By Kelsey on July 17, 2012 9

Raising a Baby Is Like a Science Experiment

Sometimes taking care of a baby feels a lot like a group science project. Your lab partner is your spouse. And your baby–a real, live humanis the subject.

having a baby is like a science experiment

I feel this way because there are so many ideas out there on how to do things. Some that you agree with, some that you don’t. And you never know if they’ll work.

Once you decide what you’re going to try first, you hope it’s the right choice. But you’ve never done it before, so you’re not even sure that you’re doing it right (like making food for a baby!).

Trial. Evaluation. Trial. Evaluation.

  • How can we get her to stop pooping at 4 a.m.?
  • If we feed her this, what comes out the other end?
  • Is her poop texture like applesauce or more like peanut butter?
  • Will pear juice make her poop softer?
  • Will taking her rectal temperature make her “go”?
  • Did she have enough wake time for a two-hour nap?
  • Is she stimulated enough? Too much?
  • Is she ready for solid foods? Which one should we try first?
  • If I sneak into her room at 9 p.m., before we go to bed, and give her an extra feeding, will she sleep two hours longer?

So, I realize now that most of these are about poop. That’s mostly how you know things are working as they should. But sleeping is hard to figure out, too. We tried that last one a while back. Have you ever heard of a dreamfeed? It sounds so strange–and sneaky–but we’ve had luck with it. I’d rather feed her at 9 p.m. when I can still think straight than at 4 a.m.!

I’m glad I have an awesome lab partner, and the Internet. Each decision feels like it matters so much. I’m not sure it does in the end, but I guess that’s how you find your way as parents.

One experiment at a time.



I love my husband, my kids and the Internet.

  1. I remember those thoughts with the first. They all went away with the second (& he is way more laid back. Perhaps just coincidence.)

    We used to gently wake our boys in their sleep when they were babies, right around 10 PM, just to have them start a new REM cycle. From what I remember (which is not much, from the early months) they went right back to sleep without eating, but still slept longer.

    • i have heard of that, too! i’m so afraid she’ll wake and want to play. how did you do it? and did they open their eyes, or just stir a little?

      • Just gently rubbed their backs until they stirred, slightly. Sometimes they opened their eyes a bit. I suppose if Roo decides she wants to play, you could have a bottle ready just in case :)

  2. The title of this post made me laugh! That exactly how raising a baby feels sometimes — a science experiment, hahaha.

    From my experience, kids kind of poop whenever they ‘want’ to until they start eating more solids. Any kind of juice can possibly make poop softer. In fact (gah, I accidentaly typed ‘fart’ instead of ‘fact. how appropriate!), none of our kids can have juice without it messing up their bottoms.

    It’s crazy how much your life revolves around poop when you have kids. Just the other day, I realized that I do not want to have another baby until baby #3 is potty trained. We’ve been doing diapers for 5 1/2 years straight at this point. I’ve had it with poop!

  3. she’s sitting in her chair!!!!!

    [ that’s all. ]

    : )

  4. You are so right about being a parent can feel like a great big science experiment, with only one subject and no “control group.” :)

    I’m cuious what research led you to start solid food before 6 months? I recently read that the AAP modified their recommendation from “between 4 & 6 months” to “6 months or later.” My daughter wasn’t interested in solid food until closer to a year.

    Some foods we tried at first, in addition to avocado, were butternut squash, sweet potatoes & leeks, broccoli, red lentils & spinach, quinoa (flakes), and yogurt (full fat, organic, plain).

    Have fun with your experiment and getting to know your daughter!

    • Our pediatrician said we could start at 4 months if we wanted, and it seems like so many people around here start right at 4 months. I kind of felt behind! But we’ve since stopped. I’m really not in a rush, and I don’t think she’s ready (more on that tomorrow in her 5-month update). I want to wait until 6 months now. She’s really interested in what we’re eating, but not really wanting to eat anything we’ve given her so far, which is just egg yolk and avocado. Fine by me!

Leave a Reply


Text formatting is available via select .

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>