katieupsidedown: (Default)
[personal profile] katieupsidedown
I feel like there should be a full disclosure clause on all things you get asked about as a kid. Like, you say you want to be a teacher when you grow up, Timmy? Let me tell you about teacher's unions and what the salaries are like compared to most jobs. Dora says she wants to get married? Well, Dora, I'd like to talk to you about alternative lifestyles for a minute...

So I've been thinking about how I spend fucking 45 hours a week with babies and how this is sort of ridiculous because I'm never going to have kids and I'm never going to work with kids again probably, so I'm going to know all this stuff about how to look after babies and never use it again.

And I was thinking about how if you're born physically female your parents give you baby dolls and they want you to to "mother" the dolls and it's supposed to prepare you to nurture others the rest of your life but, actually, what they tell you about babies does not at all scratch the surface of the things babies ACTUALLY do.

The following are some baby myths I learned as a kid, and the actuality of them.

1. Newborns will wake you up a lot at night, but they grow out of it.

What they don't tell you: Babies have to be trained to sleep. They don't do it naturally. This always mystifies me from an evolutionary standpoint. Other infant mammals get tired? They fall asleep. Babies get tired? If you're lucky you have one that falls asleep. If you aren't, then the baby gets overtired and it cries MORE and sleeps LESS and is harder to get to fall asleep. Sleep seems like something you would do like breathing, right? Not true at all. And even after months of sleep training, babies will STILL wake you up crying 1-3 times per night.

2. Babies smell wonderful.

What they don't tell you: Babies are not made of flowers and baked goods. They are still people, and they smell like people. If you bathe the baby, it will smell like baby soap, which does smell quite good. If you don't bathe the baby for a few days, it will begin to smell of wet dog and sour milk. It will also get weird crust and lint in its various rolls of skin, especially the ones on its neck because that's where milk dribbles. Oh, and breast milk? ALWAYS smells sour, even if it's fresh.

3. Baby poop is a weird color, but doesn't smell bad because the baby doesn't eat real food yet.

What they don't tell you: You know what else babies don't eat? Solids. You know what baby poop isn't? Solid. You know what happens 1-2 times (or more!) per week when a baby poops? The poop does not stay in the diaper. It goes up the baby's back, all over the baby's clothes (and you!) or out through one of the leg holes, all over the floor (and you!).

Also, once a baby is four months old and can roll over, say goodbye to easily changing that diaper and hello to changing the diaper with your right hand only while you pin the squirming, screaming baby to the table with your left arm. Somehow, the baby will still stick its foot directly into the dirty diaper. You won't notice until after you picked the baby up of course.

4. Babies put everything in their mouths.

What they don't tell you: No, really. EVERYTHING. They tell you this, but you don't truly understand it until you deal with it. From about three months, when babies start to grab things, up to a year or so, you are constantly on suicide watch. You think your floor is clean? You are wrong wrong wrong. There are dirt particles on your floor you can't see, but suddenly you WILL see them because the baby will find them and put them straight in its mouth.

Things babies find tasty: grass, dirt, dead bugs, rocks, leaves, sticks, paint chips, dust bunnies, paper, cardboard, electrical cords. No matter how well you think you've prevented it, the baby will find it. The baby will eat it. The baby will make you miserable for days waking you up twice as much as usual because its stomach hurts because it fucking ate paint. This seems like Darwinism to me. You tiny idiot! You ate paint! Why the fuck would you do that?! But as a caretaker it is your job to prevent this and it is amazing that any of us survive to adulthood because once upon a time we were all babies who ate paint.

5. If a baby cries, it needs one of the following things: food, sleep, or a diaper change.

What they don't tell you: I have already mentioned that getting a baby to sleep is a fucking pain in the ass, but let me reiterate this: it's a pain in the ass! it seems so simple: "Oh, process of elimination! The baby ate and is clean, it must be sleepy!" Yeah, good luck with that.

If you go with cry-it-out training, you have to listen to the baby scream for 5-15 minutes in its crib before it falls asleep every day for months. This is incredibly painful, because people are hardwired to find infant cries extremely fucking annoying so that we want to make them stop and therefore take care of the baby.

If you go with rocking the baby to sleep for every nap, you now have to find a way to set the baby down without waking it up. You can spend 20 minutes rocking an overtired infant while pacing the room only to set the sleeping baby down... and have it startle awake, screaming, forcing you to start over again. And the more tired the baby gets, the crankier it gets, and the harder it is to get it to sleep. Doesn't that seem counter-intuitive?

Oh, and I've never met a baby that actually cried when it needed a diaper change. Maybe if the baby has been in a wet diaper for a damn long time or has diaper rash, then it would probably cry, but babies are not aware of their bodily functions. The baby's brain is not going, "I say, I seem to have pissed myself. That is rather uncomfortable. Maybe I'd best scream till someone fixes it." If the baby is fed, and the baby is rested, and the baby is screaming, you are more likely to have a) a medical issue, b) teething, c) a bored baby who wants to be moved where it can see some new scenery, or d) a baby who cries for no good fucking reason, than you are to have a baby who cries because its diaper is wet.


In conclusion: babies make no sense. It is amazing the human race has lasted this long, seriously, because babies are bad at everything.
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Date: 2011-03-03 06:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mel06.livejournal.com
Babies are amazing little creatures. My niece actually cries when she is wet, though, which is fantastic. Or, now that she's older, I guess it's more like she whines and scoots around (great), but still. She let's us know. Also, she TOTALLY had to be taught to sleep, and my sister was a total puss about it. She was all "Ohh I put her down and she just cries!" and I was all "Yeah, and... then you turn the baby monitor down until it stops, right?" First night she stayed with me she slept all 6 hours that I did.

Date: 2011-03-03 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
I swear people who use baby monitors have way more trouble with this than others. I've always just been a fan of not using the baby monitor and putting in my earbuds when I put the baby down. 15 minutes later, I take them out, and the baby is done.

I did an overnight with Mary a few weeks ago and although we've been doing cry-it-out with her since she was 4 months old (she's 8 months now) she still woke up crying 4 times in the night. Mostly she put herself back to sleep, which is great, but she still woke me up.

Date: 2011-03-03 07:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erato.livejournal.com
The baby's brain is not going, "I say, I seem to have pissed myself. That is rather uncomfortable. Maybe I'd best scream till someone fixes it."

I definitely read that in my head in a Stewie voice.

Date: 2011-03-03 07:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] butterbuns.livejournal.com
I am so glad I'm not the only one who did.

Date: 2011-03-03 07:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] seraphtrevs.livejournal.com
THESE ARE ALL TRUE.

Something else that seems to be glossed over: spit-up. I mean, I knew that babies spit up, but I had no idea what a continuous volcano of barf babies are in the first few months.

(And yeah, my baby never cries when he has a dirty diaper. In fact, when he's finished pooping and he sees that I know he's pooped, he runs in the opposite direction, because he hates having his diaper changed so much.)

(Also, I wish I'd known that at least 25% of all my post-baby conversations would revolve around bodily secretions.)

Date: 2011-03-03 02:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
The spit-up thing definitely depends on the baby. I mean, Max spit up once or twice a day, but even as a newborn Mary only did it a few times a month. I actually feel like the media makes a bigger deal out of spit-up than necessary. You always see people in sitcoms holding babies and then getting barfed on and freaking out as a gag, but it's not really that bad or that much. I mean, it's not like there are chunks of food in that shit.

I thought about including the you-will-suddenly-find-poop-fascinating part in the post but I felt like including that might be a sure sign to my friends that I'd gone a bit wrong in the head. That's one that I find most people just cannot be told. It seems so stupid and gross... and then it happens to you. Hell, my boss texts me on the weekends to let me know if one of the kids has pooped an unusual amount of times that day, even though I am not at work.

Date: 2011-03-03 07:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shibaiko.livejournal.com
"In conclusion: babies make no sense. It is amazing the human race has lasted this long, seriously, because babies are bad at everything."

THAT MADE ME LAUGH SO HARD, I can't even tell you. STUPID BABIES DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO ANYTHING, GOD.

Date: 2011-03-03 02:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
Seriously, get it together babies. >:( God, you will never go to college if you keep chewing on electrical cords.

I bet people would have higher average IQs if we were all kept in bubbles for the first year of our lives, so we couldn't continuously ingest chemicals and bang our heads into the corners of furniture.

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Date: 2011-03-03 08:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] honeybearbee.livejournal.com
I was having a meh day.

Then I read this.

I LITERALLY LOL'd out loud.

You have made my day. ♥

Date: 2011-03-03 02:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
Glad I could help :D

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Date: 2011-03-03 10:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tjs-whatnot.livejournal.com
So true...god, ALL OF IT!

I've worked with toddlers, school age and even teenagers, but these are my first babies and it is TERRIFYING the things I thought I understood.

This seems like Darwinism to me. You tiny idiot! You ate paint! Why the fuck would you do that?! aklfjaslkfa AWESOME! Well said!

Date: 2011-03-03 02:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
Seriously, sometimes I want to just throw my hands in the air and be like, "Fuck it, this is natural selection at work. Eat all the dirt you want."

How you seen the documentary Babies? It's on Netflix Instant (along with a few other good films about the birth industry and child-rearing in the US) and it follows 4 babies for the first year of life: one in the US, one in urban Japan, one in... Cambodia I think? and one in Africa. It's interesting as a caregiver because you see these infants in other countries who are sitting in the dirt, playing with rocks and crawling between goats' legs and you suddenly realize that plenty of other people raise babies without flipping the fuck out over every tiny potential risk.

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Date: 2011-03-03 02:10 pm (UTC)
ext_29272: (Default)
From: [identity profile] sunnyrea.livejournal.com
All amazing reasons to NOT have children ever

Date: 2011-03-03 08:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
I find a lot of first-time moms have no idea about most of this stuff until they actually get pregnant. Even if they were trying, most don't start reading the books about pregnancy and babies until they're already pregnant. If they don't have any experience looking after kids prior to that, all they know is the myths.

I think a lot more people would put more thought into whether to have kids or not if they realized all this stuff in advance of actually getting knocked up.

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Date: 2011-03-03 02:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emmagrant01.livejournal.com
Sorry, but I totally disagree on number 1. Babies don't have to be trained to sleep. We never did it, and neither have lots of other folks I know. Babies aren't supposed to sleep for more than a few hours at a time, actually, and there's evidence that trying to make them do do contributes to SIDS. When they're physiologically ready to sleep through the night, they will.

Of course, this is an inconvenience for people who want to fit a baby into their schedule (often for very good reasons, like that they have to work and need sleep themselves), but there is no biological reason to sleep-train a baby. That's a huge parenting myth and one of my big pet peeved...

Date: 2011-03-03 04:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
I would generally agree with you about sleeping through the night: it's more of a convenience thing for working parents than it is something babies need to do, but like most things I think the necessity of sleep training depends on the baby. I've met babies, like Mary, who get plenty of sleep if left to their own devices. Even without sleep training, Mary would fall asleep easily at nap times and at night and would get 14-15 hours of sleep a day. Even when she was still waking to eat at night, she would go right back to sleep.

But I've also worked with babies like Max. Max's parents kept odd schedules and didn't mind if he woke up and stayed up several times a night, but not only did he do that, he didn't nap either. Many days he would not nap at all. I would rock him for thirty minutes or more and he would sleep for 15 minutes. Where you generally expect a baby under 6 months to need at least 12 hours of sleep a day, Max got 9 hours total if we were lucky... usually closer to 6. When he did nap, it was like caring for a totally different baby: happy and interactive for a few hours. The rest of the time, he was in a terrible mood and overtired and he just would. not. sleep. His family wanted to work with his natural schedule, but he didn't have one. At 6 months he was sleeping from 6-9 PM, from 12-3 AM, and nothing else unless it was a damn lucky day.

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Date: 2011-03-03 03:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rainy-day.livejournal.com
I laughed out loud, not gonna lie. :D

Date: 2011-03-03 05:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] draconic-rogue.livejournal.com
In conclusion: babies make no sense. It is amazing the human race has lasted this long, seriously, because babies are bad at everything.

My thoughts exactly.

Date: 2011-03-03 06:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lintwhite.livejournal.com
Part of reading this intimidates me and the other half of me is thinking, "BRING IT ON, FUTURE!BABY!" Maybe in ten years when I'm actually ready to have little monsters the intimidation part will have gone away. Not likely, though. I don't think it ever does.

Date: 2011-03-03 07:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
I could make a whole other list of things about babies that you get scared about, and the idea that it might poop, pee, or puke on you would not even make the list. It would all be things like...

- How many brain cells does she lose every time she hits her head? Oh god, should I be trying harder to prevent her from falling?

- Am I holding her too tightly?

- What if I drop her?

- I am clumsy, what if I'm carrying the baby and I trip and I FALL ON THE BABY? - I have seriously mentally prepped myself to try to roll so that I never fall on a baby.

- I am clumsy and my arms and legs often have bruises where when I walk through doorways I don't judge it quite right and I hit myself against the doorway. With small babies that I still have to cradle, I always worry that I will walk through a doorway and do that, but the baby's head will be on my arm so I will smack the baby's head into the door jamb.

- For the first 4 months of the baby's life, you WILL check on the baby to see if it's breathing any time it sleeps more than an hour. I guarantee it. People flail about SIDS so much these days that any moment of peace that lasts longer than average results in a gnawing worry that eventually manifests itself in "Well, maybe I'll just go in and take a peek. In case." In more extreme cases you may also touch or jostle the baby on purpose so that it moves because you can't quite tell it isn't dead.

Seriously.

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Date: 2011-03-03 07:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eckerlilas.livejournal.com
I have to say, I have learned so much about babies is nothing like what we learn about them prior to, you know, actually caring for a baby.

My kids actually have been quite easy, in comparison. My kids like to sleep, and actually GO TO SLEEP when they are tired, especially Spencer....and he always has. But he is the exception, not the rule. And the crying when their diapers are wet/dirty definitely isn't the norm, and I don't know who decided that it was.

Logan sleeps through the night now, but until he was almost a year old he woke up 1-3 times every night. He wasn't hungry or wet, he just wanted comfort. That is something they rarely tell you, too. Sometimes they just want to be comforted....which makes complete sense. They are tiny people, after all, and they are pretty damned new to this whole crazy world. I'd want comfort too.

Date: 2011-03-03 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
Yeah, you definitely got lucky with pretty easy kiddos. George hated napping so much he'd scream for 5-15 minutes at the beginning of every single nap from the time he was 9 months until he was about 20 months. Now, finally he likes taking his nap and will ask for it instead of screaming and protesting, but it's taken so fucking long.

I think they should make it mandatory that if you want to have babies you should spend at least a week as the primary caretaker for one first. Most of the first-time moms I meet have never taken care of a baby. Usually the most childcare experience they have is babysitting for a toddler on occasion when they were younger, never looking after an infant.

Then when these women get pregnant they read all the baby and pregnancy books... but really they should be reading them BEFORE they get pregnant so they know what to expect.

I also think every book that sells a "method" of any kind should be prefaced with the words Every baby is different. The methods in this book may work for some families and/or babies, but will not be ideal for everyone. You see so many parents going, "Oh, but he HAS to be doing this because Doctor Babychew said so!" Sorry guys, but if anyone ever finds a schedule or feeding method or sleep training method that works for every single baby without exception, they will be a billionaire. But they never will.

Date: 2011-03-04 02:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shutyourface.livejournal.com
Hi. This post is golden. I love you. See you in a few weeks. Bye.

Date: 2011-03-04 05:41 am (UTC)
ext_72950: chin (Default)
From: [identity profile] chinchiller.livejournal.com
You mentioned babies putting dead bugs into their mouths.

Wait until they put bugs in their mouths that are still alive and moving.

I will never, ever, EVER forget the face of the little boy I was taking care of who put a live beetle in his mouth.

Date: 2011-03-04 06:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladymirth.livejournal.com
Psh. As a baby, one of my friends ate a gecko. Alive.

Their skin is notorious for being poisonous in most cases so I have no idea how she's still alive.

And now I have grossed myself out. Damn I wish I could forget she told me that. I hate geckos even more than rats and cockroaches.

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From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com - Date: 2011-03-04 06:30 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2011-03-04 06:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladymirth.livejournal.com
Golden post is golden. I wish to metaquote. Would you mind unlocking this post so I can direct other people to the LOLs?

Date: 2011-03-04 06:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
Ugh, what is metaquotes' policy if I decide I want to lock it again after a bit? The above sleep-training related comments coming from my flist alone make me a bit nervous about opening it up to a thrillion people to see. Am I likely to get tarred and feathered if shit gets wanky and I decide to flock again?

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Date: 2011-03-05 04:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dream-in-flame.livejournal.com
Also, god help you if one of the babies is going through separation anxiety. @_@ One of ours is doing this now (or else he's just teething THAT BADLY, I can't tell which) Sometimes he'll be able to occupy himself, but if not he's either "humming" constantly which is pretty annoying, or screaming nonstop if he gets put down.

The other day he was freaking out in his crib and when I got him out to rock with him, he started getting mad so I MADE him sit there and snuggle with me until he got over it XD But apparently he does the same thing at home according to his mom, so I'm glad it's not just us.

Date: 2011-03-05 03:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] entropymagnet.livejournal.com
Hey, [livejournal.com profile] katieupsidedown! This would have been helpful information ten months ago, before I got knocked up and pushed out this pooping and crying machine! :P

Date: 2011-03-05 05:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
Sorry, ten months ago the baby I work with currently who inspired all this was not born yet. I kind of knew how babies worked, but not nearly so well as this.

But now you can warn others! It's like you fell on the landmine to save your friends!

Date: 2011-03-05 03:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xvmorganalefayv.livejournal.com
I like you.

I can't decide if it's because this post is AMAZING AND HILARIOUS, because you DON'T WANT CHILDREN, because you know that THE PHRASE "DOOR JAMB" has A FUCKING "B" IN IT, or because you referenced Dr. Babychew.

I shall choose "all of the above" and ask you to marry me. :3

Date: 2011-03-05 05:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
Thank you! Unfortunately at twenty-four and a half I believe I am still too young for marriage, but I am certain that one day when I begin to consider it I will remember this comment. I will call my fiance in the middle of the night and when he/she slurs, "Hello?" into the mouthpiece I will ask the pinnacle question.

"Darling," I will say sweetly. "Spell 'door jamb'."

Failure will result in execution.

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From: [identity profile] xvmorganalefayv.livejournal.com - Date: 2011-03-05 05:55 pm (UTC) - Expand

Here from metaquotes...

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Re: Here from metaquotes...

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Date: 2011-03-05 03:58 pm (UTC)
shinyhappygoth: photo of me reading Understanding Comics on Shakespeare's lap, http://www.flickr.com/photos/rabbitdance/3066976113/ (Default)
From: [personal profile] shinyhappygoth
Of course, the irony of it all is, human babies are so pathetically helpless because we are born ridiculously early and underdeveloped—look at all the animals that can walk as soon as they've recovered from the birthing process. And we are born so early because it is the latest that the baby's head can fit semi-safely out through the mother's pelvis, because our brains are so big. So there is a direct causal relationship between the helplessness and stupidity of babies and humanity's overall intelligence!

(I say "direct causal relationship" because I'm not sure whether to think of it as the big brains forcing the babies to be born early, or the babies' early birth enabling the big brains. Sort of both, really. Evolution's like that.)

Date: 2011-03-05 05:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
Did you know that most English Bulldogs are delivered via Caesarian section? The heads of the puppies are too large to naturally pass through the mother's pelvis. This is why purebred English Bulldog puppies are so expensive, because the breeding process requires a lot of medical intervention and is high-risk for both the mother and the puppies, and after all that effort the typical size of a litter is only 2-3 puppies.

/random mammal birth facts, only tangentially related

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*wanders in from metaquotes*

Date: 2011-03-05 04:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snowcoma.livejournal.com
See, this just makes me like my plan of adopting an older child even more.

Also, this post made me laugh my ass off, and I -love- babies. I consider this the tip of the iceberg of good warnings I need before I have one (my plan in life has always been two kids; one adopted, one home-grown). I've babysat an infant, yes, but he was a surreally good child, and I was WELL AWARE that I was being lulled into a false sense of security. He needed to be smeared fed, changed, and held, and only fussed a little. And I got to give him back at the end of the night.

I'm also going to have to wear piercing retainers, because hell no am I getting my face near those tiny hands with a ring in my lip.


I can't see the button to add this to my memories, but I would if I could.

Re: *wanders in from metaquotes*

Date: 2011-03-05 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
I only have my ears pierced, but yeah I do not wear earrings to work. In fact, the best plan is not to wear any jewelry around a baby unless you're okay with it being taken off of you a thousand times, chewed on, and possibly broken.

I don't understand my fucking layout. I mostly like it but it totally hides the memory and edit buttons from me. However, if you go put "&style=mine" at the end of the URL for the post it should show you the post in your journal's layout instead, which probably doesn't hide the important buttons.

Adopting an older child

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Date: 2011-03-05 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vikingwriter.livejournal.com
Just wanted to say I'm here via metaquotes, and so glad this was quoted.

I love, love, love babies. Really, I do. But I never, ever, ever want one of my own. They are incredibly fun and amazing and wonderful but also all the things you said - unpredictable, messy, idiotic. Anyway, this totally made my day and I just wanted to say thanks for the belly laughs.

Date: 2011-03-05 05:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

Date: 2011-03-05 06:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehlobster.livejournal.com
Here via metaquotes, and this is fucking fantastic. I've wanted to birth a tiny human since I was three (!!) and now two decades later I have yet to do so. I appreciate any and all info I can gather before I do. If you have anything else to say about babbies, even if it isn't hilarious, I am all ears. :D

Date: 2011-03-05 07:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
Babies don't have much going on inside their heads for the first three months, really. At three months they become a lot more interactive. 3-5 months is a good time because the baby smiles and babbles and responds to you, but hasn't started teething or crawling yet. Usually they can sit up and play with things clumsily at this age, but they haven't started taking off and trying to ingest dirt particles yet.

After that they are alternately awesome and really irritating. Around 6 months they get mobile. They are giggly and chatty and affectionate with their caregivers, but they are also getting into everything. They understand the word "No" at this age, but they don't respond to it. Seriously, Mary is 8 months. When she tries to eat clumps of dust from the cracks in the floor or attempts to knock over the standing vase in the living room, we say "No, Mary. Nu-uh." and she knows so she turns around, grins at us, and goes right back to doing it.

I don't even know what else to say about babies except that sometimes you think it's incredibly awesome that this little person likes you so much, and sometimes you just want to put the baby in the crib, walk outside, sit on the front porch, and spend about an hour with your head between your knees.

Date: 2011-03-05 06:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tabaqui.livejournal.com
Here via metaquotes. And may i just say - YES, HA HA! Babies are bad at everything and omg, nothing anyone tells you is true.

I had never babysat or even held a baby for more than ten minutes when i had my daughter. Talk about terrifying! And she sucked at naps and sleeping for quite a while, and she once nearly choked on and then swallowed a dime. We 'recovered' it later and still have it - it turned blue.
*boggles*

I'm going to link this to my sis-in-law, who is pregnant for the first *and probably only* time - she'll love it.
Thanks for unlocking and sharing!

Date: 2011-03-05 07:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
It pretty much blew my mind to realize how much no one actually tells you. Some of the books get a decent grip, but I think actually the humorous anecdotal books written by mothers have way more important information in them than the books written by doctors and experts.

The doctor book will say, "At this age, the baby can reach for and grab things, so you will need to remove any choking hazards from your home, and the baby may even master the 'pincher' grip to grasp tiny objects between the thumb and forefinger."

And you think to yourself, "If I remove the choking hazards from my home, why would the baby be grasping tiny objects?" The answer of course is that your floor is never clean enough and babies eat carpet fuzz.

The mom book will say, "One time, Johnny swallowed an entire pocket hand sanitizer. I called poison control and they said it was fine, he'd have to drink way more than that to be seriously harmed. Johnny got a bit drunk and fell asleep in the car."

Which is more useful, knowing that theoretically your baby may grab small objects, or knowing that if your kid drinks a bottle of hand sanitizer you don't need to freak out- it's happened to others before you and it won't really hurt him.

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Date: 2011-03-05 07:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] strawberryburst.livejournal.com
Here via metaquotes. I feel like I've just learned more from this post than I will specifically being trained to work with young children. Laughed my head off, but more worried than ever about the future ahaha

Thanks for unlocking the post for sharing ♥

Date: 2011-03-06 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
Aww thanks. To be fair, most kids are pretty easy most of the time, and if you're working in an environment like a preschool or something with 5+ kids at once, that actually makes it easier than just having one or two to watch, because due to numbers you'll just have a routine and that will be what the kids do every day. When you only have a couple kids to watch, there's a lot more one-on-one focusing and also a lot more catering to them, so it's harder to stamp out unwanted behavior.

Date: 2011-03-06 12:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rabidsamfan.livejournal.com
Here via Metaquotes and laughing like a loon. Seriously, you are so right about every baby being different. I'm a librarian, and I get parents in all the time with some new advice -- have you heard of baby sign language? About Elimination Communication (or babies without diapers?) -- believe me, when it comes to little people I'm convinced we're all faking it.

My mom's advice about getting a baby to sleep was to make sure his ears and tummy were warm enough. This meant, with my nephew, putting him down on his tummy and then turning him over to his stranded crab prevents SIDS position after he'd dropped off, but he slept. (She also taught me the thick towel on the running dryer, baby on its tummy solution to colic for getting them to sleep. They just fart more easily with their rumps in the air...) Alas, every method doesn't work with every child. I've got one mom who's third child won't sleep during the day unless he's attached to a grownup. It was cute at a month, but he's getting heavier now that he's getting older!

Date: 2011-03-06 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
I was so relieved when each baby I was with got old enough to roll over and therefore could be put to bed on their stomachs. It makes getting them to stay asleep so much easier. People should never underestimate the power of the butt-pat.

We've actually done some baby signing with the older of the two I'm working with! He seems to have a speech delay of some sort (undiagnosed so far, but definitely behind for his age) and the signs we've taught him make communicating so much less frustrating for us and for him.

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