Well, this whole trip-to-Ethiopia thing seems to have given rise to some questions from our peeps out there in Teh Internets. And so, we here at The House of Peevish are more than happy to answer those questions for you.
- Iâ€™m super curious about how things were for her there. What was her schedule like?
Her schedule was the same as the rest of the babies’ schedule — I mean, with 40 babies in the home, you have to be pretty organized. So they were up and fed 6 oz bottles at 6 am, bathed at 7:30, and then they were fed every 4 hours from then on. A morning nap and an afternoon nap were also on the schedule.
That being said, her schedule was nothing like that, from what we can tell. She’s way hungrier than that schedule allows for, not to mention she hardly naps. She will catch catnaps throughout the day, but no actual structured nap time. And she almost sleeps through the night, with just 1 feed between 7 pm and 7 am. So I think, as a baby there, you just did what you had to do to fit into the schedule — there’s no time or point in complaining.
- How many children were in the room with her?
She was in a room with about 7 other babies, with an average of 3 caregivers for the 8 babies. There were 5 or 6 rooms all told, and hers was pretty big with about 8 babies in it. Some were two to a crib, others soloing in a crib or a bassinet. It was very comfortable and clean, and the rooms were bright and airy. It’s a big, gorgeous 3-story house made just for infant care.
- Has it been easy to adapt her to a schedule on her own, or have you kept her to her previous schedule?
We followed her lead right from the beginning, because it was clear that Her Babyness has a mind of her own. She was hungrier than the schedule allowed for, particularly in the afternoons, so we fed her more frequently then and less at night. She also has shown she likes to sleep most of the night and not nap during the day, and we’re grateful for the sleep time. She’s also getting cereal now, which they would not have been doing until after 6 months of age at the Transition Home, because she’s quite frankly ravenous. I’d like to start her on vegetables soon too, but we’ll leave that up to her doctor.
She’s an easy baby, once you learn all her signals.
- Where there things that they did/did not do at the home that you were surprised to see or learn about?
I don’t think they burped the babies, because when we first fed the girl and went to burp her, she was totally confused. I was also surprised they don’t start them on cereal until after 6 months, but I wonder if that is just because of the logisitics involved. I also was surprised to find that the package we sent — photos, toys, and a couple of onesies — was nowhere to be seen. Quite honestly, although I know the agency says we can go ahead and send that stuff, I don’t believe the babies actually GET much of the stuff. I think it’s just too hard for the staff at the Transition Home to keep track of all that stuff what with moving babies around and whatnot. I think they did show our daughter our photos, and started talking to her about Mama and Papa, but the photos were not posted and her toys were not in her crib.
- Did the kids spend most of their time indoors, or did they get outside time? (Which would depend, I imagine on the ratio of caregivers to children at the home, so I suppose it correlates to an earlier question.)
The babies spend their time indoors. It’s just too hard with small babies to manage outside time. But once they go to the Toddlers Home, there’s a lot of outside time, with a nice compound and a playground and lots of room for the kids to get fresh air and sunshine.
- How bad was the crick in your neck when you woke up out of the chair?
I didn’t have one; it was quite comfortable, actually. But there was this guy, a sheikh sort of fellow, who pulled two chairs together and was using them as kind of a cot… flopping to and fro, feet in the air, arse sliding to the floor between the two chairs, all night long… it was like something right out of a Chaplin film. It was hilarious and brilliant and if I could have, I would have videoed the whole thing.