You鈥檝e read the books, the blogs, and every piece of parenting advice out there. You know what鈥檚 going on when it comes to newborn care. But even though it鈥檚 perfectly possible to learn the basics beforehand, when you get to real-world mommy-ing, sometimes things don鈥檛 look or feel like you expected. Check out the surprising stuff no one tells you about parenting a newborn.

1. They鈥檙e floppy. That squishy little cherub isn鈥檛 exactly solid at first. Your newborn鈥檚 neck is totally lax when it comes to muscle tone, and it鈥檚 completely normal for babies to have floppy heads. Don鈥檛 stress; the older she gets, the more muscle strength she鈥檒l build.

2. The cry is outrageous. Newborns cry. Everyone knows that. But you might not know about that oh-so special newborn cry. It鈥檚 an Earth-shaking wail that will make that fancy video monitor with Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity totally unnecessary.

3. Newborn heads look odd. You鈥檝e probably been dreaming of the moment you get to meet your little one. Youll finally get to see what she looks like! And she鈥檒l look鈥 um, like a football. If you have a vaginal birth, your newborn鈥檚 head may look sort of squished in the beginning. Like many of these under-the-radar newborn issues, this one will resolve itself on its own.

4. Smiles don鈥檛 happen right away. You鈥檝e heard that 鈥渋t must be gas鈥 thing when it comes to baby鈥檚 smile something like a zillion times. And it鈥檚 totally true 鈥 don鈥檛 expect a social smile (the ones that are in response to you, some other person, or some sort of interaction) to happen until somewhere around six weeks.

5. Not doing much takes a crazy amount of time. Eat, sleep, poop. That鈥檚 pretty much it when it comes to your newborn鈥檚 schedule. You might think that you鈥檇 have plenty of time to catch up on Game of Thrones, but even though newborns don鈥檛 do a whole lot, you鈥檒l somehow spend all day mom-ing. Don鈥檛 be surprised if it鈥檚 5pm, your honey is getting home, and you鈥檙e still in your PJs, asking where the day went.

6. Breastfeeding doesn鈥檛 always happen right away. Even though it seems like every animal on Earth has the ability to nurse their young without taking 15 classes and hiring a consultant, you might need to. Some mamas find breastfeeding to be a major challenge, and that鈥檚 okay. It can take time, and there are plenty of people around to help you out. The most important thing is that your baby is fed. Breastfeeding is not a reflection on your parenting prowess.

7. Sponge baths are it. That adaptable little baby bather your BFF gifted you with isn鈥檛 going to get much use right away. Until that little umbilical stump falls off, your baby is on sponge baths only.

8. Your baby seems to know when you sit down. The dog is barking, a car just backfired, or your S.O. just accidentally slammed the door. Your eyes bug out and you rush to your newborn鈥檚 side, knowing for sure she鈥檒l startle herself awake. But, hallelujah, she鈥檚 a sleeping beauty鈥 until you sit down to eat that leftover pizza. The moment you try to eat a meal, wash your face, text a friend, or do just about any non-baby-related task, your newborn will wake up and cry.

9. Newborns have major nails. Your baby is basically a mini Wolverine. She鈥檚 got some pretty sharp little nails, and she isn鈥檛 afraid to use them. There are plenty of little mittens and cover-ups made to keep your kiddo from scratching herself and everything around her. Along with that, make sure to trim her nails often.

10. Time will fly by. One day you鈥檙e bringing home this scrunchy little baby who you have no clue how to care for and the next you鈥檙e chasing a full-fledged toddler through the park. Enjoy this time. Even though it seems like it sucks, it鈥檚 actually pretty special. Slow down and savor every spit-up-soaked day, every sleepless night, and every part of the newborn period.

What surprises you most about having a newborn? Share your thoughts and tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)