People think that being a baby is easy. All they see is that someone feeds you, bathes you, and changes your diapers. Being a baby is harder than it looks, and being a newborn is downright difficult. People don’t give us babies enough credit for the difficulties we must endure. After all we go through, we deserve some pampering. On behalf of babies everywhere, I am here to say that being little isn’t easy.
1. Being Born
The journey into this world is not an easy feat. All babies come into this world in one of two ways and each is at least extremely unpleasant. You can be squeezed into the world through an opening that is much to small, or you can be yanked out with no warning. Whichever way it happens, it’s guaranteed to be a terrifying ordeal as you make the journey from master of your very own universe, to one little fish in a school of billions.
2. Where am I? What’s that? Who are you?
Now that the horror of being born is over, you find your senses bombarded with all sorts of previously unexperienced stimuli. The sights, sounds, smells, and sensations of things touching you. Everything is new, unknown, and mostly scary. What is this place? What are all those things for? Who is this person that keeps looking at me with an expression of total bewilderment?
3. Who said that? Come closer.
Once the initial shock of being out in the world wears off, you want to take a better look at the mess you’ve found yourself in to assess the situation. Well, guess what, you can’t! Babies have poor vision and are horribly near-sighted. So there you are, brand new and vulnerable, hearing all sorts of commotion around you but not being able to see what horrors lurk just steps away.
4. So much empty space!
When you spend nine months curled up in a snug space only barely big enough for you, the sudden abundance of room to stretch out in can be unsettling. You might think that a cramped space would be uncomfortable, but it’s actually quite soothing. If being squished is all you know, the absence of squishing is not a welcome experience.
For the first 9 months of existence, hunger magically resolved itself. A newborn baby comes to the sudden realization that their hunger is no longer going away on its own. They are now expected to put forth the effort required to cure their hunger by themselves.
6. The Moro Reflex
After a long day of being generally confused and trying to figure out the eating thing, you finally start to drift off for a well-earned nap. That’s when your arms decide to fly up uncontrollably startling you awake. There is also a good chance that in doing so, they smack you in the face. Great way to wake up!
7. Stop hitting yourself.
Those self-inflicted smacks across the face aren’t limited to sleep. In the early months of life, libs are unruly creatures with a mind of their own. It takes time to get them under control. Until then, they often smack, scratch, and poke their owner.
October 20, 2016