You'd think babies were too young to catch a case of that now-ubiquitous fear of missing out (or FOMO, to those of you living under a rock for the last several years). For a while, they are oblivious to what's going on around them, in part because they can't see past their own adorable feet. However, much sooner than you think could be possible at their age, your baby will catch a serious case of FOMO. Sorry, dear reader, but it's only the beginning.
In the case of my daughter, FOMO manifested itself early — like at only 5 weeks old, you guys — when we realized that she wouldn't "nap on the go" if her life depended on it. We'd take her out for a walk in her bassinet stroller and, even when covering the opening with a blanket, she'd still be staring at her surroundings, mesmerized at the sparkles coming through the hazy light. That whole stroller lulling the baby to sleep thing? Yeah, not a chance. This kid knew from the very beginning that if the light's on, she should be ready to party.
Now her FOMO has expanded into different spheres. She wants to eat what anyone else is eating, spots a playground and has to be there, and needs the exact toy some other kid has. Navigating baby FOMO is tough and requires extra patience. Luckily, they'll grow out of it in a few years, right? (Just lie to me.)
When Anyone Else Is Eating...
Especially when what someone else is eating is different than what they are given to eat. It could be brussels sprouts and she'd still want it if she saw someone else eating it!
...Or Getting A Bottle/Breastfeeding
For babies of a certain age, seeing another baby getting a bottle (or breastfeeding if the mom and can and/or chooses to) makes them lose their mind thinking they're missing out on such a delicious party. When we had a foster baby in addition to our baby girl, we literally had to feed them in secret or there'd be a full-blown meltdown in our immediate future (even if a certain someone had just finished eating).
When They Should Be Sleeping
This was our daughter's biggest FOMO trigger. When she was supposed to be sleeping and could see the tiniest sliver of light, she was convinced there was a party going on she should be joining. It took black-out blinds and so much patience to get her to finally nap during the day.
When Another Kid Picks Up Their Toy
Doesn't matter what it was or that my daughter has ignored it for hours all morning, when another kid picks up one of her toys that is immediately the only thing she could possibly imagine playing with.
Likewise, if a kid has any toy, whether hers or not, she wants it.
When They Spot A Playground
And they are instantly sure they are missing out on the real fun. In this case they might be right.
When Anyone Leaves
When you leave, when dad leaves, when anyone leaves that must be where the real party is happening, right? Once our daughter realized there was a door in our apartment, she'd watch it like a hawk to make sure no one was ditching her for greener pastures. If she did catch anyone slip out the door, she'd lay at the threshold and wail.
When They Spot An Animal
In our neighborhood, puppies are plentiful and are always, always a better time than whatever we're doing.
The Sound Of The Bath Running
All those books that recommend baths for babies to calm down? Yeah right. My daughter can hear the bath running from a mile away and instantly loses her mind with excitement. In fact, the sound of running water for any reason makes her think she's missing the bath time fun.