Baby, What a Big Surprise!

Think you’re well prepared for life with baby? Here are a few facts that may amaze you. You don’t know what you don’t know.

  1. Newborns sleep peacefully and barely make a peep during the first week of life. Then they find their voices and all bets are off.
  2. Even though you knew it would happen, the first time they flip from front to back (about 3 months) and vice-versa, you’ll be blown away.
  3. No matter how hard they cry, infants under 4 months don’t shed tears. Their tear ducts don’t develop until then. Why 4 months? Who knows?
  4. Their ability to grasp appears at about 6 months. Before then, pressure on the palms initiates a reflex splaying of the fingers. This reflex is lost as the grasp shows up.
  5. Sometime after 6 months, baby will start making sounds and noises for effect, to get your attention. He’s learned he can make things happen in the world and loves to interact.
  6. His sense of humor shows up at about 7 months. Silly faces, funny noises and baby jokes will get a true laugh from him, not just tickles and raspberries.
  7. By 9 months he will be easily distracted. His attention will be drawn to a toy for a flash, but a second later he’s moved on to chasing the cat. He’s now much more aware of all the stimuli going on around him.
  8. Baby’s first words appear shortly after 9 months. Usually DaDa, sometimes uh-oh. Rarely, MaMa will be first.
  9. Oops, I forgot! Baby may seem to forget skills he’s already learned. He hasn’t really forgotten though, he’s just putting all his concentration on learning something new.
  10. Your little baby can nurture, too. He’ll try to feed or soothe a doll, you, or a stuffed animal by around one year. This is the beginning of social behavior and empathy — encourage it.
  11. Get ready for the relentless days of “NO”- there will be many of them. Translation: You’re not the boss of me. Baby power is taking shape. It’s normal and to be expected and comes from his need to practice independence. Offer choices whenever possible and just remember, you are smarter than he is!

 

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Rachel Zahn, MD is a pediatrician turned health writer who had three kids during medical school and pediatric training—crazy, huh?


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