New mothers, apart from caring for their young ones are anointed with yet another duty – to listen to the advice that pours in from all directions. You may not enjoy all of it, but you must take it with a pinch of salt. It is especially true if you lack the skill of holding a baby in your arms in the first place. If you already heard, “Not that way, you must first support the baby’s head as you carry it,” it’s a clear sign you have never held a newborn in your arms before! And it can explain how far you could get without any training. Sure you will need your mom or mom-in-law by your side for the most part in the first six months of the baby’s life. Rest assured, most of your maternal instinct is at work early on to manage on your own as time progresses.
I received great help from my mother. However, something had passed on to me. It was a statement that my mother’s mum had made. And it kept ringing in my ears as if in perpetuity. “Babies are like flowers. You must handle them with care.” It sounded true to every word of it. Figuratively, and truly. They are tender, soft and delicate as the petals of a flower. You need to nourish them to keep them well. They are sensitive and fragile, so handle them with care. And no wonder, they are too beautiful and divine to let wither out even for a second.
There is also something about ‘Don’t touch my baby’ thing. Even if it’s a friend, you get a little apprehensive about how she would handle the apple of your eyes. This is barring the nannies or babysitters. Here are the ways you will be extra-careful with your little one:
1. You Will Be Up All Night If She Sleeps Beside You:
You will freak out lest you toss over or roll over the little angel. How on earth could a nearly 3kg bundle take a 55kg load? I bet not. Scared you could smother her, you’d rather stay up.
2. Bathing Will Be A Gentle Thing:
You will check the temperatures of the bathing water before you can slide the little thing in the tub. And you will be cautious that the suds don’t get into her eyes. Ah, how if we got treated like that in a spa – the velvety touch and the cooing, but nothing comes as close to this!
3. Getting The Baby Dressed Up:
Once out from the bath, you will smear the baby with those lavender-smelling baby-creams and powder…ummm…and as you dress the little thing up, be it onesies or two-pieces, a lot of care will go in moving its limbs out through the tiny outfit. And the intermittent yawn and stretch of the baby will steal your heart!
Can there be anything tastier than a bland pap that a mom can prepare for her baby? No denial. Somehow baby food won’t need spices, sauces, margarine or any fancy topping. But it will smell and taste like heaven. All that a baby food needs is the mother’s touch!
5. Swaddling The Baby:
Swaddling won’t stop till the baby is grown up enough to fend it off herself. The concern that she might not stay warm will get her wrapped all the time. But it won’t last once the little mischief learns to kick it off.
6. The Timetable:
You may not follow your timetable as much as you will of your baby. You will maintain the time interval before the next feed, the next nap, the next bath, and so on. At this point of time, your baby will seem to be more organised than you are ;) If only someone could do that for us.
7. Mobility Is Never An Issue:
Your baby gets driven just about everywhere. She doesn’t have to do anything but sit in her ‘royal’ seat exclusive for her. Even if you had to take a walk, she would enjoy the passersby winking at her as she sets out in her stroller.
8. Baby Accessories:
All the safety features of the baby accessories make it pretty easy for you to handle her. The baby safety-pins, for instance. Thank God, these have been invented to reduce off your anxieties.
9. The Lullabies:
We desperately need lullabies like your baby does! Your baby must be grateful she doesn’t have to have a mechanical life to keep her mind stirring when it’s time to sleep!
10. Resting In Mother’s Arms:
It needs no explanation. There could be nothing more beautiful than resting in your mother’s arms – secure, comfy and loving.
And these are apart from being always watchful of the thorns, the hurdles, that bump in the wall, falling off; and administering medicines on time, worried when your baby looks unhappy and smile when she smiles……
What my grandma said has flowed in each time I have had to attend to my babies. Perhaps I will say that to my grandchildren, and the statement will go on to become proverbial in raising kids in the future generations :)