In the best thing I’ve heard about all week- Connecticut lawmakers are seriously considering a handbook for new parents once they leave the hospital.
Well, it’s about damn time.
I actually had a discussion with my Labor and Delivery nurse on the day of discharge. I was greatly concerned that they were just going to let me leave the hospital with this screaming four-day old baby. They didn’t even offer me a multiple choice test to make sure I was competent enough to take care of anything- let alone a child. I told the nurse that I wouldn’t be opposed to staying a few more days to “make sure I had it down”. She signed my release papers and asked if I wanted a wheelchair to bring me to the door or if I could walk.
Let’s be honest- Not even a handbook is going to help completely idiotic parents from screwing up their kids. But there’s some simple things that can be done to give them a head start. Like a “Do Not Do” list. And finally, Connecticut lawmakers agree. Some things they feel should go into this manual:
Babies should always be:
- Placed on their back and never on their stomach
- In the same room, but never in the parent’s bed
- On a firm surface with fitted sheets
- With no blankets, pillows or toys. That’s what often causes strangulation or overheating.
Simple stuff, right? But you would be amazed how many “16 and Pregnant” girls haven’t been Googling fanatically for nine months like many of the neurotic mothers I know. There’s a few other chapter I would personally suggest for the “Parent’s Handbook” including (but certainly not limited to):
The Importance of CARSEATS
Lollipops, Steak, and Polly-O String Cheese- Things To Not Feed Your Two-Month-Old
Why Socks Are Important for Infants When It’s 0 Degrees Outside
(and what may be the most important chapter)
Smoking Newports Around Your Baby is a Bad Idea
Note: These are all things that I have actually seen.
So- YES Connecticut. Make a handbook for the new parents. Granted, most of the worst offenders will never read it but at least we can say, “We gave you a handbook”. I would also like to suggest that quiz upon discharge- Seriously, it can be multiple choice, but there should be some kind of testing involved.
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