We rounded up 25 interesting facts about your baby that you may not have known about. Number 25 is certainly a new revelation for us!
1. Babies are born with small “button” noses. This is because the bridge of your little one’s nose will only develop later on.
2. Most babies are born with blue or blue-grey eyes. If both parents have blue eyes, your baby’s eye colour might stay blue, but his permanent eye colouration will only develop in the month’s to come, so your blue-eyed boy might end up with green or brown eyes when he’s a little older.
3. Babies only develop tears when they’re between three and 12 weeks old. Although they cry a lot before then, they don’t shed proper tears – this action is merely to lubricate and clean the eyes.
4. All of the hair on your newborn’s head will fall out by the time he’s about six months old, and will be replaced with permanent hair that may be an entirely different colour to what he was born with.
5. A baby already has a strong sense of smell when he’s born and has the ability to identify his mother by her smell when he’s only one week old.
6. It’s quite normal for babies to sleep as long as 15 to 20 hours every day, in segments of about 20 minutes to five hours.
7. Within the first year, a baby will triple his weight, increase his length by 50% and double the size of his brain, and every nerve cell he’ll ever have will be created.
8. A baby doesn’t have kneecaps when he’s born; instead he has a structure of cartilage that resembles a kneecap. His kneecaps will only fully develop when he’s about six months old.
9. Babies are born with 300 bones, while adults only have 206 bones. This is because a baby’s bones haven’t fused together yet when they’re born and will only do so in the months to come.
10. Until a baby is six months old, he can actually breathe and swallow at the same time, which is something adults can’t do.
11. The size of your baby’s eyes will always stay the same, but his nose and ears will never stop growing.
12. Your newborn’s head will account for about one-quarter of his entire weight.
13. A newborn baby’s heart beats almost twice as fast as an adult’s, between 130 and 160 beats per minute.
14. A baby breathes between 30 to 50 times a minute, whereas adults only breathe between 15 to 20 times a minute.
15. Your baby is born with the ability to swim and can naturally hold his breath, but loses this instinct shortly after birth.
16. Babies often sneeze and snort in their sleep. This isn’t because they’re dreaming. They are clearing their nasal passages as they can’t breathe through their mouths yet when their noses are blocked.
17. Sounds that seem very loud to us, such as the vacuum cleaner or the phone ringing, sound normal to newborns because they can’t hear very well yet. Your little one’s middle ear is still full of fluid and his hearing apparatus is still immature.
18. Your baby’s head may be a little puffy and slightly misshapen after birth. This is nothing to worry about and is actually quite common. Your little one’s misshapen head may be due to the fact that his head had to change shape and mould to move through the birth canal.
19. Babies’ strongest muscles are their legs, and you’ll be amazed to know that your little one is stronger than many animals at this young age. A baby ox is the best example of comparable strength.
20. Your little one is born with a bit of a “sweet tooth” – he likes sweet things that are suited to the flavour of your breast milk or formula milk. Although he can already distinguish between bitter and sour tastes shortly after birth, his taste for bitter, salty and sour will only develop later.
21. During the nine months between conception and birth, a baby’s weight increases 3 million times.
22. A baby can’t taste salt until he or she is four-months-old. The delay may be related to the development of kidneys, which start to process sodium at that age.
23. Newborns are more likely to turn their head to the right than the left.
24. A baby has around 30 000 taste buds. They are not just on the tongue, but also on the sides, back and roof of the mouth. An adults has about 10 000 taste buds.
25. All babies grow mustaches in the womb that they eat. When a foetus is about four months into pregnancy, it develops a mustache that, over the course of a month, spreads over his entire body. This hair is called lanugo. Each hair of the lanugo is shed one by one and is then swallowed by the baby. It is then digested and becomes part of baby’s first poop called meconium.
Our experienced editors work with trained journalists and qualified experts to compile accurate, insightful and helpful information about pregnancy, birth, early childhood development and parenting. Our content is reviewed regularly by our panel of advisors, which include medical doctors and healthcare professionals.