28 Truly Amazing Facts About Babies

Even before they are born, your life begins to revolve around your baby. You appear to be preparing your home and life to accommodate your baby’s requirements. Therefore, it is good to be aware of some fascinating facts about babies.

You have celebrated your baby showers and taken maternity leave to prepare for the arrival of a new beginning in your life. When you first bring your baby home, everything about them both worries and delights you, such as their wailing, smiling, and laughing. In addition to being adorable and innocent, babies have a remarkable blend of talents and abilities.

In This Article

28 Truly Amazing Fun Baby Facts

1. No kneecaps

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Babies are born without kneecaps. Yes, you read that right. Babies have a structure of cartilage that resembles the kneecaps. These cartilages do not develop until they are fully six months. And that’s the reason most of the babies crawl on the arms instead of all fours. In fact, babies can crawl as soon as they are born.

No kidding here! The Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that when the baby was dried and laid on the mother’s chest for feeding, he could find her chest within an hour. And this is what has made breast crawl popular throughout the world as one of the ways to give newborns the best start to life. Before covering them with baby clothes, newborns (without complications), should have immediate skin-to-skin contact following natural or cesarean birth. This is recommended by the WHO and UNICEF.

2. Babies explore with their mouths

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Babies use their sense of touch to explore what is around them, with the most sensitive touch receptors being in and around their mouth. The mouth area is very sensitive, which is why they put everything in their mouth. Babies start reaching for and grabbing objects around the age of 3 to 5 months and this is followed by putting the objects directly in their mouths as a part of developing their motor skills. However, pay attention to what your children put inside their mouths, as it might result in allergies or illness.

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Oral exploration helps babies understand the taste and texture of an object. Also, a teething baby tends to put objects in their mouth to soothe the pain.

3. Newborn babies do not cry

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Babies howl and scream for what they want or need, but they do not produce tears when they cry. That’s because their tear gland and ducts are not entirely developed until about 2-3 weeks after birth. They do produce enough moisture to keep the eyes healthy and it may leak if the tear duct is blocked, this can happen even when the baby is not crying but they won’t shed proper tears for several weeks.

If you feel that your baby’s eyes are often filled with tears, consult a pediatrician. Although it is not usually serious, there are a few exercises the doctor will guide you with to help the excess moisture drain and keep the baby more comfortable.

Some kids do not drop their first tear until four or five months. That’s unusual and again a doctor should be consulted if the baby doesn’t shed tears after one month of age. Do take proper care to ensure that frequent crying does not manifest in infantile colic.

4. Babies have 300 bones

Unlike adults, babies are born with 300 bones, which is almost 50% more. The bones fuse together during growth that makes it 206. For example, the skull of the baby has several bones that overlap one another during the birth to help the baby squeeze out. Babies also have a very soft spot on the head called the fontanelle. Before the skull grows completely, it is just a squishy and sensitive area.

5. Birthmarks are not exceptions. They are the rule

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A birthmark is not an abnormality. In fact, it’s normal, and around 80% babies are born with it. Birthmark comes in a wide range of shapes, color, and sizes, the most common being port wine stains and stork bites. And do you know why birthmarks occur? Different types of birthmarks occur due to different causes. But usually they are caused by extra pigment producing cells or by blood vessels which have not grown normally.

Certain birthmarks do not occur until several days or weeks after birth. And dome birthmarks go away after a few years.

6. Newborns hear, smell, and see as good as us

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A newborn can hear as well as an adult. They startle at just about anything, not because it’s softer or louder, but because it’s new. He can recognize his mother’s voice from just one syllable. It activates an area of the brain associated with language development and processing. An astonishing fact is that the newborns can recognize their mother’s voice at birth itself. When the baby is born, his hearing power is not 100% up to par as the middle ear is still full of fluid, which somewhat impairs the hearing. The only sound that they can recognize is their mother’s voice.

Even the sense of smelling is elevated at this stage. But the eyesight is not very brilliant. Newborn babies are nearsighted. Their vision allows them to see objects and people clearest when they are 8 to 12 inches away. That’s because the brain cannot process information very well at this stage. The brains start processing information at about 8 to 15 inches of range. Their brains contain around 100 billion neurons, which is why they notice everything. It takes a few weeks for the infants to distinguish visually between his/her mother and other adults.

7. The hair falls out

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Your little one may have thick, black hair now, but there is no guarantee that it will stay the same. The hair falls out in the first few weeks and then grows back over the next year. The hair can even go from straight to curly in a few months.

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Though hair loss in babies is normal, sometimes it could be due to a medical condition like ringworm or alopecia areata. If you suspect the hair loss is abnormal, do share your concern with your doctor.

8. Babies have numerous reflexes

Babies have  many  known reflexes, which are primitive and due to evolution. A couple of examples are as follows: If you support your child upright with his feet on the flat surface, then his legs will work with a stepping motion. He cannot walk now, but is born with the knowledge of how to walk. And have you noticed that babies startle a lot? That’s your baby’s Moro reflex. It’s a baby’s natural response to the loud noise or a feeling of falling. It makes the child fling his arms up and out, draw his knees up and open his fists wide before going to his original position.

9. Babies are sleepy all the time

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Babies feel sleepy all the time. In the first week of life, babies may sleep for as many as 20 out of 24 hours. A baby’s brain can use up to 60% of the total glucose supply, which can explain why babies need so much sleep. The sleep requirement decreases with age and by one year it almost halves to about 11 hours. However, closely monitor your baby’s sleep until six months and ensure they sleep on their back to minimize the possibility of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

10. Your baby becomes socially responsive as early as six weeks

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Babies are capable of their first real smile only when they are about six weeks old. You can try to engage him with funny voices and faces to see if they are ready for socialization. If you are unsure about the smile, then you can repeat the gag if required.

What about those ultrasounds which claimed to pick up baby smiles? Well these smiles are reflexes and they persist even after birth but the actual social smile is observed only after six weeks of age.

11. Your baby knows your taste in music

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According to research conducted by the University of Helsinki, babies recognize the music they hear in the womb for up to four months after the birth. In fact, the song that you used to hear during the pregnancy may even soothe his crankiness.

Research has shown that around 18 weeks of pregnancy a baby starts hearing sounds and at 25-26 weeks the hearing organs are quite well developed and they continue to develop as the weeks pass. During the third trimester, it has been found that the most apparent sounds the baby can hear inside the womb are of their mother’s, which promotes bonding. They even respond by showing signs of becoming more alert when their mother is talking.

12. Your baby can influence your heart rate

An Israeli University found that when a mother and a newborn looked into each other’s eyes, their heart rate coordinated in seconds. A baby’s heart beats around 180 times per minute at birth. It drops to 140 within a few hours. The number drops to 115 beats per minute when they are one-year-old. By adulthood, the resting heart rate is 70 to 80 beats per minute.

13. Your baby breathes thrice as fast as you

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Babies take more breaths than adults. In fact the breathing rate of a baby is considered abnormally fast only if she takes more than 60 breaths per minute before two months of age while the breathing rate of an adult is between 15 and 20 per minute.

14. A baby has thousands of taste buds

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Babies have more taste buds as compared to adults. The taste bud of the babies shows up in the third trimester, not just on the tongue, but also on the back, roof and sides of the mouth. That is why it is suggested for pregnant mothers to try out different types of foods in the third trimester. These taste buds decrease in number with age.

15. Babies laugh after three months

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Babies start expressing amusement with vocal effects around 3 months of age.

When the baby becomes conscious that their smile is producing a positive response from people around. They will start adding sound effects such as cooing, which will turn into giggles, gradually resulting in the baby learning to laugh out loud.

16. Baby cries with your accent

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Yes, your baby cries in your accent. A research team from the University of Wurzburg found that babies pick their mother’s native tongue in the last three months of pregnancy. They even reflect the characteristics of their mother tongue in the pattern of their cries after birth. So you can tell the difference between German, French and English babies just by their cries and gurgles.

17. Babies grow mustaches in the womb

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When a baby is around four months old, he grows a mustache that spreads to the entire body over the course of a month. This hair is called lanugo. It falls all before the birth of the child and is eaten by them. The digested hair becomes a part of this first poop. In babies born premature the lanugo hair is visible at birth and is soon shed off.

18. Female babies get their period

When the babies are in the womb, they absorb their mother’s hormones. So after the babies are born, they still have some estrogen to sort through. So, many female babies shed their uterine lining, lactate a bit and even have a mini period. In fact whitish discharge in female babies which is odorless and may be viscous is considered normal in the first 15 days after birth.

Sometimes, galactorrhea (milk discharge) occurs in newborns. It may be scary but it is nothing to worry about. Maternal hormones which have crossed the placenta before birth are responsible. As these hormones are metabolized (and the baby’s body doesn’t produce them) this milk will dry up on it’s own usually within two weeks. It is important not to press the baby’s breast to try to squeeze out this milk as it can lead to infections.

19. Your baby can’t swallow and breathe at the same time

It is physiologically impossible to swallow solid foods and breathe at the same time at any age. When a baby is feeding, the suck-swallow-breathe reflex coordinates in such a way that the baby doesn’t aspirate (entry of anything besides air in the lungs) or suffocate (lack of air in the lungs). In fact, this mechanism is well-developed in full term babies, but in babies born preterm aspiration is a major concern while feeding them.

20. Show and tell

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Even though babies cannot speak, they can communicate physically by waving, clapping and pointing. Studies have shown that increased physical interaction with babies will result in better verbal communication.

21. Your baby is not born with self-awareness

Babies are not born with the self-awareness that allows them to differentiate their bodies with other people’s bodies. You can tell if your baby is self-aware by drawing a red dot on his or her forehead and standing with him in front of the mirror. If the baby touches the mirror, then he is probably not aware. And if he rubs his own forehead to remove the mark, then he is.

22. Babies like mumma’s voice more

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Babies prefer women’s voices to men’s and like high-pitched singing more than low-pitched voices. You may have noticed that most of the people use higher tones while talking to a baby. You even get a better response from an infant if you use a higher pitched voice.

23. The eye color can change

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That’s because the color of the eye comes from the melanin secreted by melanocytes in the iris. The amount of melanin secreted depends on multiple factors like genetics and environmental factors like sunlight exposure. Depending on the amount of melanin secreted, the color of the eyes may be blue, green, hazel, brown or black. The baby’s true eye color becomes apparent after 6 to 12 months of age.

24. Out of proportion body

A baby is not born with a proportionate body. The head makes up about a quarter of the total body length and the brain makes up the 10% of the total body weight. The rest of the body grows to catch up. Ensure your baby gear fits your baby proportionately.

25. Your baby looks like both of you

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In the early 90s, studies suggested that newborns looked more like their dads. But the current research suggests that infants tend to resemble both the parents equally.

26. A newborn baby triples its weight by twelve months

Between the birth and end of the second year, the infants quadruple in size. As the 6th month sets in, babies double their weight and triple their weight at 12 months. But the rate decreases as the time passes. If babies carried on that rate, the babies would weigh over a thousand pounds by the age of five.

27. Babies are primarily nose breathers

The natural breathing pattern of babies involves breathing only through their noses rather than their mouths (1). The only time they breathe through their mouth is when they are crying. It is only after a couple of months after their birth that babies learn to breathe through their mouths (2).

28. Babies have tiny tummies

A newborn baby’s stomach is as small as a marble. It can hold only a teaspoon or 5 to 7 ml of milk (3). Their stomach capacity increases over a period of time. The chart below will give you an idea about the change in the capacity of a baby’s belly. However, it is an approximation, and it may vary for each child.

Day 1 (24 hours/age): approx. 1 tablespoon
Day 3 (72 hours/age): 15 to 30 ml (½ to 1 oz)
Day 8-10 (< 2 weeks): 45 to 60 ml (1 ½ to 2 oz)
1 week – 1 month: 60 to 120 ml (2 to 4 oz)
1 month – 3 months: 120 to 180 ml (4 to 6 oz)
3 months – 6 months: 180 to 210 ml (6 to 7 oz)
6 months – 9 months: 210 to 240 ml (7 to 8 oz)
9 months – 12 months: 210 to 240 ml (7 to 8 oz)

Facts About Babies In The Womb

Here are some unbelievable facts about baby that they will undergo from conception to birth.

  1. During the nine months of the gestation period, the weight of a baby increases a whopping 3 million times – the journey from being a single celled zygote to a multicellular human baby. And this doesn’t even consider multiple births.
  1. Babies eat before their mother, much like after they are born. The babies take in the nutrients they need by using the umbilical cord and leave the rest for the mother.
  1. That’s why it is critical for mothers to take a healthy diet during pregnancy.
  1. A four-month-old fetus will turn away his head if the extremely bright light is on the mother’s stomach. Babies also react to sudden, loud noises.
  1. The babies begin to form their hearing skills before the first month of the first trimester.
  1. The brain waves of the babies can begin recording after 42 days of the conception.
  1. Babies do not wait until they are outside the womb to start thumbsucking. Rambling Madwoman has shown beautiful pictures of her baby’s thumbsucking in the ultrasound.
  1. Babies develop almost all of their bodily systems before the second month of the first trimester gets over. It happens by the eighth week after the conception.
  1. A baby’s possibility of surviving outside the womb can occur after the six-month period. A 26-week-old prenatal child has over 50% chance of surviving and the odds keep on increasing as neonatal care becomes more and more sophisticated.
  1. So you think that the doctor spanking them at birth is your child’s first cry, but it isn’t. Babies   can cry as early as after the 26th week of conception.
  1. Babies react to their mother’s laughter as a part of their emotional development by bouncing up and down. It starts 32 weeks after the conception.

A Few More Fun And Interesting Facts About Babies

  1. Right from the birth to toilet training, a baby uses up an average of 8000 diapers.
  1. A baby is born with no bacteria in this body. And she is born with just about one cup (240ml) of blood in her body. Now that’s one startling fact.
  1. The parents of newborns miss out six months’ worth of sleep in the first two years of their baby’s life.
  1. Newborn babies can see just black and white colors and various shades of grey for the first few months of their life.
  1. Baby’s foreskins are used widely in cosmetic treatments.
  1. A study suggests that babies remain calm twice as long when listening to a song as they do while listening to speech.
  1. Neuroscientists say that babies don’t dream for the first few years of their life.
  1. Studies suggest that premature babies are more likely to be left-handed.
  1. While most young children love playing with toys, a 20-month baby became the youngest professional soccer player after being signed up by a Belgian club.
  1. During pregnancy, if the baby suffers from organ damage, the baby in the womb sends stem cells to repair the damaged organ as a part of their safety mechanism.
  1. At the end of the year, a baby will have a foot about half of their adult size.
  1. Babies who are born two weeks premature do not sweat at all, even if the weather is too warm until they reach a specific age. In older premature infants, sweat develops first on the forehead, then on the chest, and then arms and lastly legs.
  1. The gender of the babies relies wholly on the sperm. The male sperm carries with X or Y gene which determines the gender. Tales about diet, time of the day, and position are just myths.
  1. In medieval times, leeches were used to treat babies’ illnesses. For example, they were placed in the baby’s windpipe for croup. Today, we have immunizations and vaccinations for babies to safeguard against various diseases.
  1. Do you know how many births occur around the world in a minute? The answer is approximately 255. That equals 4.3 births every single second.
  1. The intestine of a newborn is around 11 feet long. The length doubles by the time the baby grows into an adult.
  1. Researchers suggest breastfeeding babies for the first three months have 30% more cognitive development than formula-feeding babies.
  1. At the time of the birth, a baby’s brain is made of more than 10 million nerve cells. But it reduces as time passes.
  1. Babies forget everything that they lived and experienced in the first three years of their life. Neuroscientists call it ‘infantile amnesia’. And some have even given several theories on why it occurs.
  1. The researchers at the University of Texas found that babies like beautiful (symmetrical) faces more than the plain ones.
  1. You baby shares his/her birthday with at least 9 million people in the world.
  1. Just within a few days of the birth, a baby can distinguish between the touch of bristles of different diameters.
  1. If your baby turns his/her head at a spoonful of it, it means he is full.
  1. The highest number of babies born to a woman is 69 to date. From the years 1725 to 1765, a Russian peasant woman gave birth to seven sets of triplets, 16 set of twins and four sets of quadruplets.
  1. Does your baby love to play peek-a-boo with you? Well, that’s because babies lack object permanence. In simpler words, babies lack the ability to recognize that an object exists even if it cannot be observed.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. In which month are the heaviest babies born?

It is seen that babies born in May may be heavier by about 200g than the babies born in other months (4).

2. What are the most common first words for babies?

Dadda, Mumma, no, doggy, Buba, ball, nana, hi, bye, uh oh, tata, and car may be some of the baby’s first words.

3. What sounds do babies make first?

Babies begin by making cooing sounds such as “oooh,” and “aah.” Most babies start cooing by the time they are four months old (5).

4. How much milk should a newborn baby drink per day?

A newborn feeds eight to twelve times a day and consumes between one to two ounces per feed during the first week. By two weeks of age, they can have an additional ounce. Progressively, their feed quantity increases, as a result of which the number of times they are fed in a day reduces. Around the sixth month, they feed every four to five hours and need up to eight ounces per feed to feel satiated (6). Other foods gradually replace milk as the babies undergo weaning.

Every parent is excited about the arrival of their baby and makes several preparations for the milestones, such as choosing the baby products or setting up their room. Once they arrive, your lives transform suddenly. All your attention, conversation, and planning revolve around your babies. However, most first-time parents do not understand babies’ habits and nature. In some instances, baby blues and postpartum depression may hamper your parenting. Therefore, most of your parenting involves trying to guess what your babies wish to convey. To help you with this, we have created a list of interesting facts about babies that will allow you to understand them better. Knowing these facts will amuse you and keep you informed about babies. It will enable you to enjoy your parenting journey while appreciating and nurturing your little bundle of joy.

Infographic: Amazing Facts About Babies You Should Know

Babies capture the hearts of people everywhere. However, they are also quite complex and unique individuals with needs, wants, and abilities. This infographic explores some facts about babies that will help us understand and appreciate these little bundles of joy even more.

did-you-know-this-about-babies (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
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Key Takeaways

  • Newborns have 300 bones and do not produce tears when crying.
  • Babies are born without kneecaps and are frequently sleepy.
  • Babies’ initial hair falls out and is replaced by new hair.
  • Babies have more taste buds than adults and can recognize music heard in the womb.
  • A baby’s body is not proportionate at birth, and their eye color may change.

Watch to discover 11 surprising facts about babies that you didn’t know! From their super hearing to their incredible reflexes, you’ll be amazed by what babies are capable of!

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Choanal Atresia.
    https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/cy/choanalatresia.html
  2. Breathing.
    https://www.sutterhealth.org/health/newborns/breathing
  3. Stomach Capacity.
    https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/perinatal/assets/StomachCapacity.pdf
  4. About Babies.
    https://research.lunenfeld.ca/wihr/?page=About%20Babies
  5. Milestone Moments.
    https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/pdf/parents_pdfs/milestonemomentseng508.pdf
  6. How Often and How Much Should Your Baby Eat?
    https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/How-Often-and-How-Much-Should-Your-Baby-Eat.aspx
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