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Surprising things you might not know about new-born babies

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  • March 12, 2021
  • MKB Team

 

There’s probably no better sight that’s pleasing to the eye than new-born babies. When they are displayed together at a hospital, everyone who passes by stares with a smile!

New-borns might be cute, but sometimes they can also be scary! Something about them can surprise you totally. Here are a few surprising things you might not know about new-born babies.

Lactating babies

Mothers are supposed to lactate. But sometimes, babies of either sex can begin lactating shortly after birth. This has been termed as ‘witch’s milk’ by old timers but is normally known as ‘new-born’ or ‘neonatal’ milk. But this is not something to be worried about as it’s brought about by hormones and will resolve by itself. But do inform your paediatrician if this occurs.

Female babies having periods

It will be frightening for any parent to open the diaper of a new-born to discover blood. This is normal though, and some baby girls experience a little bleeding, called ‘false menses’. These are brought about by a reaction to hormonal changes at birth. But don’t worry as this does not last for more than a couple of days. Use warm water to clean her, sound off your paediatrician instantly, and follow his/her advice.

New-born baby boys can have swollen genitals

Sometimes, baby boys can be born with huge genitals, and this is something that’s totally normal. This happens because of the accumulation of fluid in the scrotum during childbirth. This causes swollen genitals in your baby boy sometimes but it eases out normally in a couple of months and the baby’s testicles return to its normal size, after giving the parents a few sleepless nights.

Sometimes babies are born with a sacral dimple

After your baby is born, check over that tiny bum for a sacral dimple. It will be a small indentation right at the end of the tailbone, just above the little bum. It is important that this be checked as although most sacral dimples are cosmetic and not harmful, sometimes they can indicate an abnormality in the spine, requiring immediate medical investigation.  

Baby’s ear might have a tiny pinhole or small growth

If you discover that your baby’s ear features a tiny pinhole or a little growth in front of it, do not panic! These are known as preauricular pits. They are normally benign and not harmful just like most sacral dimples. But if this causes any infection to your baby, consult your doctor or paediatrician immediately.

Another thing that you might spot just in front of those cute, adorable ears are small, flesh-coloured bumps. These are known as “ear tags,” and they are sometimes a result of genetic syndromes. But they can also appear independently sometimes as small, benign growths. Keep in mind that that a benign ear tag will not prove dangerous for your baby even if your doctor might advise to have it removed.

Your baby has a unique birthmark

There are many types of birthmarks that a baby has, but most of them are harmless. But there are also vascular birthmarks that are caused because of blood vessels and many new-borns have stork bites or angel’s kisses. These are nothing but cute nicknames given to salmon patches that are found usually on the forehead or the back of the neck. But there’s no cause for worry as these lighten up and disappear as the baby grows older. There are a few vascular birthmarks which might need medical intervention however, such as Hemangiomas, which are also known as strawberries. Port-wine stains are another. Some pigmented birthmarks like moles, café au lait and Mongolian spots can also be present, but they are harmless.

Your new-born might have teeth

Sometimes, natal teeth might be present in new-borns, and these cause no harm at all. Obviously, these require to be examined and most probably removed. But don’t panic as baby will be fine.

Some babies are born furry

When a baby is in the womb, s/he is covered in soft, fine hair known as lanugo. Normally, this hair falls off before childbirth. But the lanugo can hang on to the baby’s body sometimes if the baby is born a little premature and sometimes also in full-term babies as well. But don’t freak out of your baby emerges a little furry on account of this as the lanugo will fall off on its own accord soon, and your baby will be smooth.

There’s an extra finger/toe

Most parents are shocked to discover that their new-born has an extra digit in a finger or a toe. But this is common and known as polydactyly. Although this is not dangerous, if the additional digit is not attached securely it might prove to be an injury risk. The doctor might recommend small surgery to get it removed which is very simple really. Just a tiny snip and stitch!

There are many surprising things about a baby that often leaves parents baffled. We’ve highlighted some as being aware of these small differences, which are thankfully not to be worried about, makes it less scary if you ever encounter them.

 

Did you enjoy reading this article? Tell us what surprised you most about a new-born.

 

Q&A

You ask and we answer!

Do new-borns know their mother?

Shailaja Menon, Dubai.

A baby uses three important senses to help him identify his mom: his sense of hearing, his sense of smell, and his vision. According to the website for Parenting, a baby knows his mother's voice before birth, somewhere around seven months gestation.

What abilities are new-borns born with?

Alice Dunne, Adelaide.

Babies are born fully equipped with all the necessary senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.

 

How often do you bathe a new-born?

Shruti Das, Kolkata.

There's no need to give your new-born a bath every day. Three times a week might be enough until your baby becomes more mobile. Bathing your baby too much can dry out his or her skin.


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