I just had a very funny realization… I’ve been so wrapped up in being pregnant and in all of the ins and outs of pregnancy that I realized that I know very little (i.e. nothing?) about newborns and babies in general… I mean sure, I’ve played with babies, I’ve babysat for babies, I even worked at a day care for babies back when we lived in Baltimore but I don’t know anything about babies getting sick, techniques for getting babies onto a sleeping schedule, how much babies need to eat, when you start introducing baby food and then solid food, how to take care of first aid issues, when babies should reach certain milestones, etc. Babies are really a mystery to me!
I think that having a baby of our own is going to be a lot different than going to visit babies or playing with other peoples’ babies. When our baby starts crying in somebody else’s arms, they’re going to give the baby to me or to Ken to calm her down or feed her. Rather than being able to leave the house when it’s time for the baby to go to sleep (like I used to do when I babysat), we’ll be the ones coming home to put the baby to sleep.
I figure that a lot of it is stuff that Ken and I will learn together over the first few weeks and a lot is probably different with each baby. Our task in the first couple of months is to learn our baby… what soothes her, what makes her happy, what makes her giggle, what she doesn’t like, etc. and to establish some routines with her: a diaper changing routine, a feeding routine, a bed time routine, etc. All of the health and safety types of issues we can sort of deal with as they arise–we’ll have an idea of when she’s sick by looking at her symptoms and seeing how she’s acting, and luckily we have a lot of friends who are Pediatrics residents or Med/Peds residents and can come check on her to see if everything is okay. Plus, when we really need her to be seen, that’s what Pediatricians are for!