Pregnancy Class Week 4 Taking baby home
I Heart Daddying - Australia's worst parenting blog
This is our last week of class and it’s all about what we should be doing when we first arrive back at home with a new-born baby. I’m willing to listen to suggestions, but to be honest I already made plans – to drink heavily and cry myself to sleep. Incidentally, I soon learn that the baby has made the same plans. Touché.
The first part of class is all geared towards the ladies. It’s about how to nurse your battered body back to health following the trauma of childbirth.
The teacher is giving an explanation of how to care for an understandably very sore vagina when suddenly the Prime Minister runs in and winks at me.
Next it’s time to learn a bit about handling the baby. We do an exercise with a doll. The doll gets passed around and each couple has to show how they might deal with a baby if it were crying. One couple suggests rocking it, another singing to it. I’m wondering what the teacher will think of my idea to hand it over to my wife whilst I grab a beer from the fridge.
Fortunately the doll gets handed to wifey and her idea of walking around with it seems to be met with a nod of approval.
We run through bathing. Apparently a baby only needs to be washed once every few days, a bit like a teenager. There’s also a projector slide about baby sleeping which explains that it can sleep in a bed with mum but not dad. They don’t say it but I get the impression a couple of dads have rolled over in their sleep and it hasn’t ended well.
The next slide talks about money and says it’s a good idea for the dad to have a job. I’d have thought this was obvious but then remembered we were in Queanbeyan.
We do a re-cap on feeding. The teacher explains that it might be hard on the mother at first because her nipples aren’t used to being sucked. Suddenly the Prime Minister runs in and winks at me.
After four classes of learning the mother’s role in parenthood, which involves:
– carrying the baby for nine months whilst going through a body
– giving birth to the baby in agonising pain;
– feeding the baby multiple times a day; and
– sleeping with the baby to make sure it’s OK,
it’s now time to learn about the dad’s role. This can apparently be condensed into a 15 minute optional video featuring Channel 9 news reader Mark Ferguson.
Unless I missed something the key seems to be just to spend time looking at your baby. They call it ‘mutual gaze’ and it’s basically a primary-school style staring competition where you hope the baby gets bored and breaks eye contact before you do. Suddenly I’m feeling a bit more positive about being a dad, history has shown that attention span isn’t one of my strengths but I’m confident I can beat a new-born in a staring comp if I really put my mind to it. Thanks Fergie.
That’s it. There’s not even an exam meaning I scribbled the baby-poo colour chart all over the back of my hand for nothing.
I’m now a fully qualified parent.