From what I’ve gathered, at least 50% of parenting in the first year is figuring out what you want or need. As you’re a newborn, it isn’t much of a guessing game and is quite similar to playing with a Tamagotchi, which only has three options: feed, put to sleep, or clean up excrement. The only thing keeping that game from being more realistic is the lack of an option to burp.
So if at least 50% is identifying the issue, the remainder is simply following through. With feeding, I just hand you over to your mom. When you poop, it’s just a matter of holding your feet so you don’t thunderstomp a foot down into a pile of your own crap when we take off the diaper. And even putting you to you sleep is not too bad – squats or stairs combined with some patience will do the trick. But the burping and the gas…that one really stumped us.
In the beginning, there was gripe water, which I prematurely dubbed “miracle water” until it wasn’t. Then there was a period when we just did it the old-fashioned way with some pats and rubs on your back. It seemed to work, but in retrospect, it was really just time elapsing and us being patient with your body to process the gas.
Since you’ve hit the 9kg mark, holding you has become both a strength and endurance workout – it is not an activity we can do for long stretches of time. With a little more research, I read one account that said it was OKAY to use a little oomph and that was all I needed to see to try my latest methods.
There are five stages to it and rigor is needed throughout the entire process. First, while you’re on your back, is to repeatedly pat your stomach. It should actually be more like a slapping noise, so I think of it as playing the bongo drums. I use two hands and to keep it fun, I’ll make up a beat or rhythm. You will laugh and your mother will wonder why there’s commotion when you’re supposed to be coaxed to sleep.
The second stage is a modified bicycle kick I like to call Speed Trial Bicycle Kicks. Like it sounds, I’m looking for 100 RPM-type rotations on those short chubby legs of yours. The third stage is the same exercise except reversing the rotation.
The fourth stage is knee curls up to your stomach, which is one of the motions I personally hate in my ab routines. You look like a hopping bunny on speed. It’s in this stage where you’ll squirt out a fart or two.
Finally, the last stage is me picking you up and giving you open-palmed wallops across your back. My rule of thumb: if your mother can’t hear it downstairs, then I’m not doing it hard enough. All that should get out what usually ends up being a tiny little princess burp. If not, then it’s back to the bongo drums.