We were all babies once, even though the only memories of those times are only in photos and videos. And the process of growth and development of the phases is something surprising, with many unimaginable curiosities.
The transformation of babies over the years involves bones, organs, abilities, tastes, growth, among other factors. If you’re wondering what they are, you’ve come to the right place. Check out 10 fun facts about babies that will blow your mind!
1. Babies don’t need to drink water
Unlike adults, who need to drink water to stay hydrated, newborn babies don’t have this need—even, ingesting it can be dangerous. During the first few months of life, breast milk or formula already provide all the hydration and nutrition needed by those small organisms.
If a baby under six months of age drinks water, overhydration and an imbalance can result, which can result in low sodium levels. The accumulation of water ends up floating around in the bloodstream, diluting the blood and reducing the concentration of critical electrolyte molecules that help cell communication.
There’s also the fact that babies’ stomachs are very small, so the accumulation of water in the organ can prevent it from absorbing the calories and nutrients needed to grow. Therefore, do not give water to babies under six months.
2. Babies grow too fast
From the moment the baby is born, its growth becomes extremely fast. It is normal for him to lose weight in the first few months of life, but in the first five months the baby’s weight doubles, tripling within a year. Before reaching six months, they grow about 2.5 cm in length every month.
3. Babies feed and breathe at the same time
Unlike adults, babies can eat and breathe simultaneously. Newborns take a long time to breastfeed with breast milk, between 20 to 45 minutes, and are able to do this while breathing normally.
This is only possible due to the position of the baby’s larynx, a muscular organ that houses the vocal cords and acts as an air intake for the lungs. In newborns, the larynx is positioned at the highest part of the throat, interconnecting with the soft palate, creating a separation between the airway and the food pathway.
Between three and six months, the larynx descends a little and allows speech. During the development of the adult vocal cords and larynx, the ability to feed and breathe at the same time is lost.
4. Babies taste different
Babies have different taste buds compared to older children and adults. According to studies, humans can taste sweet and sour after birth, but can’t taste bitterness until they’re two or three months old. Also, until three or four months old they don’t feel the saltiness. With these limitations, they end up not experiencing the same taste as an adult would.
5. Babies are swimmers by nature
Before they are even six months old, most babies can hold their breath underwater automatically. That’s because they rely on the body’s autonomic responses to help conserve oxygen. Your heart rate slows and peripheral blood vessels constrict, preventing the inhalation of water.
All of this doesn’t mean, however, that you should throw a baby into the water and wait for it to swim out. After six months, even, this reflex may disappear.
6. Babies can change their shapes
When they are born, babies do not have their skeletons fully formed, so they have this ability to change their shape very easily. The skull, for example, is not fused, and this is so that the passage during childbirth is easier, adapting to the shape of the mother’s vaginal canal.
Also, with the change in skull shape, brains triple in weight during the first three years of life. Babies’ feet can also easily turn in and out as they develop, until all the bones are properly formed.
7. Babies have more bones than adults
At birth, a small human being has about 300 bones in its body, almost 100 more than an adult, who has only 206 bones. This extra amount exists because some bones end up fusing over the course of human development, which in early life have cartilage for better flexibility.
As we grow, this cartilage calcifies, fusing the bones together to form an adult human skeleton. This process usually takes place until mid-teens, reaching the end at 16 years of age.
8. Babies don’t have smelly stools early in life
The very first baby poop doesn’t have the smells we know. That’s because newborns expel something called meconium, which is a material made up of nutrients ingested while they’re still inside the uterus.
This material is odorless and is eliminated in the first days of life outside the mother’s womb. Some babies even end up being born covered in meconium, which happens when they go through a period of high stress.
Feces smell bad because of bacteria in our digestive system, which are used to process food. Babies, however, are born without this colony of bacteria – which begins to develop from the moment they leave the uterus, happening throughout the breastfeeding period.
9. Babies don’t see well
All babies are born with poor eyesight, which remains for the first few months of life, which prevents them from being able to focus. This focus is found throughout the first year of life, as the muscles and brain begin to learn to process visual information accurately.
In the first few months, babies are more responsive to high-contrast black-and-white images than bright colors. One of the first colors that catches the attention of babies is red.
10. Babies drink milk, but they can also make it
Newborn babies can have something called neonatal galactorrhea, which is lactation, ie, milk production, regardless of sex. The condition affects only 5% of newborns and usually appears in small amounts released into the nipples.
This is due to exposure to a large amount of estrogen (female hormone) in the uterus or breast milk. The problem should cure itself, but if it lasts for more than two months, you need to seek medical help.
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