Before becoming a mum, if I had been asked to think of words to describe a baby, I probably would have thought of adjectives such as “soft”, “downy”, “cuddly”. I had no idea then, that babies have so many sharp, pointy bits.
Our first traumatic experience with A was trying to crop his nails. I think it is hard for any new parent. I hovered over him with nail-clippers in hand, disturbing images of accidental finger removal playing in my fraught mind. With sweating hands and stilted breath, I tried to shave off the tiniest slither of nail. Useless really, as his claws need serious pruning. Even more so now, as the clippers just seem to cut his nails into eye-gouging points. The best tip I was given recently was to cut his nails while he sleeps. Probably a lot easier and less like trying to contain a wayward hamster.
Toenails are just as bad but I tend to ignore them. Babies are less likely to grab your eye with their feet and socks are great at hiding the fact that your baby may be related to a hobbit.
But the pointy bits don’t stop at the nails… the latest development in the past week, is the appearance of two little fangs in his bottom gum. I felt so proud of him (not that an ability to grow teeth is any indication of mental astuteness), but my wonder and joy at this milestone has swiftly turned to trepidation during breastfeeding. It now feels a bit like playing Russian Roulette with my nipple nipping nipper.
Having done some research, I am relieved to find out that there is advice for avoiding biting during feeding. I am also relieved to find out that while babies feed, their tongues cover their bottom teeth, so this should cushion the blow – at least until the top gnashers appear!