Welcoming a newborn to the family is a time filled with so much joy but also many surprises. Here are some newborn facts you might not know about in the first few months of a baby’s life!
Your newborn’s skin may peel.
After spending 9 months surrounded by amniotic fluid, being surrounded by air instead is a major change for your baby. As your baby’s skin adjusts it may look dry and begin to peel. It is completely normal and nothing to worry about. If you’d like to apply a hypoallergenic lotion or Jojoba Oil during baby massage time, it may help ease the peel factor.
Your newborn’s eye may change color.
Most babies are born with eyes of a blue or gray shade due to a lack in pigment. As a baby’s eyes are exposed to more light, you may start to see a change in shade to more blue, green, hazel, or brown. Your baby’s eye color is usually determined by 6 months to 1 year old.
Your newborn’s hair may change color… or fall out!
It is very common for infants to lose their hair in the first few months of life. This is largely due to a hormonal shift. The surge of hormones mom experienced during pregnancy that gave her locks a boost, were also contributing to the baby’s hair growth. Once the baby is born, the mom and baby both lose this hormonal boost and may experience some hair loss. Many postpartum mothers experience thinning of their pregnancy locks while their babies hair is simultaneously fading too. Not to worry though! Baby hair loss is temporary and you should start to notice reappearance of hair during the 6 to 12 month age range. Also, no need to worry about a good head scrub when sudsing your baby’s hair at bath time. A mild shampoo gently rubbed on your baby’s scalp 2-3 times a week is plenty.
Your newborn’s first stools might look a bit strange.
When a baby is first born and starts having bowel movements, the stool has an odd, very sticky consistency and is often greenish-black in color. This early stool is called meconium and is the result of your infant ingesting materials while still in the womb such as amniotic fluid, bile, and water. Over the first few days of your baby’s life as he or she starts to take in nutrients, the stool will change from the thick greenish black meconium to green, and finally a yellow to yellow brown color by the end of the first week.
Your newborn’s genitals or breasts may appear swollen.
It is normal for your newborn’s genitals or breasts (boys and girls) to appear swollen around the time of birth. The swelling occurs as a result of your baby’s exposure to maternal hormones before birth and will gradually decrease over the first week or so of life. If your baby is a girl, you may also notice a small amount of bleeding from her vagina due to the withdrawal of maternal hormones after delivery. Again, this is natural and will fade.
Best Newborn Fact: Your newborn cannot be spoiled.
Joining this new world full of stimulation can be quite overwhelming for a newborn baby. Do not worry about spoiling your baby by holding or snuggling him too much. During the first few weeks especially, you are all getting to know one another and the people who care for your baby the most are providing a sense of security and comfort for him. Hold and cuddle him as much as you would like but also know it is ok to put the baby down to feel some independence in a safe space. Babies are only this small once, so soak all those moments up! To learn more about newborn care and appearances, check out the award winning parenting book, Newborn 101.
For more newborn support, reach out to Boston Baby Nurse and Nanny. Ask about our Expecting Parents: Newborn 101 course or in person Newborn Care Expert support.
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About The Author
Courtney Poirier is a veteran Newborn Care Expert with Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny. She has many years of experience with sleep conditioning and coaching in daycare & home settings. Prior to working with babies, she was an elementary school teacher. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and their two sons. One is seven years old and the other is nine years old.