Surprising discoveries about newborns

As some of you know, my wife recently gave birth to a boy and a girl.  Now that they are three months old, I thought I would share what I find to be some surprising discoveries over these three months.

  • We have so little free time now. Before, maybe 4-6 hours a day. Now, maybe 0.5-1 hour a day.  This issue is compounded by all the visitors we get.
  • When I used to get home, I would immediately pull my laptop out and work with it for hours. And again in the morning for an hour or two before heading to work.  Now, it is rare that I have a chance to even pull out my laptop until the morning. Conversely I use my phone much more often, as it’s easier to check/write email while feeding a baby.
  • Infants make noise all the time while sleeping. Combined with our white noise machine, it sounds like a forest in their bedroom at night.
  • Poops are often surprisingly, violently loud.
  • Gas results in a lot of screaming.
  • Cleaning their face and neck doesn’t annoy them, like it does toddlers. But it must be done often, as they are constantly dribbling milk and spitup down their neck.
  • They don’t associate physical annoyance with crying. E.g. if I accidentally dropped an empty bottle and it hit their head, they would just look around. Meanwhile, a toddler might decide to cry at the same action.
  • Each day feels like groundhog day. Feedings consist of prepping bottles, feeding, changing diapers, swaddling, cleaning bottles, and prepping for the next feeding. Doing this for both kids alone requires around 90 minutes. And since the kids have been eating every three hours in this first 6 weeks, things have become very repetitive. After 12 weeks, we have gone through this cycle almost 600 times.
  • I will wake up about once a week with a jolt and throw the sheets off of me, thinking that a baby is in bed with me and he/she is stuffed under the blankets or under me. Unlike normal nightmares which wash over me in 2-3 seconds, it actually takes me 10 seconds or so of frantically looking around before I realize that that didn’t happen.
  • It took 8 weeks for us to finally feel comfortable enough to leave the house and feed them in a public place (and that 8 weeks was partially due to Chicago’s crappy spring weather). It was hugely liberating.
  • They really hate when you try to put on sleep sacks, which are tight at the neck and tight at the bottom.  Both areas of tightness really pisses them off.

2 thoughts on “Surprising discoveries about newborns

  1. A note to my possible future kids:
    In all likelyhood, I will be a terrible parent according to western standards. As I write this, my current belief is 90% nature / 10% nurture with most parenting being self-serving signalling. You will not remember my lack of care while you were under 6 years old, and it will not impact your future life outcomes, which will be excellent.

    Since Jason may not get much time to read outside his blog comments, I submit this in support:
    http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2013/06/how-critical-are-the-early-years-of-life.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+marginalrevolution%2Ffeed+%28Marginal+Revolution%29

  2. This study seems to really only focus on “ability to live” vs. “success” (with the latter defined as how you and I would define it, primarily, income and intelligence).

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