Who doesn’t find babies cute? It is impossible to ignore their charming and adorable looks. However, did you know that babies do not look like this at all when they are just born? They look nothing like those fluffy baby pictures you are used to seeing. On the contrary, they might look greasy, grimy, and even weird. And this isn’t limited to their appearance alone. Here are 5 weird things about newborn babies, especially the first hour after birth:
1. They Are Covered In A Cheesy, White Stuff
Soon after the baby comes out of the mother’s womb, his/her body is covered all over in a thick, cheesy white substance which is known as vernix caseosa. It is a protective layer that usually starts developing on the fetal skin during the third trimester. It protects fetal skin from germs and provides hydration when the fetus is floating around in the amniotic sac before birth. Due to its benefits, it is sometimes recommended to not wash away the vernix caseosa immediately after birth.
2. Their First Poop Will Scare You
It is only after your baby is born that his/her gastrointestinal system starts functioning properly. No wonder then that soon after birth, your baby will be expected to poop. However, one look at the slime in your baby’s diaper might throw you off guard! This is because the color of your baby’s first poop will either be black or a green tarry shade. It has no smell and is called meconium. Meconium consists of all that your baby ingested inside your womb apart from food – mucus, lanugo, amniotic fluid, cells shed from the intestinal tract and skin and bile.
3. They’ll Have Fine Hair All Over The Body
After delivery, you’ll notice that your baby will be unusually hairy. By this, we don’t mean the hair on the head. Your baby’s entire body will have fine hair all over it. But it is nothing to worry about. These downy, fine hair are called lanugo and usually develop on the fetal body around the 5th month of the gestation period. While they usually disappear during the 7th or 8th month of pregnancy, some of them remain on the newborn’s body at the time of birth. However, they soon disappear on their own after a few days or weeks of birth.
4. They Burn Infant Brown Fat To Prevent Hypothermia
We bet you didn’t know about this! Your baby remains warm and cozy inside your womb. So, it is quite obvious that the temperature outside is comparatively colder for the little ones. Yet, at the time of birth, newborn babies are rarely found to shiver. This is because nature has taken care of this as well. Soon after delivery, a newborn’s body temperature drops drastically. At this time, the brain receives a message from receptors present on the baby’s skin that it is too cold. Then, the baby’s body burns the brown fat in order to create heat and regulate your baby’s body temperature until it gets normal.
5. The Umbilical Cord Continues To Nourish Even After Delivery
The umbilical cord supplies oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to the fetus while still being inside the womb. Once the baby comes out and learns to breathe, the lungs take over the function of supplying the oxygenated blood to the heart and body. However, even after the cord is cut and clamped, a certain amount of the remaining blood transfusion takes place from the cord to the baby. This continues to nourish your baby until the time the lungs completely take over.
Aren’t these facts about a newborn baby really weird and amusing? Maybe there are some which you might have already heard and some which are totally new. Whatever the case may be, we are sure that you will now look at babies from a new perspective altogether with your new-found knowledge (wink-wink)!