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You read all the baby books. You ask mom friends a million questions, or Google it: “Can babies be born with teeth?” At least that’s what I did when I was pregnant. No matter how prepared I was, there are still so many things that surprised me in the first few weeks at home with my son. And he isn’t even my first!
Other than how tiny he was, I was shocked by (or forgot about)…
My baby’s hands smell like cheese. He keeps his fists clenched so tightly, a diamond could form inside. Instead, wads of fuzz and hair he somehow accumulates bake in his mini-hand oven and begin to smell. Like cheese, in my opinion.
He sleeps constantly. A newborn sleeps up to 17 hours a day. How come I still never get anything done? Hmm…
A cry so big can come out of someone so small. At 8 pounds, my son can wail like a smoke detector going off.
My newwborn poops up to 12 times a day. My pediatrician said this is normal. What’s not normal is the bonkers amount of diapers and wipes we go through.
His poop doesn’t smell bad. You can’t perform the buns smell test on an infant. I either hear the telltale sound of a diaper explosion or it’s too late and there’s poop on my shirt.
You can peel his fingernails off. Try it; using a nail clipper will end with baby and mommy in tears. It can’t just be me!
My baby’s skin peels right off. As soon as my newborn’s epidermis was exposed to the air, it started flaking, and, guilty as charged, I can’t resist picking it off!
My newborn doesn’t make eye contact. He just looks up at the lights on the ceiling. I guess that’s more interesting than me.
He burps as loudly as Buddy from Elf. Seriously, how? The sheer volume of my tiny baby’s burp is a true wonder of medical science.
How intoxicatingly delicious my baby smells. Even before my son was bathed, or moisturized with lotion, his scent was magical. If I could bottle it to enjoy forever, I would.
Just feeding him takes up most of my day. I breastfeed my son up to 12 times in 24 hours, and each session lasts about half an hour. So I figure I feed him for at least 6 hours a day. That must be why I can’t get anything done.
My newborn sleeps through anything, even a diaper change. I swear if a marching band practicing on a fire truck with the siren blaring came through his room, my son wouldn’t so much as flinch.
The crazy faces he makes while he sleeps: My baby makes faces that span the emotional spectrum. From sweet smiles to demonic expressions with his eyes darting all over, to sticking his lower lip out like he just imagined my boobs disappearing, my baby guy seems to be gearing up for an Oscar-worthy performance as he naps.
I’m addicted to picking cradle cap. The oily scales that form on his head are even more fun to peel off than his dry baby skin. Sorry little man.
I got ripped arms quick. My biceps toned up after just a week of carrying my son around everywhere. Bonus!
How much I can love. Nothing could prepare me for how I’d do anything for this little person I adore more than life itself. And that’s the most wonderful surprise of all.
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.