A new baby amazes you every day. With every giggle, every wiggle and every milestone you celebrate together, you most likely find yourself falling more and more in love with this incredible little human being.
To add to your complete adoration of your infant, we’ve compiled 19 fascinating facts about babies during their first year of life.
Only human babies are born with a coating of vernix
This protective whitish/yellowish substance usually coats a newborn when he or she is born and is completely unique to the human species.
Humans are the only babies to smile at their parents
Doesn’t that just make your heart melt? And make you secretly wish you decided to have another baby rather than getting a cat?
When born, babies have some fish-like qualities
No, they don’t have fins. But they can breathe and swallow at the same time until around the age of seven months.
What’s even stranger is that babies are actually born with the ability to swim and hold their breath. However, this ability quickly disappears once outside of the womb.
Newborns are born without kneecaps
A newborn’s kneecap, also known as the patella, is made entirely out of cartilage and doesn’t start to develop into hard bone until between the ages of three to five.
But they have 94 more bones than adults
While adults have 206 bones in their bodies, newborns are born with 300 bones. What happens to the extra bones? They fuse together during development.
Newborn girls will menstruate
It’s completely normal and usually occurs around day two or three of life. No, it does not indicate that she is ready to reproduce. It simply is a side effect of the withdrawal of hormones from in the womb.
A newborn’s stomach is the size of a cherry
At three days old, bub’s stomach will be around the same size as a walnut and by one week, an apricot. No wonder newborns require constant topping up!
Newborns wee every 20 minutes
Little bellies. Little bladders. It isn’t until around the six month marker that an infant’s pee routine is increased to once every hour.
Babies don’t cry tears until around three weeks old
Before then, an infant’s cries are simply sounds. But they certainly have a tear-jerking effect on parents!
Infants can taste sweet and sour, but not salt
Baby’s taste buds start to develop in utero but they cannot recognise salt until they are around the age of four months. No wonder newborns prefer sweet breast milk over anything else!
Babies register the colour ‘red’ first
When babies are born, they can only see the world in black, white and grey and everything tends to be blurry. However, as the weeks go by, your little one will not only be able to see clearer, but she will also start to identify colours.
The first colour baby registers is red, followed by orange, green and yellow. The colours that take the longest to register are blue and purple. It isn’t until 12 months that an infant’s eyesight is as developed as an adult’s.
Babies grow A LOT in their first year
They double their birth weight by five months, which, essentially means that you have approximately 12 minutes of wear time for those extra-cute newborn outfits that your little one is rapidly outgrowing.
What’s even crazier? If your infant keeps grow at this rate, they would measure in at 51 metres tall by adulthood.
And they eat a lot too
To make up for this growth, babies require five times more nutrients than adults. And this excess of nutrients will continue until your infant is around the age of three.
They sprout a whole new head of hair
You may not even realise your newborn is losing their original hair, but it’s true – all hair that your baby was born with falls out within the first three to four months and a whole new head of hair grows in the first year.
An infant’s eyes are almost fully grown at birth
Big eyes are one of the cutest features of babies. And, as it turns out, babies’ eyes are already 75 per cent the size of their adult eyes. No wonder infants look so alert all the time!
But baby’s ears and nose never stop growing
That cute-as-a-button nose will continue to increase with each kilogram your little one puts on.
And the head is big too
A baby’s head accounts for 25 per cent of their body weight. Compare this to the average adult’s head, which is only one-eighth of an adult’s total length.
Those super-sized body parts mean super strength
A newborn’s grasp is so strong that his whole body can hang in midair with his bent fingers supporting his weight. It’s best not to test this theory out though …
And, finally, babies steal …
Not only your heart, but your sleep as well. In fact, these little beings steal an average of 350-400 hours of sleep from their parents in the first year.
While newborns need around 16 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period, new parents are getting only a fraction of what they require.
But your little one’s addictive smell, endearing personality and excessive sweetness certainly make up for the loss of sleep! Wouldn’t you agree?
While baby’s first year is certainly filled with priceless milestones and precious memories, there’s plenty more fun to be had in the years to come. Check out what’s in store for your little one during toddlerhood.