New Borns Jargon Buster

The mum to be jargon buster seemed to be quite helpful because your Mrs is going to talk about all sorts of stuff that’s going to make no sense when she is pregnant…  But when the baby’s here – that doesn’t stop I’m afraid!

So here are some more words which you’ll probably be expected to know.

This is going to be an ever evolving and growing page by the way cause I’ve still got a lot of weird baby and mummy terms to figure out myself!

Angel Kiss

See birth mark.

Babbling

Those weird but utterly cute noises your baby starts to make when they discover that their voice can do more than just scream…  It’ll be music to your ears!  It is the babies experimentation with noises in a lead up to talking as they learn how to make certain sounds and control which sounds they make.

Baby Blues

A term which is really too complex for a quick glossary but in short it is a negative feeling, which could be sadness, disappointment, anger, helplessness or all of the above related to the baby or ones own ability to be a parent shortly after birth.  It occurs in the majority of women however in most cases goes by itself and needs no further involvement.  However it is very common for these feelings to remain with the woman for some time in which case they may require medication or further support.

It is thought to be a result of a huge shift in hormone levels and adjusting to the sudden change in the woman’s body and life as the baby becomes external to her body.

Baby Talk

This isn’t when your baby talks, but in fact refers to the way in which people naturally seem to talk to babies.  It is an instinct of ours to use a softer voice when talking to babies.  As well as being a way of communicating which is less likely to startle your baby it is thought that frequent baby talk can help improve child speech development as these sounds area easier to imitate.

Birth Mark

A type of pink, red or purple mark which can occur at birth anywhere on the body (although often on the head or neck) and usually fades by the second year.  Up to 40% of babies have these and they are nothing to worry about.  Even if you notice them get darker if your baby cries, holds its breath or strains for a shit, as they are blood vessels which are already larger than normal, and in these cases just temporarily have even more blood sent to them.

Caretaker Talk

See baby talk.

Child Directed Speech (CDS)

See baby talk.

Colic

Wind or some kind of obstruction in the abdomen can cause severe pain in babies.

Colostrum

This is the first milk which mother produce and it’s the most important milk to get in to your baby if possible.  It is packed with calories, vitamins and antibodies.  Whilst normal breast milk is clearer, this milk is very thick and yellowish in colour.

Fontanels

Soft areas on the head where the skull has gaps in the bone to allow the head to compress or elongate during child birth.  These fill in with bone as the child grows but remain fragile areas until then.

Infant Directed Speech (IDS)

See baby talk.

Latching On

Babies will often search for the nipple when held near the boob for feeding, and latching on refers to when they successfully manage to find the nipple and seal their mouth around it fully.  Also known as an oral tit grip.

Meconium

This also comes up in the mum to be glossary because some times it’ll come out before birth, but basically it’s your babies first shit.  It’s thick, sticky, black and contrary to what everyone told me, vast in quantity – it literally filled my hand up twice!

Moro Reflex

You’ll see this a lot in the first 3 or 4 months when you put your baby down and they quickly spread their arms out (with or without crying).  They can also get this while sleeping if they have been laying for some time since being put down.  It is thought to be a reflex which forces the baby to cling on to the mother and was more relevant in times when mothers would spend more time carrying their babies unaided.

Supposedly it is a reflex triggered by a sense of falling, althugh how scientists figured that out is beyond me…  When I ask Ripley, “what you doing?” when he has this relex, he hasn’t once said, “shit dad, I thought I fell off you.”

It is not the same as the startle reflex.

Motherese

See baby talk.

Neonatal Milk

Milk which comes from the nipples of your baby.  This occurs in about 5% of babies and is totally normal and safe.  It can last for a few months in some cases and is thought to be a side product of hormones transferred from the mum during breast feeding or through the umbilical cord whilst still in the womb.

Nevus Simplex

See birth mark.

Prolactin

A hormone which is present in the human body in very low levels, however as a woman’s pregnancy progresses these levels increase and eventually it encourages milk production in the breasts.  it is one of the hormones which is thought to also be responsible for Neonatal milk.

Salmon Patch

See birth mark.

Soft Spots

See fontanels.

Startle Reflex

This isn’t unique to babies, as adults we get startled too…  That thing where something makes you jump, which may or may not be accompanied by a little bit of wee.  This is present in babies from birth and is not associated to the Moro Reflex, but is thought to be one of the reasons we use baby talk.  It is a defense mechanism which, through tensing certain muscles aims to protect vital parts of the baby.

Stork Bite

See birth mark.

Tummy time

Time in the early days spent by your baby on their tummy.  Most of the time you will have them laying on their back but tummy time gives them a chance to work on their muscle development, especially in the arms, legs and neck.  When you first start just do it for a few minutes as your baby gets more used to it.

Top and tail

When you first start to clean your baby, top and tail refers to the general recommendation at first to just concentrate on washing their face, ass and other private bits.  This is before you advance to giving them a full bath after a few weeks.

Vernix

Also known as baby cheese…  Well that’s a lie, only I call it that, but it is the cheesy waxy stuff which new born babies are covered in.

Witch’s Milk

See neonatal milk.  It is sometimes called witch’s milk because in some folklore it is thought to feed the familiars of witches.

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