If I thought there was a lot to learn when we were expecting then imagine my surprise now that I have a newborn to contend with. Simple pleasures like reading time (also known as toiley time), taking a shower and fixing something to eat now involve a complex spreadsheet and a specialized scheduling app. Here are 6 things you learn when you have a newborn:
1. Newborns leak, like all the time
We were told to expect one diaper change the first day, two the second day, three the third day and so on. What we got was one the first day (we were SO proud), four the second day and 27 the third day. The progression has continued and one of our little buddy’s favorite games is to pee, wait for us to change him and then poo with a newfound sense of purpose. Newborns have what we call audible bowel movements (at least this one does) and he actually smiles as he releases each precious gift. Bonus leak: When he’s not pooping or peeing, there’s a 43 percent chance that he’s spitting up.
2. Newborn poop can, and will, defy gravity and basic laws of physics.
The first time I witnessed this I was in disbelief. I was holding the little monster when he let out a seismic string of farts that shook me to my very core. After sharing a smile and a pretend high five with the tyke, I began to feel some wetness starting to seep through his cute little outfit.
As I turned him over for an inspection I saw yellow stains that went all the way up his back and almost to his neck. Now where I’m from, poop usually travels in a downward direction so this is still a scientific mystery. Another time, which we will now refer to as ‘The Meccident,’ he projectile-pooped (yes, sadly this is a thing) some meconium a few feet during a diaper change. This happened on our bed and within his first 24 hours on Earth, he had pulled off the stain trifecta: poops, peeps and puke. Just marking his territory I guess.
3. You learn to ‘insert verb here’ with one hand
Not to brag, though I’m totally going to, but I have learned how to type, get a drink, feed the dog and accomplish countless (and nameless) other things using one hand. To brag even more, I am doing all these things with my non-dominant hand. Sorry, other stuff, but my progeny gets my main hand.
4. They will start to mimic you
I have always heard that a newborn is in it’s own little world and won’t start to interact with you for a month or two. This has not been the case as my little man is quickly becoming a master at the staring game.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I have blinked first in a few epic battles with this 10 day old baby. I was also surprised to find that he will mimic my mouth movements from time to time. A few times I have stuck out my tongue at him and he totally mirrored me.
5. Your size perspective will change
I used to think our 60 pound dog looked small but now that junior is here, the dog looks like a friggin’ grizzly bear. This little guy has totally changed the scale in which we look at things. We met up with friends with small kids right at the end of our pregnancy and their kids looked so tiny to me. They came over to visit the other day and now their 2 1/2 year old looks like Yao Ming next our baby.
6. Breastfeeding is really, really hard
Holy shit snacks. I guess I was just ignorant but I had no idea how terrible it can be to breastfeed. There are just so many factors: latch, rooting reflex, engorgement, let-down, positioning and the list goes on. Having sore nipples is apparently standard operating procedure and even though it’s a team effort, one member of the team is a brand new person with basically zero life skills who tends to fall asleep right when things start to look promising. Luckily we have a breast pump and have been able to add a B.U.B. (back up boob) to the mix.