Five and a Half Tips for Surviving Your New Baby

So you’re having a baby! Huzzah! Soon you will have the minor task of being solely responsible for the health and well-being of an entirely helpless, dependent human. Don’t freak! I’ve got five and a half top-shelf tips to get you on your way. Like so:

Clean That Thing Off

If you’ve grown your baby in your very own uterus, have someone clean it off before they thrust it on you for the first time. Newly minted babies are gross (truth), and your affection for them is what keeps you from abandoning them in the forest like a spooked mama fox. Don’t let your first remark about your little rascal be, “Ick.” Give yourself the upper hand and have someone give that kid a good once-over with a towel.

The Puke Luge™

Baby Puke on the Couch

The night before this happened we were like, “Hey, should we scotch guard the couch?” and then we were like, “Nah, that’s a lot of work and the can says we’ll probably blow up our house.” Then I didn’t use the Puke Luge™.

Babies like to puke up a lot of the food you so carefully funnel into their little gullets. Prime targets for said puke are the third shirt you’ve put on that day, and your newly cleaned couch.

To avoid both scenarios, use my patented 2-step Puke Luge™ solution. First, don’t burp the baby over your shoulder rather, hold the baby upright on your lap, holding a burp cloth beneath her little chinny-chin-chin (fig. A). Then, place the other end of the burp cloth on a pillow next to you (fig. B). This creates the luge track on which your baby’s puke will be safely corralled, shirts and furniture left unsoiled.Puke Luge

The Baby Straightjacket

Babies like to claw the crap out of their faces, making you look like the Freddy Kruger of parents. Not great. Your options for resolving this are: those baby mittens that stay on for roughly the amount of time it takes a mouse to sneeze; cutting your baby’s nails, which will definitely result in lopping off some of your baby’s finger; or the baby straightjacket (also known as swaddling).

The baby straightjacket is the clear winner, in my opinion. If you can get a nurse to teach you, that’s best (those people do not mess), if not, the Mayo Clinic has some pretty pictures to show you.

Hold on to Those Maternity Clothes

Again, if your baby is grown in your very own body, immediately following birth you’ll be like, “Ohmigosh I’m so skinny!” Then you’ll see a mirror and you’ll be like, “Sixth month of pregnancy redux? What the heck?”

Yes, that’s the dill, Pickle. You’re just gonna have to be okay with it.

If It Seems Weird, Maybe it IS Weird

Babies do all kinds of weird crap, but some of it is normal weird, and some is weird weird. As a new parent, you totally won’t know the difference. (Awesome!)

If something seems weird, check it out. Don’t worry about seeming like an ignorant, overprotective wacko of a parent. You probably are, but don’t worry about it. Most doctor’s offices have a nurse that you can talk to on the phone before racing to the emergency room. Also, Google is pretty good at giving you a little pre-info.

Embracing the I-don’t-know-but-it-seems-weird mantra probably saved my kid’s life, so I’m a fan. (All the credit for that goes to my husband. He’s a better person than I am. (Why am I left alone with the kids again?))

Sub-point: Watch out for Internet Weirdos

Google is great for doing a quick WTF check on lots of stuff. The Mayo Clinic and WebMD are pretty solid resources. However, the internet is chock-full of weirdos because there’s no test you have to pass to spew opinions all over our shared info web. So when you search for “gassy baby,” you’ll inevitably find the person that says, “I gave my baby an enema with a straw and a diet coke.” No thanks, moonbeamdaddy43. We’re gonna pass on that.

Have I left something unaddressed? Well ask away! I’m an internet weirdo with an entire website all to myself, so clearly I’m qualified.

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  1. Puke luge!!!!! Turn upchucking into a sport. Everybody likes sports! Distance, volume, length of time, all measurable. Now, I recently witnessed my first jumping frog event. Big frogs that looked like they could leap over a moving semi truck. But the meanest, scariest pair of frog legs only managed three feet in four jumps compared to the winner at over fourteen feet! The point is, young luge competitors, don’t let the big kid with the cheeks that look like they’re always holding a winning hand (to be polite) psyche you out. Relax, let go, listen to your mom’s coaching, and luge on young rookie. And no matter who wins, kids, remember, you’re all winners!!!!

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  2. I would like to add to the Normal Weird/Weird Weird front, if I may: If you, the new parent, have non-parent friends (NPF) who have a lot of parent friends, call them and say, “Hey, does this seem weird to you?” because here’s why: new parents who tell other new parents their stories don’t remember the other stories because their own real-life horror films are taking up all their brain power. New parents who tell old parents their weird stories just get regaled with a bucketful of unrelated weird stories about the fourteen kids the old parent has. But the NPF becomes a repository of information in no time because she hears all the stories and they are all equally ghastly/hilarious/memorable so are filed away for future reasons not to have children. When you call your non-parent friend and say, “Hey…so…there’s a carrot up Mergatroyd’s nose. Is that weird?” the NPF says, “Hmmm…hold on…no. George and Max’ kid got a dime lodged in his nose. Went to the doctor, had it removed. Wendy and Bill’s kid shoved a rock and two dandelions up her nose. Went to the doctor, had it removed. Randi’s kid had a piece of candy up in her sinuses. Went to the doctor, had it removed. I’d call the pediatrician if it’s not dangling and easy-to-remove. And even if it is, your kid was probably just using the carrot to get the pea further up the nasal canal, so…yeah. Call the doctor, have it removed.” You could skip the NPF and go straight to the doctor but then you’re going to feel like a jackass calling every other day with a new question. You’ll worry about the entire medical profession judging you. However, it doesn’t matter if the NPF judges you because 1) you’re friends and friends judge each other and that’s ok as long as it’s not mean judgey; 2) who cares what they think? They don’t have kids and don’t know what it’s like. Their judgments don’t count; 3) the only thing they’re really judging is your decision to keep a small person who puts things in their orifices that must then be removed by a doctor. Friends of people who marry amateur porn stars probably feel the same way.

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  3. I’ve heard eating the slime off the baby makes you immortal. But hey, sure, just clean it off.

    Oh, and this is my go-to for internet baby wisdom:

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