When I think about newborns, I fondly think of their sweet smell, little stretches and teeny tiny toes. So many amazing and heart melting joys that being a parent to a brand new baby brings. What I forgot about until just recently when I had my second baby, are all the freaky things about newborns that happen during those first few months. Like you don’t have enough to deal with when you have a brand new baby, here is a list of the ways your baby is trying to scare the crap out of you.
1. REM Sleep
Babies have much more REM (rapid eye movement) sleep then adults, which is why your tiny baby looks slightly possessed during their snooze fest. The eye movement I can handle, but when they open their eyes and look directly at you while still asleep, my blood runs cold.
2. Pulsing Soft Spot
I kinda missed the memo about babies soft spots before I had my first child. So when I discovered it, I was immediately freaked out. Instantly I was hyper-aware and terrified of accidentally bumping it. Well, imagine how genuinely horrified I was when I found out it actually pulses. Like, you can see their heart beat through their head.
3. Swollen Private Parts
Turns out that when babies are born they are still holding on to some extra fluid and can have both swollen testicles or labia. Isn’t this something they should warn you about? I mean I can still picture my poor husbands face when he saw our baby girls swollen bits for the first time. Don’t worry, unless you are told otherwise by your practitioner this is completely normal and will go away by itself.
4. Witch’s Milk
It’s not just mama that lactates apparently. Both newborn baby boys and girls can lactate after birth due to the high levels of mama’s hormones they are exposed to during pregnancy. This is sometimes referred to as Witch’s Milk. Again this is totally normal so if you see little drips of milk coming from their tiny nipples try not to freak out, and don’t worry, you don’t need to find baby breast pads as it should stop after the first couple of weeks.
5. Startle Reflex
Have you ever gone to set your baby down only to have you rocking them back to sleep because they have startled themselves awake. This is called the Moro reflex and while it usual subsides around 3 or 4 months you may need to invest in a good swaddle to start to avoid them startling themselves awake all night long.
6. Mini Period
I’m so thankful someone told me about this one before I experience it first hand. Sometimes baby girls will have a “mini period” after birth as they go through some estrogen withdrawal. Those pesky hormone should even out and quickly, but in the meantime if you have any concerns don’t be afraid to contact your Practitioner just to be sure.