People think babies, specifically newborn babies, are pretty simple -- not easy by any means but simple creatures. They get upset, hungry, and they need to be changed and fed. They don't even play yet in the beginning! So that’s pretty much all they do, right? Well, that is apart from the odd acts and behaviors that often start to show up as they grow and change which many people find laughable but some find alarming.
It's true though, babies do the funniest things; from pulling strange faces to acting in peculiar ways. As parents, we find many of these quirks humorous but do we ever stop to ask why? Why do babies show these odd behaviors?
Some of these odd behaviors go unnoticed and others cause concern for parents and those around the child, but the majority are harmless and nothing to stress or worry about. So, if you have noticed a strange behavior from your baby or child or maybe you are just curious, keep reading and perhaps you will learn something new.
20 Why they Cross Their Eyes
This being one of the odd behaviors that parents tend to find alarming out of concern that their child has a problem with their eye-sight. Most of the time, it's fortunately not the case. It is actually very common for a baby's eyes to appear cross-eyed in the early stages of life.
"It's normal for a newborn baby's eyes to wander or cross now and then, up to about 4 months of age. He/she's just getting the hang of making his eyes work together," explains Babycenter.
However, they do state that if your baby seems cross-eyed most of the time you may want to consult your doctor.
19 Why they Stick Out Their Tongues
Lots of children love to stick their tongue out, they think it’s funny and enjoy being a bit cheeky, much to some parent’s dismay.
But what about when it is a baby sticking out their tongue? They're not yet able to be 'cheeky' and maybe too young to even find it funny, so why do they do it?
According to babysparks.com, "As a newborn, when swaddled and facing you, babies just a few hours old will stick out their tongue when you stick out yours. It may take a few repetitions, but if you do it slowly, it works!"
18 Why they seem to smile at Random
Smiling is one of the funnier and perhaps more surprising reasons why babies do an odd behavior. Smiling is obviously associated with happiness, joy and... gas? Yes, that's right when your little bundle of joy is looking up at you with a cheeky grin, it may well be because they must pass gas.
WebMD states, "Sometimes a smile in the early weeks of life is simply a sign that your little bundle is passing gas. But starting between 6 and 8 weeks of life, babies develop a 'social smile'."
17 Why they cry but there are no tears
According to BabyCenter, "Most babies start crying tears around 2 weeks of age, but some can take longer."
"Usually by the 2-month checkup, they're there," says Altmann. Some newborns develop clogged tear ducts, which means they can make tears but the tears aren't draining properly."
So, if your little one is not crying with tears and they are under 2 weeks old, then don't worry, after that although it may not be a concern you could bring it up with your doctor if you desired.
16 why they want 'Dada' Before 'Mama'
Mothers, we grow our children inside us for nine uncomfortable months, followed by painfully birth them into this world and guess what? They say 'Dada' or 'Daddy' first!
'How dare they,' we think to ourselves, but why is this?
According to Greatspeech.com, "Breyne Moskowitz, PhD, states that nasal sounds such as “m” are actually more difficult and babies are more likely to utter the sound “dada” because it doesn’t require forcing air through the nose."
There you have it, a scientific reason babies say 'Dada' first, I guess we can't be mad at them anymore.
15 why they love 'Peek-a-boo' so much
We have all played peek-a-boo with our children and our parents even played it with us. It is a very popular game that all babies love, but why do they like it so much?
BBC.com states that "babies enjoy peekaboo because they are surprised when things come back after being out of sight".
We obviously know that when someone covers their face, they have not disappeared but a baby does not know this so when you reappear saying peek-a-boo, they love it! They will also mimic this when they see you doing it.
14 why they Hide During Number Two
Everyone likes to have privacy when they need to go to the toilet and this does not exclude toddlers.
Whereas babies don't care, when babies grow to toddler age they can start to realize that this is a private time and so they hide when they need a number 2.
This can be a sign of potty training readiness as they are showing that they know how to control their elimination of waste. Babies may also hide because they don't like the way eliminating waste feels.
13 why they Cry When Mom Leaves The Room
One of the main reasons babies cry when mom leaves the room is separation anxiety. "Separation anxiety is a phase many babies go through, when they want to be with their mom or dad all the time. Whatever age your baby is, it's perfectly normal for him/her to cry a little when you leave him/her with someone else," states Babycenter.
Another reason babies cry when Mom leaves the room is because they can smell breast milk and know when the supply is far away.
12 why they randomly Stroke you
The answer to this odd behavior comes in two parts, why babies like stroking your face and they like it when you stroke their face. Babies like to touch your face (eyelashes, ears, mouth etc) because they like knowing you are close when they drift off to sleep and because they are learning what these are.
They like it when you stroke them because it makes them sleepy. According to Parents.com, "the ears are a very sensitive part of the body" which if touched can make even adults sleepy.
11 why they like the Fetal Position
Many babies, toddlers, children, and even adults alike, sleep in the fetal position for their entire lives but it has a significant meaning and comfort when it comes to babies.
Many babies like sleeping in the fetal position simply because it is what they are used to. When baby was in the womb this was most likely the way he/she was positioned and therefore finds most comfort in when sleeping.
Many parents worry about this position being safe but it is a common way for babies and toddlers to sleep and you should not worry too much according to experts.
10 why they Throw Food
Many parents' worst nightmare when they are weaning their little ones onto solid foods is the mess that this entails. Babies and toddlers as much as they may like eating their food they equally enjoy throwing it but there may be method behind their madness.
A study on the huffingtonpost.com suggests that throwing food is part of a child's developmental milestones. Babies before the age of 1 year old are still exploring food and throwing it is one of their ways of doing this.
Around 15 months old they are now capable of throwing with intent to test boundaries and see how Mom or Dad will react.
9 why they Make Themselves Gag
This odd behavior can give parents quite a fright and it can be hard to get your little one to stop doing this. Babies often accidentally and sometimes on purpose make themselves gag by putting their hands to the back of their mouths, potentially making themselves sick.
Babies usually stumble across this ability by accident when exploring their mouth. It is the attention that they get from adults that makes them continue doing it in order to test boundaries. Babies are also learning cause and effect at this point so find this interesting.
8 why they like Repetitive Play
Babycenter.co.uk explains repetitive play really well, they state "Toddlers love repetition because it helps them to learn, and because it's familiar and comforting. From around the age of two, you will notice your toddler repeating the same words and phrases constantly."
This is a behavior that many parents notice about their children. Although it may drive you crazy having to read the same book over and over or play the same games, your child is learning through this repetitive play.
7 why they calm down with White Noise
One bit of parenting advice that you often hear passed around is to help your babies sleep 'play some white noise'. This does often work and can indeed soothe them to sleep but have you ever asked yourself why?
After reading an article on motherandbaby.co.uk I found the perfect explanation, "Firstly, the gentle, consistent sound can soothe her to sleep. ... The sounds she heard were muffled by amniotic fluid, but you can use noises that mimic that womb sound to soothe and comfort your baby at nap time, AKA white noise. White noise is a familiar sound that keeps them calm and helps them drift off to sleep."
6 why they Laugh when they're tickled
There is no sweeter sound than a baby laughing! It melts the hearts of parents all around the world but why is it that babies start to laugh so young? Even before they know what humor is.
It is simple really, babies laugh to show happiness. Usually happiness towards the people they love most likely Mom or Dad.
As the BBC explains, "If you tickle a baby they apparently laugh because you are tickling them, not just because they are being tickled."
5 why they Constantly have Hiccups
Parenting.com states, "Overfeeding is a common cause of hiccups. If the stomach distends too fast or becomes too full, this can trigger the diaphragm muscle to go into spasms. When breastfeeding, try slowing down feedings, and stop and burp your baby as you switch from one breast to the other."
So, if you are concerned about your baby having hiccups maybe assess their feeding and if concerns continue please contact a health professional.
4 why they Roll In their Sleep
Even as adults, we twist and turn strange ways so we can get comfortable enough to sleep, but why is it that so many babies seem to take rolling over in their sleep to the extreme? The answer is quite simple, they roll around to get comfortable just as adults do.
Many parents worry about letting their baby roll over and sleep due to suffocation risk but according to Parents.com, "If your baby is able to flip himself onto his stomach while sleeping, it's okay to leave him that way. By the time he can do this, his risk for SIDS is much lower."
3 why they Babble so much
Although they do not know how to speak proper English yet and as adults we may not always be able to understand the few words they can say, that does not stop any toddler from babbling on as if they are having a full conversation.
But why do babies babble so intensely and when does this start?
Babies babbling means they are trying to talk and according to whattoexpect.com, infants learn to speak in stages, "Your baby will learn to talk in stages, beginning with sighs and coos, followed by strung-together consonant-vowel sounds — what's often called babbling. Baby babbles like "a-ga" and "a-da" eventually combine to create basic words and word-sounds."
2 why they Breathe Fast
Do not panic! Your baby is most likely not having any breathing difficulties, babies do indeed breathe rather fast-as you can see by their little chests rapidly rising and falling with every breath- but once again, we ask why this happens?
Ultimately it all comes down to the way babies breathe, webmd.com describes this very well, "Newborns tend to have an irregular breathing pattern that alternates between fast and slow, with occasional pauses. ... Newborn babies breathe out of their noses, not their mouths. This is a good trick, as it allows them to breathe and eat at the same time."
1 why they Put Things In Their Mouths
All babies and children go through this phase, putting anything and everything into their mouths. As a parent, you are constantly watching in case they manage to get hold of something harmful or potentially dangerous, you really do have to have eyes on the back of your head! As scary as this is though there is a reason that little ones do this.
"Oral exploration is a key developmental stage. Putting toys and other household objects in their mouth allows babies to discover the taste and texture of different objects. Mouthing objects can also be a sign that the first tooth is ready to surface," according to Babycenter.com.
References: Babycenter.com, babysparks.com, webmd.com, greatspeech.com, parents.com, huffingtonpost.com, todaysparent.com, bbc.com, whattoexpect.coms