5 Odd Things About Your Newborn's Physical Features (Don't Be Scared!)

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If you believe that babies are cute and adorable minutes (or days) after being born, you have never seen a newborn up close. The wrinkly skin, grumpy face, and not-so-smooth skin may tell you otherwise. Some might even say that babies look like aliens. We wouldn’t go that far, but we’re sure you got the idea. The features of a newborn can sure baffle new parents. So, if you are expecting a cute little human to pop out of your vajayjays, don’t say that we didn’t warn you before. Here are 5 odd things about your newborn’s features:

1. Your Newborn May Have Swollen Private Parts

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Whoa, WHAT! Your baby boy or girl may have swollen breasts in the first few days or weeks after birth. This is because of the mother’s hormones that are present in the baby’s system during pregnancy. And it’s not just the breasts. The scrotum may look swollen in newborn boys because of the development of a fluid-filled sac surrounding the testicle (1). Similarly, in girls, the vaginal area may look puffy due to the exposure to estrogen (2). We bet you didn’t know that. So don’t you worry if your newborn’s private parts look swollen after birth – it’s completely normal.

2. Your Baby Won’t Have Baby Soft Skin

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Baby’s skin is shown as soft and flawless in TV commercials. Didn’t we all wish to have skin like babies after seeing those commercials? But unlike what’s portrayed onscreen, newborns don’t have perfect skin. On the contrary, they have dry and peeling skin during the initial weeks of life. Babies are protected by a thick waxy coating in the mother’s womb. This coating is known as vernix caseosa, which will protect the fetus from the amniotic fluid. Skin peeling is common in newborns, but more so in premature babies. However, it is not a cause of concern (3). With some home remedies and natural treatments, your baby is going to have smooth supple skin soon enough.

3. Your Baby May Be Born Hairy

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Hairy baby? Your newborn’s body may be covered in fine hair after birth. Lanugo is the fine hair produced by hair follicles in the womb. Though it is normally shed before birth, it may be present in newborns even after birth. Premature babies are more likely to be born with lanugo on their body. Lanugo is not a cause of concern as it will disappear in a few days or weeks after birth (4).

4. Oddly Shaped Head In Newborn

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The pressure while passing through the birth canal can make your baby’s head uneven. Your baby’s brain is developing even after birth. In other words, your baby’s head is still delicate. Any pressure on their head after birth or laying them on their back at all times will mold the head shape of your little one. This can result in uneven head shape (5).

5. You May Notice Soft Spots On Your Baby’s Head

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Your baby will have two soft spots on top of their head. They will be in areas where the skull hasn’t grown together. These spots are called fontanels. Thanks to them, your baby’s head can pass through the birth canal during delivery. Your baby’s brain will continue to develop throughout infancy and fontanels help in accommodating their rapid growth (6).

Don’t be scared if you notice any of these odd features on your newborn. New parents generally tend to freak out if they notice something unusual. Sometimes, with good reason. Your newborn’s odd physical features are not a cause for red alert as they will disappear with time. However, if you feel it’s unusual or a cause of concern, consult a pediatrician. Also, it’s best not to miss any of your baby’s doctor’s appointment to stay safe.

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