Why Do Babies Do That? – Everything You Need To Know About Baby Behavior

There are a lot of things that we are in awe when it comes to watching our little ones just be themselves. Their “cooing”, their awkward movements and other things that seem weird or new to us have always been a mystery. If you are like most parents out there that fret and fidget each time your baby does something out of the ordinary, then you are not alone.

Majority of why do babies act the way they do have something to do with their physical, mental and emotional growth. Now I know that something unknown to you is entirely threatening, but you need not worry. Here is a comprehensive guide to help you understand and process what your baby does or is experiencing that is sometimes out of their usual routine. Let’s take a quick look at the topics:

Why Do Babies Smell so Good?
Why Do Babies Get Jaundice?
Why Do Babies Have Soft Spots?
Why Do Babies Scream?
Why Do Babies Smile?
Why Do Babies Kick?
Why Do Babies Put Everything In Their Mouth?
Why Do Babies Grunt?
Why Do Babies Spit-Up?
Why Do Babies Sleep So Much?
Why Do Babies Get Hiccups?
Why Do Babies Drool?
Why Do Babies Vomit?

If you pay close attention to your little ones, you will notice a lot of “babyish” characteristics that they will portray most of the time. There are also instances when you will be worried so much because they either vomit or they turn yellow. That is why it is important to understand why these things happen so you can prepare yourself and be ready for them.

  • Their Appearance

The first thing that you will get to notice your little ones is their appearance. Anything out of the ordinary can trigger an “alarm” for you. Sometimes, those changes can easily be dealt with especially if it is caught early. Here are some questions that most moms would want to know the answers to:

  • Why Do Babies Smell so Good?

This has been the never-ending mystery to anyone who has ever held a baby. Be it their parents or their aunts, uncles or even grandparents, there is that “baby sweet smell” that everyone immediately falls addicted to. But what actually causes it is still unknown.

There are certain studies that suggest that the “baby scent” comes from the newborn’s sweat glands and the chemicals that it secretes. The scent will further be influenced by the child’s metabolism and diet, making it stronger. In time, as the baby grows, it will eventually fade as their body develops and matures.

There is another theory that the baby smell came from the so-called “vernix caseosa” that the baby might still have after birth. This is the whitish and a waxy substance that covers the baby once they are delivered. The vernix caseosa is usually washed off once the baby has their bath. But studies say that the scent of it is very strong that it can linger for a long time, even if your baby gets a bath each day.

The most “theoretically accepted” explanation, though can be linked to our primal instincts. Like animals, babies and mothers have that special bond which includes the scent of their newborn. It is also the child’s means of how to adapt and survive in the outside world. Our brain will automatically insist for us to care and love the child once we can see, feel and smell them.babies

  • Why Do Babies Get Jaundice?

Jaundice is when your baby’s skin color and even their eyes turn yellowish after days of their birth. This is because of the increased bilirubin level in their blood. This appears usually within the first five days of their newborn lives. Majority of the babies who have left the hospital will commonly experience jaundice.

  • Physiologic Jaundice

I remember when I had my baby, I saw that she became yellowish on her second day of birth. This is called “Physiologic Jaundice” which is common. Thankfully, I have read up on this and was able to treat it as early as possible. In order for your little ones to get rid of the excess bilirubin in their blood, they need to pee and poo. So the first thing you need to do is to feed them as they demand.

Also, it can be a great help if you take your little one out for sunbathing in the morning. Exposing your baby to the morning sun (around 6am-9am) for just 30 minutes the most can help their body get rid of the bilirubin faster.

  • Jaundice

If you notice that your baby’s skin color gets more yellowish and they have a hard time to eat and suck then jaundice can be problematic. Another warning sign is when jaundice does not disappear after a week. This is the time when you need to seek medical help.

The reason for this can either be due to infection or it can also be that your baby’s body needs more help in getting rid of the bilirubin in their blood. Babies who suffer these symptoms will be treated with antibiotics and a process called phototherapy. Phototherapy is where your baby is placed directly under UV light so that their skin can absorb it and make the excess bilirubin get flushed out faster.

  • Why Do Babies Have Soft Spots?

If you notice soft spots on your baby’s head when you give them a bath or just stroking their little head, that is called their “fontanelles”. Your baby will have a total of two visible and palpable fontanelles and they are there for a good reason. Originally, when your baby is still in your womb and about to be delivered, these fontanelles will overlap each other so that your baby’s head can fit into the birth canal. This process is called “molding” and after birth, your baby’s head will slowly return to its normal shape.

Fontanelles are also there to give us a heads-up when it comes to our baby’s health. So we need to take a good look every day to see if our babies are in good and healthy shape. Here are two important things you need to remember:

  • Sunken Fontanelles

A sunken fontanelle means that your baby is dehydrated. So you need to feed them more and give them more fluids.

  • Bulging Fontanellesbabies

Bulging fontanelles means that there is a more serious health condition that your child is experiencing. IT can either be due to serious illnesses like meningitis. It can also be due to severe infection.

Your baby’s fontanelles will disappear eventually as time goes by. They will totally disappear once your child reaches their 18th month. It is also best not to touch it too much and take extra caution when bathing that certain area.

  • Their Reactions

Each and every reaction that our baby will give us can either make us “aww” in adorableness or wither with worry. There will be certain times when you will worry if your child’s reaction is normal or not. Here are some common reactions that some parents need help deciphering.

  • Why Do Babies Scream?

Babies communicate by crying. That is the only way they know how. It is also the only way they can as of the moment. It is their way of getting our attention and says “I am hungry” or “I have a dirty diaper”. But when they scream it is a different story, in fact, there are two sides to this story.

  • Scream For Communication

When your baby turns nine months, this is when you will start to hear those shrieking voices of theirs. I have been there and trust me when I say that it is just a phase that they are going through. Their “screaming” is their first try in communicating with us. This is when they realize they do not want what is given to them or what they are doing.

This is the time when your patience and teaching methods will be put to the test. Remember that this is not a “bad” attitude so make sure to use these moments and make it your teaching moments as well.

  • Scream Of Pain

Do not ignore their screams. Sometimes you will notice that they will give off a painful scream that is not within their usual “scream meter”. That is when they feel something wrong with them. Check if they have any wounds or cuts or even painful tummies.

  • Why Do Babies Smile?

We love seeing babies smile and the joy it brings to us whenever we see it out of the blue. But ever wonder why they do? This is because they are starting to respond to the environmental stimuli that are surrounding them. They react to sounds, figures and even touch, which is why it is important to give them a healthy environment. But there is an instance that makes us scratch our heads if they smile and this is when they are asleep.


I was born and raised in a Christian family who believes in angels, saints, and many other religious figures. But before my daughter was born, I had a firm belief that these figures (angels in particular) do not show themselves at all.

When my daughter got bigger, I observed that she is becoming more active, attentive and curious about the things around her. Even during her sleep, she smiles and giggles. This made me think when babies smile in their sleep, do they see angels?

During one of my religion classes, we were taught that babies are like angels. They are free from sin and innocent. This gives them the advantage of seeing angels as well. We were even told that each baby has their own guardian angel with them all the time to protect them. When these babies reach the milestone of “talking” that is the time their angels would slowly detach from them and become invisible.

  • Their Movements

Babies love to move around and they can be a handful at times as well. In general, a moving, and active baby is a healthy baby. But there are certain movements they do that make us wonder if they are all right. Some worries that parents often question themselves are written below:

  • Why Do Babies Kick?

Babies love to kick and they love to move those legs all the time. Even if they are asleep, they still kick and kick. This is because of the developmental instincts that tell them they want to become stronger. The reason they kick so much is that they are preparing their legs to become stronger and more firm.

Having strong and sturdy legs will ensure them of easy and attainable baby milestones that will start with rolling over. This first milestone will happen around their 4th to 6th month. It will then be followed by sitting and crawling. Finally, if their legs are strong enough they will manage to stand on their own and walk.

This is why it is very important for us to help our babies with their motor skills. What I did before with my baby was to massage her legs and stretch them gently. When I saw that she is slowly learning to roll over, I let her do so on her own without any assistance, just constant supervision. I also did this when my daughter started to stand and walk on her own. I also made sure to give my daughter toys that will guide and allow her to walk with assistance.

  • Why Do Babies Put Everything In Their Mouth?

Do not be angry with your baby when they put everything they touch into their mouth. They may seem like they just do this out of their whim, but trust me that this type of behavior has deeper meanings. There are two possible reasons why they want to eat everything they grasp as well.

  • Their Oral Phase

Putting anything into their mouths satisfies a baby’s oral exploration. This allows them to freely study and understand textures and tastes felt by their mouth. This also addresses the oral fixation issues that they may encounter when they grow up. Allowing the child to explore this phase prevents them from being smokers, drinkers or even being anti-social adults in the future.

What I did with my baby was that I let her explore her oral curiosity as much as she wants. I just made sure that they are clean and big enough so that she won’t choke on them. I also made sure that what she puts in her mouth, like toys, are BPA free and toxin-free.

  • Their First “Eruption”

Another reason why our kids love to put things in their mouth is to soothe their gums. They use their toys, tethers, hands and even their toes to “scratch” their gums. This is because their first tooth is arriving soon and it is irritating them. It can be itchy to painful depending on how the tooth is going to erupt.

The best thing that helped me with this is that I bought a tether that can be placed in the refrigerator so it can be cold. It helps soothe my baby’s gums more and she has lesser “fussy moments”. But I allowed her to bite on it because I know it can soothe her more that way.

  • Why Do Babies Grunt?

Babies have those times when their face turns sour and they suddenly stretch and make these grunting noises. Now for a newbie mom, it may look worrisome, but rest assured that this is a normal process that your baby needs to learn. A grunting baby simply means that your baby is still figuring out their bowel movement and is still getting used to the milk you give them.

Grunting is also a good sign that your baby is figuring out how to move their bowels and is familiarizing themselves with how to expel their poo. This process of learning for them can last for a few months until your baby can figure out how to pass gas or even poo without grunting. They will eventually know how to bear down without using their diaphragm (this causes the grunting noise) and will finally know how to use their abdominal pressure instead.

If you would want to help your straining baby you can do so. If you notice that they take a long time with grunting than their usual, this is the time to assist them.  You can provide mild anal stimulation by using a wet cotton ball or even a wet cotton swab and “tickle” their anus. But make sure you only do this when necessary because they can rely on this help too much.

  • What You Notice That is Unusual

    • Why Do Babies Spit-Up?

A baby that spits-up is going through a very normal phase especially when they eat. They spit up for various reasons as well. Here are some common causes of spit-up:

  1. They are still getting the hang of feeding. So expect them to spit-up more often during the first four months of their lives.
  2. When they accidentally swallow air while they feed. The air causes the milk to get pushed up all the way to the nose and mouth.
  3. Sometimes they enjoy feeding too much that they overfeed.
  4. Their digestive system, abdominal muscles, and diaphragm are not yet fully developed.

It is easy to avoid spit-ups as well. First, you need to properly position your baby, especially when feeding them. Keep them in an upright position so that the flow of food them drink goes straight down and will stay down. Next is to keep the environment calm and quiet. Avoid startling the baby, which can cause unwanted spit-ups. Finally, you need to always burp your baby after every feeding to ensure no air is consumed along with the milk.

After they eat, make sure not to move them around too much. Also, make them stay in the same upright position for at least 30 minutes to ensure that the milk they drank is already in their tummies. Try your best not to overfeed them as well.

  • Why Do Babies Sleep So Much?

A baby’s sleep pattern is probably the topmost issue that every parent has to figure out. We can all relate to sleepless nights for us and long naps for our little ones. But did you ever wonder why they sleep so much? This is because they need those 14-18 hours (or even more!!) of sleep to help them grow bigger and develop better and healthier.

Some babies, even tend to sleep in the middle of feeding. Make sure to stimulate them so that they will not miss their feeding time. Also, try to observe their feeding pattern because it will coincide with how long they will sleep. Remember this simple yet effective formula: The more they feed, the more they sleep. The less they feed, the less they sleep. So if you are feeding your child to the point that they are always full, expect them to have longer sleeping moments.

Their own personalized sleep pattern will eventually materialize around their sixth month. Hopefully, by that time, they will have a balance of sleep and awake moments. But remember that no baby is the same as another one. Each can have their own set of sleep pattern and can even have less sleep or longer ones.

  • Why Do Babies Get Hiccups?

There was a lot of worrisome things that I have encountered with my daughter when she was just a few months old. But hiccups would probably rank my top five fears. If you are not attentive enough to observe their hiccups and prevent it, your baby might endanger themselves.

One of the most common questions newbie moms tend to ask is “why do newborns get hiccups.” If you are one of those moms, rest assured, you are not the only one confused. But hiccups are inevitable. It will eventually happen to your baby. It’s up to us to prevent and stop it.

  • During Feeding

The most common cause of a hiccup for a baby is when they are eating. Regardless if they are bottle fed, breastfed, or even starting their solids. There are many triggers that can end in your baby suffering a hiccup episode. So better take note of each trigger factor. Because once you pinpoint the culprit, the solution will be easier to execute.

  • While Still Inside Your Tummy

You should not be worried about this because fetal hiccups are normal. Just take note that these hiccups will happen a few times a day. For some mothers, they don’t experience it at all. As long as it is not prolonged per episode, you do not need to worry.babies

So if you are worried that hiccups might harm your baby, you should not. Hiccups are harmless and do not give any painful feeling to your baby. The reason that they cry or get fussy is that they get startled because of it. Just make sure that you do the necessary precautions while feeding to prevent your child from swallowing milk into their lungs instead of their stomach.

  • Why Do Babies Drool?

Drool, drool and more drool. That is what you get when your baby starts to learn how to use their mouth. Sometimes I even wonder if they do it for their own personal entertainment. But in general, drooling is due to the fact that their mouth still has weak and underdeveloped muscles that they cannot fully control yet.

You should expect a more “prominent” drooling experience when your child reaches the age of three to six months. This is the time when their oral curiosity starts to kick in. It may sound bad but I suggest you allow them to explore around and let them learn what the “drool” is.

An even more active drooling phase can give you a heads up on another baby milestone that your little one will soon be having. More drool equals a very close “first tooth eruption” experience. In addition, having more drool present during this irritable and sometimes painful experience can soothe your baby. Blowing bubbles with their drool also alleviate the irritable sensation they feel on their gums. So prepare to have more wipes and bibs for this moment.

  • Why Do Babies Vomit?

A baby’s spit-up is different from a baby’s vomit but they manifest the same symptoms but with different gravity. In comparison, spit-ups are very minimal and are usually painless and harmless. But when the spit-up turns out to be more forced and causes pain and discomfort plus with more volume, then this is considered a vomit.

When a vomiting episode occurs more than once a day then it can be due to your baby having health issues. It can be due to a viral infection like diarrhea and if not treated immediately can cause severe dehydration. In general, the viral infection is really not the issue and it is not life-threatening.

The cause of concern and further attention is dehydration and how it will affect your baby. Especially if your baby is just a newborn and a few days old. They are more prone to dehydration caused by vomiting.

Make sure to sterilize everything you will give to your baby and all the things you need to feed them. Also, take into consideration not to overfeed them as much as possible. If you notice there is frequent vomiting, consult your doctor as early as possible to get immediate treatment.

Your baby’s appearance, movement, and reactions can truly be a lifesaver for you once you know the good ones from the bad ones. You can immediately pinpoint if there is something wrong with them and you can give correct treatment if needed. Now you know a little bit about why do babies do what they do and why they do it.

Edana Patricio

First time mom to a beautiful three year old daughter. I am very open to new, fun ideas and ways on how to take care of my child. I also believe that "kids are way smarter than what we give them credit for."

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