So 1 month on from the birth and how is everything going? Very well, thank you for asking! Albert is doing brilliantly, he is really changing and starting to develop a personality now (I would class him as Chaotic Good on the Alignment Scale). Being a dad is still amazing, and every day brings new emotions, new insights, more laughs, more smells and new funny faces.
But on the whole, Albert being 1 month old and all, he still doesn’t get up to much. He hasn’t yet developed full usage of his limbs, so he isn’t going on Facebook and Twitter all day yet. In one of my last posts HERE I made a comment on how babies only basically do 4 things. Poo, Cry, Sleep, and Look Cute. Which is true, but I did miss one out. Eat. And by eat, I mean drink a shed load of milk.
So as these 5 things make up a baby's whole day, I thought I would break them down and take a closer look at each. But first, here’s a chart:
Ah the eating, can’t believe I missed it out. Albert does loads of this! And this is important as I feel it affects the rest of what he does.
Poo – happens because he eats
Cry – happens when he doesn’t eat
Sleep – happens if he eats, or doesn’t happen if he doesn’t eat
Look cute – he looks very cute when he eats
Now by eating I mean drinking, and by drinking I mean Milk and not alcohol. He doesn’t go out drinking just at the weekend, he drinks 6 times a day EVERY day. He normally goes 3 hours between feeds, but then he has a long period between them once a day. Ideally we try and get him to do this long period at night so we can have a decent sleep, but you can’t reason with a baby, and sometimes he wants to sleep for 7 hours in the day and wake up every 3 hours all through the night for drinks, just like a student in their first year of Uni.
We are using a milk formula which you make up for him when he wants a bottle. It is just a huge tub of powder that you add into boiling water, and it makes milk, via magic. It really reminds me of the smell of condensed milk, and of Lotus biscuits. I haven’t added it to someone’s cup of tea yet, but I will one day, and I won’t tell the visitor whose tea it is that I’ve done it. Purely as a scientific study you understand. If you’re planning a visit and you’re reading this, have a black coffee.
You make the milk up in these little bottles, and once they have sufficiently cooled you can feed them to the baby. You can check if they are cooled enough by dabbing the milk onto your arm to see if it’s cool enough. That’s great in theory, but I have a few burn marks up my arm now, so a thermometer might be better. Better my arm is burnt than Albert’s mouth though!
The bottles have teats at the end with a little hole in it for the baby to suck. I wanted to see how fast it comes out, so I did a little test with a bottle full of water to see how long it would take me to drink it. Holy cow, you have to suck like mad to get any out! No wonder babies sleep 18 hours a day, they must be so tired from all the sucking, that they are completely exhausted. I gave up and used a glass in the end, shame Albert can’t do this yet.
Apparently babies are not very good at burping themselves, so they need help to do this as well. I prefer the method where I just sit him up and pat his back, and lo and behold, BUUUURP. Then he pukes all down himself. No shame this one. He’s definitely my son!
So the pooing. Yep, this definitely happens. I have included in this the weeing as well. And you haven’t forgotten puking yet, as mentioned above. Basically all the things grown ups do at 2 o clock on a Sunday morning after a 12 hour drinking session, so he is starting his practise early.
I’ll start with pooing. For most of his early week Albert was really only pooing once every few days. Apparently this is normal, some babies poo like this, and some (unluckily for the parents) poo every few hours. We had a few concerns but the health visitor said as long as the poos look normal then it was ok.
So what is a normal baby poo? Well just imagine for a second if your whole diet consisted of milk, then what would your poo be like? Some sort of relentless runny smelly dairy torrent of brown? Well no, Albert’s poo so far has basically been like a Korma, but without the spices.
Basically baby poo:
His first few poos (that I mentioned HERE), were something called Meconium (sounds like it should be on the periodic table). This is a sticky black tar of a poo that takes more wet wipes than you think to clean up. I have read that the first few poos are like this because they consist of stuff the baby has swallowed in the womb, such as Amniotic Fluid, Mucus and Bile, all mixed up in the worst cocktail recipe I have ever heard. Poor little chap having to drink that, no wonder his poos are weapons-grade lethal.
After the Meconium poo, they start doing normal poos. I say normal, but I mean normal for a baby, because if your adult poo has the colour and consistency of a chicken Korma then you have a problem. We have changed Albert’s brand of milk, and so now he is pretty much pooing every day, so it’s a regular part of his life.
Even more regular is the weeing. Again, all he eats/drinks is milk, and as I said above, this smells like condensed milk and biscuits. Which means that Albert’s wee also smells like condensed milk and biscuits. Ever since my son was born, I can say that I have been completely put off ever going near condensed milk ever again. And also the thought of Lotus biscuits makes me gag, whereas previously I really liked them.
Very tasty, but ruined for me now:
Very tasty, but ruined for me now:
So now we know he poos Korma and wees condensed milk, this gets mixed up in another rank cocktail and dumped into the nappy. I said in my last post HERE how I think nappies work by magic and now I’ve changed a few more of them, my opinion has been cemented. Not only do they stick in the most random ways, but they also absorb more than any material known to man. Why don’t they make sponges out of nappy material? He wees and wees and wees and the nappy just soaks it all up and just swells and swells and is never actually wet. It just becomes a giant biscuit smelling blob of squishy wee. God help us if someone drops a nappy into the ocean, it’ll soak up the whole world’s water within a day and we’ll all be buggered.
The nappy changes on the whole work a bit like this, we have them down to a well oiled pitstop now.
- Lay baby down
- Remove baby-grow, cursing as you can’t work out how to get it off, or even undo the iron-strong poppers
- Remove nappy while holding breathe and prepare yourself for what is inside
- Catch wee suddenly shooting out over the carpet and quickly use nappy as a wee-shield to deflect the wee, accidentally all over baby's own hair
- Try to sooth baby crying with dummy which gets spit out immediately into a puddle of wee
- Use wipes/cotton wool/anything to hand to mop up wee and clean the baby
- Once all clean, baby will then poo
- Use wipes/cotton wool/anything to hand to clean up poo and baby again
- Try to attach new nappy
- Wrestle legs of the strongest baby ever born, deflect kicks
- Attach one side of new nappy, then baby poos again
- Use wipes/cotton wool/anything to hand to clean up poo and baby AGAIN
- Try to attach 2nd new nappy
- Wrestle legs of the strongest baby ever born, deflect kicks
- Attach new nappy
- Adjust earplugs as crying still constant
- Find new baby clothes
- Curse as try and work out how it fixes onto baby, as it has 3000 poppers that attach in random places, wonder if you have brought a baby-grow for a baby octopus rather than a human
- Get baby-grow over the head, round the body, wrestle arms into shape, find out legs don’t fit as baby’s feet are so large
- Remove baby-grow and search for one without legs
- Ask wife to watch baby while you hunt around the house for new baby-grow without legs
- Eventually end up cutting the feet out of a normal baby-grow with scissors, just so you can fit his legs in it
- Attempt to wrestle baby into it AGAIN
- Finally get baby-grow on and cue a quiet cute-again baby
Ah the crying. The relentless crying. I have to say, this is the only part of having a child so far that hasn’t been great. I am sure I am not alone in admitting that I find baby's crying very annoying. It cuts right into your brain like a sonic dagger. I have always found baby's crying annoying and I think to be honest I always will, even my own baby's crying. Of course I don’t love him any less for it and I know he can’t help it, but it’s still annoying. I think the worst part though is knowing I can’t do anything for him. If he is crying and we have fed him, changed him, made sure he’s had enough sleep, made sure he is warm enough, made sure he isn’t ill or in pain, made sure we have burped him, made sure we have done everything we can think of, if we have done all that and he is still crying? That’s when it tears into my heart as well as my head. If I’ve done everything I can to help him and he is still crying like some sort of Government noise weapon, it pains me that I can’t make him feel better, and that’s what annoys me the most, more than the sound of it ever will.
I read somewhere that babies tend to cry sometimes, EVEN IF NOTHING IS WRONG. This scared me so I stopped reading the article and pretended I never heard of such a thing.
Luckily Albert is a very well behaved boy and I don’t think he cries too much. Yes we’ve had a few nights when it’s 3 in the morning and he won’t stop. But if that’s his only way of communicating to the world, then so be it. I’ll listen to you son! With my headache and tiredness and annoyance, I’ll suck it all up and still do whatever I can because that’s my job as a dad.
Plus when he grows up and becomes CEO of his own company, selling sonic weapons to the Army, based on research done into weaponising a baby's crying sound, he can buy me a Ferrari to make up for it.
This is a good one, I like the sleeping. It goes hand in hand with the ‘Look Cute’ action, because babies always look cute when they are sleeping (and not just because they aren’t crying). And also if a baby ain’t sleeping, then you ain’t a sleeping either, so sleeping is great.
Babies tend to sleep a lot, whether this is because a) they use so much energy sucking milk out a teat hole which is the size of a 1000th of a millimetre or b) they are so bored by not being able to speak, focus their eyes, control their limbs, go down the pub or do anything at all, that sleeping is pretty much all they have to do.
Apparently if babies don’t have enough sleep, then they create hormones and stuff which keeps them awake more. Which doesn’t make sense to me, and I think have probably completely butchered the science there, but what this means is ‘If you keep your baby awake all day because you want them to sleep all night, then they'll cry and be awake all night anyway’. So you can boil this down to ‘Always let a sleeping baby lie’, just likes dogs in that regard. Sleep is important for babies, but also for parents as it means you can get on with clearing up all the bags of nappies lying around, cleaning the wee off everything, and washing up empty bottles of milk strewn all over the place while they sleep. Basically having a newborn reduces your house to the cleanliness level of a University's Student's Hall of Residence.
A weird thing about sleep is that it causes a bald-flat spot on the back of the baby's head so he looks even more like his daddy. A baby's skull is basically made up of layers of Haribo rather than bone when they are born, so when they lie down they get a flat spot on the back of their head as well as it flattens from the weight. And as they sleep so much on it, it wears the hair away. It doesn’t cause any pain thankfully, it’s just a sleep bi-product.
Haribo - what baby's skulls are made out of:
Some of the tactics we use to entice Albert to sleep are:
- Milk Coma. After he has fed, he is so full up and knackered from all the sucking that he slips into one of these and not much is going to wake him up.
- The Rock. Not the wrestler/actor, but just rocking him back and forth, he must like the movement as it’s like being sloshed around inside a belly for 9 months so reminds him of his first home. We twin this with the Bum-Pat. Patting his bum while we rock him speeds up the sleepyness! For some reason he must love altitude, because only rocking him standing up works. As soon as I sit down and rock him he wakes up.
- White Noise – Or any prolonged monotone sound like rainfall or a fan blowing or daddy singing. Again I think it reminds him of the womb when I used to hum the Jurassic Park theme tune to him every day.
- The Car Journey – This one is great! As soon as he is in the car seat and I start driving, he is just quiet. This must be the double whammy of White Noise and Rocking.
- Good Old Fashioned Cuddle – Sometimes he just wants a cuddle, don’t we all?
The Rock, may/may not help babies fall asleep:
Pretty much once he is asleep, he just snores away and looks cute. He moves about a lot so it’s almost easier to not watch him as I am always on tenterhooks that he is going to wake up and cry again.
Some pictures of Albert sleeping, which leads us onto looking cute...
And finally, looking cute. As a Man-Child, it’s not easy to use the word cute. It only really ever used to come into my vocabulary when talking about baby animals, but now I seem to use it every 3 minutes since Albert has been born. This is by far the best thing that he does, and to be honest this takes up most of his time, because he looks pretty damn cute almost 100% of that time! I know people always say that about their own babies, and damn right it’s true. I could just look at him for hours and find enjoyment in everything he does because I love him so damn much. Especially the hiccups, he is hilarious when he has hiccups. And when he sneezes. And when he snorts like a pig.
He pulls a lot of funny faces. It’s helpful as he only tends to smile when he has wind (even at 4 weeks old, farting is funny). The bigger the wind, the funnier the faces he pulls. He also waves his arms around like he’s doing Kung Fu in the Matrix, or doing a Hulk impression.
He even looks cute when burping and puking. I don’t know how burping and puking has become cute, but he’s mastered it. The world will be his oyster if you can make people love you for burping and puking.
It’s hard to do a full list of everything he does that is cute, as that is basically everything that he does, everything except cry.
Anyway, that’s about it for all the stuff Albert does. At the moment I feel like he gets through the whole day with just those 5 things, I wonder what is next in store for him? What will be his next party trick? He has already poo'd on his mum’s leg while simultaneously vomiting in his own ear, a task not even I have completed successfully. Where else is there to go from there??