Yesterday we attended a 3-hour infant care class at the hospital attached to the birth center we’re delivering at. We think the instructor had maybe chugged a few Red Bulls before teaching. There wasn’t a lot that we actually learned, having read a lot earlier, but we did get some hands-on experience swaddling, changing a diaper, and bathing a newborn-sized baby doll (and ours was anatomically a boy, lucky for us).
We watched part of Dr. Karp’s Happiest Baby video, which we both really enjoyed and found helpful. We can definitely see ourselves applying his “5 S’s” method in the future (swaddling, side-holding, shushing, swinging and sucking) The funniest thing about the video was when he had a tiny swaddled baby laying on its side and if it hadn’t calmed down by then, he would loudly go SSSHHHH! in its ear. Magically, the babies immediately calmed down, but not without getting a funny/startled expression on their faces. This sound is made to emulate the uterine environment and really seems to help. Of course, for the rest of the class, whenever the instructor asked us what we would do when the baby cries during diapering, dressing, bathing, etc…the whole class unanimously went SSSHHHHHH!!!! (which was wrong of course, you’re just supposed to talk sweetly to the baby, but we all got a kick out of it)
We were the only non-straight couple there (no surprise) and while the course material was very inclusive, the instruction itself was very “mom and dad” focused. We made sure to mention this in the course evaluation.
After a quick lunch in the hospital cafeteria, we joined a tour of the labor & delivery floors. For a hospital, they’re very nice with all private rooms full of natural light, modern decor, cable tv, etc. However, we also learned about the hospital-specific policies which don’t mesh well with what we want and their C-section rate (about 40 percent). While we feel we would certainly be in good hands if we had to deliver there, we are even more confident in our choice of the birth center and hope that we’ll never have to see labor & delivery again.
During our time in the hospital, we did see two tiny newborns and immediately turned into puddles. We were also at least happy to learn that the hospital has no nursery and practices 100% rooming-in for healthy babies.