That delicious smell, those delicate little eyelashes, the teeny toes – these are the newborn delights we’re told will take our breath away as soon as we hold our little bundle of joy.
But newborns are also an enigma – there are so many amazing little things about them to learn as our parenting journey begins – from the unexpected noises they make to certain parts of their body that always seem cold.
Nothing can truly prepare you for what to expect from your precious newborn. But here’s a little insiders insight into what to expect from your baby, with seven surprising things no one tells you about newborns
1. They have freezing feet
Those tiny tootsies can get mighty cold, and it’s enough to make a new mum whip out an extra swaddle. But it’s quite common because newborn babies can’t easily regulate their temperature. They also aren’t able to shiver like adults to generate heat.
According to the World Health Organisation, baby’s hands and feet should be pink and warm. If you’re having trouble keeping socks on them, there’s a clever product you can buy called Sock Ons ($9.99) that ensures bub’s feet never get cold.
2. They don’t shed tears
While newborns can most certainly cry – they actually can’t physically shed tears because their tear ducts and glands are only producing enough tears to protect their eyes.
But don’t worry, somewhere between one and three months your bub will begin crying real tears.
3. Snuffly sleepers
From little grunts to adorable ticks and odd noises during REM sleep, babies can be noisy little sleepers. That first night in the hospital you’ll probably lay wide awake listening to make sure your tiny bub is ok.
Apart from making it hard for YOU to sleep, their noises aren’t usually anything to be concerned about, but there are reasons why a child’s snoring shouldn’t be ignored.
4. Poo explosions
Usually, when you least expect it (like when you’re giving your newborn nappy-free tummy time) they’ll have a poo explosion. Also, nothing can prepare you for the various colours, textures and odours that you precious baby expels.
Some babies can poop up to 10 times a day, whereas many breastfed babies may not go for a few days. If you’re concerned about their frequency or lack of, it’s best to speak to your midwife or doctor.
(image via erinspahrtacus)
5. Escaping abilities
Sure babies can’t do much in those first few weeks, but they sure can wriggle themselves out of the wrap you meticulously put them in. While not everyone swaddles their newborn, some do it to help them feel snug now they are out of the cosy womb. Or try a nifty Love to Dream ($39.95) so baby can still move their arms, but won’t wake themselves when that pesky startle reflex kicks in.
6. Crying isn’t always hunger-related
Newborns have one way to tell you they aren’t happy and that’s to cry. But it’s not the only thing they fuss about. They may need a burp, might be too hot or too cold. Sometimes they are overtired or just feeling a little off.
It can be super hard to hear you newborn cry and not know how to fix it, but as they grow you’ll come to learn what their various cries mean. Take a look at our guide to understanding your baby’s cries.
7. Their head pulses
It’s a little unnerving, but babies have soft spots (fontanelles) on their heads and sometimes they PULSE! Eventually, the head bones will meet and fuse and the soft spots will close. It’s not a design flaw; it’s actually a clever way to help baby’s head through the birth canal.
Bonus surprise – you can’t stop staring at them!
They are such incredibly special time wasters and you’ll spend ages just staring at them and wondering how you got so lucky. Their little lips, their cute dimples and their big eyes, newborns are the best gift ever!