The Alternative Antenatal Class 1. Point It Down

An occasional series devoted to things they really should cover in ante-natal classes. First on the list; point that thing Down.

There had been some warning about how a baby (girl or boy) can pee with some velocity, but frankly not nearly enough. I think I thought it’d be like a less terrifying version of the old Tiny Tears dolls. How wrong I was (though it was definitely less creepy).

I’ve seen arcs of wee spouting from a tiny baby that look as if they could only have come from a moderately-sized rhino. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a child manage to wee in their ear. Their OWN ear. I hesitate to imagine what future career one could take on with this talent, but it was pretty impressive.

I realised pretty soon there was one clear rule. Point It Down.

When they teach you how to put the nappy on that dolly at the antenatal classes, sometimes it doesn’t even have genitalia, never mind the sort that requires checking where it is pointing. But take it from me. Point It Down.

When you take the first unfeasibly giant nappy off your tiny newborn, immediately Point It Down. You are staring a fire hose in the face. You risk pee in your eye, up the walls and all over the only clean t-shirt you have left. And when you put the nappy back on, once again Point It Down. Make sure the pee-that-is-to-come is going to be absorbed by the nappy you’ve lovingly put on rather than shooting out the top, inexplicably soaking your child in the armpit, whilst the legs remain dry. It took me some time to work this out - sleep deprivation is a bugger for learning new things - baby boys’ wee is not of this world and does not always obey the laws of gravity.

Obviously I thought I’d got that cracked. Till we got to potty training. So I remind you again.

Pull ups? Point It Down. I’ve brought changes of trousers but not seven different tops.

Sitting on the potty? Point It Down. The whole point of the potty is to keep the pee off the floor, not to create a handy seat to shoot a fountain from.

Doing a stand-up wee behind a tree in a rainy field? Point It Down. Seriously. Don’t let that thing roam free to spray right up the inside of your waterproof jacket and soak the clothes from the inside. (This actually happened.)

I've taken one (or indeed many) for the team here so you don't have to. Make this your mantra. Point it Down.