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  • Why Babies Do the Oddest Things: Grasp, Fight Sleep and Tripod

    Learn why babies grasp, fight sleep and do something called the tripod.
    by Julian Vorpal .
  • Your little bundle of joy may be the light and love of your life but he will also be the source of baffling, bewildering behavior.  Here’s a chance to see things from a baby’s perspective and answer some questions about why babies do the oddest things.


    baby handWhy do some babies grab onto things so tightly?

    A baby’s grasping reflex is one of the first she’s born with and she will damn well use it – it’s strong enough to support her weight (something some parents may no longer be capable of).  Research suggests that this grasping reflex action comes from primates, an idea that’s easy to believe if you’ve ever watched Tarzan swinging from vine to vine with his chimp chum, Cheeta.  Another study showed that when infants hold onto their mothers, their heartbeats slow down, suggesting that they feel calm and secure while hanging on to Mommy.



    Why do some babies fight sleep?  Why do babies wake up in the most inopportune times?

    The newness of existence in all its glory is the reason your newborn will fight sleep with the ferocity of a Tasmanian devil.  Sleep is boring and overrated, thinks your child.  Separation anxiety from their parents also keeps a baby crying.  And as they haven’t figured out the concept of Night and Day yet, kids will sleep whenever they feel like it.

    One key factor is hunger.  As a baby’s stomach is roughly the size of a peanut, it can hold just enough milk to keep it satisfied for 3-4 hours.  So be prepared for lots of sleepless nights, but take heart: you can begin to teach your baby as early as now that daytime is for staying awake and nighttime is Mommy’s quality snooze time. Check out some baby sleep training techniques.


    Why do some babies tripod before they sit up straight?

    We may take actions like sitting for granted but try doing so if all your limbs had the consistency of overcooked champorado.  Now add that to the fact that you’re doing this for the very first time.  That’s how your baby starts out.  As he grows, he gets stronger and more coordinated but this happens in stages—stages your baby works out a day at a time for several months.  He starts with his head then he begins to work out his upper body doing the equivalent of little baby push-ups and cat stretches. Tripoding (plopped on his rump with his arms straight out in front of him, his hands flat on the floor like a sitting doggie) is a way for a baby to sit up unaided before he has the balance to stay sitting without support.

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    It’s no wonder that babies do the oddest things. They’re learning everything for the first time and they’re adjusting to nature programming as well.


    Photo from sxc.hu

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