The baby chronicles #5: Things I wish I knew about having a newborn baby before I had a newborn baby

Weeks old: 5
I like: Bathing with daddy, boobs, licking the strap in my pushchair (??)
Mummy is learning: To bring me downstairs for a change of scenery when I am screaming in the middle of the night

Little O is now 5 weeks old and I feel like I sort of have a vague idea of how to look after him… for now. It is definitely very true though that there is absolutely nothing that can prepare you for what being responsible for a tiny human being is like. There are some things though that I think it would have been helpful to know before he was born and I wanted to share them with you in case you’re thinking of spawning a small person or you already have one and want to reminisce/commiserate or if you just want a good laugh.

Cluster feeding: I read up a lot about breastfeeding and attended classes and got the distinct impression that newborn babies feed every two or three hours for up to an hour and then go to sleep or just kind of chillax. My plan was to use those gaps to like shower and eat. Ha! What actually happens is that newborn babies cluster feed, which sometimes means they just feed consistently for four hours (or forever)… during which time you will be trapped under the baby. And even if they do go to sleep when they’re full up they quite potentially won’t continue sleeping when you put them down. So unless you have a very good helper you might struggle to get anything done. Fortunately Mr O is around and brings me tea and snacks and can cuddle him just long enough for me do eat or wash before he realises there are no boobs present. All I can say is yay for Netflix.

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Eye gouging: Newborn babies don’t have an enormous amounts of coordination, which means you might end up spending quite a lot of time stopping your baby from gouging out his or her own eyes. The same lack of coordination means they often shove their hand into their mouth just as you’re trying to put a nipple into it and then get very annoyed by the fact that the milk is not arriving fast enough.

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Poop volume:  A baby’s farts and poops are just as loud as a full grown adult’s. You will not believe the sounds that come out of such a tiny creature. I can say it was a welcome surprise that Little O’s poops actually don’t smell all that bad. What was a less welcome surprise is that he tends to hold them back until 5 minutes after I have just changed his nappy.

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Mixed feelings: Often when Little O is cluster feeding or fussing all I want is for him to go to sleep so that I can do a few things. Even if those things are just responding to text messages. Of course after he’s been asleep for about 5 minutes I miss him and then I wish he would wake up so I could play with him. I also start to worry if it’s been too long since he ate or pooped and I have to keep checking that he’s breathing.

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Timing fails:  Trying to get the timing of things right is extremely challenging considering the unpredictability of small humans. Imagine the scenario when you want to take the baby out… this means you ideally want him fed, freshly changed and sleepy so he’ll sweetly doze through your outing. However you don’t want him to have just fed this second or he’ll only vom in the pushchair when you lay him down and if you change his nappy he’ll wake right up and probably need to be fed to sleep again. Everything is a lottery. You win some you lose some. Howling baby in pushchair definitely draws attention though. Not all of it welcome.

I am sure this list will get longer as he gets bigger.

It wouldn’t do to give no update on Little O’s 5 week progress so here are two exciting things:

He now smiles occasionally. It’s quite interesting what makes him happy though but it seems just having pooped and bathing are high on the list. We are yet to catch it on camera though.

The health visitor came around to see me earlier in the week and weighed him. He now weighs 4.7kg (10lbs 5oz), which is 1.5kg (3lbs 4oz) more than he weighed at birth. All I can say is hooray for boobies and I hope this growth spurt explains the fact that he spent all of Monday howling.

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28 Comments

  1. My grandson is 18 months old now, and the smell from his poo can stop a clock.
    So make the most of the ‘smell-free’ period, Abbi.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I’m expecting solids to be a whoooole new ball game.

      1. When they fall over with a full nappy, the result is like a burger pattie! x

        1. Now that is a mental picture!

  2. With a baby that little there is a reflex that will make them go to sleep if they hear a noise like a vacuum cleaner or some other white noise. Just a good thing to know if there is something you REALLY need to attend to and he won’t stop fussing.

    1. Thank you for this. We tried some white noise off YouTube based on your recommendation and it really helps to settle him when he’s kicking off and doesn’t want to sleep!

  3. You’ll panic when he’s finally on a schedule and then he oversleeps.

    1. Yup… I’m sure I will! I already panic if he has a long nap!

  4. jmount43

    Hey Abbi me and Little O have something in common; I like boobs, too! πŸ˜€
    Seriously though you and hubby look maniacally happy with Little O.

    1. Hahahahaha! Sometimes he headbutts my bra when he’s really hungry and I’m not getting them out fast enough.

      1. jmount43

        Really? Damn. I need to try that with my wife.

  5. You’ve nailed motherhood. My first didn’t cluster feed but our second did and it took me far too long to figure it out. I also remember feeding the girls and having them fall asleep then have an itch somewhere That I couldn’t scratch, painful!

    1. Or having a cup of tea/glass of water/snack just out of reach. I’ve never wished for longer arms till now.

  6. lovely little fella! you are doing such a great job 😊

  7. MIB

    I have to say that first pic (with the 5 week caption) is magical – open to numerous interpretations as to what Baby O is thinking or looking at, yet the simple effect of the natural light one him gives it a warm and whimsical feel.

    Kudos to the photographer – and the model too! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much. It’s one of my favourites so far 😊

  8. These posts are really awesome and so informative. I have learned so much! You guys look fantastic!

    1. They say everyone has a starter baby … that friend who has the baby and then teaches someone else all the stuff. I had one so I’m paying it forward 😊

  9. Yay for boobs! Haha, this is great, I had a few chuckles. He is so beautiful πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you! He is 100% boob powered.

  10. Love the feet pic! Wish I’d taken more pics of the kid’s feet. I love baby feet! They’re so small & so damn adorable. : )

    1. I love the little feet. I kiss his all the time even if he doesn’t like it.

  11. I have a 2 week old and love your post!

  12. I am getting all of this as we speak. I am a stay at home dad to a 12 week old baby boy. this is too much fun

    1. Aww how lovely! Little O is now 12 weeks old too.

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