Ooh, Baby, Baby


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My cousin had her first child a few weeks ago, and although mine are grown and nearly grown, the news of her baby brought a flood of memories rushing back.

Babies are amazing little packages of immeasurable potential.  From the moment they draw their first breath, they begin their quest to find and fulfill their own individual destiny.

Sounds beautiful doesn’t it? Since the dawn of time there have been millions of words written and spoken to honor the event of a baby’s arrival. Too bad the baby didn’t get the memo.

As beautiful as they are, babies care primarily about four things:

Feeding, Holding, Changing, or Rocking to sleep.

Not as inspirational as you’d think.

For the first few months, those four things become the personal mantra for the new, or the re-newed parent. It is one of the briefest stages in a child’s 18 years.

But at 2:00 in the morning it feels like an eternal fate:

Feeding, Holding, Changing, and Rocking.

I have to take a moment here to offer a little sound advice. ANYTIME anyone offers to come over to help out, TAKE IT. Even for the nursing mom, 3 out of 4 ain’t bad.

Feeding, Holding, Changing, Rocking.

Whether the help is with the laundry, dishes, dusting, or whatever… nothing is too small. Even if someone wants to hold baby so you can putter a little, (or better yet, get a power nap) no matter what the offer of help, take it when you can. I doubt many will be willing to pop in at 2 a.m., so be prepared to handle the third shift mostly on your own.

Feeding, Holding, Changing, Rocking

About 97% of women friends who come to help are readily able to assist with either the house, or the baby. The other 3% either don’t know how, but they get major points for showing up to try.

Feeding, Holding, Changing, Rocking.

For generations numerous ‘experts’ have written countless books on the subject, with as many methods to handle each situation as there are books to be published. No matter who they are or what they recommend, they can’t get around the four seasons of baby.

Feeding, Holding, Changing, Rocking.

Yet, ultimately you are going to be the only and true authority of your baby, and his or her needs. Many well wishers will tell you everything that your baby should or shouldn’t do, but unless they want to move in and handle all the 2 a.m. stuff, take their remarks with a grain of salt. You’ll be the one who learns the different pitches and tones of crying that indicate which of the four necessities need to be serviced.

Feeding, Holding, Changing, Rocking.

Some of the best times are to be had in those peaceful moments when they are fed, held, changed, and rocked to sleep. The bliss you feel when you know you have met their needs, and for the time being, you’re at one with their universe.

So use the books only when necessary, (as doorstops, or table props), take advice sparingly from outsiders, and most importantly, know that you and baby are going to be fine once you develop your own working rhythm together.

Feeding, Holding, Changing, Rocking.

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