The first week: changing baby

At about a week old, Leo started to get a personality. Or maybe we just started to tune in to him. He began his now characteristic waking-up style – with frowning, stretching, and a leisurely, 15 minutes+ pace.

We also discovered his fussiness about breastfeeding and his nappy. No matter how hungry he is, he will not feed if he isn’t comfortable. He’ll scream with hunger while being changed, but he won’t feed if offered a breast.
Also, he’ll interupt his meal to be changed. He’ll fill his nappy while feeding, then stop and wait to be changed. He’s still hungry, but won’t take anything. After changing, he’ll have some more. So meals become starter and main – or maybe starter main and pudding.
In a strange way it’s nice for me that he feeds like this – it means i have something to do. I feel quite excluded by the feeding – there’s a bond between Claire and Leo that i cannot share. It’s not a problem, and i know how petty it is, but it is there all the same.
He has always fed well, though – there’s never been a time when we worried he wasn’t getting enough. The midwives were reassuring on this too.
It was around the end of the first week that his cord stump came off. It had begun to get quite pus-ridden and stinky, which we hadn’t expected – it smelt worse than the nappies!
He will get fixated by anything that’s high contrast – his knitted b/w cube, window frames, claire’s black-rimmed glasses. He only looks to the outline of our faces, which seems quite odd, like he’s looking beyond a boring person at a party waiting for the glamourpuss to arrive.
His cries aren’t comprehensible yet, it’s just trial and error what he might be concerned about. We worry a lot that it’s the heat – with temps up to 30 degrees in the day we worry he can’t keep cool. The Australian midwife gives this short shrift, referring us to the babies born in the outback every year, who survive fine by just drinking more!


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