With my first child, I was prepared to not know everything, and relied on advice from books and people like my mother who raised four children.
With my second, I figured I’d remember all these random things since they were born less than two years apart, but that often wasn’t the case. Here are my reminders to you of the random newborn things I wished I’d kept in mind.
1. How Small He Was at Birth
Newborns, of the less than two-week variety, are tiny. And newborns actually get tinier, losing 7-10% of their body weight over the first few days, only to gain it back at around two weeks of age.
With my first child, I’d heard rumors of how many children don’t fit into the newborn clothing size, and since my baby was projected to be 9 lbs at birth, I bought a three-month sized outfit for him to wear home from the hospital. This turned out to be a poor decision.
He was actually 8 lbs at birth but was still swimming in that three-month outfit. With my second child, who was born at 9 lbs, I put him in a newborn outfit when bringing him home and it worked great, even if that outfit only fit him for another week it was still worth it.
Just remember that most fresh-out-of-the-womb newborns haven’t bulked up yet and will almost always fit better in newborn clothes for the first week or two. Not very long to buy many outfits – but that’s what presents are for!
2. He Needed to be Burped
Everyone knows you burp babies, right? But, with both of mine, it didn’t occur to me until after several feedings to remember to burp them. I was so focused on actually getting them to eat and feeling so accomplished when I did, that I forgot all about the burping!
Nothing drastic happens if you don’t do burp a baby, but it will help relieve their discomfort and since by doing that you won’t end up with a screaming child, remembering to burp is a win-win for both parties.
3. He’s Got Teenager Skin
Baby acne! Who knew this was a thing? Before having kids, I assumed baby skin was just like the skin I see on television – perfect. With both of my sons, at around three weeks the skin on their face and upper back started breaking out and became covered in acne. Thankfully, it was mostly resolved within two weeks.
Newborns can get all sorts of skin issues in addition to baby acne that are very common such as diaper rash, milia (little white spots) and dry skin, so it’s best to remember to not schedule any photo shoots you can rearrange during these early stages.
Related: Types of Baby Rashes
4. His Old Man Hairline
Just when my little ones were getting over their acne, their hairline started to recede. They went from the teenager look to an old man look basically overnight.
My little guys were both born with plenty of hair, but that all was lost within the first year and in grew their “real” hair. With some babies the loss happens as the new hair is growing and isn’t as noticeable, or sometimes you’ll get a bald baby while waiting for the new hair to grow in. Remember it’s a normal process and that it can be exciting to wait and see if his new hair will be a different color.
5. The Crying Period
For the first few weeks of life babies don’t cry as much as you might expect. (They are busy sleeping.) But around two weeks the crying can start, and peak around six weeks. With my first child, all the early visitors commented what a “good” baby he was since he didn’t cry, and just as I was thinking he was a perfect angel, the crying started. All. The. Crying.
Thankfully, the hospital I delivered at informed me about the “Purple Crying Period” which is defined as the time period, usually between 2 weeks and lasting up to 3-4 months (and often peaking in the middle and then tapering off), where a baby will cry much more and often for no discernable reason. Remember that as intense as this crying can get, it’s normal and most babies outgrow it fairly quickly. (Although, it doesn’t feel like it at the time!)
6. He Barely Blinks
Babies blink significantly less than adults. On average, they blink less than two times a minute, where adults blink 10-15 times a minute. With my first, I’d just stare at him wondering if something was wrong, until I finally looked up what the deal was with babies and blinking. Even though it’s a bit disconcerting to look at your baby and realize they aren’t blinking, remember that it’s normal and you can always use this knowledge to challenge friends and family to a staring contest with your baby!