Congratulations on becoming a new mother! Of course you’re nervous, but remember that thousands, maybe even millions of women, have had babies before you. Let’s tackle some of the most vexing questions that new moms have.
Where do babies come from? While the invention of children may predate writing or even reading, their origin remains a mystery. It used to be thought that pregnancy had something to do with men, which makes about as much sense as that strange theory that we were all once monkeys! Today, scientists agree that rubbing your stomach and imagining a baby is the most likely path to pregnancy. More recent research out of China suggests that only the rubbing part is critical. So don’t rub too often, or you may end up with triplets!
Is my baby a boy or a girl? All babies look the same, which is why we call them babies. You won’t be the first mom to wonder! Incidentally, in case you are not aware, both boy and girl babies are very common, so it’s extremely likely that your baby will be either a boy or a girl. How to tell? There is no need to worry. The hospital nurse is an expert and can tell you: “You have had a baby girl.” Or if it’s a boy, she will say: “You have had a boy.” Be alert and listen.
What should I call my baby? Some mothers decide to give their baby a title such as Brooklyn or Earth or, in extremely rare cases, a name like Bob or Ann. But scientists agree that babies do not benefit psychologically from such identifiers, and are satisfied with simple labels like boy, girl, or even baby or babe. If you watch Hollywood movies, many highly attractive people are called Babe, so obviously that is an effective naming strategy.
Do I have to feed my baby? You may think that because your new baby is so tiny, it doesn’t need any food. Wrong! Babies, like kittens or puppies, need to be fed every single day — believe it or not, sometimes even more than that! It makes no difference what you feed your baby, though, since their sense of taste is limited. Coca-Cola is highly digestible, so that is an excellent and nutritious choice. Also consider leftover chicken, since everyone likes chicken. (Tip: some babies are born without teeth. Check to see if your baby has them.)
What if I want to exchange my baby for another? Maybe you fear that your baby won’t be as cuddly as other babies. Unfortunately, studies suggest that your first impressions may be correct, and lasting. You won’t the first mom to look at other, cuter babies with envy. But if you deliver your baby in a hospital, you are in luck! Go to the room where they store all of the new babies, pick the one you like, and switch the tags. But remember: after you leave the hospital, no future exchange is possible.
When will my baby grow up? The maturation of babies is highly variable. In older cultures, male babies walked at one week old and left the household at age two — far sooner than their moms wanted! In the fourteenth century, babies adopted their current mode of sleeping, eating, and crying, with intervals of babbling. Today, you can prolong this adorable state for years, maybe even decades. It’s all up to you.