What Can I Expect From My Newborn?

Many parents, especially first-time parents, may not know what they can expect from their newborn. Regardless of how much study you do on the subject, your baby is bound to surprise you in one way or another.

The first surprise that many parents have from their newborn is the newborn’s physical appearance. On television and in the movies, newborns look like angels. They have perfect bald heads, noses, and torsos. They are free of wrinkles, and are perfectly pink in color. They are clean as can be. Anyone who has ever seen a newborn knows that this picture can be very far from accurate. Newborns often have pointy heads, squished noses, range in color from yellow to pale white to brown, are often covered with a sticky whit substance, have swollen genitals, are wrinkly, and generally look like creatures from another planet. Sometimes, they are even born with a full head of hair that may or may not be the same color as their hair will be later on.

Physically, a newborn might be bigger or smaller than you expect. This is particularly true that first two weeks or so, when they are just teenie tiny. Even parents who have other children can forget just how small the newborn baby can be.

A newborn may behave in an unexpected way. It will take any newborn baby a little while to adjust to being outside of the womb. Some newborns, for example, might not like to be held. Others love to be snuggled. While some newborns will begin sleeping through the night as early as six weeks of age, others may take months. Some newborns will hardly make a peep; others may have colic, and cry nearly all of the time.

Many of the characteristics that newborns have, both physically and in terms of personality, will change over the next year. Many of the physical oddities will be gone within just a few weeks. Still, knowing what to expect from your newborn will help you prepare for the experience of birth.


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