New moms can grow quite anxious when it comes to the behaviors, sounds, and physical appearance of their newborns. No matter how many classes a mom takes or how many books she reads, this little noise and that little thing can make a new parent confused and worried in a matter of seconds. Everyone wants their little one to be perfect. However, perfection is a goal that is impossible to achieve — especially for an infant.
Being aware of what is common for a baby, especially those oddities, during the first two or so years of their life can soothe some of the stress a new mom carries. Of course, every baby is unique and different, so not everything is the same for everyone. However, many infants wander through a similar path toward that special phase of toddlerhood parents dread.
It is absolutely normal to call the pediatric nurse's line five times in three days about a weird noise or smell that came from the little one. It is absolutely normal to continue to worry about a baby's behaviors when parents are unsure of something. Reaching out and asking for help is good — that is what the medical professionals are there for. It is also nice to have other mothers available to spill their not-so-hidden knowledge with other moms to spread awareness and provide relief to new parents.
So read on for 20 random things that are common in babies under 24 months.
20 “She Was Born Without Most Of Her Toenails”
"She was born without most of her toenails with the exception of a little sliver of a nail on her big toes," says mom of one, Alyssa Kurtzworth. "The pediatrician said it was totally normal and they’d come in after a while and they did."
Newborns are weird. They're absolutely adorable, but they're weird. Nails are probably even weirder than the weirdly weird things newborns do and have. A shell on the top of each finger? Yes, weird. So when you discover your little one has no nails on those nail beds, it can be surprising. However, don't let the surprise knock you over because, believe it or not, it is normal.
19 REM-Sleep Eyes
When my twins were newborns, one of them used to sleep with her eyes half open. Not only did this freak me out, but it also freaked me out more when her eyes would start to twitch — along with her lips and cheeks. At first, I thought she was having a seizure. Her subtle movements and eye-rolls immediately made me panic.
So, of course, I called the doctor, took videos of the movements, and showed them to the professionals just to be told that these little twitches were due to REM (Rapid Eye Movement).
"Sleeping with the eyes open happens during REM, which is a more active sleep cycle," explains Tara Levy, a naturopathic doctor, to BabyCenter. "Babies spend much more time in REM sleep than adults, about 50 percent of their total sleep time."
18 Milestone Meltdowns
The concept of "meeting milestones" can be a stressful reality for new moms. While your best friend's son may be flipping from back to stomach, you may be impatiently waiting for your baby to even attempt it. While your cousin's baby is starting to hold their own bottle, your little one may not even be close.
This is okay — not every baby will meet the same milestone at the same time.
My twins have met milestones at completely different times. It has been tough embracing that they will not always do the same thing at the same time, but it has been a truth I am slowly learning to accept. If there is ever a genuine, true worry when it comes to their development, their pediatrician will always discuss the worry. Never question asking the professionals.
17 Screaming Out At Night
"This kind of sleep disturbance differs from nightmares, which are common in children starting around age 2 to 4," explains Healthline. Really bad dreams "take place during the deep sleep phase. Your baby may begin crying or even screaming suddenly if for some reason this stage is disrupted. It’s likely more disturbing for you."
When my girls were still infants, I would occasionally hear them scream out at night. The sound was so intense. Of course, I would jump up and run to their cribs. However, when I got there, I would find them both asleep. I discovered these kinds of things were normal.
Normal, yet not fun.
16 “Not Pooping For Ten Days”
"Not pooping for 10 days as a 2-month-old. I had called the pediatrician four times during those 10 days," explains Breanna Yung, mom of one. "Apparently it’s normal for babies to go that long or to go many times a day as long as they aren’t struggling or uncomfortable. Who knew!"
The topic of "poo" becomes one which new parents grow numb to quite quickly. It also becomes one that can cause anxiety. The constant question of "is this normal" runs through a new mama's brain often. It is okay to contact a professional when you are concerned. It is also good to know that it is normal for a newborn to go up to seven days without a bowel movement.
15 Rolling Over Early (Very Early)
"Wesley rolled over from his back to his side two days after coming home," explains Lacey Deiter, mom of one." I didn't believe it could happen, but it can."
Many moms expect their little one to hit milestones at those oh-so-specific times doctors, books, and Google says. However, not all babies hit milestones at the same time. Sometimes a newborn has the body control and strength to roll over earlier than usual. Sometimes it may just be a muscle spasm or fluke — but it happens nonetheless.
Jennifer Collins, mom of one, had her little one roll over the day of their first pediatric check-up. Of course, she was in awe. Though these moments may be jaw-dropping, they are more common than new moms expect.
14 Stork Bites
When one of my twins was born, we noticed a darker patch of skin between her eyebrows and wondered about it. When they mentioned it was a temporary birthmark, or a "stork bite," we truly didn't know what those were — or anyone else who had had one. Luckily, after reaching out to moms on social media groups and through friends, we realized it's very common.
"A stork bite birthmark is a benign patch on your newborn’s skin, so treatment isn't necessary. A newborn’s appearance changes as the skin develops and thickens," states Healthline. "A stork bite may appear less noticeable or completely disappear as your baby gets older. More than 95 percent of stork bite birthmarks lighten and fade away completely."
13 “She Sounded Like She Was Gasping For Air”
"When Sophia was about 8 months old, she learned how to make noises in her throat and began making noises that sounded like she was gasping for air/having a hard time breathing. We called the pediatrician and because she wasn’t showing any signs of distress they told us to just monitored her through the night (I was [so frightened] to put her to sleep). We soon found out that she was just experimenting and would laugh after the noises she was making, especially if she got any attention for it!"
When your little one starts making odd noises, especially ones that sound like she is in danger, of course, you will panic. However, once you discover what is actually going on by contacting a professional or taking a closer look, the relief pours over you.
12 Constant Screaming
New moms expect their baby to cry and scream. It's one of those hard truths about parenthood that just come with the territory. However, when the screaming and crying become extreme and there is no real reason behind it you can figure out, it becomes worrisome.
"Max screamed constantly as a newborn. Even if he was fed, changed and not tired, if he was awake he was crying," says mom of one, Katherine Ballinger. When you don't know why your baby is screaming, it can be so hard. You begin questioning yourself as a mother and question the health of your baby. However, sometimes the screaming is due to gas, reflux, an attempt at a bowel movement, or just a need to vocalize — all which are common.
11 Blocked Tear Ducts
"Zachary had a blocked tear duct, which wasn’t [too bad]. Lots of discharge from his eye and a lot of warm compresses. It corrected itself," explains mom of three, Amber Bowman.
Sometimes, something that seems as simple as a blocked tear duct can bring a lot of worry to a new mama. When you see your little one struggling or you see something that looks a little odd (like discharge coming from an eye), it's normal to feel a tad panicked. It's also something that is common among many infants and toddlers. Reaching out to the professionals and getting the little issue handled appropriately is always the best way to approach something like a blocked tear duct.
10 Lip Ties And Tongue Ties
Within a month of my twins being born, I was told one of them had a tongue-tie. At first, I didn't even know this was something to be worried about. After months passed, and doctors telling me it would correct itself, it didn't, and we had to get it snipped with minor surgery. This was a personal choice and isn't something every parent has to choose, but since it could cause issues with speech — we took the plunge.
Three months later, we also discovered our girls had lip ties. This is where the skin from the top of your lip attached is the gum between where the front teeth come in. Again, this could cause speech issues, but it typically is taken care of by a pediatric dentist. I never knew these issues were as common as they are until I discovered many other families who had children with them. The realization gave me a great sense of relief.
9 “We Found Out He Had Acid Reflux.”
When your newborn is upset and you don't know why, it can be worrisome. Sometimes the screaming may be their way of expressing their need for human contact. Sometimes their screams express their need for food. Sometimes, the screaming is due to acid reflux — a very common "diagnosis" among newborns and infants.
"We found out he had acid reflux, which is extremely common for newborns and immediately made changes such as, medication, paced feedings and he slept in a swing for 3 months," explains Katie Ballinger. Once you are able to pinpoint the reason behind the frustration, ease slowly settles in.
8 Bald Spots On Baby
When you realize your newborn is losing hair or is getting a smooth spot on the bottom back of her head, you may think it strange. You may feel embarrassed and try to cover up the spot with a hat or try to give people some wild explanation behind it. Instead of stressing over this very small issue, realize that it truly isn't an issue at all.
Many newborns go through this phase. Since they lay on their backs most of the time, the bottom of their head is set on a relatively hard surface quite often. Because that is the case, the hair starts to rub off as the little one begins looking around and making bigger movements.
7 "Head Bobbing And Arm Flapping"
"Head bobbing and arm flapping. I work with kids with disabilities so my mind initially went there," explains mom of two, Renee' Saraceni. Since she has worked in the human services and education field for some time, she has supported many individuals with these kinds of unique behaviors. So, of course, when her own little one began making these movements — she immediately worried.
"We asked her doctor, and she said babies do that to learn their muscles and movements," says Renee. Like Renee, my daughters would show these kinds of behaviors — leaving me to wonder what was going on. Once I talked to the doctor and realized other moms had experienced this as well, I felt some relief pass over me.
6 Fake Coughing
When babies do something that feels or sounds funny or nice, they often will do it again — and again and again. This can come in the form of a cough and when your little one sounds like he is hacking up a lung, of course, you get scared. However, when it is happening with a smile, you know something is up. It may be worrisome at first, but after a while, you realize this is normal when little ones are exploring their new world and body.
"Babies pretend to cough or sneeze all the time. This is completely normal," says Parenting. "This is one of the first ways that a baby tries to communicate. Your little one is not able to communicate with words just yet, so the next best option is to make noises like a cough or sneeze."
5 “Her Fine Motor Skills Are Crazy”
"Oh, her fine motor skills are crazy — she can open up safety pill bottles, the push-down ones," explains Amber Bowman. "This happened shortly after she turned a year and was sitting on the counter while I made my breakfast, and my iron supplement was sitting there she picked it up opened and dumped them all over the counter and laughed!"
Once your little one's fine motor skills are well-developed — watch out. It may seem odd if your child is able to pick up teeny items, zip zippers, and open bottles at an early age, but anything is possible. When a pre-toddler or baby focuses hard enough, they can do anything they set their mind to.
A terrific, yet concerning, trait — to say the least.
4 Making Themselves Gag
Similar to how babies make themselves cough or sneeze, they often will explore how it feels to make themselves gag. As odd as it sounds, once they do it and they realize it either makes them feel weird or make a weird sound, they will try it again.
For new moms, this is worrisome and straight-up weird. When a mom hears their child gagging, panic immediately erupts. They race to their baby and try to figure out what is going on. When their little one starts making these noises and doing these actions on purpose, it can turn a panicked mom into a frustrated one.
And no one wants a frustrated mama on their hands.
3 Crying Without Tears
According to pediatrician Tanya Remer Altmann, "babies' tear ducts are still developing after birth, and it's normal for them not to shed tears for the first few months. Most babies start crying tears around 2 weeks of age, but some can take longer. "Usually by the 2-month checkup, they're there."
A crying newborn is not a sound or sight any new mom wants to experience. So when a new parent realized there are not tears dripping down those precious cheeks, it can be surprising. Before settling into panic mode, it's important to realize it is very common for newborns to not shed tears right away. It may seem strange, but it is completely normal.
2 Grinding Teeth
"Babies may grind their teeth in response to pain from teething. Bruxism is also relatively common in younger children. It typically disappears by the teen years," explains Healthline. "Bruxism is a medical condition where you regularly grind your teeth. It affects babies, children, and adults. It can happen during the day and at night. During the evening hours, it’s known as sleep bruxism. The good news is that most cases are mild and don’t require any treatment."
When a new mom hears the sound of a chair being dragged across a floor coming out of their little one's mouth, it can definitely be odd. However, like many things, the reasoning can be sensory and exploratory. If the grinding continues and it impacts the actual teeth and their ability to eat and focus, that is often when it should be looked further into.
1 “She Refused To Sleep On Her Back”
"From the minute we brought her home, she refused to sleep on her back, would only sleep on her stomach," Amber Bowman explains. "As a result of this, she ripped her umbilical cord out; let me tell you those bleed a lot! Lots of trips to the pediatrician for him to use the magnesium sticks to help with the healing; her belly button is perfect."
Even though rules and regulation change more often than not, professionals say newborns should be sleeping on their backs. However, some babies decide to break that rule immediately, handing anxiety over to their parents. The thing is — it happens. Every baby is different, and some simply do not want to sleep on their backs.
Sources: Momhood Mayhem, the.write.mama, BabyCenter