10 Fascinating Facts About Your Newborn

When you think about what the human body goes through during pregnancy and labor, it’s both incredibly fascinating and somewhat jaw-dropping. The fascinating marvels of science never cease to amaze us – but they don’t end at childbirth! Our babies are incredible – here are some fascinating facts about your newborn baby that you might not know:

  • Babies are born with the ability to swim – whilst your baby is not ‘strictly’ swimming, all babies are born with a reflex that allows them to change their breathing and heart rate when submerged underwater – as such, they will instinctively hold their breath for a short amount of time when dipped under the water, giving the appearance of a confident little swimmer gliding back up through the water just weeks after birth. Sadly this reflex doesn’t last very long, normally stopping at around six months of age.
  • Your baby’s tummy is the size of a walnut – We all know that newborn babies feed and poop a lot, but you may not realise why. As a newborn baby, their tummy is as literally as small as a walnut or large cherry, and as such, they require very small amounts of milk to feel full. Unfortunately for us, however, they also empty their tummies quickly too, meaning it won’t be long before they are showing those telltale signs of hunger again.
  • Babies often lose weight – It’s incredibly common for your baby to lose some of their birth weight in the days following birth, but they normally regain this fairly quickly and start to follow a steady growth projectile after that. Most healthy babies lose between 7 and 10% of their birth weight, and this is largely due to fluid adjustment.
  • Babies can lose their hair – Whilst you might be marvelling at your baby’s full head of hair when they are born, you may find that these beautiful downy locks start falling out, shedding or rubbing away into bald patches in the first 3 to 4 months of their life. This is also perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. It’s largely due to those post labor hormones – similar to the postpartum hair loss you are likely to experience after labor too.
  • Your baby has no tears – Your newborn baby will cry (a lot) during the early days, but won’t actually have tears until around 3 weeks of age. This is because your baby’s tear ducts don’t start developing until after birth, so initially, they show physical signs they’re upset instead – such as tensed up bodies, jolty arm movements and lots of noise.
  • Some babies are born with teeth! – Although the prospect of breastfeeding a newborn baby with a bunch of pearly whites seems somewhat alien (and painful!) it’s not impossible for a baby to be born with teeth. Whilst rare and unlikely to be more than two, this can actually happen in one out of around 3000 babies.
  • Your baby’s eye color can change – Most babies are born with blue/grey eyes, but it can take up to 6 months for their irises to establish their final colour. This is because your baby’s irises are activated by daylight (and they clearly don’t get a great deal of that in the womb)
  • Babies are born with more bones than adults – 300 of them in fact! A grown adult has 206, and this is because many of our baby’s bones actually fuse together as they develop.
  • Babies can startle themselves – you may know that babies can be woken by loud noises, but did you know they can often startle themselves awake? Babies are born with something called the Moro reflex, which can trigger if your baby feels like they are falling. Most commonly occurring when transitioning from your arms to the cot, it can be both incredibly cute and frustrating to see them jolt themselves awake; fingers spread and arms wide.
  • A baby can recognize the voice and scent of their mother from birth – How amazing is that? From the first moment your baby is placed in your arms, they will know instantly that you are Mom. Having lived inside you for the last nine months, the tone and melody of your voice will be familiar and comforting, so talk to them as much as you can – they will feel safe and reassured in your arms.

Lucy Cotterill
Lucy is a UK-based parenting and lifestyle blogger who has also featured in the Huffington Post. A Mom of two daughters, Lucy is passionate about sharing the true reality of parenthood and helping others through their first experiences. In her free time she loves to write, go on day trips with her family and photography.

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