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Your exciting but also anxious pregnancy is now at an end; your newborn baby has arrived in your world! Throughout the nine months, you have dreamt of your angelic child, the one who will fill your life with happiness. You can’t help but marvel at his perfection and cross your fingers that he come to no harm. But God forbid, there already seem to be some alarming conditions your baby is facing! Are these normal or do you need to rush to the doctor?
Newborns often seem like they spend their time sleeping and pooping. What a glorious life! But in reality, there’s a lot that they are going through. They are getting used to a world so unlike their home for nine months. While you leave no stone unturned to ensure their comfort and good health, they still have internal struggles to face.
In their early days, this coming of age and adjustment creates several conditions that can ruin your sleep as a parent. However, trust us when we say that most of these conditions are only a passing phase, and will disappear as soon as your baby grows a bit older.
Strange Things About Your Baby That Are Entirely Normal
1. Her Head Looks Like a Cone
Why does her head have such a funny shape? Well, that’s what let her come out of the birth canal and enter your world in person! Many babies face an elongation in their heads during a normal vaginal birth. The good news is that babies are also shape-shifters! Their heads are going to look normal very soon.
2. There are Bumps on Her Face
No, this is in no way an indicator of a future love-hate relationship with pimples. Those little white marks on the baby’s nose or cheeks are actually “milia”. They occur because your baby’s oil gland is still developing and skin flakes may get trapped in pockets. Don’t fret; milia will disappear on its own in some time.
3. She Could Even Have Acne
Isn’t she too young to have acne? Well, not necessarily. Some babies have been known to develop reddish pimples in their early days. All you need to do is keep your baby’s skin dry and free from sweat or drool. Use a mild soap to wash her face, and yes, most paediatricians say a strict no-no to acne medications of any sort!
4. She Can’t Breathe Properly
Your baby is making strange noises while sleeping, and her inhaling and exhaling sounds erratic. Is she choking or in pain? No, Mommy. This phenomenon is called the periodic breathing of infancy and occurs because newborns take some time to regulate their breathing pattern. They will learn soon enough, so there’s no cause for concern.
5. Her Legs are Bowed
Are your baby’s legs going to stay like that forever? Absolutely not! Give the little one some leeway; after all, she has stayed cramped up in your uterus for nine months! Bowed legs straighten on their own especially once your child starts walking.
6. Her Eyes are Crossed
This can be a really panic-inducing situation, so here’s the good bit – many newborns are cross-eyed. Their eyes don’t always move in sync. This is simply a matter of a lack of coordination and ongoing muscular development. You can prepare to fall head over heels in love with your baby’s killer gaze pretty soon!
7. There’s So Much Body Hair
Yes, there could be, and we call it “peach fuzz”. If the cuteness of the name isn’t heartening enough, let’s assure you that it is completely normal for some babies to have body hair on their arms, ears and backs. They needed it to regulate their body temperature while in the womb. Now that they are outside, it will shed on its own.
8. Her Face Is Marked With Cuts and Bruises
How on earth did your precious little one cut herself? Well, we will blame those nails! Babies often grow long nails while in the womb, and since they have a tendency to fling their arms about, cutting themselves is only natural. Just grab a baby-friendly nail clipper and clip, clip.
9. You See Red Splotches On Her Body
Do you know what they are often called? Stork bites! Newborns often develop these splotches which are nothing but temporary birth marks. They could be dark red or purple, and often appear only when your baby is all red from crying. While they may look scary, they are harmless and will vanish within the first year.
10. Her Body Jerks and Twitches Randomly
You knew babies flay their arms about wildly, but hey, what’s with all the random jerks and uncontrollable movements? Take a deep breath; this is absolutely normal. Babies have to deal with quite a lot, one of which is honing the “Moro reflex” (startle reflex). They will eventually stabilise as developmental changes continue. In the meantime, try swaddling your baby to ensure they get better sleep.
11. Too Much Sneezing is Going On
Does she have a chronic cold? Well, our bet is on the excess amniotic fluid! Babies often have extra fluid which they need to work out of their system. While doing so, air particles can cause irritation in their nasal passage, bringing on the sneeze. Don’t worry, mom. This is only a temporary matter.
12. She Has Wrinkles and Lines
But she is only a baby! Yes, that is precisely why her skin is wrinkly. It is common for babies, especially premature ones, to show slight wrinkles on their hands and legs. This is because their skin contains a protective coating called vernix caseosa. If this has you worried about the veracity of those “soft as a baby’s skin” idioms, cheer up. She will soon grow into her beautiful skin!
13. Is That Breast Tissue Already?
No, no. There is plenty of time for your little one’s breast development yet. But if you get the feeling that she already has a solid A or B cup, it’s just the pregnancy hormones. In the womb, your baby has also been exposed to hormones that trigger the development of breast tissue. Eventually, her chest will cease being puffy.
14. The Genitals Look Swollen
Just like the breast tissue, the pregnancy hormones also cause some amount of swelling in your baby’s genitals. It is normal for their genitals to look a bit engorged soon after birth. This will wear off as soon as the hormones fade out.
15. There’s Dandruff in Her Hair
Your baby seemingly has this nasty, “adult” problem already! The root cause of dandruff or “cradle cap” in babies is a dry, flaky scalp. But there’s no reason to panic as the dandruff will clear up within the first six months. There’s no treatment really needed, though you can try using a light shampoo now and then.
16. Her Head Has a Pulsing Soft Spot
You know that spot on her head that seems to throb and pulsate on touch? Babies have this to help them squeeze out of the birth canal. Their skull isn’t completely fused yet and a bendy head is a great help! This spot, scientifically called fontanelle, closes with time. You just need to tell everyone to be careful while handling your baby, especially near the soft spot.