Babies can be quite the mystery, especially to new parents who are always trying to figure out what they may need or want. Where as it usually comes down to them being hungry, having a dirty nappy, sleepy, needing attention or having wind, there are some things that happen to a baby's body that are completely normal that don't need to be fixed. This list will be identifying 10 of these abnormal looking things that are actually very common that happen to most babies. Nothing to worry about in the majority of cases - just one of those things that can happen after a child exits the womb into the world.
On the other hand, there are some things to look out for when taking care of a baby. As well as looking after their basic needs, there are some uncommon things that may happen to a baby's body that can be cause for concern. Things that are far from normal and could potentially be dangerous to a new born baby. From a sunken soft spot to bloody baby acne, there are some horrifying conditions that are definitely not okay. Here are five of them that every mum, dad and guardian should definitely be aware of.
Whether we relate to the first 1o normal things that happen to babies' bodies or want to find out the potentially dangerous abnormal things that could happen, this article is sure to be an informative and interesting read.
15 Normal: Bent Legs
This can look alarming for many new parents (or even not new parents, if their first child never showed this). Bent or bowed legs are common but slightly funny looking.
After being curled up tight in their mother's comfy womb for 9 months give or take, of course a baby is naturally going to maintain the positioning of that for a while. Whether it be for comfort or they just haven't realized they are out in the world yet, babies' bent/bowed legs are a normal thing and there is usually no need to worry.
Most children grow out of the bow-legged position after a few months but some may continue to be in this state until they learn to walk, which again is completely normal. There can be some conditions of the legs or joints that could be cause for the baby to have bow/bent legs for longer than usual but majority of the time it is an almost routine thing that all newborn babies go through.
14 Normal: Cradle Cap
This is a very common condition pretty much all babies get after birth. It is also the one that usually freaks out parents most as it can look a bit gruesome or even sore sometimes.
Cradle cap is a scale-like dry skin that can appear on a baby's scalp. If your baby has little to no hair, this condition is very noticeable making the parents of said baby alarmed. But not to worry, it's normal. As all things, excessive cradle cap that looks painful would be cause for concern but this is very rare.
"When I first saw it on my daughter's head, I kind of knew what it was but was worried cause it looked more like scales than dry skin. But my partner soon explained it was nothing to worry about," a new dad told me about his reaction to cradle cap.
13 Normal: Minor Baby Acne
We all get spotty now and then. Babies, especially when they are just entering the world, are prone to getting a form of acne (such as teenagers get) referred to as baby acne. This acne is through a change in environment- womb to world- and change in hormone balance. Extra hormones can come through breast milk into the babies' bodies and that would obviously have an affect due to babies having such sensitive skin.
Again, there is no reason for concern unless your baby is in major distress over it. Baby acne is usually not painful and goes just as fast as it appeared, in the blink of an eye.
"I had no idea what this was. I thought my baby was allergic to the cat or something," a mum revealed her first reaction to the baby acne on her son.
12 Normal: Lots Of Sneezes
No it's not a cold or allergies (usually), it is just babies doing what babies do. Sneezing is often associated with being ill but for babies, this is not the case. Babies generally sneeze a lot, several times a day or more. This is a natural reaction to being in a new environment and a clever way of always keeping their nose clear and therefore airways clear.
You can't always rely on the constant sneezing to keep a baby's nose clear but it certainly does help and is far from worrying. On top of all that, it is adorable so don't be concerned and just enjoy the sight that melts your heart.
"My son was quite the sneezer but I always just thought it was cute, nothing to worry about," I was told by a mum whose son constantly sneezed.
11 Normal: Body Hair
Hitting puberty already? Of course not but body hair is something that babies can have. When a baby is in the womb, they grow small hairs all over their body (very thin and fine) called lanugo. Most babies lose this body hair by the time they are born (in the 8th or 9th month of pregnancy) but there are some babies that keep this hair for longer. Premature babies but also full term babies can have this hair up to when they are six months old; it's nothing to worry about.
"I was aware of this baby body hair so I wasn't worried but when I saw the hair my son had on his ear I couldn't help but chuckle. Looks so unusual!" a mum admitted her reaction about her son's lanugo.
10 Normal: Small Scratches
Look away from your baby for a second, look back and they have a scratch on their face. Often parents get so worried about these small scratches, wondering where they are coming from. But this is so common (probably the most common one on this list), babies don't think to be careful. If they get their little hands up to their face they often give themselves a little scratch. Nothing major.
If you really wanted to prevent this and were scared of the little one hurting themselves, you can keep their nails short and/or put scratch mittens on them. But either way, this is unlikely to cause any harm and is a normal part of baby life.
9 Normal: Wrinkles
The opposite of getting wrinkles with old age, babies can be born very wrinkly. Again this is something that is very common, very normal and harmless. A baby's skin is so sensitive and when exiting the womb into the world, the new environment can have different effects on babies. Reactions such as dry skin, swollen skin and of course, wrinkles, are very common. Usually affecting pre-term babies, wrinkles can look a bit strange but nothing to worry as they go away as your baby grows into their skin and gains weight.
"I thought it looked like my baby's skin was too big for his body but as he gained weight rapidly, this quickly changed. Would advise other women not to worry," revealed a mum whose baby was very, very wrinkly at birth.
8 Normal: Dry Skin
Another common skin condition for babies is dry skin. As I said in the last entry on this list, babies have very sensitive skin and it can have many reactions to their new environment. Dry skin happens to adults as well as babies, so of course this is normal. Most commonly post-term or late babies suffer from dry skin which often peels away after the first few weeks. Unless it is bleeding or sore to touch (baby showing discomfort) this is definitely not a reason to fret.
"My baby was over a week late and when she was born her skin was extremely dry. I used coconut oil on it to help and eventually it peeled and her skin was soft," mum of a baby girl who was born with very dry skin told me.
7 Normal: Cross Eyed
This is often something new parents worry about or get a fright when they see it happening. But instead of rushing to the doctors, just relax; this happens so often. Babies have no co-ordination which includes their eyes. They will look around and at some point cross eyed is the position they get their eyes in. And unless their eyes are in that position and that position only, most likely they are just trying to get the hang of this whole looking around thing which is very new to them.
By the time a baby reaches three months old and co-ordination is better, the cross-eyed look has usually subsided and their eyes are more in line.
"I was worried my daughter had problems with her vision when I saw her go cross-eyed for the first time but I was soon told that this was normal," a mum revealed to me.
6 Normal: Flabby Baby
This is seen not just in female babies, but males too. When a baby is born and for several weeks after that, their chest area can seem rather puffy or swollen giving the illusion of breasts. It might be strange to see on a small child (boy or girl) rather than on an adult woman but they go away after the first few weeks.
This puffiness is often caused because of the hormones in breast milk which the baby is obviously now getting when they eat. There is nothing wrong with this; the added hormones just make them a little puffy but that does not stop them from growing and thriving.
Nothing to worry about! This may be something you have never heard of before or maybe never even noticed but it does commonly happen.
5 Abnormal: Very Spotty
Minor or moderate baby acne is very normal and not something to worry about as I said previously in this list. But it is a different story when it escalates and turns into a painful problem. If baby acne goes from a little bit to an excessive amount even to bleeding, bruising or scarring, that could be a sign something is definitely wrong. Baby acne usually does not bother the child or give them any pain but when is it severe, it can be sore to touch making for a very unhappy little one and stressed mum, dad or guardian.
Help from a doctor can fix the problem hopefully quickly. So if you think your baby's acne has gotten out of control, make an appointment for your bundle of joy now.
4 Abnormal: Splitting Skin
A step further than dry skin is splitting, raw and bloody skin that can cause extreme pain for a baby. It can also lead to infection which can cause other health problems. This isn't common but when/if it does arise, it usually occurs under the neck or on the back of the knees. When the dry skin becomes raw and irritated, it often splits and can bleed. An open wound potentially causes illness if not cared for properly. Skin conditions such as eczema can make this more likely.
There are many different methods people use to heal this on babies but the best way is to take them to the doctor as soon as you notice this excessively bad dry skin. And remember, never use a cream on an open wound, no matter how magical or healing you may think it is.
3 Abnormal: Projectile Vomiting
This can actually be a common thing to happen to babies as their digestive system is very sensitive and can be disrupted easily but projectile vomiting constantly is a cause for concern. There are many reasons this could happen to a baby from allergies to reflux, but whatever reason, you should definitely talk to a medical professional.
If your baby is constantly projectile vomiting there is a chance he or she could be losing weight and not getting the nutrition they needs to grow and thrive - even more of a reason to look into the projectile vomiting and hopefully stop it from happening. Never ignore it.
"She used to constantly projectile vomit, after every single feed. She started to lose weight; it was very scary. In the end we found out she was lactose intolerant," revealed a mum I spoke to.
2 Abnormal: Lifelessness
Newborn babies aren't very strong and don't move that much. But if they become floppy, unresponsive and/or somewhat 'lifeless' this is not okay and you need to get help immediately.
A baby seeming 'lifeless' can be a sign of illness, malnutrition, lack of oxygen and more, none of which are good things for an adult, nevermind an infant. New parents can often mistake this for being a normal part of being a baby or that the baby is just sleepy but this is not always the case. Your baby's health could potentially be in grave danger.
One mum told me about her scary experience, "My daughter was like this shortly after birth. It turned out she was suffering from lack of oxygen. Luckily it all turned out okay and this never happened again."
1 Abnormal: Sunken Soft-Spot
An uncomfortable topic for the last entry on the list, this is sure to make many cringe when they hear someone say it let alone see it on their own baby. As most people know, when a baby is born their skulls are not fully fused together leaving certain places on their head tender. These are known as soft spots. The most prominent one being at the front of the head which is where you would notice the sinking.
A sunken soft spot is rare but if it does occur, it is most certainly not normal. Soft spots sink due to dehydration and can be very alarming for parents, often causing them to panic. If you notice this on your baby take them to the doctor immediately as this could be very dangerous for your little one.
Sources: Babycenter.com, PopSugar.com, LauraJane20.blogspot.co.uk