- It usuallly concerns the period of time from birth to 3 months
- Basically our babies are born too soon, although they have to be because our big heads (or more accurately 'brains') would be too large to pass through our hips if they stayed in there any longer!
- Think about the huge difference between human babies and other live born mammals, such as a new born lamb quickly getting to its feet and learning how to function in its new environment. Compare that to the incredible dependance of human newborns, who are utterly helpless. It seems like they have been born too soon.
- How we care for babies during the first few months involves using techniques that imitate being in the womb to sooth and comfort.
The thank-you note real moms in the Fourth Trimester would like to send:
Dear ________ :
Thanks for sending us ________ . I’m sure __________ will love it as soon as _______ can do anything besides eat, sleep, cry, and run up the stock price on Pampers. Having recently entered the Fourth Trimester, right now my goals in life are to sleep more than three hours and shower before 7:00 p.m. So please excuse this impersonal note.
I’d love for you to come over and see _________ . But no helpful hints, no critiquing of the fact that I
(1) breast-feed without a cover-up;
(2) do not breast-feed and use formula;
(3) allow my child to use a pacifier;
(4) use a Swyngo-matic to hypnotize my child into a state eerily similar to an Ecstasy trip.
Do not tell me that __________ looks cute. I know that __________ looks like a cross between E.T. and Yoda. And no comments about my figure. I am not Cindy Crawford and, yes, those are maternity clothes I’m still wearing.
Bring rain gear and you’ll be well prepared for the nonstop torrent of liquid escaping from __________ and me. Can’t wait to see you -- of course, these days I’m even looking forward to having my mom and mother-in-law visit. I’ll take whatever adult company I can get.
So in summary...
- Baby wanted to stay inside for a bit longer, that's why those first few months are so demanding.
- Mimicing the conditions of the womb via swaddling, rocking, holding baby close and white noise or shhhing can help sooth baby and maybe even relieve colic.
- Your new baby can't be spoilt during the first few months, they need lots of love and physical attention.
- Thinking about the your baby in this way might make the challenges and anxieties a little easier to cope with as you get used to being a new parent.