I completely forgot how to care for a newborn. I forgot Caitlin was ever a newborn with newborn needs. I forgot how little newborn diapers and clothes are, and how often they require diaper changes and nursing. I forgot all about how they sleep 90% of the day, and just chill out looking around the other 10%. I forgot how difficult they are to bathe because of the umbilical cord (not to mention his circumcision). I forgot all about little, uncontrollable newborn arms and legs that just lash out all over the place. But mainly? I forgot that I suck at swaddling.

I forgot that the relatively easy things to do for a newborn to make them comfortable, that don’t require a breast, I am no good at. My swaddling resembles a hack job, with extra blankey and one trapped arm while the other waves around uncontrollably. And Kinley does NOT enjoy his arms waving around uncontrollably. I’ve never seen a baby so frustrated by his inability to control his limbs. Caitlin enjoyed being swaddled, but she was content if she wasn’t. This little boy is content pretty much anytime, but especially when he’s in his cocoon of blankets.

I’m having to relearn all the skills I have once had perfected (enough for me), which isn’t the difficult part. I’ve already grown used to changing little boy diapers and swaddling him to the best of my ability. I even already washed him down by myself, which is something I didn’t attempt with Caitlin for a long time. The difficult thing is changing Caitlin’s size 4 diaper after changing several of Kinley’s size NB diapers. Her butt just looks so big, her legs are so long and easy to adjust, her toes curl and she just lays there knowing what to do. I’m not so much having to relearn the art of caring for a newborn, but also the art of caring for a 16 month old.

I remember when Caitlin was first born everyone kept saying, “Don’t worry, you’re new at this, you’re still learning.” But it’s obvious this is something you never stop learning about, no matter how many children you have. You’re always new at this, you’re always still learning.

Please remind me of that when I start to fade away.


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