Since becoming a parent, it’s become clear to me that the inventors of the world really need to get cracking and design some new products for new parents. Forget baby monitors and nappy bins. I’ve come up with a list of the top inventions for new parents… that haven’t been invented yet!
When you put baby in his or her cot for a nap, wouldn’t it be great to know whether they’re going to sleep for an hour or drag you back with a full-scale meltdown in five minutes time? The number of times I have assumed that wee man would only nap for half an hour and then he actually sleeps for three times as long, and I just think of all the useful things I would have done, if only I’d known I had the time (let’s be honest… I would have napped).
A Pause Button
You know when you’re halfway through feeding the baby, and the doorbell rings? What you need is the option to press pause on baby and leave the room, safe in the knowledge that nothing can go wrong. Plus, when they’re screaming the house down, you could just take a break with a nice cuppa.
An Automated Burping Machine
You know those machines that promise to help you lose weight by vibrating the fat away? Surely someone could repurpose this Ultra Powerful Professional Vibration Massage Trainer into a machine that gives baby a little jiggle and shakes all the burps out in one super-efficient go?
Early Warning Poo Alarm
Wouldn’t it be so helpful to have a two minute advance warning that baby was about to poop? Then you could remove them from your lap when you’re wearing that lovely white dress. Ideally, this would also come with a built-in seismometer telling you how severe a bumquake to expect, and whether or not the nappy defences are likely to hold.
What inventions for new parents would you find most useful with your little one? Let me know in the comments!
I’ve written before about some of Little Man’s strange habits, but as time goes by, if anything they seem to be getting stranger. Over the last few weeks, Little Man increasingly seems to be taking on the traits and general habits you would expect from a puppy, rather than a baby human. Yes… My baby thinks he’s a dog. It’s very curious and not something I was led to expect from motherhood! Examples include…
6 Ways My Baby Thinks He’s A Dog
Chewing the furniture
Having popped into the kitchen to grab one of his dummies (where do they go? Does anyone know? Is there a dummy fairy that whisks them away to a magical castle in the sky?), I returned to find Little Man chewing a chairleg. Don’t believe me? Check out the guilty look on his face in the photo below…
When I redirected him away from the chairleg, he proceeded to bite me on the knee instead.
Little Man loves playing fetch with mummy, just like a little puppy. He does play it with a twist, though, because in his game, it’s mummy who gets to do the actual fetching instead. He might roll a ball across the floor for me to retrieve, or drop a book on the floor for me to pick up, or spit his dummy right to the other side of the room. It’s all good fun!
Little Man loves to make noise. All the time. If he’s angry, he screams. If he’s sad, he screams. If he’s happy, he screams. If nothing much else is happening, he screams. And recently, he’s started getting much better at imitating the noises we make when taking to him. When I took him out on a walk this week, a dog barked in a house nearby. Little Man barked back, and it was a surprisingly good impression.
Chasing his tail
Little Man hasn’t cracked crawling forwards yet, but by God he can turn sideways. At times he will lie on the floor, spinning gently in full circles, just like a little doggo chasing his tail.
Teething comes with many joys, one of which is more or less constant dribble. Just like an elderly bloodhound, Little Man currently leaves trails of drool all across the floor, usually shortly after I’ve finished cleaning it.
Up until recently, we always used to bath Little Man in the kitchen. He’s now discovered how to splash with his legs, and he makes so much mess that we’ve had to start bathing him in the bathroom instead. After we’re finished, the amount of water splashed around the place is equivalent to having a long-haired doggo giving himself a good shake after hopping out of the tub.
Does your baby act like a doggo? Let me know in the comments!
It often occurs to me, when undertaking some random baby-related task, that being a parent comes with transferable skills that often go unrecognised. I’ve written before about the events I think that my baby could medal in at the Baby Olympics… But us parents have skills too. So my husband and I came up with this list of jobs that we think being a parent qualifies you for… Some of them may surprise you!
Jobs That Being A Parent Qualifies You For
Bomb Disposal Expert
Any parent who has tried to transfer a sleeping baby (a.k.a. potential explosive device) from their lap into a cot has developed an incredibly light touch, along with the ability to make difficult decisions under extreme pressure.
The number one skill required of a cat burglar? Sneaking around darkened rooms. This is also a key skill for parents, once they have transferred the aforementioned sleeping baby into its cot.
As being a parent is also very expensive, you can offset the ruinous cost of nursery fees, milk, nappies, and endless new sizes of clothes through your new career as an international jewel thief.
Snake Oil Salesman
Baby’s got teething trouble? Sing him the magic nursery rhyme, you know, the one that always cheers him up! Toddler fell over? Give that bruised knee a magic kiss to stop it hurting! Little one has a sad tummy? Quick, wave Mr Giraffe at him, that’ll cheer him up!
I mean, this one is obvious. Once you’re handed that beautiful little baby in hospital, it’s immediately time to become an expert in the clean-up and disposal of hazardous waste.
“That’s not a job!”, I hear you cry. Well, maybe not. But if Paul the Octopus managed to make a career out of it, then so can you. Ever found yourself holding the baby, and a cup of tea, and your phone, and mixing up a bottle of formula, and changing a nappy, all at the same time? Me neither. But I’ve had a bloody good try.
What other jobs do you think being a parent qualifies you for? Let me know in the comments!
One of my favourite things at the moment is Little Man’s conversations with my husband. Little Man is a mega chatty four month old, who loves making as much noise as possible. He loves “talking” with you, and often when he’s having a long chat/noisemaking session with his dad, my husband will “translate” his half of the conversation… And make it sound like he’s been up to the craziest adventures (fun adventures, not the rubbish keeping-you-up-all-night kind). Something like this:
Little Man: *gurgles*
Martin: You robbed a supermarket? What did you steal?
Little Man: *squeals*
Martin: You stole all the formula milk? Why did you do that?
Little Man: *makes a loud shrieking noise, farts*
Martin: Well, I know you love milk, but where are we going to store it all?
…And so on. According to my husband, the little chap has been on some very outlandish adventures, including a trip on rockets into space, a run-in with a pigeon which he threw his dirty nappy at, and a ride on a donkey made of springs. I honestly don’t know where he gets it all from, but baby loves it! Especially because listening to it makes me laugh, so we’re all just sat together giggling away and Little Man gets more and more excited (and consequently louder and louder) as the story gets more ridiculous.
It’s great fun and highly recommended. There’s plenty of advice out there for parents that emphasizes how important it is to talk to your baby, as an essential part of their language learning and development, but it can get a little boring when you’ve narrated your entire morning or told them for the five hundredth time that they’re the cutest little bubba in the world. This is much more entertaining, and it will let them enjoy being the centre of attention as well.
I’ve been entertaining myself lately by speculating about what events Little Man could medal in at the Baby Olympics. Most actual “Baby Olympics” events held around the world (notably including in Bahrain in 2018 and on the Ellen de Generes Show) include boring events like crawling races, as well as featuring participants up to five years old which, frankly, is cheating. No, I’m talking about a REAL Baby Olympics, testing the athletic skills that babies really practice and hone every day at home. Events such as…
The Long-Distance Dummy Spit
Little Man is a champion at this. One minute he has his dummy, the next minute it’s flying past my ear in high velocity slow-mo like something out of The Matrix. How does he get it to fly so far with, seemingly, no effort at all? It’s a closely-guarded secret.
This is a marathon, not a sprint. Some babies, trying to keep their parents up at night, go for the Explosion Of Fury approach. Now, Little Man is a proponent of that approach, but he knows it’s hard to keep up over the long term, without just ending up tired. Instead, the true connoisseur baby keeps his parents up while simultaneously remaining asleep himself, by fussing, thrashing around, and making loud grumpy noises in his sleep. Now that’s something that can be continued almost indefinitely. What a pro.
The Baby Biathlon
An event where top prizes are awarded for simultaneous eating and pooping. Little Man is a true champion at this, but I recommend against volunteering to be part of the stadium clean up crew afterwards. Let the Japanese do it.
Little Man loves being bounced on my knee on an imaginary horsey ride. Weirdly, it is sometimes the only thing that will calm him down. We even have a special horsey ride song we sing (well, okay, I sing). The Olympics don’t currently feature a steeplechase, but I think the Baby Olympics should introduce it as an event.
Greco-Roman Bunny Wrestling
Up until very recently, Little Man has not really been interested in toys. But all that has now changed and he will sometimes grab Mr Bun Bun a.k.a. Peter Rabbit, and suck on his leg or bash him repeatedly into the ground. No doubt about it, he could definitely take Mr Bun Bun in a fight.What events do you think your baby could medal in? Let me know in the comments!
Did China have a moral responsibility to warn the international community sooner about the threat of the emerging coronavirus? Well, some people think so. But China disagrees. Perhaps because they were ON A BREAK.
Like that time where Ross decided not to tell Rachel they were still married, China kept Covid 19 on the down low, presumably hoping that the problem would somehow just go away of its own accord. And, just like Ross and his history of unwise marital choices, China too has previous for this kind of behaviour (cough cough SARS cover-up, 2002).
2. South Korea – Monica Geller
China’s little sister used to be much bigger, but lost a bunch of weight landmass to the Communists at the end of the Second World War.
South Korea has kept its coronavirus death toll low through a rigorous programme of testing, treating and tracing contacts, plus social distancing measures. This is exactly the kind of country that’s obsessed with hygiene and has 11 categories of towels.
If only the pandemic had taken place during a later season of Friends, the UK might have benefited more from the shining example of Monica/South Korea. Unfortunately, we’re still in the early seasons, with the UK in a co-dependent relationship with Joey…
4. United States – Joey Tribbiani
The USA’s response to coronavirus can best be described as… confused. Like the time that Joey got fired from Days Of Our Lives for claiming that he wrote all his own lines, Donald Trump has been called out for spreading fake news about coronavirus, such as saying that it’s a hoax and that one day the virus will just disappear “like a miracle”.
Germany reacted furiously when 200,000 American-made protective masks destined for Berlin mysteriously disappeared en route, and there are suspicions that the US government redirected them for its own purposes. I guess the United States DOESN’T SHARE FOOD PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.
Could the US have done a better job addressing the pandemic? Well, at this juncture, it’s a moo point.
Phoebe cares a lot. That’s why she’s a vegetarian and shops at flea markets. And that’s why she’s New Zealand, which has pursued a highly-praised policy of eliminating Covid 19 transmission completely within its borders. Plus, Prime Minister Jacinda Adern gave a very Phoebe-esque speech assuring children that the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy are considered key workers and thus would not be affected by the lockdown. And she finished up by singing a song about a foul-smelling cat… Or so I’ve heard.
7. The World Health Organisation – Mr Heckles
No-one wants to engage with Mr Heckles, the crazy downstairs neighbour who keeps banging on the floor with a broom and shouting “Test for cases! Trace and isolate contacts! Use adequate personal protective equipment!”
Ugh, the WHO. Such a pain.
8. The Novel Coronavirus – Janice
Much like coronavirus, I’m pretty sure that Janice doesn’t have a surname.* They both seem to have the ability to pop up literally anywhere, no matter how much they’re not wanted. And once you’ve been involved with Covid 19, it seems like it’s pretty difficult to break up.
Another Public Service Announcement from the Little Man at this difficult time… Not all vomit is coronavirus vomit.
He is honestly such a comity baby, it is unreal! I had expected my baby to throw up to some extent, but he really does seem to have a very sensitive tummy because the vomiting is more or less constant – we even took him to the doctor’s and hospital when he was smaller to get him checked over because of it (at the time he was routinely projectile vomiting as well, which has fortunately reduced in frequency!). They checked him out for various things including cow’s milk protein allergy, and concluded all was well… He’s just very comity.
It’s amazing how being a parent changes your hygiene standards. Before, if got vomit on my clothes, I would of course immediately go change. But now, I know that the fresh clothes will just get covered in sick within about ten minutes anyway, so I have to admit I take a much more relaxed approach!
The little man has some strong suggestions for maintaining social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak…
How are you finding lockdown so far? It’s a very strange time. We’ve been trying to stay in the house as far as possible… And trying to see the positives. For instance, at least it means there’s no risk of being caught out in public when Little Man has a major poo explosion! I’ve not really managed to get the hang of those baby changing tables you get in public toilets, so every time I had to use one I found it super stressful.
Plus, as my husband is working from home full time at the moment, he gets to see much more of Little Man than he otherwise would, which is really special at such a young age. He’s already growing so quickly! I do miss going out to the children’s centre and meeting other mums though.