Nickname’d

Dear Milo,

Over the past few months, you’ve had a few different nicknames. I created this little series to try and capture those nicknames and why.

You kept sleeping with your hand over your ear like you were DJ-ing. Who knows what you were really doing, but it was cute.

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You quickly swelled into our very own Michelin Man. You hit 9.5kg / 20.9lbs at five months, so yeah, we were justified in calling you Chubs.

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When you started finding your voice, you got into a yelp-y phase, which is what I would’ve imagined a Pokemon sounding like. You occasionally let out some roars to that fit the name Milosaurus.

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You always looked like the boss whom no one could impress. Your mother would receive compliments on your R.B.F. (resting bitch face). So naturally, we addressed you with the proper salutation.

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One of your mom’s originals that just stuck. It’s Chinese, and I mistakenly thought she was referring to you as a loaf of bread when she really meant “treasure”. But you know what, you did look like a loaf of bread when you were tightly swaddled.

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An evolution to Bao Bao is Baobab. It’s such a funny word and it kept cropping up in The Little Prince, which has taken me the better part of nine months to read it all to you.

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I think there’s an art to coming up with a good nickname. These are my general guidelines:

  • Stating the most obvious, it needs to be relevant
  • It plays off another word (e.g., replaces part of the original word)
  • It should have either an element of rhyme or flow
  • Keep it to one or two syllables – shorter names tend to be catchier, but are harder to come up with

The Hunger Games: Weaning Edition

Dear Milo,

Your eating continues to be the most-discussed topic in our household. Did you eat enough? Did you eat too much? Are you allergic to something in the meal? Are you too tired to eat…and all of it can get a little stressful for me.

Feeding you is like a game to me. Originally, the goal was to feed you your meal, but that proved too tough and I was losing every damn time. So I revised the terms of the game into a series of mini-games whereby a successful bite is considered a win. Never in my life would I have imagined deriving such joy from my successfully feeding someone one spoonful of food.

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Given all my fretting, I always end up trying to coerce you to eat, which is probably unnecessary since you pack enough meat on your bones as you are and have ample reserves to draw from. So I’ll often get a gentle earful from your mother about easing off.

In any case, this has also spurred us into a buying frenzy of feeding devices. First there was the good ol’ colorful baby spoon, which you liked for a short period.

Then you got all Mr. Independent on us and wanted to do it yourself but lacked the coordination, so we got you a ClevaMama, which is effectively a giant plastic Ring Pop with holes in – parents put food in it and you’ll nomnom on it. You liked that too and still occasionally do, but there’s only a limited amount of food types we can put in it.

And when you started getting he occasional Ella’s squeeze pack foods, you seemed to devour those. Maybe it’s the taste that you like or the colorful packaging, but there’s no denying how your eyes light up when we pass by a giant shelf of Ella’s in the supermarket. We still prefer to make your food because of all the allergy issues, so we did the next best thing and bought reusable Ella-like packaging called “Nature’s Little Squeeze”. Your mother then pimped it out by buying this special nozzle that plugs onto the top so you can suck out the food more easily.

That’s where we are now and that’s just the food-side of it. I don’t even want to go into the drink-side of it all. I’ll just leave it at we did not hold back on supporting the baby goods sector these past eight months.

A Guide on How to Stuff Cloth Diapers Quickly

Dear Milo,

Whether you end up developing into a (s)crunchy parent or get suckered into becoming one by your partner (that’s me!), I thought I’d pass on some early fatherly advice about how to stuff those cloth diapers quickly and efficiently because if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to minimize the amount of time you’re spending on stuffing diapers and maximize your time playing games or doing something else unproductive. This guide is for gnappies in particular.

Mr. Henry Ford got it right with the assembly line and that’s exactly what you need to do. All the components of your gnappy diaper need to be laid out in the right order so you can just grab and use. It is also most efficient to gather and prepare all of one particular component at a time.

The first component in the process is to prepare all the cloths. Since we use two cloths (one large, one small), I layer the shorter cloth on top of one end of the longer one (the end with two layers of cloths will absorb more pee). Prepare a stack of these.

Next, tear off the number of paper towels you will need to wrap around the cloth diapers and stack these. I often find you can only reuse a paper towel once after it goes in the wash (of course these are paper towels that did not get pooped on).

Finally, prepare all the pouches and snap them into the gnappies.

Now you’re ready to start your assembly line. For under six months (pre-weaning), I like to just take a pair of the cloths and lay it perpendicular on the stack of paper towels, then just wrap one of the paper towels around the cloths, flip it that one over and then stuff it in a pouch. This will ensure you don’t have loose paper potentially riding up into your baby’s crack.

If you’ve begun the weaning process, the only difference is you’ll now place the paper towel parallel to the cloths instead of perpendicular to. If you couldn’t guess, older babies just have more poop and it spreads of a larger surface area if they’re pooping while sitting.

And if you think stuffing cloth diapers is a bit like wrapping dumplings…well, I thought so too!

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