Working as a nurse in a hospital setting, I have the opportunity to get a glimpse inside the lives of many types of families. I meet and take care families from different cultures, with vastly unique backgrounds and varied socioeconomic profiles. I recently had the privilege of taking care of a couple with very limited financial resources, little experience with babies minimal family support and education. On the surface, their “profile” might lead you to believe that their ability to care for their new baby would be a challenge. As the first few days went by, the staff was peppered with questions. Many times they would ask the same question over and over again. Whether the question was about diaper changes or frequency of feeds or normal patterns, the information seemed, on many levels to not be sinking in. Now don’t get me wrong, questions and nervousness are a very normal part of the new parent landscape, they just seemed to be exceeding the “norm”. Through all their nervousness, though, there was such a sweetness with which they approached the care of their new baby. They would stroke her cheek, hold her gently and fuss over her every coo and grunt. The day before their discharge, the father of the baby, nervously asked if I could provide him with a phone number for “someone they could call when they were at home”. “What if we don’t know what to do?” I replied; “You know what to do. The most important thing to do for her is something I have seen you do and heard you say all day today. ” He looked puzzled. “Love.” I said. His face melted into a smile. “I give all my parents a simple check list to use.” The hot topics, if you will, when taking care of a new baby. This list is one that parents can go to if they become nervous when the baby gets fussy. He grabbed a pen to write the list. “The list,” I said ” is simple and you don’t even need to write it down: food, diapers, gas and love.” He looked up at me as he adjusted her blanket and tucked her in to sleep. “I can do that.”

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