Many of us will be aware that Mr Chang, one of the regular Beans dwellers (you may take “regular” to be a fairly loose term in this case), has recently made a baby. At this early stage we should assume its name is “Changlet” until there is firm evidence to the contrary.
I have never made a baby, or looked after one for any significant length of time, so I am ideally placed to dish out some useful advice on the upkeep and maintenance of this new baby.
- Try to keep the baby upright. Babies held upside-down for long periods can begin to leak and will not fit baby seats properly. The correct end to keep at the top is the one that makes most of the noise.
- Feed your baby regularly. New babies do not come with skills for foraging, hunting or microwaving pre-installed. Until your baby reaches an age where it becomes compatible with these modules you will need to manually carry out these tedious tasks.
- Involve your baby in family life. Babies are small and warm and it is tempting to use them in place of a hot water bottle or book-end. As much as this may seem a good idea, it can cause your baby to get the wrong ideas in later life, and nobody wants an adult man trying to climb into their bookshelves in thirty years’ time.
- Do not offer your baby hot drinks. Most people in your household will appreciate the polite and civilised question “tea or coffee?” when they are ready for a drink. However, babies will not develop a taste for the finer things in life for the first fifteen or twenty years, and offering a baby a hot drink in this manner may cause offence.
- Buy elastic clothes for your baby. Babies are famously indecisive about their size and will change their physical proportions almost continuously. Procuring clothes of a fixed size will, therefore, be a costly mistake and a source of regret and bitterness for years to come. A stretchy but stylish Lycra garment that will fit your baby now, and when it is a fully grown adult, will avoid that problem.
- Do not overestimate the taste of modern children. Your baby probably passed most of its time before it was born playing with a tablet computer or games console. Today’s children are seldom interested in old-fashioned toys that do not have touchscreen interfaces and copious simulated bloodshed. Do not waste your money buying toys such as Lego for your baby – they will not appreciate it. Keep these toys for yourself instead.
I believe that’s more or less everything there is to know about babies, but in case I’ve missed anything out, I’d like to invite other Beans contributors to suggest their own baby maintenance tips below.