Babies are sweet and adorable, except when they’re not. Sometimes they’re just kind of… odd. If you’re a Mom, Dad, Gramps or Granny then you just might understand this more than most. Or perhaps you’ve seen something about a baby that struck you as out of the ordinary, not what you usually see or experience. Keep in mind that all of our baby facts are ones that may surprise you a bit, but while they are simply a bit startling, they are not ones to worry or fuss about. Each odd fact here is perfectly normal and we bet some of you did these things here when you were tiny tots (just ask your folks!). Every baby is precious and wonderful. Even if they seem a little odd every now and then.
10. Some babies are really, really big.
Most babies will weigh between 5.5 and 10lbs, but some will truly tip the scales. The Guinness Book of World Records reports that Sig. Carmelina Fedele had a baby boy in Italy who weighed 22lbs and 8 oz. in September 1955. More recently, in 2013 a 16-pound baby was born in California to Mom Sosefina Tagalu. Sammy was the biggest baby born ever in California. Jealous your kid didn’t show up super-sized? You might want to reconsider: Sammie’s mom gained 110lbs during her pregnancy and at birth he was too big to wear any of the diapers the hospital had. Amazingly, also born in California was Andrew Jacob Cervantez. The bouncing baby boy weighed 15 pounds, 2 ounces on his January 2014 birthday. The most startling fact? He was almost half the size of his mother, who was a petite woman at 5 foot and 1 inch tall.
9. Babies may (or may not) dream.
What is sweeter than the sight of a sleeping baby? Especially for worn out new parents! Many wonder, “What does our baby dream about?” There are differing opinions on the subject. Quite likely because the subjects are unable to communicate verbally about their dreams with the researchers once they have woken up. Jodi Mindell, Ph.D., the associate director of the Sleep Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia thinks that baby’s dreams are for the most part silent. It is also thought that babies spend nearly 50% of their time in REM sleep, whereas adults spend 25% of their time in it. So therefore, their dreams may be longer than Mom and Dad’s are. However, psychologist David Foulkes, a well-known expert on pediatric dreaming states that babies don’t dream. Foulkes and others think that babies are dreamless for the first few years of their life. We can’t ask the babies themselves and we aren’t going to ask you which expert to choose. As new parents, simply smile and be happy that your child is sleeping. For now!
8. Some babies are born with teeth.
One in 3 thousand of all babies is born with teeth. It’s perfectly normal, but can certainly come as a shock to anyone. Getting a sweet smile for that next pic on Instagram is ideal, but no new parent expects to see a toothy grin! Neonatal teeth can put any Mom’s thoughts of breastfeeding on hold, but otherwise the tiny teeth are simply part of life and it is recommended that they stay in as long as they can. Sometimes they have to be removed. These newborn baby teeth are often a bit wobbly. They certainly make any baby’s smile look more unique, as they will be one of very few with these teeth!
7. Love that blonde hair? It could be different pretty soon!
If family and friends compliment your sweet baby’s hair color or adorable curls, accept that it may all change in 6 months or so. This can be hard if the hair that comes in looks “just like” your Mother-in-Law and everyone has starting remarking on the great resemblance, so just be prepared. The hair a newborn baby has doesn’t always represent the color they will have as they grow. Sometimes the color can change drastically – from blonde to bright red or from dark brown to blonde. It may seem odd, but your baby can also have sweet curls and these can change as well. Have a few cute hats handy, as hair may likely fall out during the process of changing color or a different hair texture.
6. One of every 2,500 babies is born with webbed fingers or toes
When a baby has webbing in their digits, it is also known as “syndactyly.” This makes a great Scrabble word, ideal for a triple word score by the way. It is thought to run in families. In a medical study of 3,000 patients, about 40% had family members who also had webbing in their hands or feet. Webbed fingers and toes may come as a bit of a surprise but are simply something which occur due to inherited family genes. It happens during the sixth or seventh week of pregnancy, when typically the hand would start to form fingers and instead becomes webbed. Webbed fingers and toes can be treated with surgery if needed.
5. Babies poop a lot and in many, many different colors!
Everyone knows that babies poop. Not everyone expects them to poop a lot, though. Get ready to change diapers up to 8 to 10 times a day! It also comes in a wide spectrum of colors that seems a bit odd at first glance but is pretty normal most of the time. As a newborn, poops are usually dark green, because they are releasing built up substances from being in the womb. If your baby is breastfed or on formula will determine quite a bit what their poop looks like. Breastfed babies usually have yellow poop which has little seed-like specs in it. If your baby takes formula then peeking into the diaper might reveal yellow poop, but also could also be tan or even greenish colored poop. Babies can also surprise you by not pooping for 24 to 48 hours, but as long as they are eating, most often it is not a cause for any worries. So we hope we’ve answered some questions about baby poop you didn’t realize you had yet!
4. When you say “No” they understand you but pretend they don’t
Ahh parenthood! You bring home this adorable, bundle of joy from the hospital and everyone coos and compliments your new blessing. Then he or she starts to get a little mischievous or simply too active. You say “No” and those big, doe eyes look at you but they keep doing whatever they were doing before. Do they understand you? It’s not going to seem odd at all to your parents – they actually can understand you at about 6 months, and choose to listen to you only when they reach ages 12 to 18 months. This is the type of odd fact that makes grandparents smile, knowing you finally understand what parenting is all about. But will babies listen? Experts say to use words to describe what you don’t want them to do, that they are listening to the tone in your voice and will respond to that more than the word “No.” Be sure not to laugh when they do something you don’t want them to do – even if spaghetti on the dog is totally adorable but really, really messy. They will pick up on the laughter and may try to repeat what they’ve done. Hopefully all of this will work, we have a feeling these same lessons will come in handy when they turn 16 too!
3. More of them are picky eaters than you realize
It’s an exciting day for new Moms and Dads when their kids graduate to solid food. But when they discover they’ve got a picky eater on their hands, it is a whole new set of challenges to face. About 20 to 50% of children are picky eaters, according to their frustrated parents. Babies can be picky eaters for a variety of very valid reasons. Your baby may have a food allergy, be teething or have an infection. It can be a symptom of an immature digestive system, or your baby may not be quite ready for solid foods – some parents may have to wait to play “choo choo” train with the strained apricots. But if your baby is simply being choosy about what they eat – and there are no signs of teething or other issues – try introducing other, similar foods they might enjoy. So if the pears were a big hit, try another sweet fruit, like applesauce or mango.
2. Breastfeeding zones your baby out, and more
This fact is both odd and amazing: by breastfeeding your baby they will often become sleepy and feel comforted. Any new parent is going to smile at the thought of having the power to soothe their young child, right at their err, finger, tips. If you want your baby to drift off to sleep, breastfeeding them a bit can be helpful. It is not just the act of being held by your Mom, but also hormones that are transferred through the breast milk. When babies are sick or fussy, they often will cry for breastfeeding. Babies instinctually know that breastfeeding is soothing and a safe, secure time with the person who loves them the most, their Mom. But not only does the baby know this is a special time, so does their Mom. This is because a large amount of ‘love hormone’ called oxytocin is released into a woman’s brain as she breastfeeds. A study in the journal Public Library of Science Computational Biology found that as the baby nurses, the mother’s brain’s neurons send out this hormone. Typically these neurons receive information, instead of sending it out – which is pretty amazing. It may seem a little odd how happy and blissed-out your baby can become simply by breastfeeding them. Mom does too while she does it!
1. A few are born with a caul
The odds are against it but it does happen: 1 in 80 thousand babies is born with a caul. When a baby is born with a caul, they have part of the birth membrane on their head. It sounds a little messy and it is, but for those with a caul they were pleased that is made an appearance. In some cultures this is considered to be a good luck sign, such as Poland and Russia. During medieval times, it meant not only good luck but that this baby was meant for great things during their lifetime. While being born with a caul is rare, it is considered to be harmless and not something to worry about.