If you are a first-time parent the world of babies is likely quite unknown to you and there are probably a few newborn baby facts you still have to discover!

Unless you have children in the family it can be surprising how much you didn’t know before you became a parent.

From knowing how much sleep a newborn needs to why new babies raise their arms, the world of babies can be tricky to navigate. Once you have a baby your life changes and is opened to a wonderful world of first experiences and responsibility. Having a baby is an amazing life experience and there are many amazing things to discover along the journey.

To give you a head start here are a few things that every first-time parent should know about newborn babies.

Newborn baby facts

Babies can only see in black and white

When a baby is born it can take a few weeks for their vision to develop. When they are first born their sight range is very small and colours are limited. As a baby grows their eyesight develops and they can see further as well as the full spectrum of colours.

Babies get acne too

As your baby’s skin adapts to the world outside of the womb, so does their skin. It is common for babies to develop small raised bumps called milia which disappear on their own, and although look similar to teen or adult acne, are nothing to worry about.

Newborn Baby Facts: Babies have super reflexes

It is surprising to know that babies are born with a wide range of innate reflexes that help to protect them. The most obvious reflex is the Moro reflex, otherwise known as the startle reflex, which you will notice whenever you lie your baby down. If you have ever seen your baby throw their hands up as you go to lay them down, or if there is a sudden noise, this is the startle reflex. It is a protective response that your baby cannot control however they usually grow out of it at around 6 months.

newborn baby facts

Newborns lose weight when they are born

The majority of babies lose around 10% of their body weight in the first week they are born. This is a normal occurrence and can differ slightly between breastfed and bottle-fed babies, with breastfed babies losing a little more. This often happens because it can take babies a little while to get the hang of feeding and they lose some of the fluid they were born with. Their weight loss will usually be checked by your midwife following your baby’s birth and monitored. By two weeks your baby will be back to gaining weight at a steady rate.

Newborn Baby Facts: Newborns don’t smile

Newborn babies don’t smile until they are around 6-8 weeks old. However despite this they of course appreciate everything you are doing, it just takes them a little while to be able to communicate their little smiles, and when they do it will melt your heart.

Babies get hiccups too

Babies are just mini humans and they are prone to getting hiccups just like adults. Babies can have hiccups when they are in the womb, and is a way for babies to exercise their respiratory muscles. If your newborn gets the hiccups, don’t worry, they will pass on their own, although if they are getting them often they may be a sign that they are feeding too fast.

newborn baby facts

Newborn babies are hairy

How much hair your baby is born with will depend on your genetics, however, all babies are born with fine downy hair called Lanugo. This fine hair covers a baby’s entire body and is what helps to protect them and keep them warm in the womb. Some babies shed it just before they are born whereas others are born with it. It is completely normal and your baby will naturally drop this hair in a few weeks.

Newborns can’t be bathed

When you bring your baby home, you may be looking forward to giving them their first bath. However, you have to wait until their umbilical cord has fallen off before getting them in the tub. Keeping the umbilical cord dry is important, as it prevents infection from getting into the area. Until then sponge baths are the way to go to keep your baby clean.

Newborn Baby Facts: Newborns can crawl

Although you won’t see your newborn crawl across the floor, they are capable of crawling tiny distances. When a baby are born, they are born with the instinct to search for their mother’s breast. During skin-to-skin contact a baby will be placed on their mother’s abdomen and they will be able to inch their way up to root and find the breast. So while a newborn can find their way to feed, don’t worry they won’t be crawling around your home for a long time.

newborn baby facts

Babies grow the quickest in the first 6 months

It is well known that children grow quickly, however, the quickest growth spurts happen within the first 6 months. Babies grow the fastest in the first 3 months, than in any other period in their life. Between the ages of 0 to 6 months, babies will grow 1 inch (2.5 centimetres) a month, which then slows down to half an inch (1.3 centimetres) per month between the age of 7- 12 months.

Babies cry a lot

All babies cry, it’s practically their job and is completely normal. Babies cry for many reasons and it is their way of communicating their needs with their parents, so don’t panic if your baby is crying a lot. When your baby is crying, check if they are hungry or need a change, and remember to hug them. Sometimes babies cry to check that you are still there and they need to know you are close by for protection and security. You can never spoil a baby by giving it too much love and affection and tending to their cries signals to your baby that they can trust you, which is vital to forming secure relationships in the future.

Life with a newborn is a wonderful and challenging experience and a time to cherish as it passes by in an instant. It is common not to know everything there is to know about babies, as parenting is a role best learned on the job, however, we hope you found these interesting newborn facts helpful on your parenting journey.

Louise Ferguson Photography: Newborn and Maternity Photographer serving clients in and around Glasgow