Parenting can be hazardous, especially when you have a newborn. I know what you’re thinking, “Yes of course there are many dangers for a baby, and this is why we need to ensure they have the safest environment possible.” But I am not talking about the baby. I realize the parent’s role is to protect their newborn, and that there are thousands of studies out there to make every parent a little anxious about the health and safety of their child. But how many studies bother to mention the hazards and dangers that a parent will risk on a daily basis? Today I want to reveal the “unsafe” working environment parents encounter on a daily basis.
If you’re using cloth diapers, then you know the need for diaper covers. But eventually, those diaper covers begin to get a little dirty and start to emit a less than wonderful odor. It is probably in your best interest (and safety!) to make sure you don’t wash all your diaper covers at once. You don’t want your baby spending too much time sitting in an unprotected diaper. We’ve actually had a few occasions where we didn’t have a clean diaper cover, and had to resort to improvising with a plastic bag. It works pretty well, but probably not something you want to show off to all your friends. But there was one time that Emily let Everett sit in just his diaper while she fed him. It wasn’t going to be for too long, and she just changed him, so she wasn’t concerned. Well, that is when the danger hits, because you think you’ll be safe. I was downstairs when I heard my wife’s cries, and when I rushed to the rescue, the disaster was far messier than I feared. Everett gave us all a hands on (and pants on and carpet on and so on) lesson on why you always want those diaper covers on.
Everett takes a while to burp sometimes. There are times that we will decide that he must be fine since he isn’t burping and so we continue on with our day. This means that occasionally Everett will get “gassy” later and start to complain, and so we then return to the “put him over the shoulder and pat him on his back until loud noises erupt from his mouth” position. There are times I’ll volunteer to burp him without the sacred birth cloth over my shoulder, because I don’t want to bother to go find it. I’ll even try to get a burp out of him before heading off to see a client or doing some other type of work in a public setting. Everett will almost always remind me why burp cloths exist and make a few unwanted alterations to my wardrobe. The real danger is when I assume Everett did nothing more than a burp, and I showcase my wardrobe alterations to the public. Oh my dear friends, in the hazardous world of parenting, you can’t underestimate the paramount importance of the burp cloth.
Babies need baths. Sometimes, you might think it is okay to undress your baby in his room and transport him over to his tub in the bathroom. It will only be a few seconds, so what danger could possibly happen? A baby boy will strike when you least expect it. One night, Everett “tagged” me when I took him to the bath, and then anointed Emily when she was trying to dry him after the bath. When you’ve got a naked baby, don’t ever assume you’re safe.
This is a cautionary article to all new parents. Consider yourself warned now. Parenting can be hazardous and dangerous, but you’ll survive if you stay alert and stay close to your tools of protection.