As your little one grows and develops, they will inevitably pick up some weird mannerisms. Some of them may stand still in a spot for minutes on end while others fake cough. But why are they doing these odd things? As cute as your babies are, they are quirky and curious too. But they are stifled by their lack of life experience, a still young and developing brain, and barely any social awareness. So, they sample behavior that makes no sense to us. But did you know that there is some complex thought process and reasoning behind these actions?
Here are 4 weird things your baby does and why:
1. Why Is Your Baby Flapping Away?
This is not your baby’s attempt at becoming a bird or a plane. Back when we were nomads, women carried their babies around in their arms, which posed a real risk of dropping the baby. To combat this, babies adapted by developing a defense strategy in the form of an automatic behavior called the Moro reflex. Whenever your infant experiences the sensation of falling, whether rightly or wrongly, they will flap and fling their arms about as if they are trying to fly. This is done so that if someone has lost their grip on the child, stretching out their arms and flapping about will give the person a few precious seconds to catch the baby. Your baby may also perform this motion when startled. Although it may catch you off guard, it is a sign that your baby’s nervous system is developing well. However, it is stressful on the infant as their breathing and heart rate go up, and so will yours when you accidentally set off this defense mechanism. But, don’t worry. This reflex will subside on its own upon your baby reaching 3 months.
2. Why Won’t Your Baby Stop Standing?
When your baby reaches around 10 months of age, they hit a huge milestone. One day, they grab onto a piece of furniture and hoist themselves up. They can finally stand! This is a fantastic achievement and a source of excitement and joy for your little ones until they figure out they have no clue how to sit back down. Sitting down takes a lot of coordination and practice, as lowering their butt is not easy without falling. But there is no need to worry as your baby has all that tushie and diaper padding to guarantee a safe landing. Although your baby may not injure themselves while learning to sit, they may wake you up in the middle of the night crying because they got a little too ambitious and stood up and can’t seem to lower themselves down again. Therefore, it is important to give them a chance to learn the skill of sitting by themselves. Give them a helping hand but don’t be in a hurry to pick them up. Teach them to sit instead by placing them next to a safe surface to pull up on, like a couch, and place a pillow underneath them to practice how to sit gently.
3. Why Is Your Baby Shaking?
Have you ever seen your baby start shaking out of the blue when they were lying down calmly just a second ago? That is a nervous system blip. It happens from time to time because babies are not good at regulating their movements as they are still developing neurologically. Their jerkish movements are just a part of their maturation process. However, this may also be because they are cold. We shiver a small amount when we are feeling chilly, but your baby might have a more blown-out reaction to catching a chill. This is because babies are born relatively thin, which means they lack the fat required to regulate their body temperature. If your newborn is trembling often, it is worth a call to the pediatrician, but if it is just the occasional shiver, chances are they are just glitching.
4. Why Is Your Baby Fake Coughing?
Some babies develop a coughing habit, as in, they cough for fun. Several parents rush to the aid of their children upon hearing them cough non-stop, only to find that there is nothing wrong with them at all. Instead, your little troublemaker grins at you as they cough to see your reaction. Do you get mad, laugh, or show no reaction at all? It is best if you react positively. After all, your little one is oblivious to the fact that they have caused such concern. Their behavior is proof that they are developing social awareness. That’s right! Around six months, your baby might start coughing to understand how the world works. They have figured out that you are very attentive when they cough, so they will do it to see if you pay attention to them again. Play along and give them the interaction they crave. Cough back and laugh. Your baby will figure out smarter ways to gain your attention as they grow.
Your baby is a wonder, and learning about their personality and characteristics will never cease. So take time to enjoy these random, weird things your baby does. After all, this time will fly by before you know it!