I thought having a baby in the summer was absolutely genius and here’s why;
1. The hospital recommends ‘skin to skin’ contact to aid bonding between parent and child. Much less painful in the summer than on a cold miserable ‘we don’t know how to heat our houses properly’ Australian winter’s night.
2. Cleavage tops. Probably not as big a deal to someone who pre-baby actually had boobs, but for those of us who are mammary challenged, the chance to bust out our newfound bosom is rare and should be shamelessly exploited.
3. Baby clothes are cheaper – all the peanut needs is one of her fancy cloth nappies (check out greenkids) and a singlet. Done.
4. Daylight saving. Great for the requisite ‘I really want you to stop your whinging’ run which tends to occur at her birth time (7.16pm) every single night.
5. It’s much easier to get your boob out in summer clothes than under a sweater, skivvy and maybe a lovely warm scarf. In fact, how do you breastfeed in wintertime? Am I going to be cold for an hour every two hours while I expose half my torso in order to feed my darling child? Please don’t tell me I have to wear button down shirts. I haven’t since 1996 and with good reason. Firstly, they’re ridiculously uncomfortable and secondly they remind me of the brown skirts and lace up shoes I endured throughout my entire high school career. While we’re on the subject of fashion, someone should start a breastfeeding clothing line. Seriously, I hate shopping at the best of times, but now I enter a department store and my usual state of confusion and panic escalates rapidly as I realise I am ineligible for most of the clothing on the racks and am forced to ask assistants for help, actually try things on (normally I pick a size and hope for the best) and sift through clothes looking for the few items where I can whip my boobs out at the slightest sound of my distressed child. Truly, there is a market for this ladies. I don’t have the skill set, but if you do I guarantee you’d be a success. And when you are, feel free to name a lovely boob-accessible moo-moo after me.
And in the negative for having a baby in the summer we have;
1. Christmas. You haven’t drunk for 40 weeks and you still can’t because you’re the food source for your new human. This might be alright if you were on a Buddhist retreat, but Christmas in Australia calls for champagne, gin and gingers and the odd late night tipple or two while you wait to make sure Santa makes it through the back door.
2. Beach holidays. You’ve got the ‘I just gave birth gut’ going on, but you’re baby is too small to go out in the surf with you, so people just think you ate too much Christmas pudding.
3. Relatives, house guests and people on holidays in general. December 24 until January 26 are some of the finest days in the Australian calendar, but it means you keep a punishing schedule of park dates, tourist activities, summer festivals and general social events accompanied by any number of people desperate for their touch of the new human.
4. Sydney knows how to do humid and when you hold a human against you for an hour at a stretch you both come off a little worse for wear.
5. The rain. This is an anomaly in Australia after ten years of drought, and fabulous for people’s backyards I know, but it makes it bloody difficult to keep my environmental resolve and use cloth nappies. I have to confess we bought a dryer…any idea if the use of such counteracts the benefits of reusable nappies?
6. Sunshine. My grandma used to tell me to marry a black man so our kids might have a chance at skin better suited to the Australian clime, instead I married a man with the same welsh heritage as I, forcing us to cover our already hot human in hats and muslin wraps so her delicate skin keeps its glorious alabaster tones.
So there you have it. The cases for and against. Let me know what you think.