There is this moment, many first-time young mothers (and sometimes supportive husbands) experiences when the excitement of the new born baby momentarily disappears; the moment when the nurse hands over the infant and the parents realise with horror "oh my God, she's going to send this home with me and I have no idea what I am going to do" (idea taken from Gilbert, 2010: 112).
Babies are fragile little things, but in under normal circumstances require tender love and care (TLC) and lots of patience:
- Feeding (breast or/and bottle) in accordance to their routine, which initially implies in the middle of the night and early morning hours
- Burping after feeding
- Clean, dry nappies, which means changing some time after feeding—keeping their sensitive skins well moisture and avoid any nappy burn
- Careful handling, supporting their little heads
- Bathing, drying, powdering and clothing
- Playing and stimulation—attention
- Neither cold or too warm
- When they are crying trying to figure out what the matter is and resolving the problem
- When they teething they are miserable and need extra care, possibly pain medication for infants, and extra care to prevent nappy burn
Looking at the list above it should be obvious why mothers become exhausted. Dads can help by taken over the burping after breast feeding is done; by doing the nappy changes when at home; by washing the baby clothes, dry and fold them for re-use; and by making dinner, own lunch box or bathing baby.
Gilbert, Elizabeth. 2010. Committed. London: Bloomsbury.