When you take your adorable baby home from the hospital, don’t expect to get a newborn baby instruction manual. Just as every individual is unique in their own way, you can anticipate having unusual experiences raising your babies, but they will be some of the fondest memories. There are, however, a list of common weird occurrences that can happen in the first several weeks of bringing home your baby.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 adorably weird things about newborn babies you can come to expect as a new mother, and we have some tips for you at the end of the article on surviving the first few weeks of the newborn phase.
The newborn phase (from birth up to two months of age) is stranger than you can possibly imagine. The baby’s body is developing at such a rapid rate and is constantly adjusting to its new environment. As a new mom, you’ll be carefully anticipating your baby’s needs and some of the odd happenings can even worry you. We’ll guide you through what’s completely normal and when you should seek medical advice in this article.
Let’s jump into the list of 10 strange, yet endearing happenings during your baby’s first stage of life to help you better prepare for these moments with your family.
The newborn phase in every baby’s life is weirder than you imagine. Their bodies are developing at a rapid rate and you may not even notice just how remarkable life is for them because you haven’t been an infant for a long time.
- 1. The Cradle Cap Will Disappear On Its Own
- 2. Explosive Poops
- 3. Your Baby Has Boobs
- 4. Your Baby Makes Strange Noises
- 5. Achoo — Babies Sneeze A Lot
- 6. Newborns Are Clumsy
- 7. Your Adorable Baby Has A Weird Head-Shape
- 8. Your Baby’s Eyes Are Crossed
- 9. Your Baby Has Abnormal-Looking Genitals
- 10. Babies Belch And Fart A Lot
- Tips For Surviving The Newborn Phase As A New Mom
1. The Cradle Cap Will Disappear On Its Own
The cradle cap is the crusty, scaly patches on your newborn baby’s scalp around the hairline. While it may appear unsightly and a cause for concern, cradle caps are harmless, for the most part, and will eventually disappear on its own within a few months.
You can help speed up the healing process by brushing your baby’s hair and scalp with a soft baby brush after bathing to loosen up the dead skin. And to help with the dryness and itching, you can rub baby oil to the affected area.
For severe cases of cradle cap, you can ask your doctor for a medicated lotion, but as we said, this condition should clear up on its own and often doesn’t require any medication.
2. Explosive Poops
Once in a while, your adorable baby might scare you with an unusually large, explosive bowel movement that breaks the boundaries of the diaper — oozing up the back and down chubby legs. These moments are the kinds of images you can’t unsee, but I promise they make for hilarious stories later on.
It’s completely normal for massive poops to happen. Here are newborn stool situations for when you should contact the doctor for concern:
- Experiences continued diarrhea
- Red or black stools (may indicate internal bleeding)
- Your baby doesn’t poop for more than three days
- Stools are hard and pebbly
- Stools are watery with mucus
- Stool color is chalky
3. Your Baby Has Boobs
Your newborn might sport some cleavage. It’s normal for newborn girls and boys to have lumps under the nipples. This strange baby boobs situation are due to hormones. In your womb, your baby is exposed to your body chemistry. The fluctuation of hormones that enlarges your breasts and prepares them for breastfeeding can also affect your baby’s chest.
Not to worry, though, you’ll notice their chest returning to normal in no time as the hormones run their course and balance out in the the baby’s body.
Don’t squeeze or massage your new born’s breast to speed up the process. Doing so may cause infections if you rupture tissue.
4. Your Baby Makes Strange Noises
Babies are very vocal and will be making a lot of unusual noises. We’ll go through a few common sounds your baby may make to help you decipher what they may need.
- Gurgling: This is caused by air passing through the baby’s saliva or refluxed milk. It can also come from the belly as a result of digestion.
- Snorting: Your newborn baby is adjusting to breathing air. Snorts and grunts can happen because babies breathe through their noses, where there is sometimes a buildup of mucus. Because babies don’t know how to blow their nose when it’s congested, you need to clear out the mucus with a nasal bulb.
- Grunting: Newborn grunting is usually related to digestion. However, if your baby is grunting often (with every breath) it may be a sign of distress, and you should contact your doctor.
- Hiccups: Hiccups are perfectly normal and can arise from swallowing air while breastfeeding. Burping your baby can be helpful to ease hiccups — but if that doesn’t do the trick, the hiccups will go away on their own, and it shouldn’t interfere with eating or sleeping.
5. Achoo — Babies Sneeze A Lot
These tiny sneezes are indeed adorable, and you don’t need to worry — your newborn sneezing isn’t a sign of illness.
Babies are extra sensitive to their environments, and it’s just their way of clearing their nasal passage of fluff, dust, milk, and mucus.
6. Newborns Are Clumsy
Your adorable baby has clumsy, involuntary movements because they simply don’t have muscle control — but most of the time, this is perfectly okay. These movements are responses to sensations they’re feeling in their muscles and your baby is learning how to coordinate movements.
When there is a cause for concern is when the baby stiffens suddenly with an arched back and the head will bend forward. The eyes can also roll to the back of the head. Though sometimes this can look subtle, these jerky movements are a sign of an infantile spasm, and you should seek treatment immediately.
7. Your Adorable Baby Has A Weird Head-Shape
Noggins seldom seem normal on newborns. Babies’ heads are soft and malleable to allow them to move through the birth canal and to accommodate a rapidly growing brain. Once your baby’s hair starts growing in thicker, you’ll soon forget how strange their head shape appeared.
8. Your Baby’s Eyes Are Crossed
Criss-cross applesauce. Newborn babies tend to look cross-eyed. Sometimes, babies can be born with extra folds of skin around the inner corners of their eyes, giving them that cross-eyed appearance.
For the majority of babies, the cross-eyed look is simply due to the fact they don’t yet have control over the muscles around the eyes and can’t focus on what they’re looking at. By 3 or 4 months old, your baby’s eyes will naturally straighten out.
9. Your Baby Has Abnormal-Looking Genitals
Your child’s private parts may look strange due to inflammation. It’s nothing to lose sleep over in most cases. Unless your baby winces or cries out in pain when you change their diaper, you shouldn’t worry.
10. Babies Belch And Fart A Lot
Burping is a result of your baby swallowing air from feeding or crying. Burping is simply the body’s way of releasing gas buildup. As for the farting, your baby is learning how to digest food while the digestive muscles are still developing; this can cause your baby to produce more gas.
To relieve your gassy baby, you can burp your baby mid-feedings as well as after feedings to help rid excess air swallowed. There are also infant gas drops that you add to milk bottles to help reduce infant gassiness. And you can encourage more tummy time to put gentle pressure on the belly to relieve gas.
This newborn period, as stress-full as it can be, will be over before you know it. And you’ll find yourself reminiscing about your baby’s tiny size and weird quirks. As promised, we want to equip you new moms with some helpful advice for surviving a newborn baby.
Tips For Surviving The Newborn Phase As A New Mom
These tips will focus on your health and wellbeing as a new mother. Oftentimes, moms will get so carried away worrying about every coo and gurgle their baby makes, while completely ignoring their self-care needs. Prioritizing your health is a benefit to the whole family.
Get Enough Sleep
If you’re wondering how to balance your hormones after pregnancy, sleep is part of your answer. There is a relationship with the sleep-wake cycle and hormone secretion, especially in women.
Bringing a newborn baby home will inevitably mean a disruption in your sleep cycle. Sleep hygiene is foundational to your overall health. While you might not realistically get the shut-eye you need throughout the night, you can catch up on naps in the day when your baby sleeps. And don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, so you can catch a few hours of sleep — it’s not a luxury, it’s a requirement.
Balance Your Hormones
Balancing your hormonal changes after pregnancy can be massive article all on its own, but we’ll briefly touch on ways you get bring your hormones back to baseline. The pregnancy hormones are responsible for the many psychical and psychological changes you experience carrying your baby, delivering your baby, and during recovery.
Progesterone is at an all-time high during pregnancy. This hormone relaxes your joints and ligaments to accomodate your growing baby, but once you deliver your newborn, it almost immediately drops and another hormone, prolactin is more prominently noticed.
Prolactin is responsible for milk production, and some research suggests it to affect dopamine levels (happiness hormone). Prolactin may be the reason to blame for low energy levels, moodiness, raised anxiety, and a slow metabolism after your baby arrives.
There are many factors that go into balancing your hormones naturally, which the other tips in this section will also help to address. Essentially, you primarily want to focus on:
- Stress management (take alone time, sleep well, exercise)
- Heal your gut (eat healthy, well-balanced meals)
- Balance your blood sugar (avoid carb-heavy, sugary, processed foods that spike your blood sugar)
- Take vitamins to balance estrogen, liver function, and energy levels
Take Some Alone Time
Don’t feel guilty about “me-time.” Taking time for yourself will make you a better mom and will improve your relationship with your baby and the people around you.
This will also require some extra help to look after the baby either from your partner or other family members — but hey, it takes a village to raise a child, right?
Remember, you don’t have to jump into motherhood all on your own and it’s perfectly okay to accept the help when offered. Use this me-time to go out for a walk, visit a spa, exercise, or run errands on your own to regenerate yourself.
Wear A High-Quality Postpartum Girdle
Make your postpartum recovery a priority. One of the best investments for ensuring a speedy, comfortable postpartum recovery is a Bellefit girdle or corset. You can start wearing a post-pregnancy girdle hours after delivery, and there are styles that suit vaginal and c-section deliveries.
While the transitional period between delivery and getting back to your pre-pregnancy body is notoriously difficult, you can make it easier on yourself with the right recovery strategy. A doctor recommended and FDA-approved girdle has medical-grade compression to provide you with abdominal and back support, reduce swelling, and help you feel more confident in your clothes.
This means you get back to your daily routines sooner, start exercising sooner, and keep up with your rapidly growing newborn baby.
Bellefit has the largest collection of post-pregnancy recovery girdles and corsets styles from sizes XS – 3XL. Many moms find it helpful to purchase two girdle sizes — one for right after delivery, when swelling is at its peak. This will typically the larger size.
When your swelling has reduced, and you start to lose weight, you’ll switch to the size down to help stretch the benefits of compression therapy around your midsection for even greater weight loss support.
What’s the one thing about your newborn that surprised you the most? Let all the new mommies come together to celebrate their most cherished moments with their newborn!