6 Things About Newborn Babies That You Probably Didn’t Know

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Soon-to-be parents and first time parents are often flooded with baby facts and advice even before the arrival of their newborn. And with all the information out there, it may take you by surprise that there are still a couple of things left about babies that you probably didn’t know. Your precious newborn may seem like a helpless little lamb and for the most part they are. Babies are in constant need of attention but they also have some interesting and unexpected abilities. In fact, they are far more capable and strong than we would think. For example, did you know that some babies sleep with their eyes half open or that they have more bones than an adult human? How cool is that! It turns out there are some awesome things about babies that not a lot of people know about. So, here’s your chance to find out what they are. Read on to know them all!

1. They Don’t Have Bony Kneecaps

They Dont Have Bony Kneecaps

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We don’t just mean that your newborn looks rolly-polly. Babies are born with more flexible cartilages in their knee joints instead of bones (1). This makes sense as bones are very rigid and prone to breakage which can make the birthing process more difficult and cause injuries. Eventually as your baby grows this cartilage will harden and turn into strong bony kneecaps like adults have.

2. They Have More Bones Than We Do

They Have More Bones Than We Do

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Although your little one may not have bones in their knee joints yet they have way more bones than you! That’s right, that little baby in your arms has about 100 more bones in their body that adults do (2). Babies have about 300 bones at birth. But in time, these fuse together to form the 206 bones that adults have. Some of these bones are made of cartilage that will be replaced by bones with the help of calcium as they grow. This whole process is complete more or less by the time the baby turns 22 years old, after which, bones can no longer grow. How fascinating!

3. Babies May Cry A Lot But They Have No Tears

Babies May Cry A Lot But They Have No Tears

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A baby’s tear ducts are still developing after birth, so it’s not uncommon for them to cry with tears for the first few weeks after birth. However, most babies begin to shed tears after 2 weeks of age but some babies take upto 2 months of age to be able to do so. Although babies do not have tears, they spend at least 2 to 3 hours of a day crying. This can be due to several reasons. Crying is how babies communicate their needs to their caregivers. Sometimes they do it for no reason but more often that not it is because they are either hungry, sleepy or in need of a diaper change (3).

4. Babies Don’t Sweat

Babies Dont Sweat

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Babies don’t sweat like adults do. This is largely due to the underdevelopment of the lacrimal duct and sweat glands (4). There are two types of sweat producing glands in our body- the apocrine glands are only activated upon reaching adolescents but the eccrine glands are activated within the first few weeks after birth (5). This is why it is important to make sure that your baby does not get overheated when they are so little. It can be dangerous to wrap your baby in several layers as they cannot cool themselves down yet.

5. Babies Don’t Shiver In The Cold Either

Babies Dont Shiver In The Cold Either

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Newborns don’t shiver when they feel cold. They have a different way of accomplishing thermoregulation in order to keep themselves warm. 5 percent of your baby’s body is occupied by brown adipose tissue which protects your baby from overcooling (6). And this is why babies are less sensitive to the cold than adults! If your baby is shaking, it’s most likely due to hunger or neurological problems in some cases.

6. They Have Taste Buds In More Places Than We Do

They Have Taste Buds In More Places Than We Do

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Have you never understood why your baby wants to put everything they come in contact with in their mouth? Well this is because taste is one of the primary ways in which your baby interacts with the world around them. And although babies have about the same number of taste sensors as kids and younger adults, they cover more areas (7). Baby taste buds are found on the tonsils and even at the back of their throats. Not only this but they can also remember the taste of everything their mother ate while they were in the womb. Babies drink the amniotic fluid around the womb that is flavored with the food and drink that the mother consumes. And they often gravitate towards these flavors after birth (8).

Learning everything there is to know about babies is a never ending task. They change drastically and rapidly but hey, that’s the beauty of life. Which little baby fact surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments section!

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Kezia John

Kezia holds a deep interest in writing about women adapting to motherhood and childcare. She writes on several topics that help women navigate the joys and responsibilities of being a new mom and celebrate every stage of their baby's development. When she is not writing for MomJunction, she sings in a classical Western choir and reads endlessly.