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7 Weird And Surprising Facts About Babies That No One Told You

Babe In Dreamland - 7 Weird And Surprising Facts About Babies That No One Told You

You had nine months to prepare for the arrival of your little bundle of joy.

You took antenatal classes.

You read those pregnancy and baby care books.

You know all about labour, delivery and, of course – the benefits of breastfeeding.

And you know how to keep your baby alive. Feed, Sleep, Change, Repeat.

But hang on. What are these strange noises your baby makes while sleeping? And what’s up with these red spots on her face? Is she okay, or should I call 911?

Undoubtedly, you’ll learn a few freaky little things about your new baby that no one told you about before.

So, there you have it. Seven truths I learned the hard way about babies.                                                 

7 Weird and Surprising Facts About Babies That No One Told You

Babies are full of surprises. While they fill your life with joy and happiness, they can also give you some goosebumps. Particularly when you discover their scary little surprises no one ever told you about. Among them are sleeping with their eyes open and grunting throughout the night, excessive farting, being covered in fine hair, developing breasts and having baby acne. But rest assured. All these are perfectly normal and common conditions, only lasting for the first few weeks of your baby’s life.

1. Sleeping With Eyes Open 

This was one of the most frightening discoveries I made about my older daughter during her first week of life.

The truth is that her eyes were partially open, but still, she was staring back at me even though she was fast asleep.

But, there’s no need to be concerned. It’s a fairly common condition called nocturnal lagophthalmos, and it’s totally normal in infants.

The exact cause of babies sleeping with their eyes open is not known in medical circles. However, the most likely reasons are

a) it is genetic, meaning it is passed down through the family, or

b) it’s a combination of developing her nervous system and REM – light and active sleep pattern.

On rare occasions, it may indicate a more serious health issue in adults, such as a damaged facial nerve system or a thyroid disorder.

So, if your child gives you chills when she sleeps with her eyes open, you can gently close them with your fingers! And don’t worry, she’ll outgrow it by 18 months.

2. Noisy Sleeping

Honestly, no one has told me (and it is not common knowledge) that infant sleep is anything but peaceful and quiet.

In fact, newborns make all sorts of rather loud noises while sleeping – from whistling, rattling, grunting to snorting, hiccupping and sneezing.

Most of those strange noises you can hear are caused by your baby breathing through the tiny air passage. This air passage can quickly become clogged by dried snot or milk, hence the noise.

However, you can help clear the blocked nose with nasal spray and an aspirator.

So, before you start freaking out that your baby has asthma or is suffocating, rest assured – that it is absolutely normal. It may take up to six months for their respiratory system to fully develop and quiet the noises.

Unless there are other accompanying symptoms such as fever, persistent crying, difficulty breathing and general discomfort – in which case you should seek immediate medical attention.

3. Excessive Farting

Who would have thought such a tiny human could produce such trumpet-like farts?

Particularly, breastfed babies fart A LOT. Dare I say – they fart more than a grown man.

This condition is caused by their immature digestive systems being unable to break down the protein and fats from the milk they are fed, leading to excessive gas production.

Often, mothers’ diets are thought to cause gas in their babies. There is no scientific evidence, however, to support this theory. Baby is usually fine with any food mom eats, so there is no need not to avoid anything. Unless, of course, there is a clear reaction in your baby to certain food.

You can’t do much to prevent your baby from being bloated and gassy. It is just a matter of time for their digestive tract to mature and their friendly gut bacteria to increase.

But you can help relieve your baby’s discomfort from the trapped gas.

Firstly, you can massage her stomach by gently pressing your hand in a clockwise motion.

Secondly, you could move their legs like they are riding a bike in the air.

Either of these techniques will ease your child’s tummy discomfort and help her to relieve excess gas.

4. Hairy Little Monkey

When my older daughter and I were skin-to-skin after delivery, I didn’t notice it right away.

I was captivated by her perfect little face and a head full of dark curls.

But then her little arm poked out from beneath the blanket.

Covered in soft, silky, dark hair. This was not what I expected to see… 

My midwife quickly reassured me that it is perfectly normal for newborns to have hair all over their bodies, including their ears and backs.

This hair, called lanugo, starts growing around the second trimester of pregnancy. Lanugo keeps the baby warm inside the womb. Usually, most of it is shed into the amniotic fluid by month eight.

Some babies, usually those with darker skin – like my two daughters – will still have patches of hair when they are born.

Therefore, if your baby has excess hair on her body, don’t stress about it – it’s only temporary. It will fall off in the first few weeks of her life.

5. Breast tissue

I was so happy to finally get to bathe my baby after her umbilical cord fell off around day 7.

To my astonishment, I noticed my baby’s swollen breasts and felt tiny breast buds during the bath!

Just when I thought I’d seen it all…

Apparently, the development of breast tissue in newborn babies is quite common, both in males and females. Furthermore, they can produce and leak milky substances from their nipples, called witch’s milk. How weird is that!?

This is because babies were exposed to their mom’s pregnancy hormones in the womb. They stimulated the baby’s breasts to develop. Thankfully, the swelling should disappear within approximately 8 weeks, once the hormones wear off.

Talking about hormones lingering in the baby’s system…

The same hormones can also cause puffiness in baby genitals.

Moreover, females may even experience vaginal discharge similar to a period.

Although my babies have never experienced swelling or a period, I can imagine the horror parents will feel when they find blood in the nappy!

So, if your little one has leaking breasts or swollen genitals in the early days – it is nothing to be concerned about. Hormones are to blame, and once they are gone, all your baby’s private parts will return to regular size.

6. Baby Acne

Have you noticed tiny red pimples or white bumps surrounded by reddish skin on your little angel’s face?

Both of my daughters had baby acne, a common skin condition among newborns. In most cases, it disappears within a few weeks after birth and is essentially harmless.

You can find it anywhere on your baby’s face, such as her cheeks, nose, forehead, as well as on her body.

It is unknown why baby acne develops, but remaining maternal hormones are likely to be the cause.

In terms of prevention or treatment, there aren’t many choices. Essentially, it will go away on its own. It can be helped, however, by washing your infant’s skin with mild soap and water.

7. Meconium

Without exception, every newborn baby will pass their first poop, known as meconium.

It is dark green, sticky, thick and gooey. And it’s made up of the stuff ingested while she was in the womb, such as amniotic fluid, lanugo, mucus or skin cells.

The peculiar thing about meconium is that it doesn’t smell!

It is because, in a sterile womb, the baby’s gut is free of bacteria and microorganisms, making her poop odourless.

The baby will pass meconium soon after birth, although it can also happen in the uterus. Meconium can take a few days to clear out completely. As soon as the baby starts feeding, the poop will change colour to lighter and become less sticky and runner.

In breastfed babies, poop will be mustard-yellow, grainy and runny. In formula-fed babies, regular stools may range from brownish to dark green.

Your baby’s poop is a good indicator of how their digestion is doing, so it’s critical to keep an eye on it. If her stool is red or white, you should seek medical attention to rule out possible medical conditions.

Final Few Lines

Yes, babies have a lot of dark secrets that may cause some stress to their parents.

There is nothing wrong with your child being born furry, farting like a trooper, growing breasts, or staring at you during sleep.

All these conditions have one thing in common: they will disappear as your child gets older.

So, be patient and enjoy your little bundle of joy regardless of all the temporary weirdness she might be throwing at you 😉

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  1. This was very useful information that I needed to know, and wish I knew beforehand. As my second child was born two months early, had hair all over her back, ears, and face. We called her our little monkey, like you said in article the hair will fall out. I have shared your article to my social media followers. 

    1. Dear Jannette – I am glad you found my post helpful. Seeing your newborn baby full of hair can be shocking, to say the least, especially if you haven’t heard of it before! Thankfully, all of that fur falls off within a few days 🙂

  2. Yes!! I had my 4th baby just under 5 months ago and he was my first born with hair(I produce bald babies) and I absolutely could not believe the amount of hair he had. He had the hairiest little shoulders I have ever seen. I loved it! Again farted like a trooper, still does.. usually in the most awkward places which results in a lot of “that wasn’t me, it was the baby” 

    1. Hahaha, I absolutely know the feeling – that wasn’t me!! I hope your little one managed to shed all of his baby fur by now 🙂

  3. Quite an entertaining read!

    Like you said; after all the books, classes, and support groups, one can never be fully prepared. In the end, you only get to know your baby when the two of you are alone.

    I can still recall my wife complaining about the boys urinating the minute you loosen the nappy!

    1. Hi Johan,

      I am glad you found my post entertaining. 

      That is so true! Babies are masters in finding the right moment to wee! Especially these few seconds when they are between the nappies 😉

  4. Yes I had delivered my 2nd baby gal last month..I was in shock during delivery my babies ear were dam dark and at the backside of ear is hairy..it didn’t shred yet…my first kid and 2nd kid are contrast..face is in caramel colour..I Don knw whtr ear theory exist r not…bt I am very scared cing day by day..whtr tis dark ear disappears…and she wil get back normal ears lik us..u have mentioned dark skin ppl have tis hairy patches….v are indian by origin

    1. Hi Sharada, it is so true that both of your babies can look so very different it’s hard to convince people they are siblings! But I am sure you agree that during the first two years, babies change a lot. And so it is their complexion. So don’t worry about your little girl’s ear colour – because it will fade surely!
      All the best to you and your family!

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