Tagged With babies

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Author Catherynne Valente discovered a passage in New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding — a book written in 2002, not 1952, mind you — that reads: “Fathers, if your wife is having trouble or pain, step in and adjust her technique, reminding her that successful breastfeeding is a priority for the development of the child and the formation of your new family!” Her reaction? No. 

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When my kid was an infant, I found myself in a deep relationship with something called a Boppy. A ubiquitous baby product, it is a pillow designed to help nursing mums breastfeed — you basically wear it around your body like a four-year-old going swimming.

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As anyone who works in a school or childcare centre will attest, Australian parents come up with some pretty weird names for their offspring - including Google, Tron and Hippo. While most names are reluctantly approved by the state or territory's Registry of Births, there are a few that you just can't get away with.

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If your baby has a nappy leak in the middle of the night, the traditional options have been to 1) replace the crib sheet with a clean one in the rare case your sleep-deprived brain has remembered to keep a spare, or 2) do laundry and sob. (You can't just drape any old blanket on the bare mattress and say "see ya in the morning" - it could be a choking hazard.)

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I loved singing lullabies to my daughter. As a musical theatre geek who suddenly had a captive audience (one that was physically incapable of walking out on me), how could I not? At nap time, bed time, really any time, I'd croon my own renditions of familiar classics. A couple of standouts: "Don't Cry For Me Little Baby" (sung to the tune of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina") and a song I just referred to as "Baby Hypnosis".

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In those early days of new parenthood, a trip to the doctor's office for a baby check-up can feel like a grand occasion. Aside from giving you a reason to put on pants and interact with real-life adults, it's an opportunity to finally get some quantifiable data on this tiny being whose existence of eating, sleeping and pooing can seem so erratic. The big test is when the nurse takes your baby's measurements.

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If you have a baby, and if something is wrong with that baby (something always seems wrong), somebody will suggest that you take your baby to a chiropractor. Perhaps you will hear this recommendation even when nothing is wrong. Friends, do not take your baby to the chiropractor.

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It would be terrifying if baby wipes caused food allergies, right? Good thing we have zero evidence of that (phew). A recent study was reported as if this is the answer to why everybody's allergic to peanuts, but guess what? The study didn't prove that. And it didn't involve baby wipes. It didn't even involve (human) babies.

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In movies, immediately after a mother gives birth, a nurse places a pristine newborn in her arms. In real life, however, babies usually look more Alien 3 than Huggies ad as they enter the world - their heads are misshapen, their faces resemble grumpy old men, and they're covered in a white film. The traditional protocol has been to get them a sponge bath, stat.

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I used to do the ninja escape. Sitting on the glider in my baby's room, I'd nurse her until her eyelids slowly shut, and then I'd carefully, carefully place the time-bomb of a child into her crib and creep out the door. I'd exhale in relief and give my husband a silent high five, holding onto the universal parenting mantra: "Whatever works."

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New parents hear the advice often: You need to talk to your baby! A lot! The book SuperBaby proclaims 30,000 words a day is the magic number for optimal language success. One landmark study found that kids who heard 45 million words by age three later scored the highest in reading and maths. There's even a wearable word counter that you can clip onto your infant's onesie and see via an app whether you're meeting your daily word goals. Basically, a verbal Fitbit.

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I do not have a baby, but I have a sous vide circulator (the light of my life), and I assume that other people who own sous vide circulators might one day procreate. (Or maybe they already have!) For these offspring-having, sous-vide-savvy home cooks, I have great news: You can use your sous vide setup to warm breast milk and baby formula to the perfect 37C, without fear of overheating it.

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The day after I had my second baby, the paediatric resident came around and offered to give him one of his vaccinations. "Will it make him cry?" I asked, and when she said maybe, I told her no way, I would totally fall apart if he cried at that particular moment. She looked at the totally placid baby, and me, sitting calmly in the recliner, shrugged, and told me to get it the following week. I sure we looked fine, but it was tenuous. Freaked-out crying jags were kind of my thing right then.

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Newborn babies don't seem too expensive. They're too young to care about overpriced toys and breast milk doesn't cost anything. If you're willing to use washable cloth nappies, you're basically raising it for free.

Except this is obviously bollocks. An Australian mum recently did the maths and worked out that her bub cost approximately $32,360 over one year. Here's where all that money goes.