Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ways to Make My Baby Not Hate You

1. Don't hold him like a baby.
Reclining is for babies, Jude thinks he's a grown-up and hates being reminded that he isn't. He's been this way since birth. His butt should be pointed toward the floor, nestled in your palm or on your arm and his head should be shoulder height or higher to promote maximum contentment.

2. If you're playing with him, make sure he knows that.
Don't just toss him into the air unexpectedly. Don't just start manhandling his ribs, knees, and neck trying to tickle him; start off slow and ramp up to full on tickling. Shit just suddenly happening to a baby kind of freaks them out.

3. Smile. Even if you're pissed or sad.
Babies pick up on facial expressions to an impressive degree. If you look angry, even if you're offering him food or playing with him, he's going to pick up on that and be upset about it. Same thing if you look sad, or have no facial expression at all. Look up Still Face Experiments on Youtube for examples.

4. Give him your full attention.
Sometimes he wants to play on his own. Sometimes he wants your full attention. Always assume the latter. Only once you are sure it's the former, should you feel free to disengage and tend to whatever else. He may act a lot like a puppy, but he is a human being and he demands (and deserves) respect. Plopping him in front of his toys and walking away doesn't display any. If you NEED to do something that's another matter, but if you just want to watch TV, read a book, or look at the Internet -- it can wait.

5. If you hurt his tiny little feels, apologize.
Babies are just developing their emotions. It is important if you've hurt their feelings to reassure them that you are sorry about it. Even if the reason their feelings were hurt is asinine. Like you made a mad face at the cat and he thought you were making a mad face at him. Your job as an adult is to make it better. Apologize, explain to him you aren't angry at him.

6. If you hurt him accidentally, comfort him.
Maybe he bonked his head on your chin or maybe he scratched himself on your fingernail, chances are the reason he's in pain is mostly his fault. Comfort him anyway. Don't minimalize his ouchies because it's his own fault. He's a baby. Just hug him and assure him it'll feel better in a minute.

7. It's breakfast/lunch/dinner time, feed him.
He eats at 10:00AM, 3:00PM, and 7:00PM. You should begin preparing his meals an appropriate amount of time in advance so that they will be ready or near ready at these times. He may be a baby but he is remarkable at keeping time when it comes to when food should enter his body. If you're late he's going to be displeased about it.

8. It's nap time, stfu and let him sleep.
He has a hard time falling asleep during the day and a difficult time staying that way. He naps at 11:00AM and usually again around 4:00PM. At these times it is your duty not to distract him by being a loud ass. If he doesn't get at least one two hour nap undisturbed, he's going to be a cranky miser until bed time. Don't complain if it's your fault. This is also applicable for the first hour of sleep during bed time.

9. He wants to be picked up, pick him up.
Babies have little understanding of the difference between a want and a need. Sometimes they want to be picked up, sometimes they need to be picked up. They don't know the difference. They become unhinged if they want something and you don't provide because they are convinced they need whatever it is or bad things will happen. Once they become more mobile on their own this won't be a problem anymore. You can't 'spoil' them.

10. Sometimes Mom is the only answer.
Sometimes something happens that only Mommy can fix. Even if you've fixed it before doesn't guarantee that you can fix it again. Every now and then the only solution is Mommy. Just hand him back to me. Don't stubbornly try to make it better yourself because for every minute he doesn't go back to Mommy his distress and subsequent crying only gets worse. I won't be judging you if you can't make it all better. I understand it's isn't anything you did wrong. If I'm not there for whatever reason, feel free to call me back. It's cool. I get it.

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