As strong believers in the “Back to Sleep” movement, The Mommy and I always put LTD on his back when he goes in the crib to sleep. The current research endorses this position to avoid SIDS. However, when babies spend all their sleep time on their back an unexpected side effect occurs, their heads get lopsided. So of course the experts have an answer to that problem as well, it goes by many names but the most popular is Tummy Time.
We have been told to do Tummy Time for at least five minutes a day. You basically pull a reverse turtle and plop the kid down on his chest and watch him squirm. The goal is to strengthen his neck, chest and arm muscles. They make special Tummy Time mats (can you believe they make stuff for parents to buy for their babies?), but you can use the floor or any surface as long as baby is supervised.
The Mommy and I have discovered only one small problem with Tummy Time. LTD hates it. He really hates it. He really, really hates it. When you research what to do when your baby hates Tummy Time, the experts agree that over time he’ll get over it. You can try to make it fun by playing with toys in front of him or making faces, but at the end of the day if he cries through the whole thing there isn’t much you can do about it. Tummy Time is important, so like so many other things in life you just have to get through it alive.
I’m downstairs trying to catch up on some recorded shows when I get the call. I am needed upstairs in the baby’s room immediately. As I arrive on the scene, The Mommy is holding both of LTD’s legs in the air keeping his back off the changing table. We have just experienced a massive blow out with poo going up the back and down the baby’s legs. One of the main problems with the blow out is that once the poo has past the diaper layer and entered the forbidden zone of the onesie, it is virtually impossible to remove the garment without creating a poo-baby.
The Mommy and I worked like an Indianapolis 500 pit crew. We were fast but messy. The only strategy was to push through and limit the amount of time the poo spent on the baby. In the end, we had a containment breach on the diaper, the onesie and the sleep sack. Afterwards, The Mommy and I reached the same conclusion, no more beer and nachos for LTD before bedtime.
Here’s something fun, a summer cold. Last week, I had to go to the pediatrician’s office twice. Once for LTD’s two month check up and once for the Daddy/Baby part of The Mommy’s new mommy class. What does two visits to the pediatrician’s office do to the human body? Easy, it makes it sick. There is no greater incubator of germs than the baby doctor’s office. I went in healthy and came out feeling like bomb went off in my head. If you have ever wondered if it is fun to change a diaper at 4am when sick, I have the answer. It is not fun.
The only good news is that so far The Mommy and LTD haven’t contracted my plague-like illness. The baby book claims that babies really don’t get sick all that much from my sneezing and coughing, they get sick from the germs on my hands. So armed with that information my digits are constantly coated with Purell. If LTD does get my cold, a doctor told me that the more they get sick when they are young the better their immune systems will be later, so we got that going for us, which is nice.
One of the nice things about having a baby is the nice way your friends and family support you. You will get onesies and bibs. You will get stuffed animals and diapers. You will get advice. A lot of advice. You will get books. A lot of books. Everyone has their version of a must have baby classic and it turns out when it comes to those classics many people have the same book in mind.
The Mommy turned me on to Library Thing, a new web site that catalogs all the books in your baby’s library. When you share your catalog with friends and family they can easily see the books your baby has already. Library Thing eliminates the awkward pause when you unwrap your fifth copy of The Cat in the Hat, your fourth copy of The Giving Tree or your 17th copy of How to Pay for College in the Year 2027. You can add Library Thing to your baby blog or email the link out. Now stop surfing the Net and read the kid a book.
My friend Erica had a baby boy last week and as I extend my congratulations to her I will also share with her a piece of advice. Take those pictures now. Something happens to newborns around three weeks of age that no one talks about all that much. The condition is one that new parents don’t think they will have to deal with until the teenage years alas, I give you the scourge that is infant acne.
At birth, LTD never really looked like a newborn, he didn’t have that red smushed look. On day one he basically looked like he looks now. The Mommy and I were very happy to have avoided that awkward period in which the newborn looks like an escapee from the island of the mole people. However, our good fortune in the looks department didn’t last. Around week three LTD didn’t just get a little baby acne, he got a lot. The red pimples were mostly on his chest and face with a few scattered elsewhere. Combine the pooping and peeing on himself with the acne and it is no wonder he can’t get a date. The good news is that after a few weeks the acne went away as quickly as it came. The doctor informed us not to panic, as the red stuff was indeed acne and not a rash, hives or signs of alien hybrid activity. The pimples never got scaly and never bled, which was another indication they were the result of acne. Sadly, it was all perfectly normal.
New Dad Suggestion (NDS): Baby acne is not caused by dirt or grease it is caused by hormones and there is nothing you can do about it. If you want to feel like you are useful you can use a warm washcloth with water, but don’t bother with the Clearasil, nature is in charge.
It seems that justice can indeed be swift when the issue is truly important. The Mommy and I took LTD to the doctor’s office today for his two-month check up. As I pulled in to my usual space I notice that someone has heeded my call to balance the scales. Now, I know what you’re thinking, it was I who donned the mantle of the Masked Avenger and took pen to sign, but alas I can only serve as an innocent and proud bystander. While I do not condone the defacement of private property I still cheer inside with the knowledge that I am not alone. On a separate note, LTD got shots in both legs (sorry Jenny McCarthy, we believe in science) and took them like a champ. He is doing really well and doesn’t seem to have a fever, nor is he sleeping more than usual.
It didn’t take me long to write, vote and pass a new household law: no baby clothes without snap fasteners allowed. Of course, like most laws of this nature it is difficult to enforce. My first choice would be that all baby garments would have zippers, but most of them don’t. I guess they are afraid that people would pinch the baby, which basically makes sense, so I will let it slide.
The Mommy and I have slightly different views on clothes for LTD. Her primary focus is on obtaining the highest cute factor possible, while my focus is on having him wear whatever allows me to change his diaper the fastest. The good news here is that most of his clothes have snaps. However, as he grows he is starting to wear outfits and pants. We are talking about full-blown ensembles with little t-shirts and pants wrapped up with overalls and matching socks. This all adds up to a diaper changing experience that not only lasts longer but increases the risk exponentially that poop will find its way on to the clothes.
New Dad Suggestion (NDS): When using snaps, start at the bottom or foot area and work your way up. This technique prevents the missed button phenomenon that is so common when getting shirts back from the dry cleaner.
So it turns out that LTD’s nose is stuffed up every morning. Of course, in the beginning we freaked out and thought he was sick, but cooler heads prevailed and our doctor talked us down from the ledge. She told us to pick up some Little Noses Saline Spray. It is simple to use and works very quickly. The Mommy favors using it with gravity in drop mode but at 4am I choose to use the pray and spray method. You can find it at most chain pharmacies and the better supermarkets. The spray has an added benefit, which is that it makes LTD sneeze and that is always a funny thing to see.
Before LTD arrived our family dog was not only our best friend but our first real baby. We spent money on toys, food, and if you have ever been to a vet then you know how much money we spent. We arranged our schedule around the dog and even had to get a sitter if we were going to be gone for a long stretch. So what do you do with the dog when the baby comes home?
Try to avoid this scenario: You come home with the now two-day-old infant and the dog goes straight for him. The dog jumps on him and licks his face. What do you do? You freak out, yell at the dog and then lock him in the room upstairs. The lesson that the dog takes away from this experience is that he used to be number one in the house and loved, but now the baby has taken his place. In other words, the dog will blame the baby for his new lot in life and they both will have gotten off on the wrong foot or paw. It can get even worse if while you were at the hospital, the dog was at the kennel.
The best thing to do is come home, let the dog lick the baby (just for a second), and let him get it out of his system. Reward the dog for being gentle and then repeat this reward as often as needed. Now is the time to begin making deposits in the your dog’s trust bank. Every time the dog is around the baby and acting mellow, reward him. This new pattern of behavior and reward will build up good will in your dog and allow him to see that the baby is not a threat.
The baby is a threat. You will tell yourself that nothing will change and you will still love and treat your dog the same, but at the end of the day, you will simply be too tired to hang out with the dog like before. If your dog is anything like mine, this may lead to the so-called “canine cry for help”. During the first week with LTD, our dog tried to kill herself by eating a bar of soap. She wanted attention and she got it. And yes, bubbles did come out of her mouth and butt. When the baby is a little older and you start taking her outside just bring the dog with you to the park and hopefully things will return to normal, or at least what is now the new normal.
New Dad Suggestion (NDS): Never leave a dog and baby alone in the same room because as The Mommy says, neither the dog nor the baby will come up with a good idea between the two of them.