11 New Baby Things You Completely Forget About Once Your Kid Turns One

newborn-swaddled-babyThere were so many things I prepared for coming home from the hospital, so many tiny milestones I watched my baby pass, and it’s incredible how fast it all went. Looking back on that sleep-deprived but exciting time, I made a list of things that seemed so important, so defining to infancy. Some of these things I studied like my child’s life depended on them (see: The L.A.T.C.H. car seat system), some were things I didn’t know existed till we were already deep into this whole thing (see: neck cheese). In that haze of the first year, they seemed like they would always be relevant and now they barely register. We’ve moved on. We’re growing up. From blowouts to crying it out, here’s my short list of things that I never thought I’d forget but are now a thing of the past.

1. Latch/L.A.T.C.H

Did you ever notice that this one has two meanings? Not only is it the keyword when breastfeeding, especially if you have trouble or pain: “How’s his latch?” “Is he properly latched?” “Is his tongue preventing a tight latch???” It’s also an important acronym when securing your car seat in a car. “The seat can be tethered by a seatbelt or L.A.T.C.H. system.” “Is your seat L.A.T.C.H. compatible?” “Dear God why is the f**king L.A.T.C.H. HOOK BURIED DOWN IN THERE SO FAR??”

2. Neck cheese 

The fragrant, white chunkies that come to rest in your child’s neck folds to remind you that your milk-fed baby needs a bath. Once they’re on solids, neck cheese will become more like “neck peanut butter” or “neck Annie’s Cheddar Bunny crumbs.”

3. Liquid Poops

The mustard-colored fountain of shit that erupts from your baby’s butt hole during that time when they’re being fed only a diet of milk or formula. If you’re lucky, you’ll see a Bellagio-worthy show while you’re mid-diaper change. Liquid poops also result in another fleeting phenomenon: blowouts.

4. Blowouts

This phrase no longer means the weekly 30 minute hair-smoothing ritual at the salon. You don’t have that kind of time. No, this is the thing where your kid craps so completely and voluminously that it comes out the back, sides and/or front, and can reach the neck, hair, back and other places you never thought a person’s poop would end up.

5. Gummy Smiles

The sweetest smile known to man. Catch it before it goes away forever when the first teeth erupt.

6. Swaddling/The Happiest Baby On The Block

Thanks to Dr. Harvey Karp, Miracle Blankets, and your birthing classes, you will enter newborn parenthood assuming that swaddling will solve all your problems. Simply wrap your baby into a Muslin tortilla and he will believe he has gone back in time, to the tight quarters of your womb. This works for a lot of people. It also doesn’t work for others, like babies who sleep with them arms up or are strong enough to break out of the swaddle. Still, you will  have at least one friend who won’t shut up about how The Happiest Baby On The Block solved all of their problems.

7. Tummy Time

All babies need it, but somehow I feel like this basic concept of making sure your baby lies on his or her belly for five minutes a day to develop neck strength has become a phenomenon that doesn’t need a cutesy name or products marketed specifically to it. A crib or a floor will do.

8. Snap ‘n’ Go

The au courant stroller system for infants. Admittedly it’s a great system: A car seat that snaps effortlessly into a stroller base so you don’t even have to get your kid unbuckled to transport him. You’ll wish they made a toddler version on car trips where your child has fallen asleep, but once you realize that removing 35 pounds of seat plus kid from your mid-sized hatchback is impossible, you’ll understand why that doesn’t exist.

9. The Mothers’ Room

I could do 20 posts about the Mothers’ Room. This is what my company calls the designated pump room. New moms sign up for 30 minute shifts once or twice a day, pull up our shirts, and hope to God we can get enough in this pumping session because your freezer supply is low and you have a meeting in 20 and you can’t be late and good God, this is what it means to be a working mom. Since this room is usually unmarked and discreet so that no one passing by has to know your milking activities, you pray that you remembered to lock the door and that no one will mistake it for the supply closet when they come looking for Sharpies.

10. Cry It Out

Whether you actually employ the CIO technique or not, you will be made very aware of it, roughly in the 4-6 month mark of your baby’s life. You’ll probably Google it and consider it as a way to sleep train. There is no “normal” when it comes to baby sleep but hopefully by the time your child can walk, he or she is falling asleep on their own – that’s not judgment, that’s a wish, for your sanity’s sake.

11. Baby jail/The Circle of Neglect 

Once you realize that even the most attached attachment parent needs to take a crap or a shower, you will need a place to put your child down, preferably with minimal screaming on their part. Exersaucers, Jumparoos, pack and plays – whatever you use, it’s been given a delightful nickname that implies that you have chosen to ignore your child or, better yet, imprison him.

These are all topics or terms that were part of my everyday life for so long, and now that we’re dealing with a toddler, I’m sure there will be a new set of crucial but fleeting fixations around potty-training and Thomas The Tank Engine. What were your obsessions in the first year?

(Photo: Shutterstock)

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