The First-Timer's Parenting Guide To Week 3- Gassy Ass Smiles Are The Best

Ah, the third week of parenting. The haze is still thick. Sleep is still, nil. Your little bundle of joy is still a chubby slug. While eye contact can be fleeting, those sweet gassy-ass smiles are the best. Until, of course, the gas starts ragging and you have a miserable baby filled with a fart bubble. That's right, just keep bicycling those little chubby drumsticks until the gas passes.

Mamma of a 3-week old, I do not envy you. It's a strange place to be. SIDS is keeping you up, which sucks since you're barely sleeping already. If you're nursing your nipples are probably hanging on by a shred and bandaid. If your bottle feeding, the sink is overflowing, and powder is covering every surface in your kitchen. Oh, and, you're most likely second-guessing the shit out of yourself. And those hormones... fu*k.

Dad of a 3-week old, according to my husband's list below, the struggle is real for you, too.

Below you will find our actual observations as 3-week old parents. And a few new observations about the observations in blue...

Mom's List

1.  My son is 21 days old today! It really does feel like yesterday that I gave birth to him. I suppose it does go by really fast... (Holy shit does it ever!!! My guy is 5.5 yrs old, and it still feels like yesterday, I was here... Ok, maybe not yesterday, but sure as hell, not five years!!)

2. Thank you, gas drops! My poor son has the worst time passing gas. It’s been awful. He will be in a deep sleep and cry out in a blood-curdling scream. The doctor said to give him gas drops, and it has made a HUGE difference. (Gas drops and bicycling his legs while he was on his back was the saving grace combo for us. Worked every time!)

3.  The MINUTE my lunch or dinner is hot and ready, he wakes up. It's inevitable, I don't know how, but it's like he knows when mommy wants to eat. (I don't know what the hell that was all about, but I don't think I ate a truly fresh hot meal for six-months!)

4.  I've got this breastfeeding thing down now... of course I still have a few latching issues here and there, but 21 days in, I can feed my son! (Stick with it, mamma. It smooths out, becomes second nature, and both of you will be so much better for it. Get a lactation coach if you don't already have one. Mine, was the key to my success.)

5.  I read that when breastfeeding, you should watch your baby and not the clock. That was hard until I read that breastfeeding is also a time for the mother to relax, rest and meditate. Now, I do just that. Maybe that's why breastfeeding has gotten so much better? I shut my eyes, relax my shoulders and try to focus on my breath and my body relaxing. It is very nice and has made a huge difference in my mood. (DO THIS! I would think about my plan for the next day, things I wanted to write about, grocery lists... Use this quiet time wisely, and you will come to really enjoy it.)

6.  It's true, if your newborn is crying it's probably one of three things, 1.Hungry 2. Tired 3. Wet. Here is another learn from me moment-- Just because I just fed him and changed him an hour ago, it doesn't mean he doesn't need both again. My poor son cried for 10 minutes straight the other night because I was sure it wasn't because he was hungry, I was sure he was just tired, or worse was getting Colic. I called my sister and said, "HELP ME!" She said, ALWAYS check in this order- Wet-Hungry-Tired, every time! Sure enough, he was hungry. Oh, it broke my heart that I let him cry for no reason. (Damn parenting books. I tried to follow them. All say "feed on a schedule" HORSESHIT! Feed your child when he's hungry.)

7.  The routine is emerging. Of course, it revolves around sleeping and eating,  but we have playtime in between daytime feedings, i.e., tummy time, swing and bouncy chair with flashy fun toys. Then bath between 7pm-9pm, feeding and once I put him down at night there is NO, and I mean No (Dads this one is for you) NO STIMULATING THE BABY!! No eye contact, talking, nothing. It is hard to do, but I know if I, or daddy, does stimulate him, he will not go back to sleep after a feeding. Let me just tell you, That SUCKS! (Getting baby on the day/night schedule is crucial for the well-being of all involved. I cannot stress enough the no stimulation factor. ZERO eye-contact. Or, stay up all night. Whatever.)

8.  An overtired or over-stimulated baby is, well, a bitch! It's very difficult to get them to calm down once they hit this point. (Holycrappers. That is an understatement. When your baby shows signs of overstimulation, STOP! It's so hard to bring them back to a middle ground. It's still try for my 5-year-old. These little minds are absorbing so much, they need to pull back to process the info and be calm)

9. Oh, I love my son! I love holding him and smelling him and chewing on his feet and hands, slobbering on his face, giving him nose to nose kisses, squeezing him, and most of all holding him close and telling him how much I love him. It is amazing to have a human that I can love and hold and call my own… (Aww, nothing has changed. I still do and love all of those things. We sure are blessed. Even if the little shits drive us crazy sometimes!)

10. It's not gas, it's LOVE!  I don't care what the doctor says, those aren't all gassy-ass smiles. My bay is smiling at me. Or laughing. Or both.  (I later realized, he was totally luaghing at me through thos gassy-ass smiles.)

DAD's List (Reminder: Dad is Australian. And nuts. And still in trouble for 5-7 on the list.)

1. Don't sign up for "free" baby crap unless you need it or you'll get mystery emails and SMS's from twats at all hours. “Sell your gold,” “buy a car,” “win a holiday” etc., etc.! They tell you to send "STOP" back to their number. Get some satisfaction by sending "STOP you FU*King Spamming USELESS TWATS.

2. If you've followed the advice of lactation consultants and other experts by now, you'll have a freezer with ice cubes of titty milk. Keep them away from the regular ice unless you like titty-milk scotch!

3. Don't get roped into doing family photo shoots by a professional photographer - the shame of the poor kid when he's 21 will be unbearable! Nobody wants to see a poster sized pic of your kid wearing a fireman's hat while sitting in a watermelon! Lame!

4. Never too early to sell the crap baby gifts that you'll never need or clothes that don't fit anymore. Take this opportunity to flog off all the ridiculous outfits that the mother-in-law / whacky friend buys (the wife will never notice) Reclaim some beer money.

5. On your first trip to babies-r-us with the baby in tow...stand out from the crowd by looking angry and complain to the sales girl that you wanna trade your baby in for another one because the one you have is broken!

6. When the baby cries at 4 am...simply pretend that you're fast asleep! After a few minutes, the wife will go and sort it out anyway. Works every time!

7. Take a shitty diaper out of the trash and leave it near the change table. The next time he needs a change just tell the wife that you did the last one and point it out to her. Sorted!

Holyshit, that man is not right. Not then. Not now. Most likely, not ever. He's also the best dad and husband, ever. 

The good news is that we survived and our son is a thriving badass. The better news,  keep going First-Timers, the best is yet to come...

NOTE: This is the third sneak peek of my upcoming book, The First-Timer's Guide To Not Feeling Like A Parenting Failure: The First Year.  (Coming Nov. 2017) I've used many of the posts found in this blog to write the book, including comments from readers! This book is for the first-timer freaking out about being a parenting failure. This parenting shit is hard. And the truth is if you're freaking out and second guessing yourself, that's a sure sign that you are an amazing parent.  My book will confirm that tenfold. To be notified when the book is available for download/print, follow my Author Facebook Page, April the Writer, here! I'll be giving free downloads away for the holidays!

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit