My baby is now approaching 5 months. Where that time has gone I have no idea! As time is rushing by, I thought I would make a note of all his little quirks and tentatively ask: Is my baby the only one with these bizarre behaviours?!
My baby’s favourite night time game at the moment? Leg slamming. And I don’t just mean a little fidget to get comfortable. Oh no! I mean a full on, shake the cot, wake mummy and daddy, dent the mattress kind of leg slamming!
Isaac tends to do this when semi-conscious, usually in a milk-drunk state at the most unsociable hours. He has been doing this since he was a month old but is getting more proficient (and violent!) at it now that his core muscles are stronger. Though it doesn’t seem to bother him, the sound of the thump on the ‘co-sleeper’ cot is always enough to startle us and check he is OK. After all, it literally sounds like he could break his legs!
As with many things I took to Google to see why Isaac might be leg slamming. I failed to find even a shred of research but did read about many others in the same situation on forums. From what I have read it seems this behaviour peaks at around 6 months and occurs more often in boys. It is apparently a ‘self-soothing’ behaviour. Babies engage in leg slamming to soothe themselves back to sleep – preferable to screaming his head off I guess!
Face and head rubbing
Another of Isaac’s night time quirks is his incessant rubbing. We have to put scratch mittens on him every night or he’d wake looking like a cat had jumped through the window and scratched him to pieces! Just like the leg slamming, Isaac seems to rub his face and head (with force) in order to soothe himself as he tries to sleep.
This one doesn’t come as such a surprise. We adults also rub our faces when we are tired, particularly our eyes. We are not always conscious of this but we can often rub our eyes so hard that they become very red and sore. As Isaac is gaining more control of his arms and hands he is better at directing them to his eyes rather than just rubbing everything above his shoulders! I remember my niece rubbing her ears when tired and this is also a tell-tale sign that it is time to get Isaac to bed before a meltdown ensues!
The coy smile
My husband and I have been watching the series ‘Babies’ on Netflix. (If you haven’t seen it, check it out it is brilliant!) In the episode about relationships psychologists analysed baby smiles and found that at as young as 3 months babies can be self-conscious. They have some understanding of quite complex emotions. At the absolute peak of a smile the baby may try to hide his face with his hands, burrow into a parent’s arm or close their eyes and look away. This apparent ‘shyness’ is called a coy smile. I now notice Isaac’s coy smiles all the time and it is super cute! The feature photo for this blog post is one such example.
Cough-giggles and sneeze warnings!
Isaac absolutely loves a giggle. He has been laughing now for around a month, usually during games like peek-a-boo or when seeing himself in the mirror. One thing that makes the most bizarre sound is how he laughs at himself if he coughs. It is very funny.
Just like many other babies, Isaac sneezes ALL OF THE TIME! It got to a point recently where I thought he might have a cold but no, apparently sneezing is another very common thing for young babies. The cutest part is the kind of warning gasp he does (Mr Bean style!) before he sneezes. Although this is purely a reflex we also think he is being super polite by bringing his hands up as he sneezes! Such great manners for a 4 month old!
I am sure there are many more bizarre (yet normal) behaviours out there. How about your babies? Do they have any funny quirks you have noticed? Please share in the comments or message me on Instagram!