“Is he supposed to do that?” is a very common question among new mothers. Some weird things newborn babies do can leave you wondering if they are in pain or they are having a fit of some sort.
Before you panic dial the pediatrician, you need to know that some of these strange things that newborn babies do are absolutely normal.
Odd Things Newborn Babies Do
The explosive poop is one of the scary things that newborn babies do. This is how I knew my baby was about to poop. He would contort his face in a funny way, turn his lips like he wants to whistle and then let out an explosive stink bomb.
Well, it wasn’t so stinky, just fruity-smelling mustard-yellow digested breakfast. If this happened at a time when his diaper was off, I would be wiping poop off the nursery walls.
And he would be very pleased with himself after painting yellow polka dots on his bedroom walls.
Do not be worried if your baby seems to be ‘straining’ to poop. The groaning before the bomb is absolutely normal. He’s not constipated. He’s just getting used to the ‘need to poop’ feeling.
You’ll notice that the poop is a little runny with seedy particles in it.
If you understand your baby’s cues, put them in a diaper when you notice the ready-to-poop signs. You’ll only mourn the diaper, not the Benjamin Moore paint on the walls.
Hiccups that just won’t go away
I once complained to my pediatrician that my baby was hiccupping too much. She said, “Hiccups affect the mother, not the baby.”
She was right. I was getting more concerned and disturbed by the hiccups more than he was. And he hiccupped a lot. I would imagine that he was in pain or extreme discomfort.
The old wives’ tales that seek to explain the source of hiccups are in abundance. The most logical explanation for hiccups that the baby tries swallowing and breathing at the same time.
Your baby has a snorkel (sort of) up her respiratory tract. Their larynx is placed high up the nasal cavity to help him breathe and swallow at the same time. After 3 months, the larynx drops lower in the throat.
Multi-tasking is not a skill they have learned yet, they still can’t wholly harmonize these activities. That launches the hiccups.
Sometimes putting them on the breast when they hiccup helps them go away. In most cases, however, you just have to wait it out like chickenpox. It’ll go away. Eventually.
What’s with the sneezes?
To be fair, he learned to breathe last week. His nose is not used to the pollution of this world –the dust particles, the scents, and stenches can be a little overwhelming for a brand new nose.
He will, therefore, tend to sneeze more as he gets used to breathing in and out.
Before six months, the baby also starts fake coughing. The fake cough is merely to get your attention. He has noticed that you rush to him when he coughs. So, you’re basically being colonized by a neonate. You will notice that he seems to enjoy doing that.
Save me from falling fluttering
You’ve bathed him and as you are putting him down, you let go off the head just an inch away from the mattress. The baby gets jerky and flares his arms like he’s sky diving without a parachute. This terrifying thing that babies do is called Moro reflex.
This startle reflex happens when the baby hears a loud noise or feels like they are falling. It’s just nature’s way of giving the baby survival tactics in case mom loosens her grip.
When my son would jerk due to loud noise, I found it comforting to know that his hearing is perfect. The silver lining on the cloud, right?
The rule book says not to go all touchy when it comes to, umm, the south lands. Why then does he almost automatically want to feel up his genitals the moment he’s naked? Didn’t he read the rule book?
First, he didn’t read the book. He can barely say ‘a’. Secondly, get your head out of the gutter mama, this time, it really is not what you think.
He’s just a learner who is exploring. Chances are very high the does the same with his hands and feet but you don’t take note because it seems innocent.
The touching of his genitals is one of the queer things that babies do that should not alarm you at all.
Where exactly is his gaze focused?
I almost took my son for corrective surgery when I first noticed his crossed eyes. It was after seeing other babies at the vaccination clinic who also crossed their eyes that I was assured.
The uncoordinated eyes are common among babies. At birth, the baby’s eyes are 75 percent the normal adult size. They are not able to focus beyond 10 inches from their face initially.
He is asleep, but …
Sometimes babies will chuckle, cry or even suck their tongue while they are sleeping. The debate on whether babies dream or not is still in parliament. Some say they start dreaming as early as when they are in the womb. Others say they don’t have the capacity to dream.
Chuckling, whimpering, and suckling their tongue are among the odd things that newborn babies do.
The assumption is that it’s just a reflex and not a bad dream. This mostly occurs in the active sleep period of REM.
Babies will always be babies. There are lots of peculiar things that newborns do. With their still-developing nervous system and brain, newborn babies have the ability to give you a mini heart attack with their strange actions or noises.
And they also don’t care for societal propriety, they just go with the flow. If the baby is not having a fever or showing physical signs of illness like throwing up or seizures, he’s just being a baby.
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