What – or who – will my baby look like? Find out!

What – or who – will my baby look like? Find out!

You’re probably itching to find out if your baby takes after you or their dad, or has their great aunt’s nose, but the reality is that your newborn may look a little strange at first. Their head will appear to be disproportionately large, and their hands and feet might be dark-blue or purple until their circulation gets going. How they are delivered may temporarily alter their head shape, and whether they are early or late arrivals will also impact their appearance. There’s also the plastic clamp on the stump of the remains of their umbilical cord.

Skin

Premature babies tend to have slightly more translucent skin and are usually covered in vernix, a waxy, white substance that helps protect their skin in the womb. Babies born later may have less vernix and more dry skin. Baby acne, also known as ‘milk spots’, can appear on your baby’s skin at any time. Completely harmless, they’re caused by your hormones and usually disappear within a few weeks.

Head

To help your baby through the birth canal, your baby’s skull bones are not fused together, so their head can look elongated after birth. Your baby’s head has two soft spots, or fontanelles: a diamond-shaped one at the front, and a smaller one at the back. These soft spots are covered by a thick, protective membrane and the skull will fuse together between 1 year and 18 months.

Hair

Babies come with all sorts of hairstyles, from a thick mop to delicate, silky locks. Their hair color and thickness are likely to change over the next few weeks or even years. It’s even totally normal for the hair they’re born with to fall out. If your baby arrives early, they may have more lanugo (the fine, downy hair that covers their body in the womb) than if they are born after their due date.

Eyes

Like their hair, your baby’s eye color can take a few months to settle. Amazingly they will see things in fuzzy black and white at first and are unable to see shapes beyond 20cm – just far enough to be able to see your face as you breastfeed.

Don’t panic if you see your baby’s eyes rolling away from each other now and again. This is called a squint and should resolve itself by around 3 months of age.

Face

At first, they might look quite scrunched-up, but their face will soon relax and soften.

Genitals

A flood of hormones in your baby’s body can cause their genitals to appear swollen and red. Baby girls often bleed slightly or have white, cloudy discharge from their vaginas. A boy’s testicles develop in his abdomen during pregnancy, before moving down into his scrotum in late pregnancy. For some baby boys, this happens after birth, and it can take three to six months.

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