(Apologies to Pink Floyd for the use of and change to their lyrics!)
This one’s all about caring for the baby.
Poop, vomit, pee, dribble. I thought it’d be best to hit you with the worst you’ll be confronted with! And, although you might think “Yuck” now, when the time comes, you’d just best get used to it (and you’ll find it won’t affect you as much).
Although I was not actually called upon to do so for some time, changing a nappy is a cinch. Most people will go for disposable nappies (we are no exception to that), although there are also arguments in favour of reusable ones (less waste, less cost – although a LOT of washing!). Pull open the adhesive tapes, carefully open the nappy, check what’s inside. You’ll find yourself praising the little one if they “have done a stinker”, as we say at Sunshine HQ. Heck, it shows that their bodily functions ARE working (believe me, pent up wind etc. is NO fun – the little one will scream the house down).
Then remove the nappy, and begin cleaning. We have a piece of kitchen roll on the changing table which picks up any gunge left over. Clean from front to back so as to move any mess away from the mucous membranes of the genitalia. We just use water and cotton wool pads – they work well. And then, when you’re done, on again with the new nappy. Hey, you can do that, can’t you?
We had our changing table built for us by M.’s dad (thanks to him!) on top of an old bed and it really has worked well.
You’ll need a bin for quick disposal of stuff, a good supply of nappies, cotton wool, wipes, and towels. We’ve stored our stuff in various containers (the coloured cylinders on the right – got from IKEA), so everything’s to hand.
When milk comes on up again, it might look nasty, but it’s really only milk, water and a little bit of gastric juice. It is WAY less unpleasant and acidic than that which you or might bring up over an night-time trip to the toilet bowl. It DOES need cleaning off, but it’s not actually too bad.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If your little one screams after throwing up, they MIGHT be having acid reflux, which needs dealing with. (Check out: http://www.babycenter.com/0_reflux-and-gerd_10900.bc)
Now, at some point, you might want to give your little chap/gal a bath. This is always quite fun and, more often than that, is a specific dad job! We have a little plastic bath tub which fits inside our own tub. Then fill it with water and MEASURE the temperature. You’ll want it *about* 35°C, maybe a little higher. Once I got it a touch too high (might have been 38 or 39°C) and Sunshine screamed cause it was too hot. Nope, they don’t put a toe in and go “Cor, that’s a bit warm…” – they scream. Just a word to the wise 😉
At 4 months, we’re thinking of moving onto some kind of baby shampoo or bubble bath, but are still not quite sure about that (we’ll keep you informed!). For the time being, we’re still using our “Magic Mother’s Mixture”, which our midwife told us to use. This is olive oil mixed with a few drops of breast milk. (Btw, if you didn’t know, breast milk seems to be a wonder healer, as it contains lots of goodies for the baby and will be as common now as a box of Elastoplast will be once your darling gets out into the garden…). Then strip the little one down and lower him or her gently into the water.
Always support the head. They can’t support it fully yet (we’re at 4 months, remember) and would go under if you didn’t. Chances are that bubbski will enjoy being in the water again. Sunshine has taken to splashing about with his feet, which causes laughter all round and some puddles on the floor.
Then, ensure a nice warm towel is ready and it’s off to the changing table again. (Another tip, it’s MUCH easier with two of you, but remember to have the towel, which usually has a hood, the right way round! M. and I got it wrong once and a dripping Sunshine had to wait for us to turn the towel round – not a happy moment!).
Feeling confident yet? Then up and at ’em – you CAN do this!