When I was a new mum over a decade ago, I wasn’t blessed with internet access. This meant that I was left to stew in my own half-baked theories as to whether 10 poo explosions a day was normal, and why my exclusively-breastfed child’s poos contained banana strings and diced tomatoes (can you sense a theme here?)
In case you were curious about whether your own searches as a new parent are normal, we are bringing you a list of commonly googled questions. To be extra helpful, we will also include the answers.
WHY DOES MY BABY LOOK LIKE MY EX?
Well, this is awkward… especially if there might be a reasonable explanation for it (cough cough).
However, if your rapid calculations have established that there is absolutely no way your baby belongs to anyone but your partner, science has come up with a rather freaky finding as to why your bub may resemble a former beau.
Research shows that in fruit flies, immature eggs absorb molecules from the first male’s seminal fluids, which influences the size of the second male’s offspring. Assuming that this finding has some applicability to humans – and that your ex can influence aspects of your baby’s appearance other than birth size – this could help explain any noted resemblance to an ex. EEP!
Admittedly, this throws up further questions. For example, if you’ve had more than one ex partner, which one will prevail? The first? The most recent? A mixture of all of them? The one you had the most ‘fun’ with? Do dream shags have any influence? (I’m looking at you, Dicko from Australian Idol).
If you’re not yet convinced by the validity of the fruit fly story, here are some far simpler theories that may explain the unsettling resemblance.
- Pure coincidence.
- Perhaps you have a ‘type’, and your former and current partners look similar to each other.
- Some women choose partners who look like their dads – so you may have subconsciously been drawn to a former flame because he reminded you of your father. Your baby may actually take after your own dad, but the resemblance is easier to see in your more youthful ex partner.
WHY DOES MY BABY ALWAYS LOOK LEFT?
If you’ve noticed that your baby always seems to be looking to the left, this could be due to Infant Torticollis, where the muscle on one side of the neck is shorter than the other. The solution is to encourage your baby to look to their less favoured side, or consult a physiotherapist who can prescribe specific stretches.
WHY DOES MY BABY’S EAR SMELL?
If you can rule out infection, the most likely cause of this is excessive moisture. This happens because we tend to wash babies ‘all over’ and might forget to dry crevices, leading to the build-up of smelly bacteria.
WHY DOES MY BABY’S EYE HAVE BOOGERS?
Very young babies have narrow tear ducts, which make them more likely to clog. Therefore, gunky white or yellowish stuff will collect. Don’t be too concerned about the boogers unless the white of the eye turns red (a sign of infection).
You could also tell them to stop crying so damn much.
WHY DOESN’T MY BABY CRY WHEN I LEAVE ANYMORE?
Wow, you finally got your baby to listen to you and stop crying. So why are you now feeling uneasy?
Damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Hey baby, welcome to Disappointing Your Parents 101.
I can’t find a clear answer to this question apart from changing levels of separation anxiety and the eternally-helpful ‘babies are random’.
WHY IS MY BABY EATING PAPER?
It’s generally normal for babies to experiment with non-food items.
When we were babies, our parents probably lamented about the amount of dirt and sand we ate. However. an increasingly indoorsy lifestyle means that babies are now more likely to eat paper than dirt, especially when we leave them unattended. Babies may also enjoy paper’s pleasant consistency which breaks down nicely in the mouth.
Of course, it’s better to avoid your child eating paper as much as possible. But if this habit is persisting beyond what seems age-appropriate, consult a medical professional.
WHY IS MY BABY BITING ME?
The most likely culprit is teething.
Presumably the follow-up question is “How do I get the baby to stop biting me?” in which case, the answer is apparently a firm and calm ‘no’, followed by offering them an inanimate substitute.
It’s also important to resist yelping as much as possible in response to a chomp, because bub might partially be enjoying the cause and effect of biting and making you say “OUCH”, “F#%&” or similar. The last thing you need is to be considered a fun new squeaky toy.
WHEN WILL MY BABY GIGGLE?
Maybe when you start telling better jokes? Hee.
The proper answer is, generally at about 4 months old (although this can vary of course).
If your baby is otherwise developing normally, and communicates with you in other ways (babbling, smiling, etc.), then the lack of giggles may just come down to personality or individual variations in developmental path.
HOW LONG TILL MY BABY’S CONE HEAD GOES AWAY?
Cone headed babies are often a result of vaginal births. However, the shape of their heads should become ‘normal’ within 48 hours.
If not.. just wait for hair.
WHY DOES MY BABY FART SO LOUD?
Babies fart for the same reasons that adults do. So why are we so alarmed when the baby’s backside makes huge trumpety noises similar to those made by Uncle Godfrey after Sunday lunch?
Probably because of our expectation that cute little bottoms should only emit cute little squeaks. Awwww…