29 Wild And Unexpected Things That Parents Learned When They Had Their First Baby
"They are stronger than they look!"
"I was surprised by how challenging a newborn baby is to dress. They tend to ball their fists and pull in their arms and legs inward so getting them into clothes is harder than expected for such a tiny little being. They don't always love being dressed either, so they can wriggle around a lot too!"
"Babies can have sleep apnea. They can stop breathing for several seconds at a time and it's normal! I asked the paediatrician why my daughter kept making noises that sounded like gasping and she said it was apnea and it was perfectly normal as long as it didn't last more than fifteen to twenty seconds."
"I freaked out the first time I saw baby fingernails. They’re stuck to the skin, and peel. They also tend to grow in weird directions for a while."
"That bonding with your baby may not happen in the first few minutes, hours or even days after birth, and that’s okay! After I gave birth I wanted to shower and eat and rest (I had a long labour with no meds and I was tired and sore!) and we had to move from the birthing suite to get set up in a new room. During that time my baby was fed and bathed and tested, and my hubby and I took turns doing skin-to-skin contact. It was a busy stay in the hospital, and we were never alone. It wasn’t till we got home and had some time to ourselves that I could just sit with my new darling and get to know him. It was then that I fell in love with him!"
"Exclusively breastfed babies' poop has a sweet smell to it. That was surprising!"
"I didn't know babies made SO MUCH NOISE while they slept! I had two noisy babies who grunted, groaned, cried out, yelped, snorted, etc... all while fast asleep. It made co-sleeping an absolute nightmare because as a new (already anxious mom) I reacted to every single little noise. I had visions of peacefully co-sleeping and nursing which all went out the window when I realised some babies are NEVER quiet!"
"My kiddo had an early latch, and breastfeeding came relatively easy for me, but it was still hard AF. No one talks about how some people cannot pump; I was one of those, and I couldn’t leave my child for long periods of time because I couldn't express enough to keep him fed. Because of that, my boobs would be rock hard, massive, and so so painful by the time I got back to feed him."
"Never put your baby down to sleep in a completely quiet room. I made this mistake with my first and every little noise would wake her. I am now on my third child (she's four months old) and she can sleep through a loud TV, the dog barking, and her two older sisters running through the house screaming and playing."
"Babies can gloss over crawling and sometimes skip it entirely! My six month old has the concept of crawling down but he can't execute it yet. I asked his paediatrician, and she said some babies will go right to standing and walking. I just assumed crawling was a natural step in their development but skipping some milestones is also normal!"
"Breastfeeding is amazing but really hard! I spent my life babysitting and nannying, so I felt like I knew everything about babies. I wasn’t prepared for the work of breastfeeding – figuring out how to get your baby to latch properly, dealing with sore nipples, massaging clogged milk ducts. Nobody prepared me for that!"
"They are stronger than they look! If you breastfeed even before teeth come in they can clamp down with hard gums, they can pull hair hard in strong fists, they can make an unintentional swing do some damage, and sometimes they need more than a gentle tap to get the burp out. They might look totally helpless and flabby but they can definitely hold their own."
"Babies fart like grown ass men. If you closed your eyes, you might not be able to tell the difference. It goes away once their poops get more solid, but those first few months, it is so so funny."
"Sometimes babies don’t poop for days. With my first kid, he didn’t poo for four to five days and I seriously thought I was going to have to take him to the ER to get an enema. It’s totally normal though. I’m on my third now and he’s gone through a couple phases of several crap free days in a row. My husband freaks out, thinking the most extreme changes or decisions will have to be made. Bless his heart."
"That they can poop while still inside the womb! My baby pooped before birth, and apparently it’s a really serious thing because they can breathe in the poop and infect their lungs. Everything turned out okay, and now I can lovingly tell my child that the very first thing he did was squeeze one out."
"Reflux can make them projectile vomit like the exorcist. I've never seen such a gloriously disgusting fountain of puke before my daughter was born."
"That every baby doesn’t just automatically breastfeed— some need some time to develop the drive to eat, some have lip ties, or there are issues with latching. Breastfeeding is really hard for some people and babies, and we don’t talk about it enough."
"As newborns, they keep their hands balled up into little fists and the sweat/spit up/milk builds up and it can STINK. After I bathed my first and she still stunk, I was confused until I gently pried opened her little fist and saw the gunk! It can also collect behind the ears and in the neck folds."
"I didn't realise all the little reflexes they have to help them during the first year. For example, I didn't know they had a tongue thrust reflex to help prevent choking. My second child was preemie and hers stuck around until seven months so her transition to solids was delayed.
Also, a baby's gag reflex is closer to the middle of their mouths for the same purpose of preventing choking. It gradually moves back as they learn to eat solids."
"They make the loudest and wettest sound when they poop for those first 6 months or so. It’s like a little alert!"
29. And finally, this pertinent piece of advice:
"Do NOT yawn when you’re changing a nappy. Do not. DO NOT.
That poop can fire with quite some force – and if you’ve lifted those tiny adorable feet to wipe the tiny adorable butt, then YAWN, it will, I repeat, WILL, hit the back of your throat and trigger an instant puke.
Do not recommend."
Some entries have been edited for clarity and length.