How not to break the baby

We had our baby care class last night at Alexandria Inova hospital.  The same person who teaches our birthing class taught this class.  There was one other couple from our birthing class in the baby care class.  It turned out to be a much bigger class.

We learned all kinds of things, which Kelly summarized as “how not to break the baby”.  I itemize a few below:

  • How they should sleep (on their backs, always, or else.)
  • How to change a diaper (a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it)
  • How to bathe the baby (there is a specific order in which you should do things)
  • How to take care of the cord until it falls off
  • How to take care of the babies boy or girls parts (so that they don’t fall off).
  • How to burp the baby
  • How to swaddle the baby (I still can’t seem to say this word correctly; I tend to use a flat “a” as in “can”, instead of a broad “a” as in “father”)
  • How to take their axial temperature
  • How to identify a whole array of problems
  • How to know when to call the doctor

Quite honestly, it was information overload.  Kelly took notes and I think we both struggled to keep up.  It was a lot to pack into a 2-1/2 hour class, and I came away with a kind of overwhelmed feeling.  There is simply so much to do in order to take proper care of the baby in those first few weeks and months.  It really makes me appreciate and wonder at those single parents who have to go it all alone.  How do they do it?

I should say that after this class, I am glad that we are having a boy first.  I say this because I’m not sure how well I would deal cleaning a girl and her girl parts.  I’m afraid that I would shy away from it and let Mom take care of that, and of course, that would not be fair.  With a boy, I have no qualms about it whatever.  I’m sure that if we have a girl sometime in the future, I will do the job admirably, but I’m glad to go through this with a boy first.

We have our regular baby class on Thursday and then a special C-section class on Sunday.

Here’s hoping we don’t break the baby.

Originally published at From the Desk of Jamie Todd Rubin. You can comment here or there.