Newborns look a little different from babies you may see on TV and some parents who are not used to seeing their actual appearance may be quite surprised when they meet their little ones for the first time. It is always good to read about the process, from pregnancy to the arrival of your little one. Especially when it comes to first-time parents. I decided to describe in this text some characteristics that are normal in newborns that most are unaware of. It is worth mentioning that each organism behaves differently, so your baby may not have any of these characteristics.
Head and limbs
The head of the newborn is usually larger in relation to the rest of their body; the neck is almost never apparent since the torso is too long for their little short legs. Some factors will also depend on how they came into the world: generally, babies born through natural birth, in the first days, have a slightly pointed head. This is due to the pressure to pass through the vaginal canal during delivery. But those born by cesarean section may only have a little swollen, puffy face.
In addition, there are the fontanelles or soft spots as some call them, but there is no need to worry about them. The openings in the skull do take some time to close. The back fontanels, the posterior part, can take up to four months to close, whereas the frontal one, which is above the forehead, takes between 9 and 16 months. The genitals too, tend to be swollen due to the large number of female hormones that the baby receives right before labor starts.
Your newborn’s skin
The face and eyes often have edema. In the first hours of life, even the lips become redder, the hands and feet turn bluish. All of these characteristics are normal – your baby has drastically changed his environment, but they will get back to normal in a matter of hours.
The baby’s skin will vary according to the gestational age they were born. Premature babies have very fragile, thin, almost transparent-like. It can also happen, after a bath, the baby’s skin looks even more delicate. When the baby is born after 40 weeks, the skin is likely to peel and become wrinkled, this is because there is no longer the whitish layer that covers the baby at delivery, called vernix caseosa, which has the function of protecting the baby’s skin, preventing it from coming into contact with the amniotic fluid.
It is also normal for the newborn’s skin to peel and this will stop happening on its own. The pink spots and marks is another thing that is normal too, especially when the baby is exposed to the cold. All of this is due to the sensitivity of the skin.
In addition, all babies are born with lighter skin, however, over time it gets darker until it gets their definite color. Most newborns also have milium on their faces, which are white dots – they are tiny bubbles of accumulated fat, but they disappear spontaneously as well.
Babies’ hair and eye color
Be prepared, as it will most likely happen that your child is born with hair color, and then the color changes. And even have hair and eye color very different from the parents! This is because parents carry the genes of past generations, and they can interfere with the eye and hair color. So, a couple who both share dark hair color may very well have a blond baby and vice versa.
You will notice that your newborn baby’s back and shoulders have a lot of thin hairs, which are called lanugo. At the end of pregnancy, lanugo is produced to protect the baby’s skin from the cold but it will disappear on its own over the weeks.