Stork Bites, Cone Heads, Baldness & Other Things They Don't Tell You About Newborns

Stork Bites, Cone Heads, Baldness & Other Things They Don't Tell You About Newborns

Summary: Learn about all the weird and strange – but completely normal – things you might experience with your newborn baby.

Being a first-time parent is a real eye-opener. There are so many things experienced parents forget to tell you! Beyond that though, there are some things even experienced parents have never gone through before, so let’s cut everyone some slack and review some newborn oddities you may not be prepared for.

Birth Marks

You may be aware of how varied birth marks can be, but sometimes it can be startling to see them on your newborn baby. Here are some of the more common ones: 

Stork bites: are red stippling or small pink patches on the baby’s body. These are temporary and are caused by rapid vessel dilation. These are very common.

Hemangioma: Sometimes referred to as strawberry marks, these may be present at birth or develop within the first couple of months following birth. They can range in colour from skin tone to deep red or even blue. They tend to protrude and feel harder than the surrounding skin. They are fairly common, and as the child grows their body will begin to dispose of the excess capillaries or tissue that caused the mark. Many of these marks fade away within a few years.

Mongolian Marks: Very commonly found on babies with olive skin tone or darker, These are uneven distributions of melanin that result in darker patches of skin (can be small or very large) and resembles a bruise. They frequently occur on thighs, buttocks, and the lower back. Given time, the body will process the excess melanin and the blotchy patches will fade.

All that Skin!

Within the first week of your newborn’s life their skin begins to acclimatize to the environment outside the womb. Since this environment is much dryer, you may notice your baby’s skin getting a bit (or a lot) flakier. One way or another your baby will virtually shed its entire top layer of skin. Weird, right? But, normal! Use lotion to make them comfortable, and observe areas around the wrists, ankles, and digits for painful cracking. Always consult with your Doctor on what cream you should use for your baby. Dab petroleum jelly on any cracked spots.

The Umbilical Cord

This shrivels up and falls off about 5-7 days after the baby is born. If you avoid submerging your baby in water and stick to spot cleaning/sponge bathing for the first week, it will likely come off sooner. It smells so bad. Prepare yourself. Once off you can gently clean the belly button, but as it is newly healed you should not use much pressure. Any icky bits will work their way out eventually so its best to leave it be.

Odd Heads

Baby’s heads come out of the vaginal canal like a spear. Seriously. The unformed cranial bones move like tectonic plates under each other to allow the head to pass through the canal. Over the next few weeks, they slowly shift into place forming the cute round noggins we all love. In fact, you will notice a significant change in head size and shape within a few days, but some heads take longer than others to round out.

Hairy Considerations

Many, many babies are born bald. Heartburn and nausea predictions aside, the best indicator of whether or not your baby will have hair at birth is in the gene pool. If your (or your partner’s) heritage is Asian (India), African, South American or a host of other places where people have largely dominant genetic traits such as darker skin, dark hair, or dark eyes, there is a good chance your child will have hair at birth. If both parties are predominantly Caucasian, then there is a good chance your baby will be bald. If the parents have a mixed heritage themselves, or each parent has a separate but distinct heritage from one another, then it’s a bit harder to predict!