10. Listen to your parents
“You know,” said Arthur, “it’s at times like this, when I’m trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I’d listened to what my mother told me when I was young.”
“Why, what did she tell you?”
“I don’t know, I didn’t listen.”
Things change, every day new studies and new recommendations come out. That being said, your parents, or in-laws, have years of experience dealing with exactly what you’re going through.
They are an extremely useful source of information.
I dearly wish I had listened to my Mom when she told me about what I was like as a baby.
9. Nursing blankets and hand towels are essential
“A towel, [The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.”
This sounds silly but always carry your towel.
Babies will spit-up, puke, drool, snot, and all kinds of other things. Having something to wipe it off is extremely useful.
You can also use the nursing blanket as a fort, to swaddle, and many other things.
8. Everything takes longer with a baby
“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”
A forty five minute TV show can take an hour and a half to watch. Getting ready to leave is an exercise in planning and strategy that is far beyond what you expect.
Always give yourself a lot of extra time.
7. Babies have no survival instinct but they bounce
“There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”
The combination of no survival instinct, curiosity, and lack of motor control means children are always trying to fly. They wriggle a lot… A LOT!
Inevitably the baby will try and fly but still hit the ground. In those cases if you are worried, go to the hospital. However if you’re not too worried, watch for weirder behaviour and make sure their pupils are both the same size. If they cry, it’s a good thing. A lack of crying from a fall is not a good thing.
6. No matter how often you tell them something it will feel like they are ignoring you
“For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.”
Everyone will tell you that raising kids goes quickly and that you need to cherish it. They’re right, but as you’re experiencing it, it can seem tediously slow.
Certain activities seem impossibly slow. Teaching what the word No means, teaching survival, and teaching them to sleep are all activities can that take FOREVER.
5. That shell shocked parental look
“He was staring at the instruments with the air of one who is trying to convert Fahrenheit to Centigrade in his head while his house is burning down.”
Babies are weird weird creatures. They will do the strangest things and every parent will recognize the look of bafflement and confusion that comes with parenting.
My daughter will always try and hide behind someone and eventually pull their hair.
4. No one knows what they’re doing
“This must be Thursday,” said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer. “I never could get the hang of Thursdays.”
As mentioned, children are weird, they have no survival instinct, and they spew multiple different bodily fluids.
Even with help and lots of information, raising children is as baffling as it is entertaining. Don’t worry though, no one really knows what they’re doing.
3. The moment you learn the rules, they’ll change
“There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”
You’ve found out how to get your child to stop biting the furniture. Congratulations! Get ready, for everything will change. It will.
Babies are growing and developing so fast that by the time that your ancient brain has caught up, the baby has already moved on.
2. Do your thing
“I’d far rather be happy than right any day.”
Spend ten minutes searching online or asking strangers about anything to do with babies and you’ll realize that there’s opposing opinions on absolutely everything.
Not only are there lots of opinions, but people will angrily defend their position and judge you.
Do what you think is best and what your child’s doctor recommends. Otherwise, you will spend all your time and energy panicking.
Once you accept that whatever you do is wrong, you’ll be much happier.
1. It’ll be okay. I promise!
“Mostly Harmless” / “Don’t Panic”
There are two things that you should always remember about parenting:
First, babies are not being mean on purpose. They have no idea what they are doing. Be patient, it’s your job to teach them.
Finally, try not to panic. Parenting is stressful, hard, wonderful, and highly entertaining, but try not to burn yourself out with worry.
Goodbye and thanks for all the fish (or comments),