5 Weird Newborn Symptoms That Are Perfectly Normal

Newborn Symptoms That Are Perfectly Normal
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As a pediatrician, I frequently encounter new parents who are understandibly concerned by the seemingly “weird” behaviors of their newborns. It’s completely natural; after all, infants do some pretty perculiar things! I use the term “weird” in quotes because what might appear as “weird” to parents is often perfectly normal in the world of newborn behavior. Let me shed some light on some of these behaviors to help put your mind at ease.

  1. Startle Reflex: Ever noticed your baby suddenly jerking their arms outwards as if they’ve been startled? That is called the Moro reflex. Some babies exhibit this reflex more prominently than others. It’s a normal response to stimuli and typically fades away by the time your baby is 3 or 4 months old.
  2. Hiccups: Rhythmic, involuntary contractions of the diaphragm can occur multiple times a day in a newborn. Yes, multiple! While it might seem alarming, hiccups are harmless. You may even remember feeling your baby have hiccups while you were pregnant. They tend to decrease in frequency as the baby’s digestive system matures and they grow.
  3. Crossed Eyes: Observing your baby’s eyes occasionally crossing might raise concerns about their vision. However, newborns often have underveloped eye muscles, causing their eyes to appear misaligned. This is normal as their vision continues to develop over the first few months of life. There is no need for concern, as this condition usually corrects itself around 3 to 4 months of age.  
  4. Strange Noises: Grunts, snorts, and other peculiar sounds that your baby makes, especially during sleep are surprisingly normal. The adage “sleeping like a baby” is not necessarily true because babies are actually restless sleepers. As long as your baby is breathing comfortably and showing no signs of distress, these noises are typically harmless.
  5. Sneezing: Newborns sneeze frequently, which is usually their way of clearing their nasal passages of dust, mucus, or any other irritants. They can’t blow their noses like we can, so sneezing is the most efficient way for them to clear their nasal passages. Pretty smart, huh?

Remember, every baby is unique. While these behaviors are common, if you ever feel concerned about your baby’s actions or notice sudden changes in behavior, it’s always best to consult your pediatrician. As a rule of thumb, if your baby is eating, sleeping, and growing well, the behaviors listed above are usually just part of their normal development.

Parenthood is a wonderful journey filled with surprises. As a pediatrician, I find that understanding these quirks can bring comfort to parents, reassuring them that their baby’s “weird” behaviors are just a normal part of early development. Hopefully, this will help a few parents rest more easily when frantically searching for answers in the middle of the night.

We welcome you to visit us at Mid City Pediatrics. We see children for same-day sick visits 6 days a week. Appointments may be scheduled online. Please click here to schedule an appointment or call us at (318) 221-2225

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