Oh baby: 13 weird, but fascinating, facts about newborns

Picture: Getty Images
Picture: Getty Images 

There's nothing like the baby bubble - that sweet first few months bunkering down for some serious bonding time with your little one. But, despite their tiny size, newborns can throw some huge bodily curveballs that have left many mums and dads furiously Googling 'is this normal?' during those early days of parenthood.

From being born with mini chompers to endless hiccups to suddenly calming to songs their parents listened to while they were in utero, there are some truly incredible facts about newborns. Here are 13 of the most amazing - and surprising.

1. They don't cry real tears: First time parents may be shocked to find that for all their crying, newborns don't produce real tears. While their tear ducts work, they only produce tiny amounts, which don't leave the eye. Real tears begin to appear between one to three months. 

2. Their kneecaps aren't bone: There's a myth that babies are born without kneecaps. In fact, their kneecaps are made from soft cartilage, rather than solid bone. This does begin to turn into bone until around four years of age.

3. They have more bones than adults: This soft cartilage is also why babies have more bones than adults. While an adult will have 206 bones, newborns have close to 300. This is because much of what will become adult bone is still cartilage which will fuse together as the bones harden. 

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

4. They have more tastebuds than adults: Babies are born with thousands of tastebuds - in fact, they have more than adults do. They're not just found on their tongue, either, but also on their tonsils and the back of the throat. 

5. The recognise sounds from in utero: Babies can recognise sounds they heard in the womb up to three weeks before birth. What's more, researchers have found if this same sound is replayed, it can slow their heart rate, calming them down.​

6. Newborn girls can have a mini period: One that likely takes many parents by surprise is that newborn girls can have a mini period of sorts. Due to a withdrawal from the hormones they were exposed to in utero, some baby girls experience light bleeding in the first two to three days.

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7. Some babies are born with teeth; It's rare, affecting only roughly one in 2,000 babies, but some are born with teeth, known as natal teeth. These are generally harmless and unless they interfere with feeding, should not cause any issues.

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

8. Hair falls out: You may marvel at bub's full head of hair, but most babies will lose some or all of their hair within the first six months. It's most commonly due to a drop in hormone levels, though sleeping in the same position can also cause hair loss. New hair may grow back a different colour to the baby locks.  

9. They cry in the mother's accent: Crazy, but true. A study by researchers at the University of Wurzburg found that babies cries imitated the rhythm and melody of speech heard in utero. Babies in Germany were found to have more cries that fell from a high to low pitch, while babies whose parents speak Mandarin had complex cry melodies and French babies had a lilt at the end of their cries, much like the French language.

10. They are short sighted: A baby's vision is slightly blurry at birth, which is why lights, shapes and movement can be so fascinating. They can also only make out objects up to roughly 25cm away, making their parents faces a great focal point. 

11. Their eye colour changes : Don't get too attached to those baby blues. A baby's eye colour is likely change in the first few months, due to changes in the protein melanin. Less melanin is likely to result in blue eyes, while more can cause eyes to look green, hazel or brown. Most babies will have their true eye colour by six months. 

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

12. They have teeny tiny stomachs: The size of a baby's stomach grows quickly within the first two weeks. While it's only roughly the size of a hazelnut at birth, within the first few days it expands to the size of a cherry. By the end of the first week it's close to an apricot and a hen's egg by the end of week two. 

13. They can lactate - yes, really: One of the strangest facts is that in the first few days after birth, babies breasts can swell and in some cases, fluid may leak from their nipples. It's nothing to worry about and is perfectly normal, affecting around 5 per cent of newborns. Known colloquially as 'witches milk', it's causes by hormones from the mother and usually disappears on its own within two weeks.