So those of you who’ve been paying attention will know that ‘the list’ is a wonderous gift bestowed on the Better Half and I by my Sis in Law. A gift of enlightenment. And no small amount of foreboding. We were clueless.
The List: Part Four. The All Important Safety and Travel Essentials.
When junior bounds in to the world you go from being a young carefree pair of happy go lucky socialites (or thereabouts) to paranoid worrywarts faster than you can say Epidural. He sleeps in the moses basket next to your bed – why wont he stop crying? Is he too hot? Is he too cold? Is that a cough? Has it gone to his chest? Oh my god, is he developing pneumonia? … Hang on, he’s stopped crying. Can you see him breathing? Its so dark in here, is he breathing? Put small night light on, IS HE BREATHING? Poke him. Wakes up. Starts crying. Repeat.
He then moves to his own room. Down the hall from you. Which feels like it could possibly be on a different continent. At least for the first night. So you need a Baby Monitor. Or you can buy an app (3G Baby Monitor) if you’re smartphoned. And so continue your worrying from slightly further away. He’s quiet. Is the Monitor broken? Is it turned down? Is it turned off (said in an accusatory way to your Better Half)? Its not broken. Oh my god, is he not breathing? Is his face covered and he can’t breathe? I shouldn’t have put the soft rabbit comforter in there. I’m a bad parent. Check on baby. He’s fine. It turns out to be you who isn’t breathing.
And then there is the room temperature which should be 18-20 degrees c or thereabouts so you need a room thermometer (some baby monitors have them). And it doesn’t matter because the central heating in your new house will switch off in the middle of the night during the coldest March on record and the room temperature will plummet. You won’t realise because you’re under a duvet but believe me baby will tell you he’s not happy.
And then the munchkin has the discourtesy to start moving about! Just as you get into one routine and assuage all those fears, he’s crawling. And discovering whole new adventures of stairs and electric sockets and the gallons of household poison that you keep under the sink. So you’ll need stairgates, fireguards, plug socket covers, table corner bumpers, and childproof cupboard locks. Or a play pen to keep him in til he’s say eighteen and financially independent. Try this excellent website for more information and a great (very long) checklist.
So once you’ve figured out living in the house, you’ll want to get out of it. Baby induced cabin fever is tough so get out even if its only to get a pint of milk. But you’ll probably need some travel stuff.
We’ve discussed the travel system and car seat. As part of this, you might want to consider an “isofix base” to more securely hold the car seat in the car (your car may not be equipped for them- look for two small vertical slashes in the base of the rear passenger seats). And for the first few months he’ll be in a rear facing car seat (its safer) so you might want a mirror which you can attach to the seat headrest and thereby keep an eye on the baby rather than the traffic.
If you prefer to walk, slings (as mentioned in one of the comments to a previous post) are excellent and cover the spectrum from hippy earth mother ones to more engineered ones. We had one called a Manduca which was excellent and bimp would drift off to sleep in it while I did the morning chores – although it did hinder movement slightly- emptying the dishwasher took 45 minutes at one stage!
Finally if you’re away over night, a travel cot is a useful must. It gives bimp his own space and keeps him cosy, especially with the fifty layers of blankets and the sleep bag he’s wrapped in because the hotels ‘a bit drafty’. We have a nifty one that springs open like one of those Glastonbury tents, but there are others more substantial. Have a think about whether you’re planning on taking it on a plane as weight will be important if you are.
So there you are. Get out of the house. Don’t fear travelling. Don’t poke the baby. He’ll tell you when he’s unhappy. Long live slightly paranoid parenting.
The last bit of the list is coming soon: clothes, play and yummy mummy stuff.