It’s not often that you encounter or have newborns around. We all say “time flies” after after a few months after a baby is born. Babies, in general,s grow seem to grow faster because we see abrupt growth spurts and new skills learned by babies from time to time. Now that we have a newborn the second time around, I’ve learned so many trivial things about newborn babies.
Sharing these interesting and fun trivia on newborn babies. It helps to know these when you handle newborns whether if your a mom or not. The past few weeks and month have confirmed these things as I observed them from our little boy, Matteo and before from our little girl (not so long ago-last year).
Everything below are based on my online readings and my own experience and for informational purposes only.
Newly born baby will be covered with a waxy substance- vernix. It can be easily washed off when baby takes his/ her first sponge bath.
That’s why they look sticky or oily when they come out.
Newborn babies have fine hair covering his/ her entire body while he/ she is in the womb
It’s perfectly normal. This is part of their protection in the womb. They will lose it a few weeks after birth. The skin will also peel off with the hair. No need to worry, these happen to all newborn babies.
Newborns can see best at a distance of 8 to 14 inches
I’ve seen how our little boy now follow my face when I go nearer to his face. If I go too near, he gets irritated. If I go far, he looses his focus.
Baby’s head is not round or is oval-shaped
This is normal too especially for normal delivery. There are 2 soft spots or fontanels in every baby’s head to make the head fit through the birth canal. Eventually, baby’s head will round out. We saw this “alien shaped head” as what me and my husband call it when both our babies were born. The moments after they just got out was when they had an elongated head which may be scary for some first time parents 😉
Babies are born with survival reflexes.
These movements include the sucking reflex, the grasp reflex, and the startle response. No wonder babies’ hands are always grasping or always want to drink their milk. This is also the reason why newborn babies throw their arms and legs from side to side without any direction (this is why we swaddle newborn babies).
A newborn sleeps for an average of 14-16 hours a day
That’s why our baby boy’s favorite thing to do now is sleep and eat all day!
Newborn babies do not gain weight after they are born.
This is true for both breastfed and formula fed babies. Babies lose about one-tenth of their birth weight during the first five days, then regain it over the next five. As for our little boy, he gained weight after 7 days. But now he looks more like a 3-month old baby instead of looking like a month old. Chubby cheeks! He’s overweight at 1.5 months..Have to pace feedings since I cannot fully measure how much he’s eating with mixed direct latch and bottle feeding.
The umbilical cord stump will fall off on the 3rd week (latest) after birth.
For both our babies, the stump fell on the first week. Just after several days of life. Some doctors will ask you to clean them everyday with alcohol or water but our doctor said to just keep it dry and do not touch it because it will fall off on its own. When it falls, baby can already be soaked in water for his/ her bath.
It is normal for newborns to breathe fast or slow sometimes.
Depending on the activity, an infant’s organs and systems are all developing and these irregular breathing patterns should not be a cause of alarm for parents.
There will be a pinkish to light red secretion from the genitals after several days and weeks and the genitals are swollen
This is true for either a boy or a girl. As long as it’s not heavy blood flow and no foul odor, the baby’s fine. If our pediatrician didn’t warn us about this, I probably panicked for sure! The genitals should be in its normal size in a few days or weeks. This is probably due to all the hormones and movements inside mom’s tummy.
Normal for newborns to suffer from jaundice- when the baby’s skin color becomes yellowish.
This is caused by bilirubin, a substance that accumulates in the blood. Just give baby a little bit on sunlight everyday 10-15 minutes in the morning from 7-9am or/ and afternoon 3-5pm. Make sure to remove everything and just leave the diaper during sun exposure and make baby lie on his/her belly too for back exposure.
A newborn’s stomach holds enough food to keep him satisfied for 3 hours.
Newborn babies have very tiny stomach. Some say they’re just like the size of a golf ball for newborns. Their stomach cannot store or hold too much milk for a long time – may it be breast milk or formula. So this is why both our babies loved to drink milk every 30 minutes sometimes and seem to be always hungry.
It is normal for newborn babies to sleep in between feedings, bath time, diaper changes, or while dressing him/ her up
Because baby’s sleep too much remember? 🙂
They get cross-eyed often
This is because baby’s eyesight are still developing and is still focusing. When that happens, simple close baby’s eyes and it should be back to normal. But if it happens really very often and for a long time, let your doctor know. When this happened to our babies, we usually laugh at them but also we get worried that they might strain their eyes.
How to put on diapers
For girls, wipe front to back. There might be whitish discharge but again, this is normal. For boys, make sure you clean well under over and under their genitals. Then for boys, you have to decide whether they get circumcised or not before leaving the hospital. We want our boy to experience circumcision when he grows up so we didn’t have him circumcised yet. It’s going to be a father and son thing in the future 😉
Blackish green bowel is perfectly okay
It’s called meconium which you will see for a couple of days after birth. After that a greenish brown bowel will follow. Breastfed babies’ stool will appear with seed-like particles. That’s how it’s supposed to be.
It looks like dandruff, or thick, oily, yellowish or brown scaling or crusty patches. They release oil and you may even see some oil on your baby’s clothes.Doctors call it infantile seborrheic dermatitis. This is common but may not happen to all newborn babies. Again, they say it’s because of mommy’s hormones. If your baby has this, just use regular baby soap to wash it off gently and use a soft brush to scrape off the flakes while washing. It may last for a few days or a week. Some people put oil to remove it too. No need to put anything on it. It doesn’t look so good but baby’s fine okay?
It appears on a lot of babies but not all. Some leave it and allow it to disappear on its own. It can appear on baby’s face, head, and even body. They can last for several weeks or months. I say just let the skin clear on its own but make sure you bathe and clean baby well. It’s just a bit stressful to look at babies with pimple right?
“A new baby is like the beginning of all things wonder hope a dream of possibilities.”― Eda J. LeShan