If you’ve just been for your 20-week scan and found out your baby is of the pink variety, you might be imagining a future full of ballet lessons and sparkly shoes. But hold your horses (and/or unicorns), says mum of four girls Catherine Ball, there are some things you need to know if you’re expecting one…
1. Watch out for stealth wees
You’ll hear a lot from mums of boys about the perils of putting on a clean nappy. They’ll tell you about getting caught in the eye, ear, mouth and just about everywhere else by an arch of wee if they’re not bringing their A-game to every nappy change.
However, very few people will tell you about the dangers of the stealth wee. You see, baby girls are sneakier and more subtle than their male counterparts when it comes to catching you out if you leave their bum al fresco for more than the briefest of moments.
One minute your little lass will be happily gurgling away and the next second she will be lying in a pool of her own urine with her babygro soaked from top to toe. Don’t worry though, you’ll soon master an ultra-fast nappy change technique requiring the sort of stealth of hand which could earn you membership in the Magic Circle. Until then, always have lots of clean outfits to hand and keep the old nappy under her bum until you’re ready to go with the next one.
2. Don’t be alarmed by a little blood
The first few nappies as a new mum are always a little bit daunting. If you’ve had a little girl though, there is the added potential horror of what I like to call the ‘Carrie moment’. It is completely normal to find a few spots of blood in your newborn’s nappy at some point in the first couple of weeks.
While this isn’t as dramatic as a full-on first period, it can be a little alarming, especially if it comes when you’re totally sleep-deprived and using a cocktail of adrenaline and caffeine to make it through the day.
The real reason behind the spots of blood is that your miniature madam is withdrawing from the female hormones she’s been used to when she was curled up cosy inside your womb. You probably won’t know whether or not she is also suffering from her own version of PMT as newborn baby moods can be pretty unpredictable at the best of times!
3. People will assume she is a boy
I have no idea why but unless your little girl is born with shoulder-length hair, a LOT of people will automatically assume she is actually a boy. From strangers in the supermarket to little old ladies at the bus stop, expect people (particularly if they are over 60) to refer to her as a him unless she is adorned completely in pink with an I AM A GIRL sign thrown in for good measure.
Woe betide you dress your princess in neutral, unisex colours or a simple pair of jeans. Just perfect your slightly passive-aggressive ‘well actually, she’s a girl’ response or play along and tell them she is called something wacky like Prince Albert Benedict the seventh.
4. Forget the sugar and spice stuff
We’ve all heard the rhyme – little girls are meant to be made of sugar and spice and all things nice while the ickier things in life (slugs and snails and puppy dog tails) are reserved for boys. If I were to re-write the poem for the 21st century, I’d replace the sugar and spice stuff with a will of steel and a stubborn independent streak to rival a totalitarian dictator.
There’s no doubt that your little girl will be gorgeous, sweet and able to wrap most people around her little finger pretty much from the moment she makes her big arrival. However, in my experience, little girls also come with a go-and-get-em attitude and desire to call the shots that would put most millionaire businessmen to shame.
Of course, all children are different but I’m certain the song ‘Sisters are doin’ it for themselves’ was inspired by watching a group of little girls calling the shots at a toddler group. The good thing is that strong, independent girls are the product of strong, independent mothers so when a crowd gathers to watch one of their full-on diva meltdowns, you can pat yourself on the back for being a good female role model.