Where is everybody?

This past weekend, Brian and I babysat our 7-week old niece overnight for the first time.

Baby in a little bassinet

Of course, we planned for reinforcements because we’re not crazy, especially since Brian has never been responsible for a child, ever. And it’s been a long time since I’ve even watched a baby.

I invited my cousin and her 3 kiddos (you’ve met them all before in the ridiculously adorable photos of my wedding party and the letter I wrote to my godson, which feels like a lifetime ago) to come play with us. It wasn’t a hard sell because we’re all in love with the little nugget, especially A and Sassafras.

Two older cousins holding their baby cousin

So they came over and hung out, fighting over who got to hold her. Everyone got a turn at least once.

Child holding her infant cousin

When the Little Guy, my ring bearer, walked in, he asked, “Where is everybody? Are they outside? Why’s everybody outside?”

He’s so used to coming to parties at our house that he wasn’t sure how to handle just the 7 of us, as if that were a small number. He kept looking for his grandparents and my parents and other kids, asking when everybody else was coming. Sorry kid, it’s just us.

Preteen staring adoringly at his infant cousin

We played and snuggled the baby. My cousin taught Brian how to change a diaper. We watched some toons and ate pizza. We even let the Little Guy hold her for like a minute.

Toddler holding his baby cousin

And then our reinforcements left. And for us, it was kind of like, “Where is everybody?” Because we were it.

Baby laying in her uncle's lap

She’s already a yoga baby. Brian didn’t think she looked comfortable, but I thought she seemed cozy enough to stretch out. Her mom said it was fine. We texted.

We were on our own for the night shift. Here are a few things we learned about babies from our one-time stint:

They are adorable. Every goofy almost smile. Every tiny hand grasp. Every snippet of tongue she sticks out at you. Totally precious.

They are sassy AF. Apparently, this one only likes to poop in a clean diaper. So you change her diaper, and boom. She’s messed that shit up good. Literally.

They are terrifying. Both Brian and I checked on her several times to make sure she was breathing. Because apparently that’s a thing you do when there’s an infant asleep in your house.

They are keeping Google in business. I can’t tell you how many times I googled if something was normal or how to do something. Where the fuck was Google when I was babysitting in high school?

They are exhausting. Even though she’s just a baby. And even though she only woke up once in the middle of the night and then again early in the morning, we were absolutely beat to hell the next day.

They are loved. Man, if you could see the three children fighting over her, you wouldn’t believe it. It was almost as bad as their mom and I fighting over the last hunk of cheese. And you KNOW that’s serious business.

Sleeping baby face

Tell me friends, what do you know about babies? Now that my brother has a child who he and his lady entrust with me, I need to know everything. 

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Comments

  1. This is so sweet! Here are my three basic pieces of advice:
    1) Noise machines (like, white noise machines) are your BFF. They’re essential in the baby’s room, but also in your room when someone else is up watching the baby and you’re trying to take a nap…it will allow you to tune out the rest of the world because the other person has it (mostly) under control.
    2) Receiving blankets are really just big burp clothes. Similar to the idea that she only likes to poop in a clean diaper, M only liked to spit up on the part of my shirt that the burp cloth didn’t cover. If you use a receiving blanket that covers your entire upper body, though, you’ve outsmarted the little puker!
    3) Squats aren’t just for your butt anymore. For some reason, they are super amazing at soothing crying babies. My SIL did some impressive squats in front of the whole church congregation when my nephew was getting baptized and was not thrilled by the cold water. Worked like a charm.

    • Fab pointers! My SIL totes uses the receiving blankets as burp cloths. I’ve heard white noise machines are awesome for a lot of people, but omg I hate sleeping with sound. I love silence. Oh god. If I ever have babies, I’m never going to sleep again.

  2. Elizabeth M Edens says:

    Chill, Auntie! Just chill. It matters not what you do right or what you do wrong. Look at it this way, man has survived, like a gazillion years without Google. She’ll make it, too, unless, of course, she can smother to death from LOVE!

  3. You pick it up as you go along. NO advice will work except what fits your family set-up. And…you did just perfickly.

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