Weird Things Babies Do and Why They Do Them

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Even in a sleep-deprived haze, parents will notice the many weird things babies do. Why they do them varies based on their developmental stage.

Babies are mysterious little creatures, and their behavior can often be baffling. Babies have a way of keeping parents on their toes with some truly strange behaviors—all of which, it turns out, come from normal developmental responses! Here are some of the most common weird things babies do and why they do them.

Strange Behaviors in Newborns

The Moro Reflex

At around two months old, babies will often throw out their arms and legs suddenly. This is called the Moro reflex, also known as the startle reflex. The Moro reflex is an evolutionary response to the sensation of falling or the startling sound of a loud noise. It may have started as a way for infants to grab hold of their mothers when they sensed danger.

Thumb Sucking

Most babies find comfort in sucking their thumb, so it’s not actually weird. What’s weird is how it changes over time. Thumb sucking is a natural behavior that can relieve stress, anxiety, and pain. Most kids quit sucking their thumbs on their own, and if they don’t, parents try all sorts of distractions and tricks to get them to stop. But there are some surprising things about thumb sucking,including that it could have immune system benefits.

Sneezing a Lot

Baby sneezes may sound odd and occur more frequently than adult sneezes, but they’re completely normal. Babies often sneeze because their nasal passages are still developing, making them more sensitive to irritants like dust, pollen, and even their own saliva.

Periodic Breathing

One thing almost all parents do is stand outside the door to the nursery and listen to their baby breathe. Admit it; you do that.

Periodic breathing in infants is a pattern of shallow, rapid breathing followed by pauses in breathing. It’s normal and very common in infants, though it sounds concerning. It may sometimes indicate health issues, such as sleep apnea or respiratory illnesses, so if your gut tells you something’s not right, call the doctor.

Crossing Their Eyes

Eye crossing is a common reflex in young babies, usually because the muscles around the eyes haven’t developed enough to allow them full control. It’s nothing to worry about and typically fades away by 6–7 months old.

Multi-Colored Poop

Baby poop goes through stages of color which can range from green to yellow to brownish-orange. The color of a baby’s poop can depend on what they eat, their age, and how long it takes for food to travel through the intestine. It’s usually harmless and nothing to worry about.

But if your kid is working to squeeze out hard little poop pellets, they may be suffering from constipation. This can happen when a baby starts on solid foods. If your child’s poop is white, call your pediatrician—it’s not normal and could indicate a liver problem.

Reasons Behind Odd Baby Behaviors

Babies are constantly learning and growing, and their strange behaviors are often a result of their developmental stage. Here are some reasons why babies may exhibit odd behaviors:

  1. Developmental milestones: Babies go through various stages of development, including physical, cognitive, and social-emotional. Some of these milestones can result in unusual behaviors. For example, when babies start teething, they may chew on objects or their fingers to soothe their gums. When they begin to crawl, they may go backward before moving forward. These behaviors are typically normal and should not cause concern.
  2. Seeking attention or comfort: Babies may exhibit strange behaviors to get attention or seek comfort from their caregivers. For example, they may cry excessively or refuse to sleep unless they are being held. Some babies may also engage in repetitive behaviors, such as head-banging or rocking, to self-soothe.
  3. Sensory exploration: Babies are curious about the world around them and often use their senses to explore their environment. They may suck on objects, touch and feel different textures, or make noises to see how they sound. These behaviors can help them learn about their surroundings and develop their senses.
  4. Emulating adult behaviors: Babies are like sponges, soaking up everything they see and hear. They may imitate adult behaviors, such as sticking out their tongue or making funny faces. These behaviors may seem odd to adults, but they are a natural part of a baby’s development as they learn to communicate and interact with others.

It’s important to note that while most weird baby behaviors are normal, some may indicate a health problem. If you notice any concerning behavior, such as excessive crying, difficulty feeding, or delayed development, it’s important to consult your pediatrician for advice. Otherwise, embrace and enjoy these odd moments as a part of your baby’s unique personality and development.

When To Seek Medical Advice

While most weird baby behaviors are normal and harmless, some may indicate a health problem. Here are some signs that your baby’s behavior may warrant medical attention:

  1. Excessive crying: All babies cry, but if your baby is crying for long periods without any apparent reason, it may be a sign of colic or another health issue.
  2. Difficulty feeding: If your baby is not feeding well or has trouble swallowing, it may indicate a problem with their digestive system or mouth.
  3. Delayed development: If your baby is not meeting their developmental milestones, such as not sitting up or crawling at the expected age, it may be a sign of a developmental delay.
  4. Abnormal movements: If your baby has repetitive or unusual movements, such as stiffening or shaking, it may indicate a neurological issue.
  5. Respiratory problems: If your baby has difficulty breathing or has persistent coughing or wheezing, it may indicate a respiratory problem.

If you notice any of these signs or any other unusual behavior that concerns you, it’s important to consult your pediatrician. They can assess your baby’s health and provide advice or treatment if necessary.

It’s important to trust your instincts as a parent and seek medical attention if you are concerned about your baby’s health. Early intervention can often prevent or manage potential health problems and ensure your baby is healthy and happy.

Bottom Line

Remember that we’re not doctors, and we don’t give medical advice. That’s what doctors are for. If your baby is doing weird things and you can’t figure out why they’re doing it, call your pediatrician. You might not get any more sleep, but you’ll be less stressed out if you know that what’s going on is perfectly normal.

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Looking for answers to why your baby is doing weird things? Check out our blog post to learn about strange behaviors in babies and the reasons behind them! #babybehavior #parentingtips #developmentalmilestones
Looking for answers to why your baby is doing weird things? Check out our blog post to learn about strange behaviors in babies and the reasons behind them! #babybehavior #parentingtips #developmentalmilestones

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