Ten little fingers and ten little toes; there’s an irresistible magic about newborns. The arrival of a baby is an occasion of unparalleled joy and I’ve been blessed to experience this three times. My youngest ‘baby’ is now two, and although my husband thinks our family is complete, part of me yearns to experience the newborn phase all over again. Of course, newborn babies are not all smiles and rainbows, but they are undeniably cute and remarkable in so many ways. Here are 20 things I love about newborn babies:
1. My love of newborns begins with their many little creases and folds; the soles of their cute feet being my favourite part of a baby’s body.
2. I love the perfectly formed fingernails at the tips of their teeny tiny fingers.
3. I love the way their little fingers wrap around one of my fingers. The firmness of their grip is always surprising for such tiny things.
4. I love watching a newborn wake, peacefully, slowly and purposefully as their eyelids flutter and they frown and furrow their eyebrows in anticipation of what awaits.
5. I love the floppiness of their heads, the fragility of their necks but also the strength of those arms and legs, flailing wildly and making it virtually impossible to dress them.
6. I love it when their eyes lock with mine, intensely matching my gaze as I wonder, “what is she thinking?”
7. I love wrapping them like a burrito, perfectly tucking in the edges and enveloping them in love.
8. There’s nothing like the newborn smell, so fresh and pure and natural. I always take a sniff of any newborn’s head any opportunity I get!
9. I love watching the way my baby’s lips curl while feeding, simultaneously shutting their eyes, and the gentle rhythmic sucking that ensues.
10. I love the curiosity of a newborn; the way their eyes process small but significant details of the world around them.
11. I love seeing the recognition in their eyes, and the consequent smile that distinguishes itself from a ‘wind smile’. No smile catches quite as fast as that of a newborn.
12. Drunk with love. It doesn’t get much better than seeing your baby blissfully content with a tummy full of milk.
13. Chubby cheeks, plump, puffy eyelids and rosebud lips…aaahhh.
14. The oh-so-soft baby skin, so pure and unblemished. Patting them dry after a bath and massaging that beautiful skin with baby oil is a warm and wonderful experience.
15. The baby yawn. Usually about an hour after she’s been up she gives those big yawns, stretching and indicating that she is ready to sleep. Or not.
16. The dependency of a newborn and the way having a baby makes me feel like a lioness protecting her cub.
17. The special intimacy between mother and baby. The skin-to-skin contact, the rocking, the patting, the comforting, the gut wrenching love and awe so inextricably linked.
18. I love a sleeping baby. There’s something utterly mesmerising about watching their little chest rise and fall, rise and fall.
19. I love the stillness babies bring to your life. The way they bring you back to the present moment, and no further. Almost like a meditation.
20. I love how warm and snug they feel on your chest, the little head resting in the nook of your neck. Hearing their heart beat against your own, sometimes in sync, as they perfect the yoga diaphragm breathing technique so innately.
21. Newborn nappies. Oh so cute! You realise how small they are when you move up to the toddler size and ponder how tiny their bottom once was….
I have created a short video, capturing these moments. Trigger warning: It may cause cluckiness!!
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* First published on Essential Baby