I thought the other day about a blog post I wrote back in April. Back in the day when Wally V was just a we little chicken nugget, perhaps still with a tail, hanging out in my bump of a belly. The blog was called “Things I don’t know,” but perhaps a more appropriate title would have been “A teeny tiny smidgen of the millions of things I don’t know about being a mom, or, I am a dummy!” So the other day, I thought, as a mother of a five-month old, I should go back and see if I can answer some of my questions. Here goes!

  • What the heck is a receiving blanket?

You will get 8 million of these at showers. Do not register for any. You will get them anyway. And after 5 months you will still wonder what they’re for, but you suspect these might be what the Bible meant by “wrapped in swaddling cloths.” When your little guy is still a 7 pounder and as strong as a ragdoll, you will be able to wrap him up like an El Faro burrito and keep him from hitting himself in the face when he’s sleeping. Then when he starts getting some muscles on that little bod, you’ll use them for everything you can think of: burp cloths, play mats, and a little baby toga when you are invited to your next greek party. Useful, but still a question mark on what the heck they are.

  • When the baby is a little lump of a thing that can’t hold its head up, do I dress it in outfits every day? If so, how exactly would one go about that? If not, what does he wear, PJs? Onesies? And do I have to get dressed every day, or can I stay in my PJs and onesies?

Yes, multiple outfits every day! You will love his outfits. You will have too many, and you will love every one! (And he will inevitably pee through your favorite outfits right when you have him dressed, so multiple outfits daily is always necessary.) He will grow out of the smallest size in 2 weeks, and you will still force him into them, because you will be attached to that cute little monkey on the bum, or the label that says “Snugglesaurus” or the little ears on the hand covers. (Why do ears make everything cuter?) You will only give in to the fact that your little baby is getting bigger when you hold him up and his legs won’t straighten out. Even then, you will force that little body into those Js for a few more days. And all this forcing is just a big mistake, because you have extremely cute clothes in the next size up also, and you’re just shortening the amount of time the little munchkin can wear the adorable guitar jacket you have in size 0-3.

As for how you get the lump dressed? Very gently. All the while making up silly songs about putting “one arm through, then the othah!”, and all the while cursing whoever decided PJs should have 30 million buttons. You know when moms complain about the dads who can’t put their kids in Js without messing up? I, Mollie, am one of those dads. There is always one stray button without a partner.

And yes, when you’re on maternity leave especially, wear PJs all you want! And on occasssion, get dressed, so you can remember you are, in fact, an adult!

  • How often does a baby need a bath? And when he’s a lump and can’t hold his head up, is bathing a two man job? One to hold the lump in place, one to wipe him down?

I need to start by saying that I must be the only mother of a 5 month old child who has never given her child a bath. No, Wally V isn’t that stinky. He has a good dad who loves to be in charge of bathtime!

Your little baby does not get very dirty, as he just lays around wrapped in a snuggly blanket all day. So you really just need to bathe him about every 3 days. When he’s a lump, you’ll be giving him sponge baths until his umbilical stump falls off. (Side note: Wally Ben’s fell off the first night I was away from him when I went to trivia. My aunt Sara pointed out it was like a sign–the thing that connected us acknowledging we were spending time apart. Second side note: Wally IV saved the little thing for me to see when I got home. I thought he was kidding when he told me, until I discovered it in the bassinet!)

Anyhow, sponge bath time will be an adventure for you and a partner to share. Your baby will not like the experience, being cold and wiped down and confused about the new damp cloth that isn’t snuggle soft like he’s used to. Then, though, he will graduate to the bath. For a while, one person will need to hold the lump in place while the other washes. But as the lump graduates into a rolly polly chubmonster with personality, bathing can be a one man job. And he could love it or hate it, but if you’re lucky, he’ll love it! And if he loves it, by 5 months old you will leave baths as wet as he is, because he will become an expert splasher. You also may leave a little hard of hearing, because the squeals that accompany the splashes will become louder as the splashes get bigger!

I’ll answer the rest of the questions at a later time!

Privacy Preference Center