The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Wow. How do you ever get anything done once they’re *crawling*? I can’t get away with leaving Tucker in the swing at all anymore; unless I’m sitting in front of it playing with him. Since he still only naps in 30-50 minute chunks (with some wake-ups in the middle) during the day, it’s harder and harder to get work done and also jump in the shower.
Of course, he slept 12 hours last night. So there’s that.
This week there’s been a lot of drooling. The fascination with the Winkel that I mentioned a couple weeks ago continues: Now he grabs it with one or both hands and works on getting it into his mouth for ten minute stretches. We went to Ikea yesterday and he spent the first half of the drive quietly passing it from one hand to the other and trying to chew on it. He’s also figuring out his hands in a much more focused way than before. Where he used to occasionally get a hand in his mouth and then thrash it away, now he’s working on shoving his entire fist in, slobbering on it, spitting it out, and starting over.
So the Ikea trip. I was meeting a couple girlfriends there, along with their babies. It had been raining for days and we all had stuff we needed to pick up, and it turns out to be the perfect place to while away a wet afternoon. We had lunch in the cafe and my friend with an older baby took off so she could get home for his nap. The two of us with infants found a secluded “living room” where we nursed the boys, then laid them down on the chaise lounges where we were sitting and let them play for a while. It was super comfortable and relaxing compared to the library, etc. where there are always crowds. Don’t worry, we also bought things!
My big “first” for the week: A friend was going on vacation and asked if I wanted to pick up her babysitters afternoon hours for two days. I went for it and it was definitely a learning experience. The sitter is great--she read and sang to Tucker, played music, showed him lots of new toys, and generally amused him. The first day I was home and working, but the second day I walked to Harvard Square for a haircut, leaving Tucker at home for about an hour and a half. It was the first time I left him with anyone but Ben, and it was hard because he was crying pretty hard when I left. But we both survived and I’m motivated to practice leaving him with highly-trusted caregivers every so often. I don’t want a child who freaks out if I’m not around 24 hours a day! But I never expected to be quite so stereotypically upset about leaving.
And a little first: I bathed Tucker by myself for the first time! That’s always something Ben and I do together, but Ben was traveling for work this week and I couldn’t let my poor little greaser go another day with his hair looking the way it did. Our bath goods: We use the Puj Tub, a soft foam tub that stores flat and then snaps together with magnets to fit in the sink. It’s not a great fit for our sinks but we like it anyway, and if you have a normal-sized bathroom sink or a small kitchen sink I think it would be even better. We use a pot to shrink the kitchen sink and hold it up and then use the sprayer to “shower” Tuck. For his body we use California Baby Calming Shampoo & Body Wash, which smells amazing and doesn’t dry out his skin. His scalp was getting a little flaky so we started washing his hair with Mustela Foam Shampoo for Newborns, and his scalp looks great now. His hair is totally crazy, by the way. Freshly washed, it’s incredibly poofy and light-colored. It stands up on top and on one side and lies flat on the other side. Ben described a pouty photo of him as looking like Nick Nolte’s famous headshot. Eek! Oh, and he’s rubbing the hair right off in back. Poor guy.
Out of curiosity, and since you were all amazing with book recs when I was pregnant, what are your favorite music choices for kids? I’ve been playing Paul Simon and the Beatles but I should probably branch out!
Kate Flaim is a freelance journalist and food blogger based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.