Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Reasons the Infant Stage is Great

The newborn stage is pretty tough. It's all brand new, all unknown. And newborns do a lot of crying and a lot of eating which comes with lots of diaper changes. And all these things occur around the clock! Which, of course, leads to intense sleep deprivation.

But there are a few awesome benefits to that first stage of life.

Their smell.

They just smell so good. I feel like I could just sniff the top of a baby's head for hours on end and never grow tired of it. My lips touch the top of their soft head and I breathe in their baby scent and it just makes me happy. Truth be told, this actually goes past the first year.

They are immobile, and therefore, relatively safe.

At least, for the first few months of the infant stage, they're immobile. You can lay that sweet baby down on a nice, clean blanket in the middle of the living room floor and then you can safely go to the bathroom. Alone. If you have pets and are fearful of the whole 'baby on the floor' thing, there are a host of other places you can lay your baby down and they are usually safe and content while you take the 3 minutes you need to go potty. 

There are a bunch of fun-filled items that also keep them safe.

Within a few short months, they do begin to do some rolling, around 6 months they are sitting up and shortly after that, those babies can move! I'm all about tummy time and making sure there's lots of opportunities for baby stimulation, but sometimes, we need a shower or to just empty the dishwasher. There are so many places for infants to safely have fun! The vibrator seat that can be moved from room to room and fits perfectly, even in the smallest of bathrooms when a shower is desperately needed. Then, there's also the play pen, the swing, the jump-a-roo. Each of these comes with bars with dangling toys and buttons to push that turn on lights and music.

Their food.  

They do eat a lot but it's the same food on the menu every time. Whether it's breast milk or formula, you don't have to do any meal prep and there's no worry about a picky eater. Sure, they start eating some solids around 6 months but this is not mandatory to ensure they live, so it's really no big deal.

The pumpkin car seat.

This is one the best modern inventions. This thing can easily be carried around: brought inside so the baby can be strapped-in in the warmth of a home, taken into a store and placed in a shopping cart, into a restaurant and sat on a stand while you enjoy a meal out. It even fits perfectly into the stroller so you and the baby can see each other during a nice stroll. And if all that wasn't great enough, it's by far the safest car seat on the market! 

The tiny clothes.

The clothes are just so teeny, tiny and adorable. And they have the cutest little things on them like ballet slippers on the feet of sleepers and ruffles on the booties. Every now and again I will come across an impossibly small sock in one of my kids' dresser drawers. I will hold it up and look at it, remembering when their feet were small enough to fit into that tiny sock. I should probably do something with that single sock but instead I put it back in the drawer, knowing that I will come across it again on some other day when I need to be reminded of just how small they once were.

Infant smiles.

The very first smile is so sweet, it melts your heart. You soon learn that nearly anything can make a baby smile; from you simply walking back into the room or even just covering your eyes while playing round after round of peek-a-boo. There is nothing easier than  getting a magnificent, toothless grin out of an infant.

All those snuggles.

A baby is perfectly content to just be held for hours upon hours. It's true this can be rough when it's an absolute demand and not a choice (you know, at 2 in the morning which also includes pacing). But, still, all those baby snuggles are the best. They will eat on you, sleep on you and, well, poop on you all day long. It's complete happiness holding that warm, little baby in your arms. 

I'm now past my children's infant stage so that probably makes it a lot easier for me to look back on it and remember some of the little benefits that come along with this stage. Because, yes, it's true there are lots of questions and challenges, uncertainties and never-ending sleep deprivation that comes with the infant stage. But, all of these things, along with getting to meet that sweet baby and getting to watch her personality emerge in that first year, are simply great!

What did I forget? What are your favorite parts of the first year?

Edited on 2/17/15 when I found my paper notes on this post and realized I had not completely finished writing this post! I didn't want to leave these out so I added them to the original post and there are officially more than 6! Probably many, many more I'm still forgetting!

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