It was strange to travel back to the newborn stage when I visited my sister and her 8-week old baby for the first time last weekend.
I could cluck on an on about the complete gorgeousness and super-intelligence of my niece – understandable really considering her gene pool – but then I have been fortunate to be blessed with a wonderful tribe of nephews and nieces.
Many aspects of the newborn stage haven’t changed at all in that time.
Sleep is still a longed-for commodity and sleep deprivation is still a complete bitch – although my sister is coping with the lack of it far more gracefully than I ever did and was positively glowing, much to my sibling rivalrous disdain.
Babies skin still smells as mesmerising as that first drop of wine on a Friday night and their skin remains as soft as my muffin top after I’ve eaten all the pies.
It still takes far more time to actually GET OUT of the house than the actual time spent ‘outside’, even with four adults on hand to help.
And the amount of baby clobber you need to survive those outings is still overwhelming, even when you’re breastfeeding and don’t need the bottle paraphernalia. I’d forgotten about those days when your baby creates one of those explosive ‘five days worth of poo’ nappies in the middle of the shopping centre and you have to call on all five extra sets of clothes and a back room stock’s worth of baby wipes.
Then there are the fleeces for when it suddenly turns cold, the sun hat for when it’s hot, the dummies, the nappies, the socks and the sling. I could go on and on.
But it was the baby toys that entertained me the most, and I’m not talking about teddies and rattles. Sure, new mothers today have it hard in terms of trying to live up to the expectations of being perfect parents – (my sister told me about the shame of my niece being the only baby in Aldi nappies in her mothers group) – because there’s far more literature out there pointing the finger at what they’re doing wrong – but in terms of gadgets, life is a little easier.
Did you know that baby monitors now tell you what the room temperature is and if it’s too warm for your baby; and they’re wireless.
And disposable nappies have a special wee indicator down the front to tell mum when it’s wet. It’s not foolproof, as my sister reminded me, because who the fuck changes a nappy after one tiny droplet?
My test for a full nappy used to be if Kurt was too heavy to pick up.
Baby gyms have become all singing/all dancing full-time educators so school will soon be unnecessary. Gyms these days play music, flash lights, count and recount Shakespeare (probably), unlike the primitive ones my kids had where there were a few coloruful dangly shapes to bash at in anger at being abandoned on the floor.
Then there was my favourite – the BOOGER SUCKER! A wonderful invention for extracting whistling boogers out of the tiny newborn nose to give them (and mum) every opportunity to sleep.