BABYBOGGLES: The Weird Things You Obsess Over When You’ve Had A Baby

baby boggles pram

by Katie Rosseinsky |

From rubbing your baby’s hair off in the bath to worrying you’ll never sleep again, here are some of the issues heat’s editor in chief (and new mum) Lucie Cave has been grappling with…

baby boggles quiet please
Quiet please!

So it's now four months into my life as a parent and I'm still getting to grips to what most of it means. I am more in love with my little son Ridley than I thought humanly possible but that doesn't mean I have a monkeys what I'm doing. I thought mum mode would ‘activate’ after a few days but instead I'm still Googling random questions in the middle of the night, like;

'Am I starving my baby?'

'He looked at me weirdly, what does that mean?'

‘How many poos are normal? And how many poos aren’t???’

Luckily I'm not the only one who thinks they are winging motherhood one day at a time - selfishmother.com even have jumpers to prove it.

winging it tshirt baby bogles
Winging It

Just one look at the WhatsApp group I have with some mates of mine will show you that most of us are making it up as we go along...

'Can you overdose on Calpol? And do you reckon we can drink it like ‘Calpol spritz?’'

'She has pooed so badly my husband just cut her out off her clothes’

'Anyone else discovered baby wipes are brilliant for getting makeup off?'

‘Does pointing out the difference between red and white wine count as baby development?’

‘Anyone else’s baby keep sharting (shitting and farting?)’

Here are some of the questions I’ve pondered and some (sort of) answers.

Will I ever get any sleep again?

I must spend half my time trying to get my baby to sleep and the other half prodding him to see if he’s still alive. And like every parent, I have become obsessed with whether I will ever get a decent night shut-eye ever again. There can't be a sleep website or sleep book I haven't downloaded or injested. Some say, ‘let them cry it out’ (a friend of mine had to let her baby cry for 3 hours, but I’m not made of such stern stuff), another suggested a method where you shuffle backwards out of the room on a chair (me neither). One sleep expert Jo Tatum advised me to start a bedtime routine from an early age and buy black out blinds which definitely helped.

But, it was only when I met newborn consultant and sleep trainer Deearna Withey that my life - and Ridley’s sleep - was transformed. She showed me how to get him into a 4hr eating routine and to ‘dream feed’ him a couple of times early evening while he was still asleep to keep him going through the night (my husband Ben keeps saying he wants to be dream fed with a pizza). Crucially she also diagnosed that he had a condition called ‘silent reflux’ which had been making him uncomfortable and stopping him from settling properly. Since then he’s been the perfect baby and while I still have a few occasions when he’ll decide it’s time to wake up at 4am, I at least feel I have some milk-shaped tools under my belt to persuade him otherwise.

There's also a brilliant kids book called ‘Go the f*ck to sleep’ but that doesn't actually help, it’s just funny.

baby in bath
Baby Boggles

Have I just rubbed my baby’s hair off in the bath?!

Some babies are born with a cute fluffy barnet, others are bald as a bowling ball his head which was plenty enough for me. Until my husband Ben wiped it away in the bath two weeks later.

Me: 'Have you just rubbed Ridley’s hair off?!'

Ben: 'No, don't be silly' (he later admitted he was lying and hoping I hadn't noticed) ‘Anyway it doesn't matter, he looks a bit like Bruce Willis now.’

Thankfully, I discovered it’s perfectly normal for newborns to lose what hair they are born with. Newborn Consultant Deearna Withey says: “Babies always lose their hair and not just at bath time, you may look in the crib and see a small amount of hair loss. Hair loss during the first 6-8 months is very normal. It’s called ‘telegenic effluvium’ and is due to the decreased hormone levels once the baby is born - in utero the hair will grow more as the hormone levels are very high - the transition from womb is when the "hair layering" starts to occur.”

Deearna adds, “It will always grow back so don't worry at all, you may find the texture and colour change at this point too”. Ridley’s hair has since started to morph into a little tuft that makes him look like Snoopy’s mate Charlie Brown and it's a much lighter shade than the first crop – so its like he’s had a whole new celebrity makeover in the process.

Will breast-feeding help me lose weight?

ER, well it didn't for me. Personally, I have concluded you need to carry on for several months before any miraculous weight loss occurs (I stopped at three). Deearna disagrees: “You always burn calories when you make breastmilk, on average you need to eat 2000 calories per day and you loose around 500. Breastfeeding is really the only time you need to be eating for two not pregnancy”.

As I’m not breastfeeding anymore and I don't have a personal chef, trainer and liposuction machine to hand every day, I’ve resigned myself to going on a proper diet. I have embarked on the Bodycoach 90 day SSS plan (although I didn't realise when I signed up that this meant no red wine for 3 months) so I shall report back on whether it works or not. And at least it’s made me do something active in my ‘active wear’, rather than just prancing around the shops holding a baby.

Will my boobs go to sh*t when I stop breast-feeding?

Well I’m sorry to say, the answer is yes. As someone who has never had ample bosoms I grew to love my milky morsels (or ‘meteors’ as my husband Ben called them) and started to grieve the loss of them before I even stopped breast-feeding (for the record I would have carried on longer than three months but I was exclusively pumping and I think the boobs just gave up after a while because they started producing less milk). I am convinced they now look like small socks or wombles noses and I have started obsessing about wanting a boob job, but I'm obviously too chicken to do anything about it so I’m trying other avenues. I once read a newspaper article about a girl who was convinced her boobs grew whenever she drank Cappuccinos. So if you want to know where I am I’ll be in the coffee shop – all day and every day!

If I hold him upright too early will he get bandy legs?

Newborn consultant Deearna says: “People always rush this stage and say ‘look how long my baby can stand for!’ The occasional stand up is fine but you will find by around 6-8 months your baby will happily grip your fingers and try without any encouragement.”

baby boggles
Happy baby!

Can I kiss my baby too much?

This is a genuine question many people, including me, have put to the World Wide Web. Because for some reason anyone in possession of a baby finds it impossible to stop salivating all over them. It must feel like someone putting a vacuum cleaner on your head 800 times a day. As to whether there’s anything scientifically wrong with it? Deearna says: “Not at all. Infact totally the opposite, I encourage breastfeeding mums to kiss the babies at the most sensitive part which is just inbetween the eyes at the bridge of the nose, the reason for this is - babies secrete a tiny amount of oil almost like a sweat, once this touches the babies lips this sends a message to the mother’s brain and via the lymphatic system on what, if anything, is going on - so if your baby is about to get a cold your body will start preparing the next milk with antibodies to try and fight the cold. Crazy! Unbelievable! But true.”

However, do beware of strangers getting their chops round your little ‘un when they’re very young - there was a very scary picture doing the rounds of a baby who had been kissed by a stranger and got herpes all over her face as a result.

When will he cuddle me back?!

On a daily basis my husband Ben looks over at me and says. “I’ve invested so many cuddles with Ridley – when do I get a return on my investment!” And Deearna Withey says it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he could start soon: “Babies are much cleverer than we think and can learn to cuddle as soon as you teach them. Sit with your baby in front of you on your lap and once there are no distractions around and you have his undivided attention slowly poke your tongue out he will eventually copy you. Start kissing your baby and be repetitive and say ‘now one back to mummy’ and hold his lips against your face and do the same with cuddles and arms he will soon just lean forward and do this - then you'll probably cry.”

Has my baby got an abnormally large head?

“I’d like you to bring Ridley in for another check up in four weeks,” the doctor told me after what I thought was a routine visit. “He has a very large head so I want to measure it again just to check things.”

THINGS? WHAT THINGS? THAT HIS BRAIN IS SO BIG IT WILL EXPLODE?

“Nothing to worry about though!” (Why did she say that? She must have known I would just go home and immediately Google ‘baby big head – help!’). Thankfully, when I went back for the follow up appointment I had my husband Ben with me. One look at him and the doctor said, “I wouldn't worry about Ridley’s big head. I can see he gets it from his father.”

As soon as we left the surgery Ben said “Why did she say that?” and immediately started Googling ‘adult big head – help!’

@luciecave

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