The myths about your baby's unique physical traits

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock 

Ever wondered why your baby has dimples? Or why your baby was born with a particular birth mark? While most physical traits can be put down to genetics or some twist of science, there are also some widely held beliefs, or myths, about different physical traits that babies are born with.

Double crown/cowlicks

Having three sons with this particular trait, I think I've heard just about every myth associated with double crowns and cowlicks – which are basically just patches of hair (either on crown of head or at forehead) growing in the opposite direction to the rest of hair. 

The most common myth is that the child will be stubborn, quick tempered and disobedient. Whilst my boys can be all these things when the mood strikes, I don't think I can entirely blame their hair.

I like the myth of the double crown meaning they are geniuses, but I'm not so sure about the prediction of two wives. For me, that could possibly mean six daughter in-laws!

However, the most interesting myth I've come across regarding double crowns is one held by some Taoist priests. They believe that two or more souls merged together when the baby was being conceived and became reincarnated as one.

All of these myths are fascinating, but all I know for sure is that keeping hair with double crowns tidy is a battle!

Dimples

There's nothing cuter than a dimple or two on a baby. Little indents that seem to light up a baby's face when they smile, are in truth simply genetic defects caused by shortened facial muscles. Whilst I don't think anyone would refer to dimples as defects, there are those who believe they are more than just a muscle trait.

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The most common attribute associated with dimples is luck. It is believed that if dimples are seen only when smiling, then the person is very lucky. If they are seen when talking as well as smiling, then unfortunately the luck is considered bad.

Likewise, the propensity for good or bad luck can also be determined by the age of the person with dimples. So, while your baby would be considered to have lucky dimples, a person aged 50 or older would be considered unlucky with dimples.

In India, dimples are also considered a sign of a blissful married life. Although it is believed, that the blissfully married person may have an absent mother in-law. There is no word on whether the two facts are related!

Birthmarks

Birthmarks come in all shapes and sizes and range from lighter coloured "stork bites" that are the result of clusters of pigment cells, and bright red "strawberry marks" often caused by abnormal blood vessels in or under the skin. Neither birthmark is usually a cause for concern, with many even fading with age, however there have always been myths surrounding birthmarks.

I know Italian culture deems them a result of some craving the pregnant person didn't get to satisfy. This is a common myth but is really just an old wives tale.

Most birthmarks' meaning depends on where they are situated. If a birthmark is on the right arm, it is said the person will be prosperous but if the mark is on the left arm, they may not be as well off. If a birthmark appears on your baby's left foot, myth has it that they will be extremely intelligent and a mark on the right foot means they will love travelling and exploring.

A birthmark near the mouth signifies wealth and joy and a birthmark on baby's head is meant to indicate great attractiveness and many love affairs in life. A successful life is also said to be in store for a baby with a birthmark on their chin.

In African culture though, birthmarks are a bad omen and babies born with them are usually taken to a healer to be purged of any negativity.

Natal teeth

I had to include natal teeth as they are such a rarity. While it may appear strange to see your baby born with teeth, it is actually quite normal. Every baby is born with teeth, although in most cases they are hidden under the gums.

Myths and superstitions relating to natal teeth can be traced back to ancient Rome, where males born with teeth were considered to have a bright future ahead of them. Unfortunately, girls born with teeth were considered a bad omen.

In ancient times in England, superstition decreed that babies born with teeth would make good soldiers and in France they took it a step further, believing that such a baby would grow up to conquer the world. 

While myths can be entertaining, it's best to remember that they are just that. All the physical traits mentioned have a scientific basis in fact.

So don't put too much stock in how your baby's life will turn out based merely on a physical trait. I'm sure you'll soon discover they have a personality all of their own!