To mark her one-month birthday, Juliette had her second check-up at the doctor today. She weighed 4.6 kilos and is 57cm tall, which probably explains why we’ve been having to shoehorn her into her 54cm baby clothes.
Luckily, most of the clothes that we have for the early days are hand-me-downs (see yesterday’s photo of Juliette cross-dressing in her little boy’s romper suit), because they grow so quickly at this stage that each outfit only gets worn a handful of times before being outgrown. Not that they don’t get the same wear-and-tear as normal clothes — between baby spit-up, leaking diapers, and all of the other ways babies dirty themselves, the average baby outfit is probably laundered as many times in a month as normal clothes are in a year.
Visiting the doctor is always an eye-opening experience. Every time you go, you wonder how anyone managed to raise children in previous generations without killing them.
When I was growing up, the standard advice was to put your baby on its belly to sleep. These days, you’ll be accused of child endangerment if you do this — babies should be put on their backs to sleep.
We mentioned that we used some baby powder on our daughter’s backside to help prevent diaper rash. From the look on the doctor’s face, you’d have thought we just announced that we used turpitine for cleaning the baby instead of baby-wipes.
“Talc is very dangerous,” explained the doctor, “because it can get into the lungs.” In parallel, I searched the far reaches of my mind to think of all the talc-related horror stories I’d heard growing up. Nope, none.
“Except for the belly button. You can use talc on that,” said the doctor. So it’s okay on the belly button, but not on the bottom. Got that?
And alcohol on the belly button? Or antiseptic? Both of which are the standard recommendations in the US for newborns. Verboten in Switzerland (although I suspect that it’s only verboten because Weleda doesn’t manufacture antiseptic).
Our next doctor’s visit is the start of the vaccination schedule. If you think people have strong views about talc, just ask them about vaccination…