The internet is a marvellous thing. It seems newborn babies don't come with an instruction manual bugger it all. Everything else in the world does, but parenthood and babies are left out of the loop. How the hell did that happen?
This is why the internet is a wonderous invention. It is the modern day guide or "how to" for whatever your dilemma may be. And believe me when you are miles away from any family with any hands on experience with wet bums, crying (screaming), leaky boobs, strange rashes (baby's), an instruction manual is more of a necessity than a desire. Throw into the mix being in a different country with their own weird and wonderful "advice" and you too would be glued to the screen trying to make sense of it all.
And people always want to give you advice, or just want to tell you how much they LOVE babies, how cute/precious/beautiful your little bundle is, what they did/are doing when their baby was born and blah, blah, blah. Of course you end up smiling and nodding and tuning out or as is quite handy being a foreigner simply saying "I don't speak Spanish" in English and they bugger off. Superb!
Here in Mexico they bind women after they've had a cesarean, not sure if it's the same with a natural birth or if this occurs anywhere else in the world. I for one am very happy with this little tradition, my puku has not been this flat for many a decade, I feel quite decadent displaying my midriff. Oh-er!
Some other traditions I have discovered and am a little puzzled by are:
* to encourage a dimple, a bean is placed in the cheek of the baby
* to encourage a plentiful supply of breast milk, drink a bottle of beer a day
* to stop illness wrap the baby up in layers of blankets even if it's 28C and sunny
* to stop your breast milk, bind your boobs
Think I'll give three out of these four a miss, and maybe not be quite such a consumer on the remaining.
Pregnancy and babies. They don't come with an instruction booklet. They come with their own set of "traditions" and advice, solicited or not. They come with a whole lot of love and bias. Even if you swore that you would say your baby was ugly if it was, you just can't. It's love at first sight, no matter how cynical, how realistic you are. It's love baby. There ain't no stopping it.