1 Apr 2021 • Dr. Corey A. Fish (He/Him)
10 weird baby things that are actually normal
Babies during the first year are mysterious creatures. From dreamy smiles to chatty grunts to being fascinated by the oddest things; as a new parent it can sometimes feel like you’re always trying to figure out what makes your new baby tick.
Here are some mysteries we can help solve when it comes to your 0-12 month old baby.
10 things that are normal for babies in the first year
- Cluster-feeding! Your newborn baby just wants to hang out and nurse a tiny bit at a time for what feels like HOURS. It can be tiring, but it’s totally normal and usually not a sign of low breastmilk supply, babies just want to snuggle and snack in the early days.
- Baby acne. Your cute, two-week old newborn suddenly looks like a teenager with acne all over their face. Neonatal acne is totally normal, but since the exact cause is unknown there’s not much you can do to prevent it. The good news is that it usually clears up quickly with no scarring. If you want to help it along, you can try an “old wives” trick and put a little breastmilk on it. Can’t hurt!
- Full-body shivers. It can be weird to see your tiny baby trembling like a leaf, but it’s totally normal. They’re not cold, they’re just learning to regulate their nervous system and it’s not a fully smooth process yet.
- Poop-grunts. You may notice your newborn grunting, straining or making distressed faces while they poop. Totally normal. Your little one isn’t constipated, they’re just still learning how to coordinate their body to have a bowel movement.
- Great dance moves. You may notice your little baby does a move that looks like a fencer’s stance - or they’re about to do “the sprinkler” dance: they turn their head to one side with that same side arm extended and the other arm flexed upward at the elbow with that hand pointed towards their head. This is called the fencer’s posture or tonic neck reflex and it’s totally normal. Babies have all kinds of reflexes that go away as they get older. If you’re curious about other reflexes, look up the Moro reflex or the Galant reflex, pretty fascinating right?
- Super-stinky poop at six months. Your four to seven month old baby suddenly has poop that stinks, a lot. Totally normal. Breastmilk and formula poos are pretty inoffensive, but once your kiddo starts solids, poo starts to have all the same wonderful smells as grown up poop thanks to the digestive process.
- Fake coughs. Notice your six month old is starting to have obviously fake coughs? Totally normal. At six months babies are beginning to expand their vocalizations skills and may be starting to notice that coughing often brings a parent or caregiver to check that they’re all right. Cause and effect is very interesting to little ones.
- Waking up all night, again. You were finally getting some sleep when, all of a sudden, your baby stops sleeping as well as they did -- even if they were previously sleeping through the night. It’s (sorry) totally normal and probably means they’re going through a period of rapid development. Sleep regressions can happen any time your kiddo is acquiring new skills, like when babies establish their circadian rhythm at about four months or begin learning to crawl around six months.
- Grabbing their ears. Starting around nine months, you may notice your kiddo grabbing or pulling on their ears. It’s usually not a sign of an ear infection, your baby has just realized there are things attached to their head! Fun!
- Dropping food instead of eating it. Your older baby is more interested in dropping food off the highchair than eating it. Totally normal. Babies between nine and 12 months are learning about cause and effect and one of the most fun ways to do it is to make sure food falls to the floor every time they drop it. The more this gets a rise out of parents, the longer kiddos tend to do it, so a calm “oops you dropped food on the floor” reaction goes a long way to make dropping food less interesting to your little experimenter.
These are just 10 weird things that babies do, but we’re sure there are tons more! Babies are weird. But if you’re concerned your baby’s weirdness is a sign of something wrong, trust your instincts and reach out for help. Brave Care has 24/7 chat available in our app, with kind, expert nurses ready to help.