Have you ever been to a baby shower where they play a modified version of the newly-wed game with the mom-to-be? They ask the dad questions about baby care and the mom tries to match his answers.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve come to realize that this generally leaves the soon to be parents feeling like they aren’t ready for their baby as this game seems nearly impossible to master. But many of these questions are silly and not actually a good gauge of their preparedness to take care of an infant.
So what should they know really? Here are a few I think are truly important as well as a few tricks I learned along the way:
Know how to take a baby’s temperature and have the equipment to do it.
When changing diapers, it works great if you “pre-wipe” their bottom with the front of the diaper (the section that touches their tummy). This cuts down on how many wipes you need and makes it much less of a mess.
Know how to clear a baby’s nose and what you’ll use to do it. Babies must breathe through their nose when they drink milk so it’s really hard to eat if they can’t breathe clearly.
Establish some kind of signal you’ll use to indicate that it’s time to sleep. We wrap a swaddle blanket around our son. This will help when you’re trying to communicate that it’s time to sleep and they are still too little to understand your words.
File a baby’s nails instead of cutting them. It’s easier, especially when they are moving all over the place and less likely to cause any kind of accidental snip. Oh, and wet the nail file with water before using it. It’ll function so much better and file down the nails much more quickly.
Maybe we have the whole baby shower routine wrong. Maybe instead of playing funny games we should surround them with helpful insights. What do you think?
What would make your essential list for infant/newborn care? Do you have any cool tricks to share?