Last week, I told the origins story of our newly adopted baby. She’s known as ‘Squish’ here at the Daily Dad until her adoption is finalised.

I plan to write a weekly column as my wife Angie and I learn the ins and outs of parenting a newborn, and as we navigate the joys and challenges of adoption.

Here is this week’s edition of ‘The Adventures of Squish’.

Nothing Prepared Me for This

No one is ever quite “ready” to become a parent, just as no one is ever quite “ready” to get married. I know both of these propositions to be true through personal experience.

There are lots of vital ways to prepare for both marriage and parenting. But when all is said and done and the moment arrives, you simply say yes — and then learn to live up to your brand new calling.

One thing I certainly wasn’t prepared for — something I heard hardly any parents before me mention — was burping.

This week, the thought passed through my mind that when it comes to parenting a newborn, burping is 80 per cent of the job.

Okay, so that’s a slight exaggeration. But burping has definitely required more patience from me than any other part of my new gig as a dad.

The Challenges That Were Easy

Nappies I was prepared for. My older sister has five boys — yes, five! — so I am familiar with all the colourful sights and smells. All the milk newborns consume means their poops aren’t as on-the-nose as you might expect. What’s more, our little Squish apparently has her single bowel movement per day marked in her daily planner, making the whole routine quite neat and predictable.

Feeding is easy enough. Sure, there are lots of bottles to wash and sterilise — and you want to make sure you have a clean one ready to go when the crying begins. But feeding time is fun, and a great way to bond with your new baby.

Bath time is a breeze. Even at just three weeks old, Squish happily sits there with a goofy half-smile on her face for twenty minutes while we pamper her. She’s definitely at her cutest at bath time.

Dressing a baby can be a little more difficult. Those dainty hands and feet don’t fit through sleeves as easily as you might hope. But, like feeding, time on the change table is a perfect chance to connect with your child, have a conversation with them, and tell them you love them long before they understand the concept.

But burping? That’s another matter entirely.

The Big Lesson: Your Baby Needs You

My mother-in-law has a saying: “There’s always one more burp”. I think she might be right.

More than once this week, I have propped and jiggled and patted and rubbed, only to discover that an air pocket was still hiding away — and has now made its presence felt all over Squish’s fancy new outfit (or mine).

On the bright side, it is very satisfying to be rewarded with a big belch from a small baby, especially when no reflux follows. But when that burp is shy in coming, or when it never arrives at all, putting your baby back to sleep can feel like winding up a Jack in the Box.

Most times, you can be confident that a painful cry or an unannounced vomit — or sometimes both — is soon to follow.

My lesson this week has been to slow down and not rush burping. Even if it takes a few more minutes, even when I have other things to get to, Squish needs my help — and my time — to get that unwanted air out.

Such is the calling of parenting a newborn. Babies are desperately dependent on us. God has designed it just that way — which means it’s all going to plan, even when it puts our own plans on hold.

 ___

Image via Unsplash.

Published On: August 17th, 20234 CommentsTags: , , , ,

About the Author: Kurt Mahlburg

Kurt Mahlburg is Canberra Declaration's Research and Features Editor. He hosts his own blog at Cross + Culture and is also a contributor at the Spectator Australia, MercatorNet, Caldron Pool and The Good Sauce. Kurt is also a published author. His book Cross and Culture: Can Jesus Save the West? provides a rigorous analysis of the modern malaise in Western society and how Jesus provides the answer to the challenges before us. Kurt has a particular interest in speaking the truths of Jesus into the public square in a way that makes sense to a secular culture and that gives Christians courage to do the same. Kurt has also studied architecture, has lived for two years in remote South-East Asia, and among his other interests are philosophy, history, surf, the outdoors, and travel. He is married to Angie.

4 Comments

  1. Nathaniel Marsh August 18, 2023 at 11:48 am - Reply

    So good, and so true Kurt – Beautiful article! Your mother-in-law is on the money too – As a father of 5, I can vouch there is often “always one more burp”. Keep up the great work my friend – Squish (& Angie) are so blessed to have you! 🙂

    • Kurt September 2, 2023 at 12:11 am - Reply

      Thanks Nathaniel for those encouraging words!

  2. Julie August 21, 2023 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    So good to read about a birth, an adoption and happy first time parents and an involved and loving father.So much better and more positive than mainstream news

  3. Warwiwck Marsh September 13, 2023 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    Great article!!!!

Leave A Comment