One of the added responsibilities of being new parents is the ongoing job of filtering advice. Everyone who passes some along will preface with, “I’m sure things have changed since I had a kid.” and yet will hand over the nuggets of advice anyways. Our job, at the very least, is to smile, nod and say thanks, with a promise to google it later.
I’m not just talking about friends and family here: in the first twenty four hours after Zane’s birth we had a half dozen nurses and doctors and lactation consultants all provide their opinion on if/how/when/what to do for breast feeding and/or supplementing. Everything from “ya gotta get 20ml in him every two hours” to “he’ll eventually get hungry enough in a few days and start eating … they have fat supplies you know.”
Before Zane was born I googled on a few juicy topics like feeding and diapers. I quickly discovered that there are few topics which can inflame the ire of humanity than differing opinions on diapers. It’s a corporate conspiracy! Your child will grow up to be a murderer! If God wanted ___ then you would have been given ___!
So let’s leave the discussion of diapers until another day.
Today we talk about tummy time!
It used to be that all babies popped out of their mom, got wiped off with windex, and tossed onto their belly where they stayed until old enough to milk the cows. With the invention of sids (essentially a term that applies to anything that can’t be explained) babies are now forced to live on their backs in sterile, empty rooms with nothing but a splash of Martha Stewart paint and electrical outlet covers.
But too much back time leads to flat head and delayed development of crawling abilities! And if the baby doesn’t learn to crawl properly you’ve pretty much ruined their chances of being a successful corporate sponsored politician. Your baby will end up in some office farm, resting his flat head against a too-cramp, beige cubicle wall dreaming of what could have been.
So we schedule tummy time: flip the baby over, set an egg-timer, and fret about sids.
Ok, that’s not true. I like to pop Zane on his belly from time to time just to see what he’ll do. Sometimes he wiggles a bit and falls straight to sleep (I roll him back over), other times he’ll spend ten minutes or more doing a water-less belly-stroke, chirping and yurping all the way. He’s managed to lift his head a little bit so far.
When on his back he tends to sleep with his head to the left, which was the opposite direction of the baby-cam until we finally had the bright idea of rotating him 180 degrees.
In addition to developing stronger arm and neck muscles Zane is also getting grabby. If you pick him up such that he does the wide arms thing and then bring him to your shoulder he’ll almost give you a hug. At the very least he’ll grab a hunk of hair or skin, using a grip that’s starting to show promise.
The only thing that bugs me is his self-flagellation. Occasionally when he wakes up in a squirmy, wiggly mood he’ll grab his face and yank. He was only three days old and I was pulling his fingers out of his eye before he could pull the lid off. He doesn’t do it often, but when he does his face is his favorite tug toy.