The First-Time Parent Quiz

By: Geoff Hoppe

The First-Time Parent Quiz
Image: JGI/Jamie Grill / Blend Images / Getty Images

About This Quiz

You did it! You had a baby. And that means you've got your first, second, third, and fourth through four-thousandth question about whether you're doing the right thing. They call pregnancy "expecting," but never tell you how many un- expected things happen afterward. Babies are strange, unpredictable little people, and your confusion (almost) outnumbers the number of diapers you're changing. 

Thankfully, you're not alone! Babies may be an inexhaustible, adorable source of curveballs, but there are parents, and experts, who've dealt with a lot of the same curveballs before. Even though you're learning, you don't have to reinvent the wheel. 

Check out this quiz to see how much you know about caring for your little one. While there's no universal instruction manual for infants, this quiz will give you a good starting place for a lot of the basic information you need to know. Like the new little person in your life, you may wind up learning things you didn't know!

Do you know where the nearest pediatric emergency room is?
No, but my phone has Google Maps, so that should be ok.
I know we have one in town, and have meant to ask my pediatrician about it.
I know the location, best routes, and have asked my pediatrician about the reputations of doctors there.
For individuals as unpredictable as babies, preparation is the best strategy. Should anything go wrong, be ready to move with information about where the nearest hospital is, how long it takes to get there, and who you should ask for.
I have friends I could easily call to find out, should the need arise.

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A newborn's skin should be...
Baby-smooth, like the phrase says.
Free of blemishes at all times, and somewhat slick.
Somewhat dry, with occasional skin peeling, and possible baby acne.
A baby's skin is like when you leave a pool - you've just been surrounded by liquid, so it's going to be a little drier than usual when it hits the outside air.
Extremely dry.

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How soon after a baby is born do you generally have to add them to your health insurance?
Babies are automatically covered as soon as they're born.
Health insurance begins for an infant when they get their birth certificate.
You generally have a year to include your baby under your health insurance.
You generally have thirty days to include a baby in your health insurance.
In most cases, you'll have thirty days to include your newborn under your health insurance. That said, your baby's automatically enrolled when born, so he or she won't be without health insurance as soon as they're born.

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How much sleep does your baby need in the first six months of his life?
3-4 hours a day
10-12 hours a day
14-17 hours a day
14-17 hours of sleep a day (not all at once) is the average. Keep in mind, though, that babies are unique, and this is an average.
20-22 hours a day

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What's an average amount of money to spend on diapers in the first year?
$500
$700
$1000
$800
This cost can be ameliorated by using cloth diapers or trying other, more eco-friendly variations. Keeping waste out of landfills will be good for baby in the long run, too!

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What's an average amount of money to spend on formula and food in the first year?
$1,100
The average cost of food or formula for a new baby in his or her first year is about $1,100. First foods for babies often include baby cereals, banana, sweet potato or avocado.
$3,000
$4,000
$500

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How well can a newborn baby see?
A newborn has decent vision up to two yards from their face.
A newborn's eyesight can only pick out objects half a foot away from them.
A newborn's vision has the same range as an adult's, but lacks depth perception.
A newborn's vision can focus on things from about 8-12 inches away.
The average newborn baby can only see between 8-12 inches in front of them. Babies are technically nearsighted at birth. Most do not develop depth perception until between their third and fifth months of life.

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How well can a newborn baby hear?
Newborns start hearing in the womb.
Babies actually develop hearing in the womb, as early as 18 weeks. By 25-26 weeks, babies can respond to sound in the womb.
Newborns don't develop hearing until five or six months.
Newborns don't develop hearing until eleven or twelve months.
Newborns don't develop hearing until the second or third week of life.

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How sensitive is a newborn's soft spot?
Extremely sensitive; touching the soft spot is almost the same as touching the baby's brain.
The soft spots can handle some touching, but nothing too forceful.
The soft spots (or fontanels) are protected by membranes that means they can handle some gentle touching. If you see a baby's soft spot palpitating a little, that's no worry. It's probably just blood flowing through the area.
The soft spots must be protected at all time by a tiny football helmet.
The baby's soft spot is surprisingly hardy and resistant to attack.

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How advanced are a newborn's neck muscles?
A baby will need help lifting their head until the sixth month.
A baby will be able to lift their head by the end of the first week.
A baby will be able to life their head by the end of the second week.
A baby will be able to lift their head by the end of the first month.
A baby will be able to lift their head by the end of the first month. There are some simple exercises you can do with your baby to strengthen their neck. One exercise is moving toys slowly out of their field of vision, so they gently move their neck and follow them.

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How active is a newborn's brain?
A newborn's brain doesn't form until the fourth month of life.
Somewhat active - roughly 25% of a baby's metabolic energy goes towards supporting its brain.
Extremely active - more than half of a baby's metabolic energy goes towards supporting their brain.
60% of a baby's metabolic energy supports its brain. The infant brain is incredibly busy building knowledge about the world.
A baby's brain has potential, but they tend to be slothful creatures.

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In what sort of voice do newborns prefer to be spoken to?
A normal, adult speaking voice.
A deep, bass male voice.
A higher-pitched, cheery voice.
Babies' hearing is best attuned to a higher-pitched voice in their first year of life. Talking to your infant in a "baby talk" voice has actually been found to stimulate infant mental activity.
A raspy voice.

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How fast can a three-month old crawl?
About 1-2 miles per hour.
About 3-4 miles per hour.
Babies start standing, and even walking, by three months.
Most babies can't crawl at three months.
At three months, most babies aren't able to crawl. That development comes between six to ten months.

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What is the average age when a baby starts walking?
Babies start walking by the sixth or seventh month of life.
Some babies even start walking in their second or third month.
Babies generally start walking by twenty to twenty-one months.
Babies generally start walking by fourteen or fifteen months.
Babies generally start walking by fourteen to fifteen months. Allowing your baby to walk barefoot actually helps the baby develop balance. Feeling different textures with their feet stimulates the infant brain.

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What sort of colors are most stimulating for infants?
Lighter, pastel colors.
Babies can only see the red, orange and yellow part of the spectrum until four months.
Babies can only see the blue, indigo and violet part of the spectrum until four months.
Babies can't see colors until about four months.
Babies can only see in black and white until about four months of age. One study of babies who could see color found that blue and purple were the preferred shades.

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How well can babies taste when in their first few months?
Babies' taste buds are fully developed at six months.
Babies' taste buds are fully developed at one year.
Babies' taste buds develop at the same time their soft spot goes away.
Babies' taste buds develop in the womb.
Babies' taste buds are developed when they're born. That said, it might take up to half a year for them to learn to detect salty tastes.

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How long does it take a three-month old to adapt to new stimuli?
Between half a minute and two minutes.
It takes little ones between half a minute and two minutes to react to stimuli. Babies differ, person to person, in the amount of stimuli they can take in.
Five minutes.
Ten seconds.
Ten minutes.

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How much does an infant brain grow in its first year?
By the end of his first year, a baby's brain is 1/4 the size of an adult brain.
By the end of the first year, a baby's brain is roughly half the size of an adult brain.
A baby's brain is one half the size of an adult brain by the end of their first year. The brain will be about 80% of adult brain size by the end of their second year.
A baby's brain is only 1/10 the size of an adult brain by the end of their first year.
By the end of the first year, a baby's brain is 1/2 the size of an adult brain.

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At what age is a baby ready for solid foods?
At about four to six months.
Babies are generally ready for solid foods at 4-6 months. If you choose to breastfeed a baby, they are perfectly healthy on breast milk alone up until that age.
At about one to two months.
At about the one year mark.
Babies can eat solid foods as soon as they leave the womb.

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How long does it take a baby to lose the hair they're born with?
One-two weeks.
Three-four months.
It takes three to four months for the hair your baby is born with to fall out, before their next hair comes in. It's completely normal if that next hair is a different color than the first.
Six-seven months.
One year.

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Do newborns have more bones than adults?
Yes! Newborns have over sixty more bones than adults have.
Newborns have more bones than adults, 270 to an adult human's 206. Your baby's skeleton actually won't finished growing until that baby is 25 years old!
No. Newborn babies have thirty fewer bones than adults.
Newborns are actually born with the same number of bones as adults, though these bones are of course smaller.
Babies lack skeletons; that's why they're squishy.

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Do infants have kneecaps?
Yes, babies are born with kneecaps.
No, babies' leg bones won't develop until eight to nine months.
No, babies' leg bones won't develop until twelve to thirteen months.
No, babies are born with knee cartilage.
Babies are born with knee cartilage. That cartilage gradually ossifies, or turns to bone.

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What part of a newborn's body is the same size at birth as the rest of their life?
Eyes.
A baby's eyes are the same size at birth as during the rest of their life. Maybe that explains why adults find those eyes so enchanting.
Ears.
Nose.
Liver.

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Do babies know the difference between night and day?
No; babies haven't developed their circadian rhythms when they're born.
Babies aren't born knowing the difference between day and night; their circadian rhythms will develop over the course of their first year.
Yes; babies develop their circadian rhythms while in the womb.
Yes, but they're deeply inconsiderate.
Babies have night and day reversed until about the sixth month of life.

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Are babies born knowing how to swim?
Yes, but they prefer not to.
No, but they will try to fly.
No, babies are not born knowing how to swim.
Depends on how you define "swim."
Babies aren't born knowing how to breaststroke, but they are born with two reflexes that make it seem as if they can swim. These are the reflex to hold their breath underwater, and the "swimming reflex," which is merely a reflexive moving of the arms and legs.

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Why do newborns need to feed so frequently?
A lack of manners.
Babies' stomachs are small, and can hold very little.
Babies' smaller stomaches necessitate frequent feedings. It's average for a newborn to eat 8-12 times in a 24 hour period.
Babies have surprisingly large stomachs, but frequently feel hungry because they digest quickly.
Babies actually feed very infrequently.

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Do babies' poop look the same throughout the first year?
Babies' poop changes colors on a monthly basis.
Babies' poop is generally black the first few days after birth, and is generally yellow, green or brown if breastfed, and yellow or brown if formula fed.
Babies' poop is black when first born, and shades of yellow, green, or brown, dependent on whether they're breastfed or formula-fed.
Babies' poop changes color dependent on if they are developing at the proper rate.
Babies' poop looks the same throughout the first year, but changes dramatically in appearance when they turn one.

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Is it bad for babies if they watch television?
No, TV is completely harmless for infants, as their vision is not that developed yet.
Tv is good for infants, and teaches them important lesson.
Managing TV time is a useful way to teach an infant time management skills.
Too much screen time can damage an infant's ability to learn.
Any sort of screen time may damage a newborn's ability to learn language, and their short-term memory. One study found that it didn't matter what kind of TV (educational, entertainment) kids watched - it still had a bad effect.

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Which of the following is not a good activity for a 1-3 month old baby?
Play fast, loud music to stimulate the child.
Playing music that's too loud and fast can be overstimulating, or a hurt a baby's ears. Watch out for decibel levels above 85.
Gently move a baby's legs in a bicycling motion.
Shake a noise-making toy or rattle in a place and let the baby try to find it.
See if your baby can imitate your facial expressions.

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What's the safest position for a baby to sleep in?
On their back.
Sleeping on their back is the safest position for a baby, and has been known to reduce the risk of SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Fetal position.
On their stomach.
On their side.

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What sort of items are good to keep in a baby's crib?
Stuffed animals.
Multiple blankets and pillows.
Multiple educational toys to stimulate the child.
A crib should be kept empty.
It's safest for a crib to be kept empty. Large blankets and pillows are suffocation risks.

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Are crowds good for an infant in their first two months?
Yes, crowds provide the necessary intellectual stimulation for a young baby's brain.
Not just crowds, but crowds engaged in group activities, are good for infants in their first two months.
Babies prefer small study groups in their first two months.
No, crowds are too overstimulating for babies in their first two months.
Large crowds, and crowded spaces, are too much for a baby in its first few months. Also, since the threat of any infection to an infant is especially great in the first two months, crowds are also a health hazard.

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How much standing water is necessary in a bathroom or kitchen to create a risk?
At least a foot.
Six to seven inches.
Any amount of water can be a drowning hazard for an infant.
Any amount of standing water in a sink or tub can be a danger for a newborn. Since very young infants still have weak neck muscles, even small amounts of water can be drowning hazards.
As much water as the baby's height.

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How long should an infant use a rear-facing carseat?
Only until the end of the first month.
Until the end of the first year.
Until the baby is twenty pounds.
A baby should be in a rear-facing seat until they're at least twenty pounds. The American Academy of Pediatrics goes so far as to say a child should use a rear-facing seat until they're two years old.
The car seat should always be forward facing.

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Can newborns taste salt?
Yes, and newborns love salty foods.
No, those taste buds develop later.
Babies can't taste salt when they're born. It will be several months before they learn that ability.
Newborns can taste varieties of salt adults can't in their first five months.
Newborns can only taste salt after they've tasted something sweet.

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