Today, Blake is one month old.
That’s not a lot by anybody’s standards, but considering the entire pregnancy was only nine months I feel like we’ve stepped into some kind of timewarp. Sort of like when your Sky+ box gets stuck in fastforward when you’re trying to skip the adverts and before you know it you just watched half your programme in x30 speed.
It’s been an exciting and exhausting month…but what have I learnt in that time?
I’ve learnt that behaviour on one day is no indicator of behaviour on the next. Adults are relatively predictable – those without severe mental illnesses anyway – but newborns can go from sweetness and light on Tuesday to spawn of Satan on Wednesday for no apparent reason. This can be enormously frustrating, particularly if you’re used to causality and patterns. “It’s ok, if you hold him like this he goes to sleep…. OK, why doesn’t that work today?”
I’ve discovered that the baby books are just annoying. This was quite an early discovery. They do have value in giving you a few clues as to what to expect, but in general they are written in such a definitive way as to set the nervous parent up for failure when their child fails to comply with the guidelines. Which is most of the time.
I’ve learnt that gas is the nemesis of the young human. I knew you had to burp babies but didn’t consider they would be racked in agony by the comparatively routine process of farting. The main battle of my parenthood seems to be versus unwanted stomach gases.
I knew from the start our baby wouldn’t be particularly interesting in the first month in terms of interaction. After all – they can only see a few feet and I often get the feeling he doesn’t realise his arms are attached to him. However, it has turned out to be slightly frustrating that he won’t engage with toys at all yet. He gives whatever animal, rattle or brightly coloured gonk you wave at him a cursory glance before resuming his inspection of the far more exciting shadow on the wall, or whatever.
I’ve also learnt that Harry Houdini has nothing on my boy for escapology. No matter how tightly you swaddle him to get him to sleep, he will be waving his arms in the air like he just don’t care within minutes. Which of course causes him to wake up from bashing himself in the face with flailing arms – so you have to start all over again.
I’ve learnt that no matter how loud or frequently he screams and cries in private, in front of other people he is the perfect angel child. I guess it’s the distraction of constant new things or something.
Finally, I’ve learnt that from day to day, a 1 month old doesn’t do that much different or exciting. I refuse to document his every poo – although they now stink whereas before they were odourless – so I have fallen back to weekly or similar updates. I anticipate more frequent posts when he can do such advanced and exciting things as smile, or grasp objects.
In other news, we think Blake is going through his first growth spurt as he is more hungry more often than ever before.
He’s just grown out of his first newborn size clothes – I’d estimate him to be around 10lb now, which means he’s gained 20% of his birth weight.
Oh, and his head has grown as well so he’s no longer a pea head! Good news all round.