Babies are so cute, so adorable and when a baby grins that toothless grin, everyone’s hearts just seem to melt! But coming home with a brand new addition to the family can have a lot of up and downs. Unfortunately no instruction manual is handed out with your baby when so when you take your precious bundle home for the first time caring for your firstborn seems very much like a hit and miss affair. To lighten the moment here are 10 fun things you should know which come packaged with your newborn.
1: Babies laugh a lot!
It has been estimated that babies laugh on average 300 times a day!! That’s a lot of happiness in a small bundle. Not that it is difficult to make a baby laugh – just make a funny face or a funny sound and listen for the giggles! Being a baby must rank as one of the best times of our lives as we laugh such a lot at any little thing, no matter how silly. As a parent, take the time to cherish these precious moments of happiness in your baby’s life – make him laugh and giggle often. Time doesn’t stand still and all to soon your little one will be all grown up and making his own children laugh, so enjoy the fun times while he is so cute and adorable!
2: Colourful Poo!
Yes, baby’s poo may start off black due to meconium, but then it becomes green to mustard in colour and may even have an occasional mix of these two colours. At least it doesn’t smell if you are breastfeeding! Then when baby starts on solids you are in for a real treat of colours as dark coloured food can appear in the poo…..so before going into a tizz and phoning the doctor, do a mental check of what you have fed your baby and whether it could have imparted its colour to the poo. A helpful article can be found on Parent 24
3: Babies are stronger than they look!
A lot of people think that babies are very fragile and need to be treated with kid gloves. Although babies do need to be handled gently and with care, they are not as fragile as they might seem. Their head does need a gentle hand to support it while the neck muscles are still developing but before you know it your little one is going to be holding his own head up and will soon be doing “push ups” when placed on his tummy!! However, as a baby or toddler has no sense of danger you should always be mindful of them rolling off a changing table or, once they are toddling, falling off beds and chairs as they can get serious injuries.
4: Newborns can crawl!
Yes, you read that correctly. If a newborn is placed onto his mother’s chest immediately after birth, he will instinctively crawl towards one of his mom’s nipples in search of food! This has become known as the “breast crawl”. Experts think this crawling may be due to the newborn’s heightened sense of smell which leads him to his mother’s natural scent.
5: Babies cry to communicate
The sooner you learn to interpret your newborn’s different cries, the happier you and baby will be. Babies cry for a reason, it is their only way to communicate with you. A hungry baby will cry in a totally different way to a distressed baby for instance. It does take some time before one begins to be able to differentiate the different types of crying but once you can your life becomes much easier!
6: Tastebuds galore!
Did you know that babies have around 10,000 taste buds? When a baby is in the womb they try virtually everything that their mom takes in! Which is why one is advised to eat healthily and not imbibe too much wine or other alcoholic drinks when pregnant, I suppose! Once solid food is started you will see a great many expressions on your baby’s face whenever you introduce a new food – he will express delight or disgust with great gusto! And it’s all because of those taste buds.
7: Gums are powerful clamps!
When a baby gums his mom’s boob, it hurts!! Those little gums pack a lot of power. Later on, even when your little one has not one tooth yet, you will be amazed to see the power of those gums as he demolishes the chicken drumstick you gave him – and you can let your partner know that THAT power behind those gums is what you were complaining about whenever your baby latched on while breastfeeding!
8: Seeing is a blur
A newborn sees the world as a blur and in black and white. This explains why babies seem to be fascinated with black and white images in their first few weeks and months. At first, the newborn can only focus 8-10 inches away from their own face which is why they like looking at their own wiggling fingers and also mom and dad’s faces! . After the first month their vision becomes a little clearer and continues to improve with each month.
9: Newborns can’t swim!
You may have heard that babies can swim immediately they are born. However, it is NOT true that newborns are born with the ablility to swim. They have a reflex called the bradycardic response which makes them hold their breath and open their eyes if their head goes under water. The reflex also slows down their heartbeat and they wave their arms and legs around, which gives the appearance of them swimming. Unfortunately this reflex disappears after about 6 months of age and so we have to learn how to swim once we are older.
10: Sleeping like a baby!
People who wish they could sleep like a baby can’t possibly be parents! Most new babies wake up at least twice during the night, if not more often. So sleep is what most parents miss the most when they bring home that little being. If you are really lucky, your baby will start sleeping through the night at about 3-4 months of age. But not everyone has that cooperative a baby! I know a couple whose toddler has just turned 2 years old and she still wakes up at least twice during the night! If that is the case for you, then you can console yourself with the thought that eventually your child will outgrow this habit (hint: putting a night light in my son’s room seemed to help as I think he was just scared of the dark whenever he awoke and so he would creep into our room. The night light reassured him that he was okay in his room with no monsters lurking nearby!!)
Babies are truly a miracle of life. They are all adorable. They all are cute. With one’s first born it can be difficult to know exactly what is expected of you or your baby. I hope the above puts a bit of a humourous spin on some of the things to expect when you first bring that tiny little human home! Enjoy him or her, cherish these moments and you will find that most of the time you will instinctively be doing the right thing for your baby with very little help from outside!!! Never, ever be afraid of asking for help, though, if you feel overwhelmed and just unable to cope.
I would love to hear from you on any topic dealing with babies and how YOU coped with those first few months. Comment in the box below or, if you prefer, you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in lifestyle newborn photography