When the twins were newborns, we had a lot of “is that normal” questions. I even have a video of my husband saying “every time we change the baby, she sneezes!”, which in our first-time-parenting experience, we thought there was something wrong. We literally thought the baby was allergic to the world! Here are 10 weird and interesting facts about newborns. YES, THEY ARE WEIRD, AND THEY ARE NORMAL!
1. They have black poop
As adults, we are taught- if you have black poop, it might be blood in your stool. For babies, their first few bowel movements are black. The stool is sticky, and tar-like. This is called meconium, and it makes up all of the things the baby ingested in utero. Stay tuned for an FAQ on this in the future!
2. They whimper, grunt, in their sleep
Newborns make so much noise! Some noises may scare you, but be assured, they are normal. For example, the grunting noise newborns tend to make is due to them having weak abdominal muscles. This leads to them “bearing down” with their diaphragm. This is just one of their many noises, and if you aren’t catching my drift, newborns sleep not-so-soundly…
3. They don’t have tears
When newborn babies cry, it’s tearless! This is probably the weirdest fact about newborns that I didn’t know until I had one. Actually, it can take up to two weeks for tear production to start, but it may take longer. At the two month check up is when they are expected. Also, newborns commonly have clogged eye ducts.
4. They may have swollen genitals & breast
Newborns carry extra fluid, and they get hormones from the mother. This can cause their genitals to be swollen, as well as give the appearance of breasts. Yes, both boys and girls can experience this. Babies can even have lumps in their breasts, and it is benign.
5. They sneeze A LOT
Newborns sneeze a ton. No, they aren’t allergic to the world. They don’t have a cold, either. When newborns sneeze, they are clearing their nasal passages. It’s simply a reflex, just like in adults. But new babies have a tendency to sneeze a little bit more. Babies are nose breathers by nature, and they are constantly getting milk, debris, among other things in their noses. Since babies can’t snort, sniff or blow their nose, this is the best way to clear those passages.
6. They go cross-eyed
Newborns aren’t born with the ability to focus their eyes on subjects and objects, and have wandering eyes. One or both of their eyes may wander and cross up until 4 to 6 months. Some babies develop the ability to control their movements and tracking earlier. In other cases, babies may have strabismus, which is poor eye muscle control. There are different forms of strabismus, and they can be helped with glasses and/or exercises.
7. They have irregular breathing
Don’t panic, babies do some strange breathing habits. As I said before, babies whimper, grunt and make all sorts of noises in their sleep. Newborns often have irregular breathing, particularly during sleep, as well. This is one of the most common concerns by new parents. The most talked about is the periodic breathing, where babies tend to breath quickly and deeply, then slowly and shallowly then back again. Some times babies stop breathing for a brief moment, or breath very softly that it looks like they aren’t breathing.
**With this being said, one of the most important things to watch for is if a baby looks like he/she is struggling to breath. This is not normal. If a baby is struggling to breath, there will usually be these tell-tale signs: the neck will pull in with each breath (where the collar bone and neck meet) and/or the skin around the ribs and stomach will suck in with each breath.
8. They get hiccups… A LOT
Newborn babies get hiccups constantly. What’s the cause? Sometimes it is do to overfeeding, because new babies have such small tummies. Other times it is eating too quickly or swallowing too much air. There are also babies who have acid reflux, which causes them to hiccup a lot, as well. Hiccups have been theorized as a reaction to the irritation of the esophagus (like in the case of acid reflux).
9. They scare themselves
Thanks to the moro reflex, babies scare themselves for the first few months of life. If you ever go to set a baby down, you may notice they flinch. This is the moro reflex at play. The moro reflex goes away on its own around 3 to 6 months of age.
10. They have skin blemishes
That baby soft skin isn’t the case for all babies. Newborns can have very dry skin after they are born, since their skin was used to floating in liquid for months. They can also have acne and milia spots.
If you are a parent, what are some weird and interesting things you didn’t expect from babies?
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