One thing that will become very apparent when you have a baby is that everyone knows what’s best for your baby except you. So while you’re struggling with feeding your three-month-old, someone in the supermarket will tell you they need baby rice, or a bit of Rusk crumbling into their bottle (handy hint: they really don’t need that). When you’re dealing with the Four Month Sleep Regression, an old lady you see in the street will tell you that it’s a definite sign that you should start weaning your baby (handy hint: it isn’t). When you’re still feeding them milk at five months (be that from a bottle or your breast), every man and his dog will be advising you to start spooning baby rice into their mouths (handy hint: guidelines recommend starting at six months, and WHAT THE HELL IS THIS OBSESSION PEOPLE HAVE WITH MY BABY EATING SOLIDS?!)
Until I had one of my own, I was one of those baby experts. When I got pregnant, I had my plans set in stone. I’d do this, this, this and this, and I certainly wouldn’t do that.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
THINGS I KNEW ABOUT BABIES… UNTIL I HAD ONE
- Babies just sleep all the time until, like, six months. If that’s true, would someone like to explain to me why this blog is taking forever to write, because my five month old plays with toys for all of ten seconds before getting bored and squealing at me until I replace it?
- Babies are gross. Yeah, they poo and pee all the time, and they are throw-up monsters, but it’s not that gross. (That only applies to your own child. I’m not prepared for anyone else’s child to throw up, poo or pee on me… but, seeing as I’m hoping to be a teacher, it’s only going to be a matter of time). I didn’t think I’d be very good at dealing with the icky bits… I now consider myself a nappy expert, and who needs muslin cloths and bibs when you have a perfectly good sleeve for mopping up sick?
- Motherhood is beautiful, relaxing and blissful. All those adverts with these stunning women with perfect flowing curls, gently nursing their downy-haired baby in a lovely white nursing chair, while tinkly lullabies play and birds sing and everything generally looks like heaven? Yeah, it’s all bollocks. And also, that isn’t the only way to be a happy mum. I’m quite happy covering my hair in dry shampoo, trying to force it together to tie it back, sitting on the sofa in my PJs with my squiggly squirmy baby, trying to get a bottle in her mouth while listening to Bon Jovi and watching stupid American sitcoms on TV. Oh, and did I mention the baby squeals? Yeah, she does that a lot.
- I don’t understand why people let their babies cry in public. All you have to do is shove a dummy in its mouth. Oh how naive I was. That totally works… until you have a baby that won’t take a dummy, or will take a dummy but would rather scream to let everyone know she’s unhappy. Please, non-parents, before you glare at us in supermarkets for not ‘shutting our baby up’, trust us when we say that we like hearing her cry way, way less than you do. If we could do something about it, we would.
- I don’t understand why people say that babies cost so much money. All they need is love. And food. And a crib. And clothes. And toiletries. And a changing mat. And a swing. And a bouncy chair. And toys. And ridiculous expensive items that you’ll never use. Oh and nappies. A whole lot of nappies.