We decided to try the infant care class mainly for two reasons; 1) it is only a time commitment of two days; and 2) I thought it might be beneficial for my husband especially. I am by no means an expert, but I do have a lot more experience with children than he does. So we took this class for him.
The first day of the class was all about the basics. While there were some couples there taking notes, it was nothing that was tremendously new. We learned about diapering, how to swaddle, when it is time to call the pediatrician, the importance of proper car seat install, how to bathe an infant, etc. We even got a model baby to practice on! Our baby was grumpy, but by the end of class two he had grown on me.
The instructor and other students were very nice and it was good to be reminded of all these things. I can imagine the days between giving birth and settling in are a whirlwind in which you would not want to suddenly realize you don’t know how to clean or diaper your child and forgot to buy an infant bath tub! There was also some talk of choosing a daycare or babysitter, which many couples found extremely helpful.
Day two of the class was more relaxed, probably because we had all been there before and we felt more comfortable speaking to each other. On this day, we talked more about feeding and soothing the baby. We also watched a video about car seat installation and had a follow up discussion.
We had an informal question and answer session, which was my favorite part. The instructor encouraged us to ask her ‘anything’ so we went for it. Luckily, one particularly inquisitive girl got us started on the pro and cons of glass versus plastic bottles, and the rest of us jumped on from there. Which nipple flow do we need? Which formula is best? Which breast pump is best? Are baby swings good and can I get away without one? What are the actual baby essentials, because there are so many products out there it is overwhelming? Are disposable diapers really so bad? Which diaper cream should I get? Sprinkled in the conversation were vents about the sale of crib bumpers even though you should not use them, etc.
Many of the women in the class were also due in July and, to my dismay, most had already had their baby showers! They were ready to go- nurseries and items set up and organized! *#*^!!! My type-A, go getter personality, was stressed. My shower isn’t for another month- and my nursery is empty except for the construction tools my husband plans on using in there…..soon. My son has no bedroom and no place to sleep- I’m a bad mom! My only consolation was that when we talked about nursery colors I was one of only two people who had not chosen the color grey. Win for me! I’m creative! I may not be prepared, but at least I have creativity on my side!
Really, though, it’s not that bad. This is a “first world problem.” I have a house- a nice, fairly large house, with heat and electricity! It’s ridiculous to think he has no place to sleep! Many babies of the world live happily ever after in homes the size of my shed, but not built as well. Even if he is born into a bedroom empty except for tools, he will be just fine.
When we left my husband was very pleased that we had decided to take the class. We learned a lot. Some of the things we already knew, but taking the class provided us an avenue to speak about them together, which we might not have done otherwise. I was grateful to hear from and speak to other mothers. It was nice to realize that they were in the same position as me (except for the fact that they had their nurseries set up!): first time moms who where simply trying to navigate the world of baby in the most productive, educated and responsible way possible.