Infant’s Arms and Legs – What’s Normal and What’s Not
Babies are sometimes born with abnormalities in their physical structure which sets off anxiety in parents. However, this is usually due to your baby’s still underdeveloped muscles and will correct itself with time
Do your newborn baby’s body parts appear a little distorted? Fret not, this is due to a combination of harmless factors such as their hunched up position in the uterus, journey through the birth canal and still developing muscles and tissues. These perfectly normal distortions will correct themselves on their own, usually within a few weeks.
How Do You Know if Your Baby is Developing Normally
1. Curved or Bowed Legs in Babies
Sometimes, your baby’s feet and legs could be curved inward like those of a pigeon. This is because when a baby is inside the uterus of his mother, his feet and legs remain in folded position in order to fit in the compact space. After birth, they maintain this position for a short while till muscles develop. Some babies’ legs straighten only when the child learns to walk and the muscles of his legs pull the bones, gradually straightening them.
2. Collarbone Fracture/Clavicle Fracture in Babies
During a normal vaginal birth, a baby’s head comes out first, followed by his shoulders. Sometimes, the baby’s shoulders do not fit through the mother’s pelvis and there is extra pressure on the collarbone. This can lead to a fracture which might not be diagnosed immediately. Later though, when the shoulders start looking a little different, it might become apparent that he is suffering from a deformity. Collarbone fractures in babies do not cause much pain and heal up on their own within three weeks.
3. Blue Hands & Feet in Infants – Acrocyanosis
During the initial weeks after birth, some babies have blue hands and feet. This is a sign of a blood circulation that isn’t well regulated. However, this does not indicate any illness and usually goes away quickly.
4. Long Fingernails in Babies
Some babies are born with long finger nails. This doesn’t pose any medical threat other than the fact that they can cause scratch marks on the baby’s face. To prevent this, you can make the newborn wear mittens or clip their nails. The best time to cut a baby’s nails is when he is fast asleep. Use tiny scissors or special baby-clippers.
5. Extra Digits on Baby’s Hands & Feet
Sometimes, babies are born with extra digits on their hands or feet. This is usually a genetic condition. The extra digit might be nothing more than soft skin which can be easily removed. A doctor can numb and tie the skin, which dries and falls off in a few weeks. However, if the digit consists of bone, surgery might be needed.
These peculiarities differ across babies and are not always present. Even if they are, there is no need to worry since your baby’s body will soon settle into its normal shape. Put your mind at rest and watch him grow!