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Monday, July 17, 2017

Reflections on My 1st Year of Motherhood... The 8 Biblical Qualities I Want to Instill in My Son

** Disclaimer: I wrote the majority of this post on January 24, 2016, the eve of my first born son's first birthday. Life got in the way and I never posted it, but today, almost a year and a half later, I finally finished it. My little one year old is now a spit-fire curly haired toddler of 2 1/2, but my prayers for him haven't changed. ***   

 Tonight I laid my baby boy down to sleep, and tomorrow when he wakes, he will be 1 year old.    One year ago today, I was 2 weeks past my due date and 80 lbs heavier than I am right now.   One year ago today, I sat in a labor and delivery room hooked up to a pitocin drip and bouncing on a birthing ball, breathing in and out through ridiculously painful contractions. One year ago today, I would soon be lying in a cold operating room, shivering, and absolutely terrified as they cut me open after a long, emotional, and unproductive 21 hours of labor. How has it been One. Whole. Year. since I brought forth a little life into the world?  One year since my prayers were answered and the desires of my heart to be a mother were fulfilled.  One year since I heard the sound I had been waiting to hear for 9 months....my son’s first cry.  One year since I put my beautiful baby boy to my breast and he latched on for the first time.  One year since my love and appreciation for my husband grew to an entirely new depth….
   Everyone tells you that it will fly by. Everyone says “don’t blink.” When you are in the midst of those first few weeks with a newborn and you are waking up to nurse every 2-3 hours, other moms tell you to cherish those night wakings because one day you will miss them. And that is the absolute last thing you want to hear. In the beginning, you live in the present. You go day by day, hour by hour.  You are just trying to keep your head above water…..making it to the next feeding, the next morning, the next shower! You truly believe that your reality at the moment is going to stay that way forever.  But it doesn’t. It is gone in the blink of an eye.  I certainly don’t miss being tired now that I have experienced what it is like to have a baby who sleeps 12 hours straight, but every now and again I think back with fond memories of those long nights while I was on maternity leave.  It really wasn’t so bad.  I think back to the precious memories I have imprinted into my mind of all those sweet baby moments….the coos, giggles, splashes in the tub, milk drunk smiles, and that intoxicating new baby smell…...kissing his dimpled little hands and tiny feet, rubbing lotion on his soft silky skin, and blowing raspberries on his tummy. As Harrison has gotten older, I have loved spending evenings at home sitting on the floor playing with toy trains and blocks and reading the same 4 books (Harrison’s favorites) over and over. I love the way he smacks his lips after he gets done nursing as if to give “compliments to the chef” for a tasty meal. I love the way he twists his hands back and forth like he’s revving a motorcycle when he gets excited about something.  I love the way he just randomly bursts out in song in the car, in his crib, while playing, etc. Although it probably has damaged my hearing, I love the way he will squeal at the top of his lungs for no reason and then giggle like he just cracked himself up.  That boy surely loves to hear his voice!  There have been stressful times, of course, but I truly have enjoyed my first year of being a mother.
Oh the difference a year makes!
   Over the past few days, this flood of memories and emotions has come over me. I keep recalling distinct memories from pregnancy, labor, birth, and those first few weeks home with a newborn. That whole span of time in a mother’s life is such a beautifully overwhelming time, and it carries with it such a strong and deep range of emotions - hope, excitement, worry, anticipation, exhaustion, frustration, love, disbelief, gratitude, contentment, joy...and so much more.  It’s hard to describe the sensation of all those emotions coming back to you at once.  And while I have been working through all those emotions from the past, I am also being flooded with all of these thoughts and feelings about the future.  If his first year has gone by this fast, that means all the years to come will fly by too.  I have been entrusted by God to raise a man….. a Godly man….and I really don’t have a whole lot of time left.
    Before Harrison was born, I thought a lot about what kind of young man I wanted him to become.  Of course, I realize that I do not have ultimate control over his future. But God does. And God has entrusted me and my husband with the care and teaching of our son. While some parents try to downplay their role and influence in their children’s lives and seemingly think of parenting as the ultimate game of Russian roulette, the bottom line is that we have a huge impact on our children’s lives. While there is no secret parenting “formula” that will guarantee a child who is kind, respectful, responsible, obedient, and Ivy League bound, we as parents have been given the task of shaping the people that our children will become.  Parenting is a responsibility that holds great weight, and that should not be taken lightly.  Yes, our children will have their own unique personalities, but it is our job as parents to teach our sons and daughters how to become men and women of noble character and to ultimately teach them how to become more like Jesus.
   When I was pregnant, I talked over and over about wanting to make a list of the qualities that I wanted Harrison to have when he grew up. I wanted to write them down, because when you write something down, you take ownership of it. I wanted to write them down and post them in a prominent place so I would constantly see them and constantly be held accountable for them.  I figured if I was reminded everyday of who I wanted Harrison to become, I would be more purposeful in driving my daily parenting decisions to align with that vision…….since all those decisions will ultimately affect the man that he will one day be.  
     Right now, I am the #1 woman in my son’s life.  I hold his heart.  I get all his kisses and all his snuggles.  When I walk in his room to get him out of his crib, his face lights up when he sees me.  He grabs my face with his chubby little hands and squeezes me. When he is sad or hurt, he wants his mamma.  And I like it that way.  But I know that one day that my son will grow up and will love another woman.  My prayer is that one day he finds the love of his life.  I pray that he marries his love and that they will be blessed with a happy marriage and one day, children.  But I want him to be a good gift to his wife. I want his mother-in-law to rejoice in the man her daughter has chosen. And not only that, I want his life to have meaning and purpose and for him to make a mark on this Earth and leave it an even better than when he entered it.  And so my prayers begin now.  My action begins now.  I am writing down these traits, because I want to hold myself and my husband accountable for instilling these traits in our son.

1) Believer/Seeker
  • If I could have only one wish for Harrison, and nothing else, it would be that he would know the Lord, because if he grows up to love and serve God and devotes his life to becoming more Christ-like, all these other qualities will follow suit.  I want Harrison to truly grasp the fullness of God’s love for him, and I want him to know God and walk in the Light and Truth of His Word.  I want him to continually seek His face and have an inner longing for all those things that are good and holy. 

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.” Phillipians 4:8

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14


2) Integrity & Noble Character
  • I once heard someone describe integrity as being the same person in private that you are in public. It means having sound moral character…..doing the right thing even when others are not and even when you think nobody's watching.  I want Harrison to have integrity and to uphold his strong morals and values even when it is not “popular” and even when it is not easy.  I want him to be a leader and not a follower.  And when he chooses to do something that does not uphold integrity and good character, my prayer is that he gets caught EVERY. SINGLE. TIME...by me, my husband, his teacher, or whomever. I want him to learn that it never pays to be untruthful or to compromise your integrity. 
“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out…”  Proverbs 10:9

3) Hard-Work, Self-Motivation, & Perseverance

  • There are few qualities that speak higher of a man than his work ethic.  Laziness is not an admirable quality in anyone, but especially not in a man.  I want Harrison to know the value of hard work, and I want to make a conscious effort to try and resist the urge to make his life too easy by doing things for him that he can do for himself or by "rescuing" him from difficult circumstances that will teach him important life lessons.  I want him to become independent and learn the sense of accomplishment that comes with working hard towards a goal.  I also want him to WANT to succeed.  This is one quality that is sorely lacking in today’s youth.  They only will put forth effort and action if they are forced to, get a reward for doing so, or are threatened with a consequence if they don’t.  I pray that Harrison is self-motivated and learns to persevere through challenges even with things get tough.  


“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”  Colossians 3:23-25


“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”  Proverbs 14:23


4) Servant’s Heart

  • The qualities of kindness and generosity were originally what had come to my mind, but I am changing that to “servant,” because anyone who truly has a servant’s heart acts kindly toward others and wants to love and serve them.  I want Harrison to love who he is, but I want him to hold others in even higher esteem and to having a heart of giving and be known for his outpouring of love, thoughtfulness, and generosity.


“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45


“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35


5) Patience/Gentleness

  • Patience is one quality that people have far too little of, myself included. In today’s world where everything is at the click of a button, instant gratification is basically expected.  I want Harrison to know what it is like to wait for something. I want him to understand delayed gratification and that good things do indeed come to those who wait.  I also pray that he does not ever struggle with anger.  There is nothing more unbecoming of a man, or anyone, than a volatile temper and a brash/harsh personality.  Though I want him to be strong, fiercely loyal, and protective of those he loves, I want him to be gentle and even-tempered.

"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."  Proverbs 15:1












"Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God."  James 1:19-20




























6) Self-Control








  • Self-control is a quality many people don’t like to talk about because it “holds one back” in a sense.  But there is a reason it is one of the Fruits of the Spirit.  God wants his children to exude self control because there are so many sinful things in this world and He wants to keep us from them….not because he wants us to be deprived, but because he loves us and wants us to protect us from the trappings of the Enemy. I love the song "Slow Fade" by Casting Crowns, because it speaks of how easily it is to get pulled into sin if you don't keep your eyes, ears, and heart open to the temptations of Satan. The lyrics say, "Be careful little eyes what you see, for it's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings." 
    I pray that Harrison has that inner voice inside of him and gets a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach whenever he knows he is being tempted with something that he should not do or see or even consume.  As he grows up, I pray that he is able to stand up to temptation when he is offered drugs, alcohol, introduced to pornography, or sex before he is married.  Unfortunately, we live in a world where addictions are rampant and completely consume individuals until they are left as nothing more than empty shells of the people they once were.  Praise the Lord, many people overcome addictions.  But there are far more who do not.  My own brother has gone down this path and is still living with the repercussions, so I have first hand experience with how an addiction can literally ruin someone’s entire life.  I know that my son has free will and the ability to make his own choices, but I pray that by God’s grace and goodness, the quality of self-control will come forth within him when the stakes are high and keep my sweet boy from going down the wrong path.  I want him to walk in the Light.  

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. ... “  Galations 5:19-25




















7) Wisdom







  • I still remember driving past a local church and seeing this quote on their sign out by the road. I said it over and over again to myself as I drove by so I wouldn't forget it, because I thought it was so profound: "Wisdom is the quality that keeps you from getting into situations where you might need it." - Doug Larson. I feel like wisdom is really the product of having many other qualities such as knowledge, experience, understanding, insight, and good judgment. But it certainly is a quality held in high esteem by the Bible. Have you ever met a child who is wise? I have. As a teacher, I have met a handful of "old souls"....children who are wise beyond their years. They come few and far between, but they always seem to have this joy and peace about them....an inner light almost. They are very grounded and they don't seem to let the trappings of this world lead them astray. Usually, wisdom comes with age, but there are some children who learn to become wise early in life, and it serves them well. I want Harrison to enjoy his childhood, but I pray that the gift of wisdom is bestowed upon him.

    "Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.."  Proverbs 3:13-18





    8) Joy







    • 15 years ago I would have probably said that the words "happiness" and "joy" were basically synonymous. But through learning about joy over the years, I have learned that happiness and joy are not really the same thing. The Bible does talk about happiness, and it is not a bad thing at all, but joy is different. It is a state of mind.....an attitude.....a choice. One can be unhappy, but still be joyful. Happiness ebbs and flows with one's life circumstances, but joy comes from within. I pray that my son has true joy in knowing that he is saved by God's grace, and that no matter what circumstances he finds himself in on any given day, he can still have joy. I pray that he understands that material things can bring happiness, but not joy and that people should be valued over things. I pray that he learns early on that true joy comes from hope in the Lord.


    I know my parenting journey has only just begun, and I know I have made plenty of mistakes already and will continue to as the years go by. I can only thank God for the opportunity to be a mother in the first place and ask Him to grant me the grace, wisdom, and discernment it takes to intentionally love, discipline, teach, and guide my son so he is able to grow into the man God wants him to be. - Beth





  
Thursday, June 22, 2017

15 WEIRD Things You Might Not Know About Newborn Babies...for the First Time Mom

Newborn babies are WEIRD. No, really...they are. They are cute and adorable and cuddly and sweet and precious.....and weird. I think I went into motherhood with a fair amount of knowledge about babies just from babysitting for years and because many of my friends already had kids, so I was prepared for a fair amount of the weirdness. But there were some things that still threw me for a loop and left me constantly Googling sentences starting with the phrase, "Is it normal for my baby to...." because there were so many weird things my baby would do. As a first time mom, you're already feeling slightly unsure of yourself and your parenting abilities, and so when something weird comes up, it can make you think something is terribly wrong with your child...or at the least, a little bit anxious.
As a mama of two boys, a 2 1/2 year old and a 10 week old, I'm seeing all of this "weirdness" for the second time around, and it made me think about how many first time moms out there are probably freaking out over some of these things that my calmer second time mom mind knows are completely normal. So, since I'm trying to get back into blogging after a long hiatus, I thought I'd write a little post about this topic while all the newborn baby weirdness is fresh in my mind!


15 Things You Might Not Know About Newborns...for the First Time Mom

1. BIRTH WEIGHT
My 10 week old was 7 lbs 4 oz at birth, but was
6 lbs 9 oz by the time we left the hospital 3 days later.
After you have a baby, one of the very first things they do is weigh your little bundle of joy. Whatever that number is will be considered your baby's birth weight, but don't get too attached to that number. By the time you leave the hospital, your baby may lose up to 10% of his or her body weight. But no need to worry! It's totally normal. All the extra fluid they have been swimming around in for the last 9 months is to blame. However, the "goal" is for your baby to be back up to birthweight by his or her 2 week checkup. So as soon as that baby is born, nurse nurse nurse or feed feed feed!
2. NOISES
This is gross....I know.  But it's all part of life with a newborn!
  I am still haunted by the sounds that came out of this tiny baby
when he let this one rip... Ewwwww.
Newborn babies are LOUD….and I dont mean just their cries. They gurgle and groan and gulp and sneeze constantly, and their burps and poop blowouts can truly rival those of a grown man. One time I literally almost threw my newborn across the room because he was sitting on my lap and released a blowout poo from his inner depths that totally vibrated my body and scared the everliving bejesus out of me! Not even Pampers Swaddlers could contain that explosive poo. (Pic included for your viewing pleasure. Lol!) I can't tell you how many times I've blamed hubby for sounds that came out of my newborn.  
Me: "Babe....seriously!?" Hubby: "It wasn't me! I promise!! It was the baby..."

3. BREATHING

While we're on the subject of noises, let's talk about baby breathing. It's WEIRD. And sometimes downright scary to the first time mom. Babies have breathing patterns that are very irregular. They will breathe very shallow rapid breaths, then take a pause, and then breathe slower. They may pant and make weird whistling noises. And because babies have a lot of mucus, they can have a rattling sound when they breathe that sounds downright awful. They can even snore when they sleep! Most of these things are not causes for alarm, but if you are ever in doubt, it may be a good idea to contact your pediatrician just in case.


Video of my little squish at 1 month breathing with that freaky rattling 
sound. I showed this to my pediatrician and she wasn't
concerned. She listed to his chest and his lungs were clear...just
said to use the bulb syringe to try and suction him out as much
as possible to get all that mucus out!



Listen to those snores!!
4. HICCUPS
They get hiccups….ALL THE TIME! This continues for months, too. It's just one of those facts of life your little squish will have to deal with. Some babies are bothered by them and others seem totally unfazed. But there is one trick I've learned to help kick the hiccups to the curb.....Mommy's Bliss Gripe Water! A few ml of that magical stuff nips a case of hiccups in the bud about 90% of the time.

5. POOP
Oh the poop... Before you become a parent, you don't really think much about poop. And after you become a parent, poop is on your mind constantly and is a frequent topic of conversation. Newborn baby poop is NOT anything like grownup poop...at all...THANK GOODNESS! And it varies based on whether baby is breastfed or formula fed. A breastfed baby's poop is bright yellow (sometimes green) and a runny, creamy, or seedy consistency. A breastfed baby can poop as often as after every feeding, so up to 6-10 times a day! Whew. But it is also normal for them to poop only every few days. A formula fed baby will have poop more in the brown color spectrum with a consistency closer to peanut butter or clay.
And while we are talking about poop here..... a baby's first poop, called meconium, is going to FREAK YOU OUT! This usually happens in the hospital, so usually the nurses will give you the 411. But if you change your baby's diaper and notice his poop is black, thick, and sticky like tar, don't worry. He isn't dying. It's just meconium. Just know you'll need a few more wipes than normal!

6. SLEEP
Babies need a LOT of sleep. Their wake time is very short….as little as 20 or 30 minutes when they are first born and still only 1-2 hours at a few months old. And they don't always just fall asleep when they are tired. Before becoming a mom I thought that if a baby was tired, he would just go to sleep. Not so. Many babies fight sleep. They need to actually be "put down" to sleep for naps. Having a nap routine like swaddling and turning on a sound machine can help cue baby it is time for rest. And I can't stress the importance of a schedule enough. If you want to even think about sleeping a more than 2-3 hour stretch at night in your baby's first 6 months, get your baby on a routine/schedule. It makes a HUGE difference!

7. CRYING
Did you know that babies CRY??! Oh...wait…..you probably did know that. But did you know that they cry a lot? And sometimes you aren't going to be able to figure out what is making them upset. You feed them, you change them, you hold them, and they are still crying. Sometimes babies just go through fussy periods. It doesn't make you a bad mom and it doesn't mean you aren't meeting your baby’s needs. It is normal for a baby's cry to make a mom feel anxious, because every mom wants their baby to be happy and well cared for. But in order to keep a level head, you have to really be mindful of trying to stay calm and collected even when baby is inconsolable. When a baby cries for a prolonged period of time, it's easy for any parent to get very stressed out, upset, anxious, worried, and even angry.  But keeping your cool is important. If you go into parenting knowing and understanding that there are going to be times like that, then you are more likely to be calm when it happens. Do whatever you can to calm the baby and if there is nothing else that works, try this WEIRD trick! Contrary to what the video states, it does take more than 5 seconds...but it seriously WORKS! Thank you Dr. Harvey Karp!  

And if ^^^ doesn't work and you're about to lose it, it is OKAY to set baby down in a safe place, walk outside and take some deep breaths and collect yourself, and then come back in. 

8. BABY ACNE

Yep....it's a thing. Babies can get acne...like a freaking teenager. Your beautiful bundle of joy is born so incredibly perfect with flawlessly soft and silky newborn baby skin….. and then around three to four weeks their face breaks out like a 14 year old boy. Don't fret. It's totally normal. It's called baby acne. Both my babies had it bad by one month. It's kind of sad when you want to take pictures of your baby and they are rocking out pimples like a high school freshman, but it will go away. There are many supposed cures for it. I found using Mustela Baby Face Wash helped tremendously to clear it up. Others swear by coconut oil. With that said, I would not recommend using Clearasil or Noxema on your baby. Bad idea....

9. CRADLE CAP
Within their first few months, many babies' scalps start to flake off. Yep… babies can get dandruff too. It's called cradle cap. And it's kind of gross....I'm not gonna lie. But thankfully it's harmless. Both my babies had this, too, around a few weeks old. Thankfully I found a treatment that worked and kept that old cradle cap at bay, never to return. First, get a baby hair brush. Rub your baby's head with coconut oil and massage it into their scalp. Then, take the baby brush and comb through their hair and across their scalp, brushing out as many flakes as you can. When the brush gets caked up with flakes/oil, just clean it off and keep going. Then wash your babies hair as normal. You may have to do this a few times over a period of a couple days. Just keep putting coconut oil on, brushing the flakes out, and washing their hair. I did this about 2 or 3 times with b both babies and never saw a flake again!  

10. HIDE & SEEK
Babies have lots of nooks, crannies, and crevices for things to hide! Spit up hides in their little neck folds and if you don't wipe it out, it starts to smell....bad! Nothing spoils that sweet baby smell worse than smelly spit-up neck. They also have more earwax than you could ever imagine something that small could produce, poop hides in their little thigh rolls, and don't even get me started on lifting up floppy baby balls to find bits of poop under there and getting into all the crevices on little girls. It's a full time job keeping their private parts clear of poop. Just have a lot of wipes handy and be prepared to play "Where's Waldo" with bodily fluids.

11. STARTLE REFLEX
If you've ever been around babies or even seen a baby in a movie, chances are you've heard of "swaddling." Even Baby Jesus is documented as being wrapped in "swaddling clothes" as he lay in the manger. But there is a reason that moms have been swaddling their babies for thousands of years. It's called the Moro Reflex, also known as the "startle" reflex. If you watch a newborn infant sleep for long enough, chances are you will see this reflex for yourself. It happens with something unexpectedly stimulates or startles your baby.....usually a loud noise, sudden touch, change in light, etc. His reaction? Baby immediately flails his arms out in a weird jerky motion, usually waking him, even if just for a moment. Why can this be a bad thing? Well, if baby is asleep, the startle reflex can cause him to wake up. Enter....The Swaddle. A swaddle is just a way to bind baby's arms tightly to his side to keep them from flailing around and waking him up. Think...a baby straight jacket. I know... I know.. It sounds like cruel and unusual punishment. But babies LIKE it! I promise. They also have just spent the last 9 months in a very tight and cramped place....your uterus. So they kind of like having that tight cramped feeling mimicked by being swaddled.
Both my babies were swaddled from Day 1 and always slept sooooooo much better when swaddled. I swaddle for all naps (unless baby falls asleep in the car, swing, etc) and nighttime sleep. I am pretty much a swaddle junkie too. I think I own every swaddling contraption there is. But different swaddles are needed for different ages/stages. Just trust me on the swaddling! (I'm actually planning on doing a blog post completely devoted to comparing all the different swaddles in the near future....so stay tuned!)

12. THE WITCHING HOUR
It sounds so terrible, but don't worry....it has nothing to do with witches or the occult. But let me tell you....it is OH. SO. REAL. and it can be brutal. And don't be fooled... It's not just an hour. It's more like 3 or 4. What is "the witching hour?" Well, it's just the nickname that has been given to the period of time in the evenings when babies are their fussiest. It can range from a slight whine/fuss for prolonged periods of time or downright scream fests that last for hours. And it's usually the kind of crying that seemingly has no cause. Baby is fed, changed, rocked, bounced, etc and NOTHING WORKS! For me, personally, the witching hour hit during that 2-6 week period. It was worse with my first baby than my second, but that could have been because I just knew more strategies to deal with it. My arsenal of witching hour tips?  
#1 - Baby wear. It's not a cure-all, but sometimes I would be holding and bouncing and rocking and it didn't do a thing, but then I would put my son in my Baby K'Tan or Moby Wrap, and he'd calm down within minutes, if not seconds. Sometimes that closeness and warmth is all they need.  
# 2 - The football hold. Google it. It works. 
# 3 - Happiest Baby on the Block 5 S Method (video linked above in WEIRD THING #7)

13. QUIET
You may have a preconceived notion that babies need quiet to sleep. After all, how many times have we heard the phrase, "Shhhhh! The baby is sleeping!" But I'm here to tell you that babies do NOT like quiet. Just the opposite in fact. Noise is calming to them..... They have just spent the last 9 months in the womb, which is anything but a quiet place. The sound of your heart beating, blood flowing, etc is extremely noisy. Loud is normal. Loud is calming. Quiet is not. That is why one of my #1 baby registry item recommendations to new moms is a white noise sound machine. It is hands down one of the easiest and best things you can do to help your baby fall asleep, stay asleep, and just sleep better in general. Why do you think parents naturally "shhhhhhh" their babies when they cry? Shushing is just white noise you make with your mouth. Trust me. Get a sound machine for their bedroom and get a portable one for their car seat. You will thank me later.
 
14) BONES
If you pick up your baby and hear a noise that sounds like their bones popping or cracking, don't be alarmed. I remember freaking out the first time this happened with my first baby. I seriously thought I had hurt him or squeezed him too tight! But thankfully, all was well. Babies have tendons and joints that are loose, and it is fairly common to hear popping, cracking, or clicking noises coming from their arms and legs. This is hardly a cause for concern, but as always, consult your pediatrician if any noises coming from your baby are concerning or your baby seems to be in pain.

15) LINT
Now, I'm not talking about dryer lint here. I'm talking about clothing lint. Like, the little fuzzies on sweaters and stuff. Yeah....that stuff is going to end up all in between your baby's fingers and toes. How, you ask? I have no freaking idea. Here in South Carolina it is the dead of summer and the last thing that my baby is wearing are gloves and socks. Yet, alas, if you look in between my baby's fingers and toes you will find little bits of lint. And apparently I'm not alone. Even if you keep your baby bathed regularly, it still happens! Linty hands and feet are just another WEIRD thing about babies.

  I hope you've learned a lot about how WEIRD newborn babies can be! But no matter how weird they may be, no one can deny how CUTE and ADORABLE they are too! 
 
And.... don't forget to pass the word on to all your new mama and mama-to-be friends so they don't get blindsided by all the weirdness.