Babies are oh-so-precious and adorable. The cute button nose and sheepish grin could melt your heart over and over again. We all know they don’t come with an instruction manual, taking care of a baby is all about trial and error. But before you missed out on anything, here are 10 fun things you did not know about your new baby.

things you didn't know about babies

1. Those who say “I wish I could sleep like a baby” are most likely the ones who have yet to have one.

All babies go through different sleep patterns. If your little one is sleeping through the night, thank your lucky stars and enjoy your freedom. Most of us struggle with babies waking up nightly, sometimes every hour, so sleep is pretty much a distant dream. All normal though, no sweat. Just make sure you cherish those times, as it might take a turn and be different again. A newborn usually deprives its parents of around 350-400 hours in the first year! If your baby is not sleeping too well, you may want to start on Sleep Training to get him or her to sleep through the night.

2. A few minutes-old baby can crawl to his mother’s boobs.

breastfeeding benefits for mothers and baby

Yep, you read right. It is known as the “breast crawl” – place a baby who has just been delivered onto his mother’s chest and you’ll see that he instinctively crawls towards one of her nipples. Experts say it might be due to a mother’s natural scent which invokes this call-to-action. The sense of smell is also the baby’s strongest ability at this point. Mama’s smell = comfort and security.

3. Poop comes in all shapes, sizes and colours that belong to the Pantone chart.

Well, they start off black due to meconium, then camo-green to mustard, with the occasional mix of both. Wait till they start solids – dark coloured foods and fruits will appear in their poop too, don’t get too worried and dial for the Paediatrician immediately.

4. The world’s a blur when a baby arrives in this world. Things appear in black and white with no clear defined outline.

So when you think your newborn is smiling back at you, that grin is actually a muscle twitch (sorry to break the truth, new parents!). Their vision continues to develop and becomes clearer in the next month, hence black and white images aid as visual stimulation during the early days. They can only focus 8 to 10 inches from their face; about an arm’s length, just right to see their own little fingers and mummy and daddy’s faces.

5. Babies are not as fragile as they seem.

Technically, it seems babies are as feeble as they looked. When they start to flip or hold things, you’d be surprised with the amount of strength summoned by that little being. Still, do handle them with care, especially when their neck muscles have yet to develop fully and when they are up and about, be mindful of them falling off beds and chairs.

Learn how you can child-proof your house!

6. Babies communicate by crying – suss out the intended message.

Babies cry for a reason so it would be helpful to learn how to decipher those cries and learn to know what the baby needs. A hungry baby does not cry the same way she does when her diaper is soiled. It takes some time to differentiate but all in good faith so that you know what to do to appease an angry bub, pronto!

7. Your little one is a natural swimmer from the day of conception. Make sense, doesn’t it?

things you did not know about babies can swim

Hypnobirthing is increasingly popular in Singapore after its wave of acceptance by our Western counterparts. As to the belief of keeping the delivery state as natural as it is in the womb, thus delivering a baby in the water and subsequently bringing a new baby to the pool draws from the theory that swimming is actually an innate ability from the start. That explains the burgeoning number of baby swim classes which boasts claims of invigorating the brain mass and develop bodily coordination and muscles. The drawback? We lose this ability with time, and hence have to pick up swimming all over again when we’re older.

8. Babies have around 10,000 taste buds!

When babies hit the 6-month mark, introduction to solids is so much fun (and definitely a mess!) for them. It’s good to expose them to a myriad of textures and tastes with different foods. Similarly, when the baby is in the womb, they pretty much tried everything that their mum takes in. Adults however have way lesser taste buds than that of a baby as they disappeared along the way!

9. When babies gum you, it hurts!

Think the toothless one is all sugary without a bite? Breastfeeding mums can attest to the gum power a newborn can have. If your little one is ready for solids, baby-led weaning encourages babies to feed independently while gumming away even if they don’t have a single pearlie white. Sounds impossible? Wait till you see baby-led weaners demolish an entire drumstick.

10. Babies laugh on average 300 times a day.

It’s not difficult to make a baby laugh, sometimes the simplest action (like your comical face) or a funny sound can get him into a giggling fit. Laughter is the best medicine – spread happiness and receive it too. Adults are too serious for our own good at times, lacking behind at just 60 times a day. Laughing releases endorphins, make you feel better and look good (check out that sunshine smile!) – who doesn’t love a smiley face? Let those cutesy giggles put YOU into a laughing spell!

We were all babies before, and those were probably one of the best times of our lives, although not for our parents, perhaps. Challenges or not, cherish those moments while your little baby is still at this stage because the clock won’t turn back its hands. Happy parenting!

By Cindy Gan.

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This article was first published in New Age Pregnancy.

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