encouraged (required) to take a bringing home baby class prior to giving birth to our first-born at the hospital. During those classes we learned several “basic” skills for caring for a newborn.
The instructor taught us how to quickly change a diaper, easily bathe a baby in a sink or tub, with tips on how to get all the folds, and neatly swaddle a baby like a burrito. All of these skills taught using a plastic baby doll.
It turns out that doing any of those things is not so easy with an actual baby. I’m not sure there is such a thing as a basic task when a newborn is involved! Here is what we learned:3 Ways Caring For A Newborn Is Nothing Like Childcare Classes Click To Tweet
- Changing a newborn’s diaper is like a Spartan Race. When you open the diaper, you don’t know what will be in there. A little pee (easy), a little poop (eh, OK) or a blowout (you catch on to this one pretty quickly). Once the diaper is open, you have a small window of time before you get peed or pooped on and sometimes, when you lift the legs, you may hear a little pfffff sound which means projectile poop is imminent! Sometimes after you just put on a clean diaper, minutes later the clean diaper is already dirty. I think they forgot to mention that part.
- Hopefully your little one likes bath time because that makes things a little easier. At first, our baby HATED bath time (thank goodness we only had to do it once a week). He would scream and cry. It was a little traumatic (for us, not him). Even now, he doesn’t really like being wiped down with the cloth so it can be a struggle to try to get everything clean. I still haven’t figured out how to clean baby ears…advice definitely welcomed.
- Finally, swaddling, this is my favorite. When it came time to actually swaddle our baby, it took at least two of us to roll him up, and when we did, he did not look like a neat little burrito. In fact, we went through at least six different types of swaddles because we had a little Houdini who broke out of EVERY SINGLE SWADDLE! So if he broke out of swaddles, why did he need one you may wonder? Well, if he wasn’t swaddled he would cry and scream for hours. Go figure!
Taking care of a baby is much more difficult than any class could ever prepare you for! I found it more helpful to talk with other moms who had been through all of these things and could provide their advice for the best way they figured out how to do the basic tasks. Of course, time and experience also helps. In the end you will learn what works best for your baby, and the basic tasks will seem more, well, basic and until that happens, at least you will have some great stories to share with your parent friends!
About the Author:
Hi, I’m Melissa! I am a mama to my little baby boy Aiden Milo (born November 2015), and a police wife to my husband Dan. We live in Northern Virginia. I work full-time as a meeting planner for two non-profits, one of which is international, so I travel several times a year. When we brought Aiden home we were smacked with a huge dose of reality, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. I now share my experiences and adventures of being a first time mama on my blog babycastanonboard.com to hopefully help other first time moms.