The First-Time Parent Quiz


By: Geoff Hoppe

7 Min 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?

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.


A newborn's skin should be...

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.


How soon after a baby is born do you generally have to add them to 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.


How much sleep does your baby need in the first six months of his life?

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.


What's an average amount of money to spend on diapers in the first year?

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!


What's an average amount of money to spend on formula and food in the first year?

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.


How well can a newborn baby see?

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.


How well can a newborn baby hear?

Babies actually develop hearing in the womb, as early as 18 weeks. By 25-26 weeks, babies can respond to sound in the womb.


How sensitive is a newborn's soft spot?

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.


How advanced are a newborn's neck muscles?

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.


How active is a newborn's brain?

60% of a baby's metabolic energy supports its brain. The infant brain is incredibly busy building knowledge about the world.


In what sort of voice do newborns prefer to be spoken to?

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.


How fast can a three-month old crawl?

At three months, most babies aren't able to crawl. That development comes between six to ten months.


What is the average age when a baby starts walking?

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.


What sort of colors are most stimulating for infants?

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.


How well can babies taste when in their first few months?

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.


How long does it take a three-month old to adapt to new stimuli?

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.


How much does an infant brain grow in its first year?

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.


At what age is a baby ready for solid foods?

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.


How long does it take a baby to lose the hair they're born with?

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.


Do newborns have more bones than adults?

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!


Do infants have kneecaps?

Babies are born with knee cartilage. That cartilage gradually ossifies, or turns to bone.


What part of a newborn's body is the same size at birth as the rest of their life?

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.


Do babies know the difference between night and day?

Babies aren't born knowing the difference between day and night; their circadian rhythms will develop over the course of their first year.


Are babies born knowing how to 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.


Why do newborns need to feed so frequently?

Babies' smaller stomaches necessitate frequent feedings. It's average for a newborn to eat 8-12 times in a 24 hour period.


Do babies' poop look the same throughout the first year?

Babies' poop is black when first born, and shades of yellow, green, or brown, dependent on whether they're breastfed or formula-fed.


Is it bad for babies if they watch television?

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.


Which of the following is not a good activity for a 1-3 month old baby?

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.


What's the safest position for a baby to sleep in?

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.


What sort of items are good to keep in a baby's crib?

It's safest for a crib to be kept empty. Large blankets and pillows are suffocation risks.


Are crowds good for an infant 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.


How much standing water is necessary in a bathroom or kitchen to create a risk?

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.


How long should an infant use a rear-facing carseat?

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.


Can newborns taste salt?

Babies can't taste salt when they're born. It will be several months before they learn that ability.


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