Baby’s first month
tips on surviving
Baby can’t learn, understand, convey subtleties, doesn’t have a sleep schedule, doesn’t know how to tell you nicely that something’s bothering her, doesn’t see very well and isn’t particularly amused by apps or anything you put in front of her to distract her.
Searching the blogs will result in a wide variety of things that may be wrong with your baby, for mine it was hungry, gassy, dirty, sleepy, or any combination thereof.
During the first month the only useful tip I found on the internet involved gripe water and swaddling. I found plenty of well-meaning rebloggers and neoretical scientists (that’s baby theory aka bullshit,) that offered a wide variety of why I was a shitty parent or why I potentially was but it came down to there’s just nothing you can do in the first month.
That’s the first month, the second is starts to get a bit better. Your best bet is to establish watches for who takes the baby and try to not tear each other apart while your infant screams her lungs out.
Also, don’t shake the baby. You may want to shake the baby, but don’t.
The only thing you can do is establish a debugging routine. For me that was diaper check/change, food, pacifier, repeat these a time or so, swaddle. I always saved swaddling for the last because I felt like it was abandoning the infant and straitjacketing them.
I was wrong. Watch your tired baby flail his or her arms and hit themselves over and over again. Babies aren’t particularly smart when it comes to not hitting themselves. I’m not really sure what the deal is with that but a baby burrito is better than a black and blue baby.
Identify the phases of your newborn. I’ve decided mine has three:
- Grub: needs food, angry that it’s not there, will do anything to get it
- Reactive: something is wrong, scream lungs out as though she’s dying. Doesn’t matter if it’s just a slightly wet diaper or feeling like she’s going to explode.
- Baby Actual: you get a couple of minutes of this a day. An interactive genuinely interested little human who’s interested in life, you, etc. When I say you get a couple of minutes, I’m not exaggerating. Baby actual disappears the instant Reactive or Grub is triggered or sleep hits her.
Newborns are not master manipulators. We’re designed to react to them, otherwise we’d be dead as a species. A baby has one way to signal to you, and unfortunately that’s that same for everything.
If a baby is supposed to eat three ounces of food and it’s finished the three ounces and is still hungry, make it another ounce. Do not read the internet for what a baby should eat. If baby eats too much or too fast she’ll throw up. Throwing up is a learning experience for all involved.
Remember after a baby has horked, it’s probably hungry again. Feed her more, but not as much as was thrown up. You’re in charge here, not some dumbasses on the internet who claim a baby can’t eat more than 1.7oz at a serving or it’ll explode and you’re a horrible parent.
Different diapers work differently on different kids. Don’t trust any reviews past belt stickiness and absorbency. Some babies chub legs fit perfect, some don’t. It’s how we are built.
Do not blindly trust most baby website reviews – especially for newborns. Most are real, but man, there’re some shills out there who get product and review favorably for compensation, and during the first month you’ll do stupid things to make the crying stop.
If you’re not aware how the web works, most product reviews link to the product with an affiliate code, it’s generally in the interest of the linker to get you to purchase a product they bothered to review so they get affiliate money.
Bigger blogs get sponsorships and free stuff. It’s a business. We’re currently at $9.98 in free swag at theITbaby.
Most of the products we link here we get that big 6% kickback, awww yeah. Waiting on my $3 check for the past two months 😉
You baby’s first month plan, it’s not going to work. Improvise, love each other, don’t hate, don’t react, establish baby waste containment protocols and parent sanity/nap times. You’ll be fine. It’ll take a couple of weeks of utter exhaustion and thinking thoughts that you really wish you hadn’t and barking at your mate, but you’ll get past the hard times soon enough.
What’s most important though is don’t read all the BS. Read some, really, do some research, but good lord most of the stuff is designed to make you react rather than act.