Childrearing

Newborns Are Way Easier Than Everyone Says They Are

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newborn sleepingPoor newborns. They get such a bum reputation, and can’t say anything to defend themselves. New moms and dad are always complaining how hard having an infant is, how they haven’t showered or slept or eaten a vegetable since the baby was born. Well listen up, new parents: I call bullshit*. On behalf of all the innocent, defenseless and oh, so adorable newborns out there, and in order to allay the fears of any soon to be first time moms, I am here to say that newborns are far easier than new parents make them out to be.

Number one on the list of things newborns get blamed for is sleep deprivation. Some newborns happen to be amazing sleepers.You’ll know who the parents of good sleepers are because they either brag on Facebook, if they are the obnoxious type, or they get very, very quiet around other new parents when the topic comes up, as to not jinx themselves. Other parents aren’t so lucky. Their newborns wake up a lot in the night to eat, play or just to be with mom and dad. You can’t really get mad at a baby for being genuinely hungry, and wanting to spend time with the folks is a sweet act that will be missed when she turns 13 and doesn’t want to be seen with you in public. Besides, babies spend huge chunks of the days napping, so either get on their schedule or pretend you’re back in sophomore year, when getting by on less than four hours sleep was the norm. Sleep is for the weak, and your baby is just trying to make you stronger.

Next up on the list of things newborns get blamed for is eating often. Sure, new humans eat constantly, but so do teenagers. And most adults I know, come to think of it.  At least with a baby it’s just swishing together some powder and water, maybe warming it up if you want to get all fancy. It takes less than five minutes to make a bottle, and then you get to sit back in a comfy glider and relax while your baby drinks. It’s a chance to meditate or have an actual conversation with another adult. In two years or so, when you spend almost an hour making macaroni and cheese from scratch in hopes of getting your child to eat, just to spend the entire meal pleading with them to take a bite until they ultimately dump it on the floor, you will long for just one more day of baby bottles. If you breastfeed life is even simpler, because all of your baby’s meals are pre-packaged at the perfect temperature and are ready to go whenever you are.

You can’t have a conversation with a new parent about their baby without hearing about the saga that is changing a diaper. Parents love to talk about the traumatic event that is getting peed on by an infant, but unless they never attended a kegger in college, dealing with some bodily fluids isn’t that big of a deal. Plus, little baby, little bladder. Besides, pee is sterile, and in some parts of the world, is used in high end beauty treatments, so really, Junior is just trying to help, since mom and dad keep complaining about how tired they look. Some moms take their emotions over changing diapers to the other extreme– they swear breastfed babies’ poop makes them think of delicious buttery popcorn. I don’t know about all that, but I will say that nothing my newborn ever produced was remotely as bad as it was once they started solids.

Newborns are the very definition of laid-back. Plop them in a swing, put them on a play mat, let them look at a beam of sunlight on the wall- it doesn’t take much to make them happy. If you want to blow your baby’s mind, stick them in an exersaucer, which is the infant equivalent to Disney World. You can still spread out on the couch and watch TV over their heads or fold a load of laundry if you’re feeling particularly productive. Even on their fussiest day, I could toss a squawking infant in a carrier so he could snuggle up on me and go about my business. Contrast that with chasing after toddlers for hours on end and I would happily trade for two newbs.

Perhaps I’m forgetting how difficult having an infant can be or I’m just nostalgic for the days when I didn’t spend my waking hours trying to avoid a trip to ER but I’m still #teamnewborn. If any new parents out there need a sitter, I’m your gal.

*unless you believe you may be suffering from Post Partum Depression, in which case I offer you the biggest of internet hugs and strongly ask you to tell your partner or a close friend and talk to your doctor.There are many resources out there to help you through this.

(image: Nadezda Cruzova/Shutterstock.com)