How Will My Baby Look?
So you were expecting a cute little baby with dimples and a little curl of hair. Instead, he's covered in blood, this weird creamy white stuff and has a head of long, dark hair. What's going on? Well, there are some things you should know about your newborn's appearance. And don't worry, all these characteristics are perfectly normal at birth. Here's a look at what your baby really looks like at birth.
This white, creamy stuff coats your baby's skin and protects the delicate skin while still in the womb. It forms by the 20th week of pregnancy by the sebaceous glands when your baby's skin cells drop off into the amniotic fluid. Although you think your baby might look strange with vernix covering his body, it actually protects your baby's skin from deep wrinkles caused by exposure to the amniotic fluid. The vernix is gently wiped from the head and from the creases of skin folds; the rest is left to absorb into his skin.
Stork Bites or Salmon Patches
You'll notice these pale, red patches on your newborn's eyelids, forehead and on the back of their neck. These appear in approximately 30% of newborns and will fade by 18 months. Another interesting fact: these patches deepen in color when your newborn cries.
You may have noticed that your baby's head has an oblong shape. This is because during a head-first birth, the pressure of passing through the birth canal 'molds' the head into that oblong shape. Don't worry; head molding will resolve itself.
During pregnancy, this soft, downy and sometimes dark hair covered your baby's head, trunk and limbs as a form of protection. While it usually falls out during the 7th or 8th month of pregnancy, some babies are born with lanugo. This is more likely if your baby is born before his due date.
Milia appear as hard, white pearly-textured spots resembling pimples and are found on your newborn's nose, chin or cheeks. They occur when sloughed-off skin cells get trapped under your baby's skin. They disappear within a few weeks.
You've taken your baby home from hospital, and you notice that his eyes seem to be crossed. No need for worry; the eyes appear crossed because there are extra folds of skin. Once your baby grows and these folds retract and even out, your baby's eyes will appear centered.
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