Parent Newbies

Brady had his first bath about a week ago, which was – in my opinion – an exciting milestone for the little guy. 🙂

That’s one of my favorite parts of being a mom. When they’re this little, every single experience and discovery is so brand new and memorable.  Of course, that generally means that the experience is just as brand new and ‘memorable’ for mommy and daddy too. 😉

I had made sure that we had the video camera on hand for my baby’s first bath-time, but it quickly became clear that we were documenting more than our baby’s first tub experience. We were also capturing just how new to this we were!

Video take 1 – Nate started to put baby Brady into the tub with his diaper on. Delete. Let’s ‘do-over’ Brady’s first bath

Video take 2 – Nate started to put Brady into the tub backwards. Oops. Delete. Let’s ‘do-over’ Brady’s first bath

Video take 3 – I got peed on. Ha, ha. That was funny. But seriously, let’s ‘do-over’ Brady’s first bath

Video take 4 – I realized we had put too much water in the baby bathtub, when I was supporting Brady’s shoulders and neck… and suddenly his bottom and legs started floating off of the bottom of the tub. (Judging by how well the little guy kicked while floating though, I think he’s going to be great at swimming someday).

“Delete, Nate, delete,” I said quickly to my husband who was holding the camera at the time. “And come help me. He’s floating away!”

We laughed together, finished Brady’s bath, admitted to each other that the video wasn’t exactly turning into the precious keepsake we had planned on it being, and – thankfully – the second bathtime went much smoother. Because that’s the thing about being a parent… Sometimes you kind of just learn as you go.

And really, that’s okay.

Still, it’s a good thing that Brady won’t remember that first bath…  Ha, ha.

Before Brady was born, the last time I had changed a diaper was when I babysat a neighbor’s little boy at the age of 15. (So, you know, only about 16 years ago)! 😉 Granted, at this point in time, I could change a diaper with my eyes closed. It’s amazing how many times a baby can poop and pee during the course of three weeks!  But still, before my little guy was born, I was nervous about how capable of a mother I’d be, since my childcare portfolio was pretty much nonexistent

Okay, you’re right. It was nonexistant.

I used to tell people that there was only one other person on the face of this planet who was more clueless about babies than me… and I married him. 😉

So, you know, we weren’t exactly the most informed couple when it came to bringing home a bundle of joy. (Thus my requiring myself to read three baby books before Brady was born).

I remember how scared I was when I brought Brady to his first Pediatrician’s appointment. He was a fresh-faced, squishy baby – just 7 days old – that the hospital staff had somehow trusted me to take home. I was terrified that the doctor would see through my calm poker-face and declare me to be unfit to be his mother. Surely she would see that I brought mostly love to the table. And even though a Hallmark card may disagree, babies do need more than love to thrive.

I didn’t exactly help my case. When the nurse asked me to take off Brady’s diaper, so that he could be weighed, I did so and then instantly carried him to the baby-scale. The only problem is that Brady had pooped his diaper, and – in my effort to respond quickly and casually – I didn’t pause to really process and think. So I didn’t bother to wipe his bum first. So after carrying a naked baby to the scale, I ended up with baby poop all along the sleeve of my sweater.

Think, Nicole. Think, calm down, and slow down, I commanded myself.

Thankfully our pediatrician was not only understanding of my nervousness, but she was also very supportive. She praised my breastfeeding efforts, as Brady had gained the weight they really wanted him to (after losing a pound at the hospital, as most babies do). YAY for that accomplishment (as breastfeeding really isn’t easy to get the hang of at first). And she answered all of my questions without making me or my husband Nate feel stupid . In fact, she left me feeling encouraged that we weren’t only just being parents.

We were totally rocking at it!

I’m learning that it doesn’t matter if you’ve read three baby books or written an entire library on them. Every baby is different and doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Countless people will provide advice and tips on what you can or should do. But at the end of the day, you have to listen to your gut, follow your intuition, and sometimes even learn from your mistakes.

And honestly, that’s part of the fun… discovering who your baby is and what he needs to be healthy and successful. In the end, no one else will know your child the way that you do!

Really, it doesn’t matter how many diapers you’ve changed in the course of your life. And, yes, your baby will need more than love to thrive… But your love will guide you to figure out what it is that your baby needs! It’s just up to you to embrace the journey… and to laugh when you get a little poop on your sweater or when your baby starts to swim away during bathtime.  🙂

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8 thoughts on “Parent Newbies”

  1. LOVE this post, Nicole. I think it’s normal not to have a big childcare portfolio before you have a baby unless you’re a nanny or childcare worker. I was laughing at all the bath time video retakes. You guys are too cute! I love what you said about it not mattering if you’ve written books on babies… every child is different and you just do the best you can and get the hang of it! You guys are most definitely rockin’ it!

  2. Haha!! Bathing is a real adventure. How exciting to experience all these firsts with your baby and your husband! It’s reassuring to hear that I should be okay when I have kids – even though I haven’t changed a diaper since I worked in a daycare at age 18! And Kevin has never changed a diaper. Kevin can probably count on one hand the number of babies he has held, honestly. We’re going to be clueless.

  3. This post made my heart smile! I love all the outtakes, and it is making me feel so much better that you didn’t have a large childcare portfolio (because I don’t!). It’s so refreshing (and reassuring!) to hear such an honest, and adorable, perspective.

  4. Isn’t parenthood hilarious? I can’t tell you how many, “what was I thinking?” moments I’ve had in just 5 months. I love it. You’re learning together, as a family, and it’s absolutely beautiful.

  5. This post made me smile so much! I’m pretty sure that if I ever get married and have a baby, I’ll be one of those parents who expect everything to go according to the books. I’m such a Type A when it comes to things like this…I read up on EVERYTHING and expect it all to go according to plan (because that’s what the book said would happen, after all.) I love how flexible you and Nate are being with raising Brady, and how you’re developing your style according to what suits him best. That is called GREAT parenting. 😀

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