My nephew is only two weeks old, and I thought I knew what to expect. My son is 3, after all — so it wasn’t too long ago that I was swaddling my own freshly born baby.
But I forgot, you guys.
I forgot what it was like.
Here are 10 things that flooded back to me about newborns during my nephew’s first two weeks here…
1. How much they actually sleep.
Don’t get me wrong — my sister is sufficiently sleep deprived, as any new mother is. Newborns might not sleep for long stretches of time, but my golly, they sure are always nodding off. It’s a rare treat to see my nephew’s pretty slate-grey eyes.
2. Their little “dinosaur” noises.
Or at least that’s what I called them. Those little gurgly grunts that give parents a tiny glimpse into future coos and babbles and, eventually, words. The second I heard my nephew’s little noises, the memories came back.
3. The feeling of a sleeping newborn on your chest.
Or, in other words, the very best feeling in the world.
4. The importance of poop.
I’m in the stage of parenting when my child is always telling me what he wants — loudly, and repeatedly. I know if his belly hurts because he tells me. I know if he’s hungry because he (very quickly) tells me. But the best indicator of a newborn’s health is found in his diaper — which makes poop a BIG DEAL.
5. That moment your husband becomes a father.
There’s something indescribable about watching the person you love then love the person you created — and I’m so happy that my sister was able to experience that. It’s been a while since the moment I saw my husband look at our son for the first time — when he held him close to his chest, sighed the happiest sigh, kissed his nose, and cradled his tiny feet. I remember now.
6. The early challenges of breastfeeding.
For something that’s natural, it sure doesn’t feel instinctual. Watching my sister these past two weeks reminded me how true that is. Breastfeeding is getting much easier for her now, and she’s glad she stuck it out.
7. The softness.
Oh, if I could snuggle that soft body — with his soft wisps of hair and soft puckered lips — forever.
8. The way they look at Mommy.
Seeing the way my nephew looks at my sister reminds me of how my son used to look at me. Even with blurry, unfocused vision, they know their mama.
9. They’re SO LITTLE.
I look at his arms and his feet and his teeny tiny ears, and I can’t possibly remember a time when my son was that little. Except… I can. And I miss it.
10. Those creases and folds.
My son is growing lean and tall, with only a slight baby belly left to remind me of the toddler that was. But once upon a time, his curled up limbs were covered in cute little creases that I would kiss and kiss and kiss.