Be Honest: Newborns Are So Boring It Hurts

Ad failed to load

As my 80-year-old grandmother held my newborn daughter, her beloved great-granddaughter, for the first time, she reached out a gnarled finger and booped her on the nose. She found her reaction to be disappointing. "When's this baby going to open her eyes?" she complained. When I stopped laughing, I had to admit that while I loved my precious bundle of joy very much, my baby was a literal snooze-fest. It's not just her, though. If we're all being honest, newborns are so boring it hurts.

Most newborns, that is. I'm sure any parent with a baby in the NICU would give anything to hold a child others would describe as a "boring." So while we parents complain about babies born sans complications and their tendency to sleep rather frequently, it's also worth acknowledging that having a "boring" baby is, in so many ways, a blessing. And some babies are just high maintenance. My mom was in labor for 64 hours with my older sister, and it was a sign of things to come. My sister wouldn't nurse and had terrible colic. She and my grandparents took turns constantly walking and jiggling her and trying to mollify her with "Bohemian Rhapsody" and the Beatles. When I came around and all I did was eat and sleep, my mom took me to the pediatrician to find out what was wrong. The doctor assured her I was "the normal one."

Courtesy of Kimmie Fink
Ad failed to load

So I guess what I'm saying is: boring is typical. After all the anticipation you feel during pregnancy, most newborns just aren't that exciting. Their daily schedule looks a little like this: eat, sleep, poop, repeat. They can't communicate (except through crying) or move (beyond flailing arms and legs or grasping your finger which is, admittedly, adorable). Assuming you have a healthy baby (and believe me, those of us who do are grateful, but we're not beyond a little complaining), the most dramatic thing that happens in those first few weeks is the when the umbilical cord stump falls off.

Life with a newborn can also be dull because, well, they're always asleep. You know, except when you want them to be.

I don't know about you, but taking forever to complete a basic task is tedious to me, and a newborn's approach to eating is to do it constantly. According to The Bump, a formula-fed newborn should consume about 2 ounces every 3-4 hours. Breastfed newborns need to feed every 2 to 3 hours. If you're nursing and have a little gourmand on your hands, you're going to need to settle in for the long haul. I know they need sufficient nutrition to grow big and strong, but I'm sorry — there aren't enough Ted Talks in the world to keep me interested while my infant breastfeeds for 45 minutes. Per side.

Ad failed to load
Courtesy of Kimmie Fink

Life with a newborn can also be dull because, well, they're always asleep. You know, except when you want them to be. According to BabyCenter, the average newborn sleeps 16-17 hours a day. Unfortunately, it's not in one big chunk during the night. Oh no, my friends, for at least the first six to eight weeks, you're looking at frequent naps ranging from 2 to 4 hours at a time. It takes a long time for a new baby to differentiate between days and nights, which means you'll spend a lot of your waking hours staring into the face of your sleeping child. Or you could sleep when baby sleeps. *laughs hysterically*

The most stimulation you'll get is trying to avoid being peed on and examining the changing composition of your kid's poo. Enjoy.
Ad failed to load

Changing diapers is not my idea of fun either. You'd think it would break up the monotony a little, but you'd be wrong. That's because, according to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), newborns pee about 20 times a day. You read that right. You're looking at a diaper change every 2-3 hours. Once you get the hang of it, there's nothing much to it. The most stimulation you'll get is trying to avoid being peed on and examining the changing composition of your kid's poo. Enjoy.

Courtesy of Kimmie Fink

The fact that newborns are basically lumps does not add to their interesting factor. You can put your newborn down in any number of containers, from an infant seat to a swing to a rocker, and pretty much guarantee they're not going anywhere. You can also strap them into a baby carrier and haul them around as you go about your daily tasks and they do... nothing. After birth, according to Healthy Children, babies' movements are almost entirely reflexive. They can't really do anything on purpose, and while they are little miracles, they can be a kind of a bummer.

Ad failed to load
The worst part of the whole "boring newborn" thing is that you don't know how good you have it.

Let's talk about newborn games, shall we? They're not exactly scintillating. You can sing, tickle, and make faces. You can give them objects to feel and show them different things. You can read simple books. Raising Children recommends tummy time starting with 1 to 2 minutes 2 to three times a day. I must have played "Eyes, Nose, Mouth, Kiss!" with my daughter a million times those first few months. The face-to-face interaction with you is essential to your baby's development, but can I help it if I can't wait until the kid can play a game of Monopoly?

Courtesy of Kimmie Fink
Ad failed to load

The worst part of the whole "boring newborn" thing is that you don't know how good you have it. I remember my husband remarking, "When is she going to do something?" Well, now we have a 2.5-year-old and she's never not doing something. Newborns may be inert little pee and poop factories, but they don't hide your water bottle and laugh maniacally about it. So when it comes down to it, you really have to enjoy the boring. Because it certainly won't last forever.

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.

Ad failed to load
Ad failed to load
Must Reads

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

I’m Registered At Babies “R” Us, & I'm Freaking The Hell Out

Hi. My name is Abi, and I’m registered at Babies “R” Us — and I’m freaking out. This may sound silly, but after being a die-hard Toys “R” Us kid, I was so excited to register at their baby store once my husband and I finally got our big fat positive …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

Women Who Miscarry Early Deserve To Grieve — Here's How Hospitals Should Be Helping

When I lost my baby back in 2013, it was because of a very early miscarriage. Because of the little amount of time I spent being pregnant, it was though my child had never really existed, which made the next few years hard — I felt like they had been…
By Risa Kerslake

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

Millennial Women Are Getting Married Later Than Gen X, & The Reasons Why Are Pretty Badass

The battle of the generations seems to come up when it comes to every lifestyle or career choice people make. Women, especially, are an important demographic when it comes to analysts looking at the lifestyle choices we make or the expected milestone…
By Josie Rhodes Cook

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

I'm Pregnant & I Refuse To Read Any Parenting Books

I didn't read any parenting books when I was expecting my daughter, and I refuse to read any parenting books as I await my second child now. I'm the first to admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to raising my daughter. A good d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

7 Reasons Why March Babies Are Total Badasses

From the moment you become pregnant, you begin to wonder what your little one will be like. Will they look like you, your partner, or your Great Aunt Edna? Will they be the quiet, thoughtful type or arrive on this planet raring to go? It's fun to ima…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

12 Overnight Face Masks To Use To Wake Up Feeling Pampered AF

Spring is right around the corner, and as far as I'm concerned, the sunshine and warm breezes can't come soon enough. But now that we're about to say goodbye to winter, it's a good time to take stock of your facial skincare routine. You know, in the …
By Katie Malczyk

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How Early An Ultrasound Can Actually Determine Your Baby's Sex

From the moment you see those two lines on a pregnancy test, there are a few markers along the way that stand out as especially exciting. Amongst them are hearing your baby's heartbeat and feeling that first, sweet little kick. And if you are finding…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

9 Easy Kid Foods To Turn Green, Just In Time For St. Patrick's Day

The best part about having kids is that you get your own personal crew to celebrate the holidays with, in all your color coordinating and matching glory. And with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, you are obviously working on turning everyth…
By Mishal Ali Zafar

Here Are Some Conditions That Might Require You To Be On Bed Rest During Pregnancy

When I worked in an office, I worked with quite a few pregnant ladies all at the same time. Something must have been in the water, because while I was there for three years, two of my coworkers got pregnant twice, and another girl was pregnant with h…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

I Didn't Follow The Pregnancy Diet Rules & My Daughter Turned Out Just Fine

My diet is an ever-changing and wholly personal thing, which is precisely why I refused to follow any pregnancy diet rules when I was expecting my daughter. For years, I've essentially practiced intuitive eating, in that I listen to my body and eat w…
By Marie Southard Ospina

5 Foods You & Your Partner Should Eat If You're Trying To Get Pregnant

When you're trying to conceive (TTC) and it's just not happening, it's easy to feel like you're doing something wrong. It can be soul-crushing to keep seeing negatives when all you really want to do is wave a positive pregnancy test in the air. So wh…
By Kate Miller