Being a first-time parent is an incredible moment in life. Congratulations! Not only are you experiencing new emotions, human connection, and a primal instinct to protect and love something greater than yourself, but honestly, you’re also likely overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. As most seasoned parents know, these feelings and insecurities pass quickly and your instincts and intuition kick in. There is no better advocate for a child than a loving parent, but sometimes you need a little direction when things aren’t so clear.
Understanding Your Newborn Baby
There’s a lot of information out there. We’ve all read the baby books, blogs, how-tos, go-tos, and digested tons of information from parents and friends. But how do we truly know what advice to follow and what to take as friendly but dated?
We are inundated with content and information that would confuse even the most experienced of parents. It’s not practical to question everything you hear, and we can help you sort through it all. But we want to clarify that if you have any doubts, questions, or concerns, always call your pediatrician. Trust your intuition and instincts, not social media or a deep dive into online advice columns. And never, ever self-diagnose. Our office is always available, and no question is too silly or insignificant. We believe that this is how a parent learns. And when our doors are open, we ensure new parents have the best education and foundation for the care and health of their children.
And with all that information, we’ve also addressed our fair share of common concerns. You’ve been studying for over nine months and are ready to implement our tools. But sometimes, there are things we wonder about, and here are some interesting baby facts that aren’t often at the top of your birthing discharge paperwork.
Here are ten things you may not know about your newborn:
- Despite what you may be hearing (day and night!), babies shed no tears! Babies’ tear ducts don’t start the waterworks until about three weeks old. And do babies dream? It’s highly unlikely that they do in the way we would. After all, they have not had significant experiences outside the womb nor do they have a significant capacity to process anything that does occur. Researchers believe that children begin to dream, as we know it, at around 3 years of age.
- There’s nothing to worry about if your little one is bald. And yes, it’s ok that baby’s hair is falling out! Expect any hair to be gone by month four, but it’ll return with new growth. You may also see some soft wispy hair all over their body. Known as lanugo, this hair forms a protective barrier against amniotic fluid in the womb and usually comes off before birth. Some newborns will shed this hair in the first few weeks after birth.
- Speaking of the head, many babies develop what’s known as cradle cap, a scaly skin condition on the head. It will typically disappear within weeks or months, and you can wash your little one’s head with mild baby shampoo to move it along. But don’t scratch or try to remove it any other way.
- Babies don’t have bony kneecaps! Instead, they have a sliver of cartilage that will eventually grow to form the structure we all know. There’s not much more to say other than how fascinating!
- Birthmarks are very common. Parents often come in concerned about markings on their baby’s skin. But did you know that about 1/3 of babies are born with birthmarks? Birthmarks are called salmon patches, angel kisses, or stork marks. They can range from red to pink, and most will disappear independently. It’s always a good idea to show your pediatrician anyway.
- Do not be concerned if your baby loses weight when they get home. Many parents are concerned when their child loses between 5 and 10% of their body weight after arriving home, and this is normal; they should return to birth weight in about two weeks. Often, moms worry this is because they’re not getting enough breast milk, but it’s just baby flushing out some excess fluid.
- Rock on, baby! According to research from the University of Helsinki, babies can recognize tunes they heard while in utero. At around 18 weeks of gestation, baby can start recognizing sounds, and at 25 to 26 weeks, the organs and parts handling hearing are developed.
- You just made a foodie! Did you know that babies have more taste buds than adults? You’ve undoubtedly read that these are the years to expose them to different foods and tastes, and it makes sense. Baby doesn’t just have taste buds on their tongue; they have them on the sides, back, and roof of the mouth. Taste buds show up in the third trimester, right around when mom can start planning her first post-pregnancy sushi order!
- Bonjour baby! Here’s one of the coolest facts discovered by researchers from the University of Wurzburg. A mother’s native tongue can be differentiated by their baby’s cries and gurgles! According to researchers, in the last three months of pregnancy, babies will pick up characteristics of their mom’s speech that can be picked up in patterns of how they cry after birth.
- Here’s one for that nighttime feeding! Studies have found that babies stay calm twice as long when listening to a song as when listening to someone speak.
Bundle of Joy
Understanding Your Newborn
Newborns bring immense joy. Dr. Burke looks forward to helping you navigate your exciting new adventure by providing compassionate and complete care for you and your baby!SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT
Bonus Bit of Advice: Newborn Hiccups
You may be concerned about your newborn hiccupping quite a bit during feeding. This is not abnormal and does not interfere with their breathing, so don’t be overly concerned. However, if you want to help your little one get past those hiccups, you can try a few things. First, if breastfeeding, pause as you switch from one breast to the other and gently tap them on the back. If you’re using formula, it may be helpful to slow down the feeding process, as hiccups often occur because the baby is ingesting too much at once. For stubborn hiccups that won’t go away, don’t be afraid to lay your child on their back; the hiccups will not be a problem.
Of course, there are many questions that you may have, and likely will think of during the first few weeks of your time alone with your newborn. This is perfectly normal, and we have yet to meet a parent who hasn’t gone through this period with a bit of trepidation. Everybody’s first weeks with their child are as unique as their baby, but the constant is support from all of us at Florida Medical Clinic.
Get To Know Dr. Melissa Burke
Dr. Burke joins us as one of the newest physicians here at Florida Medical Clinic, seeing patients at our Dade City offices. Originally hailing from New Jersey, Dr. Burke developed a particular interest in pediatrics and the care of newborns and looks forward to answering any questions or concerns you may have in this tender but often happily nerve-racking time. She is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Remember, we are here to ensure the wellness and well-being of your baby. We aim to ensure parents understand that sometimes it’s best to go with your intuition and reach out when necessary while navigating a sea of information and resources.