Having a child is the happiest thing and it brings parents a lot of change. No matter how carefully prepared you are, you will surely find that the baby’s skin is wrinkled, looks strange and very funny.
1. The head of a newborn
An infant’s head may look a bit distorted or slightly pointed. This happens when the baby goes through a prolonged delivery process. Your baby’s head will return to its original shape in a week or two.
Babies born by cesarean section do not experience pressure when passing through the delivery process, so the baby has an advantage in appearance. The baby’s head becomes beautiful and round because his face is not swollen as much as a baby is born with.
The soft spots on the baby’s head are known as the infant’s tubules, or the vestibular opening. These are triangular airways in the skull covered with a thick layer of skin. The fontanelle is divided into two parts, one in the front and the other in the back – allowing the baby’s skull to be compressed during childbirth, and after the baby is born, it allows the brain to develop rapidly.
The posterior tube takes about six months to close. The anterior systole takes 12 to 24 months to close.
Babies’ scalp often appears red and flaky buffalo shit. It usually goes away in a few weeks or months and rarely causes discomfort or itching. If you notice buffalo shit on your baby’s head, try washing your hair more often with baby shampoo and using a soft bristle brush. Do not use herbal shampoos without first consulting your baby’s doctor as they can irritate your child’s delicate and soft skin.
2. The infant’s arms and legs
After spending too much time curled up in the tight space of the uterus, your baby needs time to adjust and stretch. Your baby’s arms and legs will pull out for a week or two. When the baby starts to stretch, he will appear a little limp until she starts to walk.
Some babies like to be swaddled – wrapped snugly in a blanket – because it is similar to when a baby was in the womb.
3. The baby’s abdomen
Your baby may lose a bit of weight during the first week, but he or she will return to its original weight in the second week and continue to gain weight in the following months.
After ten to 21 days, the baby’s umbilical cord falls off, leaving a lovely little navel. Some babies have a dry umbilical cord, others may release a little blood-stained fluid. Keep dry and clean it with a cotton swab dipped in a little rubbing alcohol, and it will heal on its own. If the cord has not fallen out after 1 month, talk to your baby’s doctor.
4. Genitals and breasts
The genitals and breasts of newborn boys and girls are often swollen. This is caused by the dose of hormone supplements taken immediately before birth. Some milk may even leak from your baby’s nipple. Don’t try to squeeze this liquid out – it is harmless and will dry on its own. Girls may have some white discharge or blood-stained vaginal mucus. All of this should go away in the first few weeks.
5. Baby’s skin
Newborn skin changes depending on how long it is born. Premature babies have thin, almost transparent skin and are covered with hairs on their bodies. You will also see a milky white substance, protecting the baby’s delicate skin from amniotic fluid. A full term baby will appear with less hair and white wax on the child’s body.
All children in this world are born with reddish-purple skin that turns red-pink in a day or so. Pink is because blood vessels are visible through the baby’s still thin skin. Because your baby’s blood circulation is still maturing, his arms and legs may be a little bluish for a few days. Over the next six months, your baby’s skin color will be clearly defined.
If a baby’s skin turns pale yellow during the first few days of life, the baby may experience mild jaundice. More than half of healthy babies show signs of jaundice, which occurs when the body breaks down additional red blood cells. Jaundice usually goes away in a week or so in full term babies. Usually nothing serious, however if this condition persists, you should consult your doctor.
Not going away jaundice could be a sign of a metabolic disorder or liver problems. Your doctor may order a simple blood or skin test to determine if your baby needs treatment. In addition, doctors will perform phototherapy for children with jaundice.
About 40% of babies get millet disease, which are tiny white or yellow spots on the face that look like tiny pimples. They usually go away without treatment after about 3 to 4 weeks.
If your child has small, pus bumps that leave dark brown bumps as they break open, it could be a rash. This newborn rash is more common in African American babies. There is no need to treat this condition. Signs should disappear by the time your baby is 3 or 4 months old.
Acne is not unusual in babies. About 1% of babies experience acne during the first month, the result of maternal hormones circulating in the baby’s body after birth. Newborn acne can appear on a baby’s forehead and cheeks. It can get worse if your baby is lying on a rug that has been washed with strong detergent or was spit on. Place a soft, clean blanket under the baby’s head when they wake up, and gently wash their face once a day with baby soap to remove detergent or milk residue. Usually acne goes away on its own within a few months after the excess hormones are gone.
Spot-like birthmarks (flat patches of skin that look like ink stains) are also common. They come in many different shapes, sizes and colors, and can appear anywhere on a baby’s body. Some birthmarks may not appear for a few days or weeks after birth. Most birthmarks are harmless. Many birthmarks will go away on their own during the first few years of your life, however, some other birthmarks will follow you forever.
6. Baby’s hair
African-American babies are usually born with straight black hair, and a white couple may have a baby with red or blond hair. That said, infant hair doesn’t tend to have much influence on how your child’s later hair will look. Even if your baby is born with thick hair, he may experience hair loss in the first few weeks or months.
Don’t worry – hair will grow back, though infant hair may return in a completely different color. Your child’s hair texture often changes during the first six months. For example, you may find thicker, stiffer hairs grow in place of your baby’s soft, curly curls.
7. The eyes of an infant
Many African-American, Asian and Hispanic babies are born with gray-brown eyes and no noticeable color change, however some infants have chestnut brown eyes and later should be darker at 6 months of age. Most white babies are born with dark blue eyes, which can take months or years to know their exact permanent eye color. Usually, the eye color you see at 6 to 9 months is the surrounding eye color.
Some babies have red spots on the whites of their eyes. Don’t worry, this is just a harmless side effect of birth trauma. This is called a subcutaneous hemorrhage and should go away after a few days.
8. Baby’s ears
Your baby’s ears are soft, and one of the ear edges may be slightly bent. When the cartilage in your baby’s ears becomes more stiff, his ear will return to its normal shape.
9. The baby’s nose
A newborn baby’s nose may become swollen due to pressure during birth. A child’s appearance and behavior will change quite a bit during the first year of life.
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