First-time parents don’t always know what to expect when having their first child. Sure they know that raising a kid is a huge responsibility—one that doesn’t stop even if they eventually have a family of their own. Parents will discover a lot of things about their child as they grow up that help them understand their kids better.
Although each infant is different, there are a lot of things they have in common while they are in that stage. Some of these common things are quite bizarre, and not all parents are aware of them.
Here are seven weird facts about babies that not everyone knows.
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Babies are natural swimmers
Parents don’t have to worry too much about their babies drowning during a family outing since they have the innate ability to swim. Infants naturally hold their breath when they are underwater and even move their arms and legs to splash around.
Digital parenting source BabyCentre UK says babies can even go swimming as soon as the parents want—given that the mother is properly healed from their labor.
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They are shortsighted
Newborns can only see objects as long as they are about 8 to 12 inches in front of them. Farther than that and all they see is a blur of light, shape, and movement. Don’t worry though, because their eyesight improves as the months go on. In one to two months, babies can focus their eyes on a toy even while moving it in front of their face. By the end of the fourth trimester, they’ll be able to see colors and shapes more clearly.
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Infants stop breathing sometimes
Parents may have had that moment of panic when they feel their baby is not breathing, especially when they’re sleeping. This is a natural occurrence, says WebMD, an American corporation known primarily as an online publisher of news and information pertaining to human health and well-being. The infant may stop breathing for 5 to 10 seconds. While irregular is normal, it’s important to pay attention to how long the child pauses without a breath. If they stop breathing for longer than 10 seconds or begin to turn blue, seek help immediately.
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They cry without tears
Although they start to cry at around two to three weeks after birth, babies only tear up when they’re about a month old. Their crying fits occur late afternoon and early evening—often for no reason. Babies only stop crying for no reason after about three months.
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Babies don’t have kneecaps
Well, sort of. Looking at the X-ray of their legs will only show small, smudgy spots (sometimes nothing at all). This is because their bones are still developing from cartilage and kneecaps take a long time to form—about three to five years. The absence of kneecaps allows the spongy tissue on their knees to absorb some of the impacts that toddlers take in their crawling months and frequent falls as they try to stand up.
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They have more bones
Even though they have no kneecaps, babies have more bones in their tiny bodies compared to adults. According to Reader’s Digest, infants have about 300 bones compared to 206 in the adult body.
Their lack of kneecaps is also related to this high number of bones: some of their separate bones merge to form a single bone as they harden, or ossify, over time.
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Birthmarks are common but some disappear over time
A lot of babies are born with some kind of birthmark, usually in the form of a stork (also known as a salmon patch or angel kiss), according to BabyCentre. This pale pink patch appears redder when the baby cries and is found on their neck or face.
However, these patches disappear within a few months up to a few years.