Newborns are fascinating little creatures. They wow us with their tininess, intoxicate us with their scent and melt our hearts day-in, day-out. They also come with their fair share of peculiarities.
If you can’t get enough of the wonders of little humans, you’re in the right place. Here are ten of the most intriguing quirks we’ve discovered about newborn babes.
Thought Mum was the only one to produce milk? So can Bub
A small percentage of newborns are known to secrete milk from their tiny breast buds. Referred to in old times as ‘witch’s milk’, it occurs due to hormones that are transferred to babies from their mothers before birth.
You’re crying my language
While it will be many months before little beings start to talk (and talk and talk!), a study published in Current Biology has shown that newborns cry with an accent. Clever little cookies are adept at recognising the melody used in the language around them, and they mimic it in their cries.
First poops look funky but don’t smell
Because as stated by the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s actually sterile. Tar-like and sticky, meconium isn’t the prettiest of products, but because a baby’s intestines do not contain bacteria at birth, you’re spared the odour…for now. Once breastfeeding commences, poop gets, well, interesting.
They may be small, but boy are they mighty
If you’ve ever tried to pry miniature fingers from your own, you’ll know that newborns have a superhuman ‘palmar grasp’. This monkey business is considered to be a leftover trait from an age when humans were hairier, and littlies had to cling to their mothers as they moved about.
Their biological clocks aren’t set yet
When infants arrive in the world, their circadian rhythm is completely out of sync with ours – and that’s why the first few months with a baby are often the most exhausting. It can take several months, and steady routines, for little night owls to set their body clocks to align with ours. Tik Tok!
Look who’s walking!
Babes are born with some fascinating innate responses and one of the cutest is the ‘stepping reflex’. The junior jig can be observed when baby is very carefully held upright with both feet on a flat surface, and it all comes about as preparation for a lifetime of movement.
They’re seriously brainy
A healthy bub arrives in the world with a whopping 100 billion neurons, or all that they will ever need – and in a brain considerably smaller than adults’. Why all the firepower? Well, it’s because of the speedy rate at which humans grow and develop in their first year.
Hiding? They’ll sniff you out
Incredibly, babies begin learning and loving their mother’s unique scent in the womb. When they finally enter the world, they use this keen sense of smell to know Mama’s whereabouts – and that of her milk! So pack away your perfume for a while.
Mama really is number one
Sorry, dads, but studies show that newborns recognise Mum first. While it takes a little while for newborns to become familiar with faces, they pretty much have Mama’s voice and scent down pat from the get-go.
Their skin is thinner than ours
If you think babies’ skin feels delicate it’s because it is. In fact, babies’ skin is up to five times thinner than ours at birth and can take years to fully develop all the natural protective layers of adult skin.
This is why the skin of newborns is particularly sensitive to temperature changes and irritated easily by certain fabrics, harsh chemicals and fragrances.
Looking after newborn skin
One of the ways you can support the healthy development of baby’s skin is by using all-natural products that protect, nourish and stimulate the growth of new skin tissue.
That’s where Weleda’s 100% certified-natural Calendula Baby Care range of soothing cleansers, baby oil, lotion and protective nappy change cream can help.
Made from hand-picked biodynamic calendula flowers, organic chamomile and natural plant-based oils, the range supports your baby‘s healthy skin functions, as well as soothing skin that’s become irritated.
The secret’s in the regenerative and protective properties of the calendula flower which combats inflammation and promotes the formation of new tissue.
Developed in collaboration with midwives the Weleda Calendula Baby Care range is free from artificial ingredients, preservatives, fragrances and colourants.
Available online from weleda.com.au and other leading retailers and pharmacies.
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This article has been written in partnership with Weleda.