10 Baby Firsts You’ll Never Want to Experience Again


Kids grow up too fast.

I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t know, unless today you happen to be having one of those How long is it until this kid has to move out and get a job, again???  days. On those days, it seems like they’re never going to grow up.

Last night, as we watched Maddie toddle around and turn into an adult right before our eyes, Gerry asked me, “If science came up with a way to stop the aging process for us, would you want to have more kids?”

My response, after I stopped laughing, was a resounding, “Hell. No.” Which surprised me a little at first, to be that  sure I was finished having babies. But when he asked me why, the answer came pretty readily. Something about nine months of physical discomfort, followed by brain-cracking, horrific pain, and also something about taking a breath between screams only to hear the doctor say, “I can’t figure out where all this blood is coming from” while a 12,000-watt high beam illuminates your nether regions for an audience at a teaching hospital.

Still, an element of the certainty, the finality of it, makes me terribly sad. Maddie’s already 18 months old – no more first smiles, no more first steps, no more first scrunchy face made at the first taste of the first bowl of that disgusting rice cereal gruel.


But whenever I start to get all gooshy and sentimental, I remember there are OTHER baby-related firsts I’ll never have to deal with again, either.

1. First projectile spit-up that requires everyone to get in the bathtub. Immediately. Fully clothed.

2. First dried up, crunchy umbilical cord stump found floating around loose inside footie pajamas.

3. First call to Poison Control.

4. First time Poison Control operator laughs at you when you report, “My baby ate Butt Paste.”

5. First major outing without a diaper bag, and the resulting sock-and-electrical-tape MacGyvered diaper, applied while attempting not to touch any surfaces in a public restroom.

6. First hoop earring unceremoniously removed in a sudden jerking motion by nursing infant.

7. First diaper explosion that requires disassembling, laundering, and sanitizing an entire pack-n-play.

8. First time noticing two huge wet spots on the front of your shirt… after you’ve already been out in public for several hours.

9. First night of lost sleep due to baby crying for 7 hours straight, ending abruptly with the child falling asleep peacefully five minutes before your alarm goes off.

10. First belated baby proofing; installing a cabinet latch on the changing table immediately after finding your baby sitting happily in the middle of a baby powder eruption.

See? I feel less sniffly already. I guess I should change that title to 10 Baby Firsts That I’m Pretty Glad I PROBABLY Won’t Be Doing Again, though. We still do have a baby around here, after all. It’s not too late for her to eat some Butt Paste.


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  1. Toulouse says

    Because my baby is a preemie and came home with equipment, I can add a new first to this list: first time baby pulls the feeding tube out of his nose/throat/tummy and YOU, a non-medical-professional, have to put it back in by yourself. It happened on the 2nd night he was home from the NICU, at 4am. I do not want to ever ever ever ever ever repeat that first. (Although I’ve done it so many times since).

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    • hollow tree ventures says

      Gah, the feeding tube! We were so lucky my first was off his by the time we brought him home, but he was on oxygen and a heart monitor – I’d forgotten about that freight-train alarm going off in the middle of the night, or the time I almost drove off the road because it went off while he was in his car seat! It was loose wires every time, but that doesn’t keep you from having a heart attack!

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      • Toulouse says

        That thing was gonna be the end of me. Told hubs if we were to be allowed to choose which thing (between feeding tube and heart monitor) we could get rid of first, that would (and was) the thing. The worst was when he’d get mad and scream in the back seat of the car and his bp would go above the limit on the high end and the alarm would start going off. Me=driving and wanting to shoot myself.

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        • Hollie says

          Ugh! Heart Monitors!!! It’s the stupid loose wires! It went off three times in a Babies R Us, and management thought it was a fire alarm. I didn’t realize it until they started evacuating the building…

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  2. Laura says

    Those are certainly good but I would take them over some teen firsts…”Mom I think I might be pregnant”, “I want to drop out of school”, “I’ve been cutting myself”…….

    It’s all relative.

    Great post. x

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    • Margaret says

      Not to be overly dramatic, but never want to hear, “Hello, this is the Pasadena police calling. Your son is a missing person.” Or two days later, “We have found Brian. He is dead.”

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      • hollow tree ventures says

        OHMYGOD, Margaret, I’m so sorry – I didn’t see your reply there until later when I scrolled back by – what an awful thing for me to reply! Obviously I was responding to Laura. I can only pray that never actually happened to you and you’re speaking in hypotheticals, but if it did I am so, so terribly sorry. You’re right, there’s really nothing worse to hear than that. Hugs to you. xo

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  3. Shelley says

    First trip to the emergency room!
    And first gastro bug….all the puking and shitting and squirting pedialyte down their throats every ten minutes for hours on end.

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    • hollow tree ventures says

      There are a lot of things that I thought would be hard to deal with due to the gross factor before I had kids, and although most of them turned out not to be too bad, I still have trouble cleaning up vomit. Uggghhhhhhhh.

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  4. Chey says

    On night three of number nine BUT she slept through the doctors office, the carpool and the grocery shopping today so she should be as to make tonight number four!

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  5. Robin Jingjit says

    I remember my first poison control call. When my older guy was about two, we were on vacation and all sleeping in the same room. We could here him rooting around, but were pretending to be asleep in a vain attempt to get him to go to sleep, too. Finally he creeped over to me and whispered: “I ate the spicy toothpaste!” It was Ben-Gay!

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