With their weak necks, wobbly limbs and serious milk dependence, you could be fooled into thinking that babies are a tad helpless. Incapable of taking care of themselves. Pretty much just mini, albeit rather clueless, versions of us. But as I recently discovered, while obsessively scrolling the interweb during a particularly gruelling night feed, babies are actually far more complicated, far more intelligent and far more amazing than we give them credit for…as these 10 unbelievable baby facts show!
10 amazing facts about babies – did you know?
1. Newborn babies are crazily strong
So strong, in fact, that if a newborn baby was to grip a washing line with its tiny little hands, its whole body would hang suspended in mid-air (as babies’ bent fingers have evolved to be powerful enough to support their entire weight). Whatever you do though, please do not (I repeat, DO NOT) try this at home!
2. Newborn babies can’t cry
Howl yes. Scream, definitely. But cry, no! Because babies’ tear ducts don’t actually develop fully until they’re around three weeks’ old; although it can take up to four or five months until some babies’ first tear will drop.
3. Being born prematurely, won’t necessarily hamper their future potential
Some of the world’s most acclaimed people and greatest minds throughout history were born prematurely, including Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Mark Twain, Stevie Wonder and Sir Winston Churchill!
4. Babies grow moustaches in the womb…and then eat them!
When a foetus is around 16 weeks’ old, it grows a moustache that spreads outwards, covering its entire body within a matter of weeks. This hair (called lanugo) is designed to keep them warm until they’re ready to be born. It usually starts to fall out though during the third trimester of pregnancy, before being effectively eaten by them (with the digested hair becoming part of your baby’s first poo!).
5. Babies are born without kneecaps
Strange but true! Instead, they have a bit of cartilage in its place, which eventually turns into bone at around the six month mark. This is why most babies first use their arms to get around before progressing onto proper crawling on all fours once their kneecaps are fully formed.
6. Babies cry with their mother’s accent
No joke! According to research from the University of Wurzburg, babies pick up their mother’s native accent in the last few months of pregnancy. And once they are born, they have been shown to reflect the intonations of their mummy’s tongue in the pattern of their cries! As baby facts go, that one’s pretty cool…
7. Babies are programmed to react to smiling faces from birth!
Extensive research has shown that newborn babies prefer looking at a drawing of a face rather than a random pattern, and that they actually prefer smiling faces to grumpy ones!
8. Unlike us, babies can breathe and swallow at the same time
It’s true…up until around the seven month mark, babies can indeed swallow and breathe simultaneously, which explains how they can go to town on a boob or bottle for so long without coming up for air. However, snotty noses are a baby’s kryptonite, and prevent them from having this super power (albeit temporarily).
9. Babies grow insanely fast
So quickly, in fact, that if an average eight pound baby were to continue growing at the same rate as they do during their first year of life, by the time they reached their 20th birthday, they’d be 25 foot tall and weigh a whopping 143 kilograms (that’s 22 and a half stone)!
10. Whether your baby is right or left handed is determined in the womb (when they’re still the size of a 50 pence coin!)
According to the latest research, when a baby is growing in the womb, they use one hand more than the other. The hand they prefer using as a teeny tiny 10-week-old foetus, is the hand they will favour for the rest of their life!
And there we have it! 10 unbelievable (but true) baby facts that made even my exhausted new parent brain pause for thought.
So, how many did you know already? And are there any other incredible baby facts that you know which are missing from my list? As ever, we love to hear from you, so please do share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below!