Natalie Holbrook

Natalie is a hopeless optimist and prodigious over-exaggerator. She lives in a tiny apartment in New York City with her husband Brandon and her fat baby Henry August (who they call Huck). She blogs about her love of New York City and all the lovely little things that make up a wonderful life at Nat the Fat Rat.

On Babies And Reflux

When Huck was a few months old, he developed a crazy case of reflux. It made nursing difficult and sleeping next to impossible. And cleanup necessary ;). There are a lot of things you can try if your baby develops reflux, and the good news is, many of them are effective! After talking to my doctor and deciding that his was a case that was best left to clear up on its own, I set about minimizing the side effects. Primarily, his difficulty sleeping. Luckily, we happened upon just the trick to help him get a comfortable, peaceful night’s sleep.

On Wearing Your Babies

I never really gave too much thought before Huck was born to whether or not I’d be a baby wearing mama. I even avoided making stroller decisions until the last possible second; it didn’t seem like it was that crucial of a decision for me to have to make. His method of transportation was the least pressing thing on my mind.

And then he was born and I realized that, living in NYC, getting him from place to place wasn’t a foregone conclusion. There were so many options! Luckily, my mother had bought me a wrap so I could wear Huck around town. In those first few weeks we never took it off. I was surprised by how fiercely I loved that wrap.

On Caring For Fresh Baby Skin

When Huck was just a little guy, he was unfairly besotted with an unfortunate case of the bumps. You know, infant acne. Oh, the rudeness. I did all the reading and talked to all the pediatricians I could get on the phone and then tried everything they recommended. More frequent baths, less frequent baths, less lotion, more lotion, rubbing breast milk on him (breast milk solves everything!), switching detergents, waiting it out. Nothing really helped. I started to feel so bad for him.

And then one day, quite by accident, I stumbled on a solution that cleared his sweet little face nearly overnight…

On Nicknames

Thanks to the loveliness of infertility before Huck was born, I had the opportunity to name every single imaginary baby I’d ever pretend-conceive, only to watch each of those someday names become far too popular far too quickly, causing me to have to pick another, and then another, and then another… (So long, Jack and Ella. And Ruby.)

When we finally got pregnant with Huck, the stress of fertility was immediately replaced with this huge responsibility of naming him. Something traditional but unique. Something that would set him apart but also give him a place. It’s a heady job, isn’t it? How on earth? And even though I’d had the pleasure of having his name picked out for (by that point) three years, the realization that this was all really very real was all-consuming. And we got cold feet…

On The First Time Huck Was Huck

I’d heard it said before, that every baby comes with a distinct personality straight from the womb. Who they are at two is who they are at twelve is who they are at five minutes past birth. I know this to be true from personal experience, but it doesn’t make it any less impossible to believe. Once that little person is there in the room with you, and you’ve realized that as new as he is, he really has always been there all along, it’s like the most marvelous little surprise unravels before you. This little personality with all these likes and dislikes and a very distinct sense of humor… It’s kind of the most wonderful part of being a parent, if you ask me.

I knew who my Huck was the second I saw him. It was like I was seeing all of him in one huge moment, in one giant inhale. And then on we went, as if we had always been our little duo. Just us two. Maybe we always had been? Who can tell. But I do remember the moment when Huck first looked like Huck. It caught me so off guard.

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