Let’s face it: ALL babies are amazing, and if you ask each baby’s mom and dad, they’ll argue that their baby is the MOST amazing, hands down. Who could blame them for thinking so when each baby truly is remarkable in its own right? While we all begin our time on earth as babies, it is still an astounding feat that we grew from almost nothing into a living, breathing, crying (some more than others), pooping, and laughing infant. How can so much joy and spectacular creation fit into an eight-pound baby? That will never stop being mind-blowing.
While babies can be amazingly cute, amazingly smart, or amazingly cuddly among other things, some babies are statistically amazing - enough to break world records! Their remarkability can be scientifically measured to ensure their spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. Some people spend their entire lives trying to make or break a world record, but these babies can accomplish that on their first day on Earth. If the idea of birthing a 15 pound baby or giving birth to eight at a time sounds so terrifying it must be impossible, these seven babies will prove you wrong, and might just make you rethink everything you thought you knew about what is possible when it comes to babies.
7 Heaviest Baby
While about 95% of babies are born weighing between 5.5-10 pounds, there a few that challenge the norm. There are several factors that may influence a baby’s birth weight, including the mother’s weight (both at birth and during pregnancy), the health of both the baby and the mother, and of course, the baby’s development when it is born. Regardless of extenuating circumstances, there are still pretty general boundaries of birth weights, which most babies do not exceed, but there have been a few incredible exceptions.
One exceptional baby, in particular, born to an Italian woman, Sig. Carmelina Fedele in 1955, not only challenged the norm, but also completely shattered the highest birth record. Her baby came out weighing 22.08 pounds, but not much else is known about the baby boy. The second biggest baby weighed over 19 pounds, and he was born in 2009 to a Diabetic mother in Indonesia. Diabetic mothers often birth bigger children, and that was no exception for this particular mother’s first three children, but her fourth was considerably larger than the first three.
Record-breakingly big babies are often born to mothers who are of average height and weight, but Anna Bates, who stood at seven feet eleven inches, gave birth to a baby boy in 1879 who weighed 22 pounds and was 28 inches long. Sadly, the baby boy who was referred to as “Babe,” survived only 11 hours after his birth.
While most of us hear about a ten pound baby being born as proof of what an amazing physical feat childbirth is (and it is amazing no matter the size of the baby!), it is truly remarkable to consider the limits the human body is pushed to when not only delivering a 20 pound baby, but carrying it both inside and outside of the womb as well.
6 Lightest Baby
If there’s a record for the heaviest baby, of course, there has to be one for the lightest baby. While it isn’t super uncommon for babies to be born on the lower (approximately 5.5 pound) range of average, a few babies have been born and survived after having a birth weight of less than a pound. Even those who see a newborn eight-pound baby often remark how tiny it looks, “tiny” takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to record-breakingly small babies.
One such baby was born in Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Illinois, USA, on 19 September 2004 at just 25 weeks and six days gestation. Her name is Rumaisa Rahman, and she weighed just 9.07 oz. (just over half a pound, and just a few ounces more than a standard banana) when she was born. Her twin sister, Hiba, was born weighing just over one pound. After a lengthy hospital stay, Rumaisa was happy, healthy, and released on February 2005.
Interestingly, the youngest surviving premature baby was born at 21 weeks and five days gestation but still weighed more than Rumaisa when he was born. His name is James Elgin Gil, and he was born in Ottawa, Canada in 1987. Even though he was born more than 18 weeks early, he weighed 1.1 pounds, twice the weight of Rumaisa. What’s especially remarkable about Baby Gil is that hospitals often refuse to care for infants born at less than 22 weeks gestation because the survival rate is so low. Luckily, Baby Gil weighed a lot more than most babies at this age, which certainly contributed to him thankfully beating the odds.
5 Most Surviving Babies Born in One Delivery
One single baby is remarkable in itself, but two? Amazing! How about three? Incredible! Four? It’s a miracle! But how about eight babies birthed by one woman in a single birth? That’s what happened on January 26, 2009 when Nadya Suleman (who soon was dubbed the “Octomom”) gave birth to six boys and two girls and started a media firestorm and public debate about the ethics of multiple embryo transfers. While the Suleman octuplets weren’t the first set of octuplets to be born, they were the first to all survive past a week.
The Suleman octuplets, who were conceived via IVF and carried by Nadya to 31 weeks, which is a remarkably long time to carry multiples of that size. The babies are named Noah, Maliyah, Isaiah, Nariyah, Jonah, Makai, Josiah, and Jeremiah and weighed between 1.8 and 3.4 pounds each. Although the babies experienced some difficulties associated with premature birth, they were otherwise healthy.
Suleman received harsh criticism (as did her doctor who had his medical license revoked) for having so many embryos transferred at one time. Suleman had 12 embryos transferred to her uterus when she conceived the octuplets. What’s even more startling is Suleman already had six children, also conceived by IVF, at home under her care. Suleman relies heavily on government assistance as well as dabbling in adult entertainment to support her and her 14 children. It wasn’t just her decision to have so many children without the means to support them, or the jobs she undertook after giving birth that were extremely controversial. In 2011, Suleman said in an interview with In Touch magazine that she hated babies and wished she never had them, understandably enraging the public. Suleman has also been convicted of welfare fraud for failing to report several thousands of dollars of earnings.
4 Record Breaking Twins
Twins are more popular than ever, and their birth rate in America has risen 76 percent from 1976 to 2009. This growing trend is likely due to the increased use of fertility drugs and reproductive technology, as well as scientific advancements in the fertility field. It is now estimated that up to 1 in 30 babies born in the United States is a twin! That’s a whole lot of twinning happening, and with that comes all sorts of world record-breaking twins!
Mia Washington and her husband were blessed with happy, healthy twin baby boys. Well, technically her husband was blessed with one and her lover with another. When the babies were born and found to look nothing alike, Washington had an interesting story to tell, and it wouldn’t be far off to call it “Double Trouble”. It is unclear which happened first, but she was impregnated by her husband, and also by another lover within a very short period and had released a second egg, which allowed the double fertilization. This phenomenon is known as heteropaternal superfecundation and has only been recorded a handful of times. This means that technically the twins, Jordan and Justin, are half-brothers, but Washington’s husband has now legally adopted the other twin who was shown to be the offspring of Washington’s lover.
Alison Spooner and Dean Durrant were lucky enough to have not one, but two sets of fraternal twins. What’s especially interesting is that in each set of twins, one is fair like their mother, and the other has dark skin like her father. The couple had their first set of twins in 2001 and was amazed at how different, yet still alike, they looked. They were even more amazed to have a similar set of girl twins in 2008. This is such a rare phenomenon that there aren’t even statistical figures to demonstrate its probability. 3
Maria Jones-Elliot went into labor three months early when she was pregnant with twins in 2013. Her daughter, Amy, was born shortly after and weighed just over 1 pound. Incredibly, her contractions stopped after Amy was born, and even with induction efforts, the other twin stayed in the womb. It wasn’t for another 87 days when Jones-Elliot was induced again that she gave birth to the other twin, Katie, who weighed over 5 pounds. These twins shattered the previous record by three days
3 Most Teeth at Birth
A toothless and gummy smile likely comes to mind when you think of a happy baby, but shockingly, some babies are born with teeth, making their smiles not so toothless or gummy. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body, and most babies don’t get their first teeth until they are between 5-8 months old. But as with all norms, there are always exceptions.
Sean Keaney was born in April of 1990 with a shocking set of 12 teeth. And for any breastfeeding mothers out there who are wincing at the thought of this, Keaney’s teeth were extracted so they wouldn’t cause feeding problems. He didn’t grow his second set of teeth until 18 months. Molars don’t usually come in until about 24 months, but one baby who was born in 1970 6 weeks prematurely was found to have eight teeth, and 4 of them were molars. Wow!
Centuries ago, babies born with teeth were tragically put to death because the consensus was that newborns with teeth were demons. Yikes. When newborns get teeth within a month of their birth (but not before), they’re called neonatal teeth. Today, when a baby is born with teeth (called natal teeth), it has been found just to be due to the teeth developing in an abnormally close position to the gums. Some babies aren’t born with teeth but still develop them earlier than others.
Natal teeth are often harmless, but can sometimes cause problems. These problems include mouth ulcers, problems breastfeeding, and if the teeth are quite loose, they can even become dislodged creating a choking hazard. Roughly 1 out of every thousand babies is born with teeth, and lucky for the baby and its parents, that’s one less tooth they’ll have to suffer through cutting.
2 Babies Born to the Youngest/Oldest Parents
Although the average age people have their first child in North America has risen from about 21 to at least 25 in the last 40 years. In Canada, for example, over half of the babies born are now born to women over thirty. First-time mothers in their thirties may be the new normal, but there have been a few babies born to parents who were old enough to be their great-grandparents.
In 2008, when she was 70 years old, Rajo Devi became a mother for the first time. After years of trying and failing to conceive with her 72-year-old husband, it finally worked thanks to the help of IVF. Devi gave birth to a healthy baby girl. There are reports that Devi and her husband are undergoing more rounds of IVF in hopes of now having a son as well.
In 2012, a 96-year-old farmer from India named Ramjit Raghav claimed to be the “oldest new dad” when his 52-year-old wife gave birth to their son, Ranjeet. Raghav and his wife said they conceived naturally, and Raghav attributes his ability to have children at such an age to his healthy sexual appetite. There’s no word on to what he attributes his voracious sexual appetite, but he insists he did not use – ahem – performance enhancing drugs
On the other side of the spectrum are babies born to spectacularly young parents. Lina Medina gave birth to a baby boy in Spain in May 1939. While she has never shared who the father is, Medina was only five at the time she gave birth, making her the youngest mother ever recorded. Medina’s mother raised the baby as her son, and the baby grew up thinking Medina was his sister. Unfortunately, Medina’s son died at the age of 40 due to a bone marrow disease, but it is said to be unrelated to his mother’s age. Medina went on to marry in 1972 and gave birth to her second child, 33 years after her first, that same year.
1 Babies Born in the Strangest Places
If anything other than a traditional hospital birth sounds scary to you, you’re going to want to brace yourselves for hearing where these amazing babies were born! Not only are these babies amazing, but considering how difficult childbirth and labor are under the BEST of circumstances, these stories are especially astounding. While a strange birth location may not be an actual world record category, these babies would be sure to win it if it were.
You’ve likely heard scary stories of women giving birth in toilets, or at least feeling like they might, but an Indian woman brought a whole new meaning to it. When Bhuri Kalbi was just seven months pregnant, she was riding a train through India and she went to use the bathroom and something incredible happened. Kalbi experienced what is known as “precipitous birth” which is a very quick birth usually associated with complications. Toilets on trains in India empty right onto the tracks, and Kalbi’s baby girl fell out from under the train and landed on the tracks. As horrifying as this sounds, this story has a happy ending: Kalbi’s baby girl was found on the tracks alive and unharmed, but with a great story to tell her friends when she’s older.
In a Tree
Parts of Mozambique were experiencing flooding in 2000 when Carolina Chirindza was pregnant with a baby girl. The waters were rising to dangerous levels, and she had no choice but to climb a tree to avoid being stranded in the crocodile-infested waters. Chirindza spent four days in that tree without food or water, and on the fourth day she went into labor and gave birth to her daughter. Luckily, they were both rescued shortly after by a South African helicopter and brought to safety.