Sleep (Optional)

Jasper

Well, Jasper is shortly to turn nine months old, and by god, what a nine months it’s been.

I thought it would be only right to share my thoughts on what have been probably the most traumatic and rewarding 18 months of my life.

From the very first afternoon I learnt I was to be a parent, to now being skilled at completing nearly every domestic task one handed; the learning curve has been steep and exponential, with no sign of a plateau to come yet…

Firstly, for anyone reading this and flirting with the idea of becoming a parent, the one point I’ve taken away from all this is you don’t need that much sleep. I mean physically, you can get by on far less sleep than you think you may need. It’s been more than a year since Mandy and I have slept through the night. In fact, we often reminisce fondly of a time when we could go to bed and know the next time our eyes would open would be 11AM on a Sunday morning; these days it’s more like 5AM.

That said, it’s been the most rewarding time I can possibly describe. It’s almost like the feeling you get after a physical hardship; climbing a mountain, running a marathon etc… Except you get the accomplished feeling on a daily basis. I suppose it goes to show that every day is a challenge, but it’s the challenges that make it all the more the worthwhile.

Now on the practical side of parenting, there are innumerable products out there that are brilliant, and there are even more that are poorly thought out and impractical. The only common denominator between them all is they are so heavily marketed it can sometimes become hard to get through your front door because of all the junk mail that seemingly appears from nowhere.

Bottles

Tommee Tippee know how to make bottles, Avant do not. Tommee Tippee I think at some stage have actually met a real life baby, whereas Avant can’t really comprehend what a baby is, my guess is they just presume it’s a perfectly formed human, just very small. For instance, the former company cleverly knows that a baby doesn’t quite yet understand the principle of pressure differences, and so mitigate a baby’s lack of knowledge with a rather simple valve that does the pressure stabilising for them.

Trying to feed a baby with an Avant bottle is an absolute chore; after about five seconds of feeding, said baby has created a near perfect vacuum inside the bottle, and goes red in the face trying to get the next drop of milk. The only way to easily counter this, is to drag the bottle out of their mouth every five seconds. It takes Jasper about 15 minutes to consume seven ounces, thus meaning we have to remove the bottle, allow the pressures to stabilise and get him to start again 180 times… every time he feeds. Avant, please be better, or for the love of god, hang up your bottle making lines.

Poppers, zips and buttons

Babies don’t like to get dressed, and they’re awkward little buggers too. There are some clothing manufacturers out there that make quite aesthetically pleasing outfits, but use maybe one or two fixings to get it to fasten. Babies aren’t renowned for being skilled contortionists, but I can only assume that is what these companies think, as trying to get a brand new baby into a baby grow where you have to thread the entire baby through a sleeve just so it looks marginally cuter is ridiculous and causes significantly more stress than it should.

My advice on this particular subject then, the more poppers, zips and buttons the better. Seriously, a garment made entirely from these fixing would make life much easier.

Key message

Sleep. I love it, and remember it fondly. If you can, take every moment of it, because when the patter of tiny feet start kicking the footboard of their bed you won’t get much.

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