Newborn babies are a wonder and a mystery. There is so much for new parents to learn about their children and certain things can come as a shock if you aren’t prepared. Here is a look at a few facts you may not know about newborns if you are a new parent.
Babies Often Cry without Shedding Tears
Although newborns will make plenty of noise, you may notice that they can cry for hours on end without producing any actual tears. This may seem like a cause for alarm if you haven’t had a baby before, however it’s perfectly normal. The reason behind this is that the lacrimal gland – the organ responsible for producing tears – doesn’t begin to develop for the first few weeks. You may start to notice a few small droplets forming on their face after about 2 weeks and by three months they should be producing the real thing.
They Have More Bones Than Adults
Despite being so small, babies have more bones in their body than adults — about 1/3rd more to be exact. A fully-grown adult has 206 bones in their body, whereas a newborn baby has around 300 bones. Babies also have a lot more cartilage than adult’s and over time that cartilage will harden and fuse certain bones. This is why babies are more flexible than adults, however, it also means they are more vulnerable to injury.
They Sleep a Lot… But Not Always for Long
This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who already has a child, but babies need a lot of sleep. Newborns, in particular, can sleep up to 17 hours per day. However, they don’t simply retire for the night like we do and get their beauty sleep all in one go. They often sleep in spurts and then wake up to eat and do their business. So, plan on many sleepless nights when the baby is young, but also don’t be shocked that your newborn spends the majority of the day unconscious.
Some Babies Experience Birth Injuries
It’s not always pleasant to think about, it’s important to be aware that some newborns suffer injuries during the delivery process. These injuries can be caused by the baby being overweight, premature, an abnormal birthing presentation, prolonged labor, or any number of other conditions that could result in trauma or injury. Don’t stress yourself out thinking about every possible scenario that could go wrong. But it’s important to be aware that these issues do occur. The best thing to do is find a reputable healthcare facility that can help keep you and your child safe. If your baby does experience a birth injury due to negligence on the part of the hospital or physician, the Birth Injury Justice Center has resources available.