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Unhappy bubbles! Unhappy baby.
Although naga are born functionally blind, their sense of smell is still very acute and they can learn to recognise people and things by smell. They will blow large mucus bubbles and press them against people to sniff them.
These mucus bubbles are also used in an infant’s communication. As most naga language is visual body language, closed-eyed infants have a hard time communicating with their parents. Instead, they express emotions through their mucus bubbles. Happy naga babies will blow large bubbles, filling them with multiple breaths until they burst. They do this by breathing in through their gills and out through their nose. This can be uncomfortable for mothers who are breastfeeding, as the mucus sticks to their chests and (while they don’t often think of it as gross) if it’s not cleaned off properly it can cause irritation.
To express discomfort or displeasure an unhappy naga infant will, instead of crying, blow lots of small mucus bubbles into the water around them like floating tears. These bubbles will stick to most surfaces and are usually an unexpected menace for inexperienced parents to deal with. Most naga will grow out of this during their childhood, and rarely carry the habit into their teen years.
From birth, naga have what’s known as the “baby curl” instinct. Young, blind naga curl their tails around things and people and grip as hard as they are able. Once they find something they like to wrap around they will refuse to uncurl their tails, even in their sleep, until they find something else to hold onto. Parents usually wrap their children’s tails around their own arms, so that they aren’t separated.
The baby curl instinct may carry on after a young naga opens their eyes all the way into early childhood. This is considered the equivalent of a land-dwelling child sucking their thumb, and many naga children will have specific comfort items, such as blankets or toys, that make them feel most secure.
Almost all naga have flat noses with broad bridges. This aids in above-water breathing and makes their sense of smell very strong both on land and underwater. When underwater, naga smell by exhaling through their nose; this breath is trapped by mucus and remains attached to the naga’s face as a large bubble until they choose to inhale them again. Naga can make mucus bubbles while above water, but most choose not to because most land-dwelling Sentients find them unappealing and “gross.”