Close Close
Mother and Baby

20 Amazing Facts About Your Newborn

Being adorable isn’t the only thing your newborn has going for him. He’s also got a pretty impressive set of skills and qualities on his baby CV. How’s this for some NCT meet-up trivia?

Expand Image

His smell is addictive

For you, anyway. A University of Montreal study looked at the brains of 15 new mums and found the smell of a newborn brought out the same pleasure and sense of craving that food does when we’re hungry.
Expand Image

That hair may fall out

Your little one may have a shock of black hair now – but it won’t necessarily stay that way. It can fall out altogether in the first few weeks, then grow back over the next year, or go from straight to curly in months.
Expand Image

Labour = birthmarks

Birthmarks are common and come in a range of shapes, sizes and colours. ‘These occur when the tiny blood vessels under the skin are dilated during labour,’ says paediatrician Dr Martin Ward Platt. ‘Certain types may not appear for several days or weeks after birth, but most go away in the first few years.’
Expand Image

The magic number is…

20-38cm. Your baby has blurry vision when it comes to things in the distance, but can pick up objects within this range. Especially your face if it’s close enough.
Expand Image

He has loads of reflexes

Around 70 of them. These are primitive and down to evolution, including things like sucking and stepping – if you support your baby upright with his feet on a flat surface, his legs will work with a stepping motion. He obviously can’t walk now but may be born with a knowledge of how to for when he’s older.

Source: The Pregnancy And Baby Book (DK)

Expand Image

He is seriously sleepy

In fact, at first he’ll only really be alert for around three minutes in every hour during the day, and even less at night.

Source: What To Expect: The First Year (Simon &Schuster)

Expand Image

But he can be jumpy

This is your baby’s startle (Moro) reflex. He’s born with it – a natural response to a loud noise, movement or feeling of falling. Thought of as a protective mechanism, it makes him fling his arms up and out, open his fists wide and draw his knees up, before going back to how he was in seconds. This reflex tends to ease by six months.
Expand Image

He’s very boob curious

A research team discovered that if a newborn is left on his mother’s chest after birth, he’ll eventually crawl up and find her breast to feed, guided by her smell. Incredible, right? He also has a Rooting reflex – if you stroke his cheek, he’ll turn in that direction with his mouth open ready to feed.
Expand Image

He knows your pregnancy playlist

Babies recognise songs they hear in the womb for up to four months after birth, according to University of Helsinki research. In fact, you might even find all that Beyoncé helps soothe him now.
Expand Image

There are 300 parts to his skeleton

Mainly made up of cartilage, which turns into bone over time. As he grows, some of his bones fuse together, leaving him with 206 by the time he’s a grown-up.
Expand Image

He influences your heart rate

That was a discovery made by a team at an Israeli university, which found that when a mum and newborn faced and looked each other in the eye, their heart rates co-ordinated in seconds.
Expand Image

Your voice is critical…

For his language development. A Canadian study found a sleeping newborn recognises his mum’s voice from just one syllable, and it activates an area of his brain associated with language processing.
Expand Image

He wants to put everything in his mouth

OK, he may be a bit too young to chew on your keys or the cat’s tail, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to. New French research suggests infants are born with an instinct to put things in their mouth as part of a survival-of-the-fittest mentality to make sure they’re fed.
Expand Image

… Which is the most sensitive

Your newborn uses his sense of touch to explore what’s around him – and the most sensitive touch receptors are in and around his mouth.

Source: The Pregnancy And Baby Book (DK)

Expand Image

He’s a mini weightlifter

Well, sort of. You know that surprisingly tight grip he has? It’s down to another reflex and can actually be strong enough to support his own body weight. Although perhaps don’t put that one to the test.
Expand Image

He’s crying with your accent

Yes, really. A team from the University of Würzburg in Germany found that babies pick up their mum’s native tongue in the last three months of pregnancy and reflect characteristics of the language in the pattern of their crying after birth.
Expand Image

But there are no actual tears

Despite the wailing, you may notice your newborn doesn’t produce actual tears. His tear ducts aren’t fully developed and while they produce enough moisture to keep his eyes healthy, they won’t give proper tears for several weeks.
Expand Image

That eye colour may change

All babies are born with blue eyes. Basically, the pigmentation process in his iris hasn’t started working yet – it does kick in though, and your baby’s true eye colour usually becomes apparent around six months old.
Expand Image

He’s out of proportion

Your baby’s head makes up a quarter of his total body length right now, and his brain takes up 10 per cent of his total body weight. The rest of him is growing to catch up.

Source: The Pregnancy And Baby Book (DK)

Expand Image

He looks like both of you

The idea used to be that newborns look more like their dads. This was scientifically backed (in part, anyway) by a US study in the 90s, but more recent research suggests this isn’t the case and that newborns tend to resemble both parents equally.

Related content:


No comments have been made yet.

Chinese Gender predictor
Chinese Gender Predictor

Are you expecting a boy or a girl? Tell us the month you conceived and how old you are, and this clever little tool will predict the rest! 

Nappy rash is painful for parents as well as for your baby
Nappy rash is painful for parents as well as for your baby

Read Dr Pixie's guide to learn how to deal with nappy rash

The Magic Sleepsuit
The secret to a quiet night’s sleep – The Magic Sleepsuit

If you’re little one is struggling to settle now they’ve outgrown the swaddling stage, this could be the answer to your sleep-deprived prayers!

Celebrating parenting's small wins
Celebrating parenting's small wins

As mums, we're constantly told to enjoy every moment; in reality, parenting can sometimes be challenging. That's where small wins come in...

Subscribe button May
Subscribe to Mother&Baby

Be the best mum you can be and let Mother & Baby guide you along the way. Each issue is jam packed with REAL advice from mums just like you. Subscribe today & get a free welcome gift!

Ovulation Calculator
Ovulation calculator
Trying for a baby? Work out when you're most fertile to increase your chances of getting pregnant with our easy-to-use ovulation calculator.
Pregnant woman
Due Date Calculator

When is your baby due? If you’re having trouble remembering dates and counting up the days on your fingers and toes, don’t worry – use our due date calculator.

Get M&B in your inbox!

Sign up to Mother&Baby today and get news and advice about your body and your baby straight to your inbox every week. 

Lemonade Money
It’s time to make sure your loved ones are protected

Every parent knows the importance of planning ahead; from the new school shoes, to your little one’s education, you want to fill their future with hopes and dreams. Yet are you one of the 80% of adults here in the UK that has no life cover?