Author : Alia Gee
While the care and feeding of your child in ideal non-planet-dependent conditions has already been covered in Dr. Krugheimer’s “Happiest Baby on the Space Station” holoseries, I feel it is important not to neglect those new parents who are in more extreme states of habitation.
To whit, here are a few hints I picked up while raising my little family without the blessings of gravity. I only hope they may assist others in their domestic efforts.
My initial concern when faced with my first infant in space was, “Oh, no, the diapers!” Yet here Mother Nature aids us, even when far from our natal gravitational fields. Newborn waste sticks to diaper or bum with great tenacity. Merely make sure the child is securely fastened to the changing table or wall, and the vacuum on your trash receptacle is functional, and sanitation is a breeze.
Moving up the alimentary canal, your next worry will likely be feeding your wiggling spawn. Nursing, bless those mammary glands, is not dependant on gravity.
If you, like me, discovered this knowledge was insufficient to your needs, the standard advice is to use a squeeze bottle and hover. I found that this allowed too much air into the poor infant’s stomach unless always vigilant. And, gentle reader, what parent can exert constant, even pressure over a long period of time when wakened mid-sleep cycle?
Vexed and sleep-deprived, I created a container much like a balloon: small and flaccid when empty, but able to expand to hold up to a liter of nourishing liquid. As the infant sucks, the vessel constricts of its own accord with textbook gentle, even pressure.
As the child gets older and tries to squeeze the bottle, life can get more colorful. In these cases, and also when the infant gaily burps up more than air, my best advice is to remind your parenting partner(s) that (t)he(y) got you into this mess and now (t)he(y) can jolly well help clean it up.
Note: For more on how to create your own blobule from common chemicals you will have in the lab, please see the link at the bottom of the article. Stockists also available on request.
I have occasionally seen the Ideal Space Infant caricatured as an adorable hydra: bottle, blanket and toys tethered neatly to the little darling by long strands of some anonymous fiber.
For shame! This, as any experienced parent can point out, is one big, pastel choking hazard.
Still, it raises a valid question: How does one keep all the essentials near at hand? Some (Jennings-Ho, Xiao Universe-al Baby Care 101) are wild proponents of industrial strength Velcro.
Velcro and its cousins do have their place, make no mistake, and I was grateful for them when trying to keep my young ones in their sleep sacks. However, no one product will solve all your parenting problems; it is best to think creatively when facing those hurdles our mothers never dreamt of.
In my own case I found that the simple application of some adhesive to humble hose-clips worked a treat. For preference, I glued the item to the handle, and attached the pinching end to my child’s clothes. One could go the other route, of course, gluing the hose-clips to the clothes; but if your aesthetic sensibilities are not offended by this, may I suggest that you stick with Velcro?
Whatever methods work for you, I leave all you star-hopping parents with one final happy thought (assuming your precious offspring is one of those individuals who can survive in vacuum): In space, no one can hear your baby scream.
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