Monday, September 20, 2010

What I Didn't Realize About Babies Before Birthin' Em: Part III

11) Babies get weird things like baby acne and cradle cap

The baby acne was very minor and only lasted for a few weeks of the first month, but the twins still have cradle cap, which affects about half of all babies. Cradle cap basically is a harmless skin condition resulting in scaly patches on the scalp. We were told that putting a little baby oil on their scalps before a bath might help to slough it off. Julia has quite a bit of it on her scalp, which is currently completely hidden by an uber-cool mohawk. James (and Julia to a lesser extent) has it behind his ears (Cradle cap tagline:"cradle cap - it's no longer just for your cap!")

This is what cradle cap looks like. However, this is not one of my babies.

12) How much lint they accumulate in their hands and toes

Especially when they're little, babies keep their hands clenched at all times so eventually when you pry those tiny hands open you find quite a bit of wet stringy lint. Any socks they wear are constantly shedding tiny lint balls so that accumulates between their toes, too. Similarly their neck folds hide lint, mommy hair, and dried spit up. Yum.

Julia's baby feet! I can actually see a piece of lint in there now (on her left foot between her big toe and the next toe) (5 1/2 months)

Who knows what lint lies within James's rectangular baby feet (or as Mark calls them, "white anvils")?... (5 1/2 months)

Julia grips so hard you have to pry her hand open to get it out. (2 weeks)

13) You will be flooded in spit-up

This depends on the baby since my friend Rachel R. told me that each of her babies spit up a total of 10 times the first year. I don't know what kind of mutant perfect babies she had but ours spit up often both during and after feedings. They spit up less now but since James is on his tummy all the time lately, he leaves little puddles in his crawling wake. In their spit up heyday I had shirts that were literally drenched in spit up. I only wear cotton now. The first couple times they spit up on our purple sofa I'd fastidiously clean the spot, but eventually Mark and I both gave up and just gave the area a quick wipe. Also, there is nothing like spit up in your hair. That's a joy Mark doesn't have to deal with. It's especially disappointing if you finally got to wash your hair for the first time in nearly a week only to have it sticky and matted from spit up.

14) Hot water and soap destroy your hands

When I was the only one washing bottles for two days straight I developed a terrible case of eczema on my hands. Basically all the water and the anti-bacterial soap dried out my hands, and when you're washing bottles and changing diapers - especially for two - there's a lot of hand washing to be done. Apparently this is very common among mothers of small children. I now only use Dove Sensitive Skin bar soap, I make Mark wash the bottles, and I use food service disposable gloves during diaper changes to handle the wipes. At night I have to soak my hands in a tub of water for 10 minutes and follow it by coating my hands in Vaseline, applying two types of medicine, and then sleeping with cotton gloves.

Here's my eczema ravaged hand before treatment; fortunately the thumb has since grown back

15) It's fun seeing their personalities develop and so soon!

If you were to ask me at 6 months based on knowing them only the first week, "Who do you think will be a fussy eater?" and "Who can't wait to be mobile and explore?" (first answer: Julia, second answer: James) I would have guessed correctly.

James loves his toy as a newborn and still loves to figure out how it and other things work (2 1/2 weeks)

James having fun. Or crying. Probably having fun. (2 1/2 months)

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