So having had our second baby six months ago I have come to realise that some newborn traits are universal. Our two little ones couldn’t be more different in temperament and yet in those early months they shared many a common habit. I have dubbed these “The Seven Laws of the Newborn”.
First Law: Their favourite place to poo is in a fresh nappy. You think to yourself “Ooh, I wonder if they need a change?” and so you diligently change their little bottom with a coo and a running commentary on their “Bot, bot” only to hear (or feel) that tell-tale rumble as soon as you’ve done up the last of the bastard poppers.
Second Law: They will always fall asleep when you can’t. Advice dictates that you should sleep when they sleep, however, it would seem inadvisable to sleep while walking around the park, driving the car or shopping in Tesco’s.
Third Law: They will always wake up just as you get into the house. You’ll be daydreaming of that hot cuppa or a sneaky cat nap or about the last piece of banana loaf and as soon as you’ve got your coat off they wake up and need a feed.
Fourth Law: When you absolutely need two hands they will need you to pick them up. When the nappy bag is half packed, you haven’t brushed your teeth, you absolutely must hang out the washing before you leave the house and you are already running late you will have to try and do all the above one handed while trying to support their head at the same time. Yeah, good luck with that!
Fifth Law: They will always do their biggest milky burp when there is no muslin to hand. Enough said.
Sixth Law: They will always wee when you take off their nappy. Apparently it’s to do with the cold air but it is guaranteed that the moment the nappy is removed they will wee everywhere. I have heard with boys this can be pretty spectacular! The only way to arm against it is to have the dry nappy in your hand as you slide off the dirty one with the other but even then you may still find yourself doing a whole outfit/carpet clean up.
Seventh Law: They will wake up/cry whenever food arrives. At home, in a restaurant or cafe, wherever you happen to be they have an eerie sixth sense about this. You will eat every meal one handed or else eat it so fast you hardly chew and give yourself indigestion. Alternatively you can eat in relay with your partner but it’s only fair to draw straws as to who gets to enjoy the lukewarm or slightly congealed warmed-up-in-the-microwave second sitting.
So there you have it. In my experience , after a month or so babies seem to become less diligent in upholding these laws and replace them with something new. However, saying that my little one at six months old still likes to remind me of each of them now and again. Old habits die hard I suppose.