Life is about challenges, and they won’t all be easily won; in fact, a more accurate summation of life would be that it is fraught with future failures. Not exactly a Hallmark caption, but the truth remains. But, this truth is not necessarily a bad thing–the trick is to convince your kids of that.
Many parents have plenty anecdotes about what their children did and didn’t do as newborns—and the corollary is that their experience should directly apply to yours. Of course, babies aren’t carbon copies of one another, but for a newbie mum or dad in the chaos of psychological upheaval and sleep deprivation, the paranoia over what’s purported to be ‘normal’ and what ‘isn’t’ can easily override logic. Here’s the stuff, that, although seemingly bonkers—and almost definitely not in alignment with your sister-in-law’s or neighbour’s rose-tinted stories—is totally, bonafide normal, and actually all (no matter how tiring) good developmental signs.
Newborns may be tiny, but the amount of mess they produce is near-phenomenal. Besides the obvious, spit-up is another common laundry problem to which you must attend–but is usually normal, and disappears as your little one grows.
The soft spot on your newborn’s head can be pretty freaky; it can also ratchet up the new parent paranoia exponentially–another notch up for every bulging pulse of the spot (in time with your baby’s heartbeat). Nevertheless, it’s a completely normal, natural feature, with important functions; and, more reassuringly, it won’t stick around for long.
Newborns love sleep–no, they really do–except that their version of shuteye is nowhere near the brand we’ve come to cherish with age and a bygone youth of partying: newbie infants should be clocking up between 14 and 17 hours of sleep per day, but this happens only in chunks of around 2 hours (or less!)–their tiny bellies digest and empty fast, so they need to wake frequently to refuel. So, you need to balance the need to feed with the all-important zzz’s; for a happy, healthy bub, and a household not held captive by an overtired, rage-y baby. The trick? Get ’em to bed the minute you spot the telltale sleepy signs.