Baby Traumas

Today while pursuing through Facebook I saw a darling group of photos of my young friend Kim’s two month old daughter. The photos were darling but the words brought back horrible memories. Kim clipped her daughter’s thumb while trying to cut her nails. Of course baby Morgan is fine, but as a mother there is almost no worse job than trying to cut paper thin nails. The worst part about it is that if you don’t cut their nails it in a timely manner the baby can scratch themselves badly. So you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

I can remember crying after cutting Carter with the nail clippers. I think I cried harder than she did. Why in the world was there not a baby manicurist? By the time I finally learned how to do it, she was practically old enough to paint her own nails.

There are somethings that I wish I had been trained in before becoming a parent. The on the job training is woefully inadequate. Despite reading many parenting books and having plenty of friends who had raised successful children I still made many mistakes.

One glaring example was the bottle. I somehow skimmed over the chapter about how long you give a baby a bottle. I don’t mean how many minutes when you feed but for how many months you allow her to still drink from a bottle. I never forgot when a friend, upon seeing Carter drinking from a bottle just before her second birthday, told me I was supposed to ween her from it by her first birthday.

100% over the recommended time was way off the good parenting mark. Since I had breast fed Carter for more than six months, the recommended amount of time back then I probably should have skipped the bottle all together.

Weening Carter was almost as painful as cutting her infant nails. We used platex bottles with plastic liners called drop ins. Carter only had a bottle at bed time and getting her to fall asleep without it was proving difficult. One night I was at a meeting and a Russ called me with the desperate message that we were out of drop ins. I told him to tell Carter she just had to go to sleep without the bottle because we had no liners, and she did.

When I got home that night and Russ reported that the lack of liners excuse pacified Carter I thought we were on to something. The next night I used the same excuse. “Mommy, just get some more at the store.”

The next day she asked, “Any liners?” I lied to her that they were out of them at the store. I knew then that I had to stop taking Carter to the Harris Teeter when I went shopping. For weeks she questioned about the availability of liners and even wondered how good a store it could be if they never restocked liners. Eventually she gave up and forgot all about drinking from a bottle. I knew then that the real reason to stop a bottle at one was it was before they could have discussions about it.

Those early problems seemed so big then. I hardly knew they were just a training ground to have to deal with harder and harder issues later. I know that cutting your baby’s finger clipping their nails kills you, but the good news is it doesn’t scare your child, physically of emotionally. Those things come later.


One Comment on “Baby Traumas”

  1. happygirljan says:

    Oh, the agony of new parenting! Kim called me today while Morgan was screaming bloody murder after the incident, but I am sure Kim was hurting worse! My best advice – this won’t be the last time you hurt her…sad, but true! Somehow we make it through – it takes a village!


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