Everyone tells new parents to expect the unexpected when they’ve delivered, but there are certain facts about your little bundle of joy that will shock you. For example, did you know that a newborn baby cannot taste salt? Here is a list of bizarre facts about newborns that no doctor or pregnancy book will tell you.
- Regardless of the baby’s sex, your baby has a moustache in the womb.
You might be aware of the fine hair that surrounds the entire body of the fetus in the womb known as ‘lanugo.’ This hair is first formed at the 4 month mark of pregnancy, and it starts as a moustache that covers up the entire fetus!
- A newborn baby prefers the mother’s voice.
Studies have suggested that because of the 9 months spent in the womb, newborn infants are more familiar with their mother’s voice, and can even recognise it as soon as they are born. They prefer higher pitched voices to lower ones. This can also be proven by how a child lights up when we make our voices squeaky to talk to them.
- Female newborns menstruate.
It can be awfully scary to see a little blood in the diaper of your new born, but this is actually normal up until a week of birth. Because your little one is exposed to a lot of estrogen while still in your womb, as soon as you deliver, the estrogen level rapidly decreases. This rapid decrease can cause a phenomena that is exactly like a period to occur in new born female babies. This is also known as pseudo-menstruation.
- Your new born cries with an accent.
Because they have such sensitive and sharp hearing, they pick up on their mother’s accent very early on. You might even hear a difference in the way an Indian baby cries and an American baby cries!
- Newborns cannot taste salt.
Your little one can taste every flavour from sweet, sour and bitter, but they cannot taste salt up until they are 4 months of age! Having said, this the next fact will shock you!
- Newborns have more taste buds than adults.
That’s right! They have thrice the number of taste buds that adults have, and still newborns can’t taste salt! What’s more interesting is that these taste buds show up all over inside the mouth- even on the roof and the sides! They are developed during the third trimester of pregnancy.
- Newborns show evolutionary reflexes.
A newborn baby shows several reflexes as early as the first day they are born. These are evolutionary reflexes that are ingrained in all of us from the time we’re born. If your baby is startled or scared, they will immediately fling their arms to the side and open up their palms while bringing their knees in and then closing their arms back in. This is known as the ‘moro reflex’ and is done when a newborn thinks it may be falling, because it may be a survival instinct to help them cling to their mothers.
- They are born without knee caps.
If you take an x-ray of your little one’s legs, you may not find anything near the knee area. This is because a newborn’s knees are still just made up of cartilage and haven’t been ossified into becoming proper bone. Newborn infants also have 300 bones in their body, that’s more than the 206 bones us adults have! The soft cartilage is a boon because it absorbs more of the friction and impact that babies have with the floor as they learn how to crawl around!
- Newborn babies cannot shed tears.
Don’t get us wrong- they can howl and cry and tear the house down with their sounds, but you have probably never seen a newborn shed tears. This is because their tear ducts and glands haven’t formed properly and matured yet. The actual crying starts anytime between 3 to 12 weeks of age.
- Newborn babies can lactate.
Old European folk stories called the milk from the breast of a newborn infant witches’ milk, and it was said to have magical powers! Whether this is true or not, the high levels of estrogen present in your little one’s system during birth cause them to develop little breast buds that can leak out milk from time to time. This happens to boys as well as girls and is not an uncommon phenomenon.