7 Weird Things Babies Do and Why
Whether it's touching themselves "down there" or producing never-ending hiccups, Parenting helps moms understand their little ones' most peculiar habits.
Weird behavior #2:HE'S A BIRD?HE'S A PLANE?
Long, long ago, women didn't just drive to Walmart when the pantry was running low on canned tuna and Kix. They were nomads, wandering to wherever the eatin' was good. Harsh! And, as you can imagine, BabyBjörns were kind of scarce then, too. Wee ones traveled in their mothers' arms, and a fall could be fatal. Yeah, harsh again.
Babies adapted by developing a defensive strategy against getting dropped -- at least, that's how experts think an automatic behavior called the Moro reflex came to be. Whenever your infant has the sensation -- rightly or wrongly -- that he's falling or if he's startled, he may fling his arms out to either side, as though he were trying to fly. "If someone had lost her grip on a baby, it helped him literally hang on for dear life, and bought Mom a few seconds to catch him," says Davies.
While it's startling to see the Moro in action, it's actually a sign that your little one's nervous system is developing properly. Still, "it's stressful on the infant," says Vishton. "His breathing and heart rates will go up." And so will yours; you're guaranteed to feel guilty every time you accidentally set off his body alarm. But don't worry -- the reflex usually subsides by about 3 months.
Weird behavior #3:HE'S TAKEN A STAND
Around 10 months of age, your baby will hit a cool milestone: He'll grab on to a piece of furniture and pull himself up onto his feet. Which is all fine and good, except that he may not be able to figure out how to sit again! Lowering your butt back down takes practice and coordination. So get ready: "You may be awakened at night by a crying baby who's stranded upright, holding on to the side of his crib," Davies says.
It's okay to offer a helping hand, but don't rush to sweep him off his feet altogether. "Sitting is a skill he needs to learn for himself," Vishton explains. The chances he'll hurt himself are small, since babies have those cushy tushies (and diapers) for padding. During the day, put him next to a safe surface to pull up on (like the edge of a sturdy sofa), and put down a pillow. Soon he'll be sitting pretty.