Years ago, before I had my children, a friend declared to me that she would never have kids because “Kids are weird.”
Almost instantly, I felt defensive of children everywhere. Weren’t we all, after all, a little bit weird? It seemed unfair to single out society’s youngest members as somehow more bizarre than everyone else.
Two babies later, I’ve changed my mind. I don’t feel quite experienced enough to categorically label all kids are weird, but babies? Yes, they are weird.
Cute. But weird.
And so, without further adieu, check out this list of six weird — yet common — things that babies do. I certainly wasn’t prepared for these little surprises before my children were born. Were you?
nggallery template=’carousel’ id=’131831′
Six Weird Things Your Baby Does 1 of 7Your little bundle of joy sure has some bizarre tricks up his tiny sleeve.
The Bopping Soft Spot 2 of 7Saucer Eyes was just a few months old, serenely sleeping in his car seat. And then I saw it: That soft spot at the top of his head bulged, then deflated, then rose back up again, and then back down and so on. Suddenly, all manner of horrific visions went through my head, e.g. Had some otherworldly creature embedded itself in my baby's head and was it now preparing to push itself out, Alien-style?
As it turns out, it's completely normal for the soft spot at the top of an infant's head -- known as a fontanel-- to pulsate in time with the baby's heart beat. It might also bulge when the little guy is straining to poop. What's not normal -- i.e. call your doctor -- is when the fontanel caves in a lot or bulges up and stays that way: that. The former can be a sign of dehydration and the latter can be a symptom of infection, head trauma or fluid buildup, according to WhattoExpect.com's Heidi Murkoff.
The Precocious Dirty Look 3 of 7The picture above is of Saucer Eyes looking "cross." (Thanks to the good folks at "Thomas the Tank Engine" for introducing that Britishism to his vocabulary.) Yes, he's a toddler now but Saucer Eyes has been flashing us that intense, furrowed-brow look since before he could walk. I'm still waiting for laser beams to shoot out from his pupils and destroy a small city. Don't hurt me, baby!
It's normal for infants to appear angry at times and a Google search will tell you that there are plenty of babies out there who seem preternaturally skilled at giving the ol' stink eye. For parents, that can be a preview of what future temper tantrums will look like...so have those conciliatory juice boxes at the ready.
Staring Like a Boss 4 of 7A friend was visiting the other day and found herself the unwitting object of Scrunchy Face's attentions.
"Dude, your baby is staring at me. He won't stop."
Chill, lady. It's a baby, not the roommate from "Single White Female."
While parents may delight in engaging in endless staring contests with their offspring, baby novices might be a bit unnerved by an infant's unwavering focus. Here's the deal, scaredy cats: Babies love faces -- even more so, studies have found, when those faces are attractive. So if a little bundle won't stop eyeing you, take it as a compliment. Heck, why not even hold the baby and deepen your bond? What's that? Where am I going? Oh, don't mind me, I'm going to go take a break for an hour or three...just keep bonding, friend!
Burping Like a Frat Boy 5 of 7If you closed your eyes and heard your baby belch, you might be forgiven for worrying that he'd been possessed by Bluto from "Animal House." Despite their tiny bodies, babies can emit surprisingly loud and throaty burps. And that's not the only amusing sound effect they make...
Blink and You’ll Miss…His Blinking 6 of 7What some might find especially unsettling about baby stares is that they don't blink much -- less than twice a minute, according to one study. Adults, meanwhile, blink 10 to 15 times a minute , The New York Times reported. So if you ever find yourself jealous of your baby's good looks, winning smile and ability to charm total strangers, take heart in knowing that in a speed blinking contest, you'd win hands -- er, eyelids --down, any day of the week. Let's hear it for the grown-ups!
That Booming Bottom 7 of 7Because their tushies are so small and precious, you might expect the sound of a baby passing gas to be reminiscent of a sparrow's gentle chirp. Little did you know that your baby may be harboring an invisible tuba in his diaper. As with burps, babies are capable of tooting so loud it can be mistaken for an adult's stinky "oopsie." That can make for fun times when your infant decides to stage a flatulence-palooza while you have company over. There are only so many times you can say, "It wasn't me, it was the baby" before your guests suggest you lay off the bean burritos.
More from Alice: