Home > Advice > Baby > 8 Weird Things No One Told You About Newborns

Here at TMC we pride ourselves on telling the truth. The whole truth, even when it’s ugly, strange or downright disgusting. Because let’s face it, pregnancy and birth are pretty peculiar things, and it doesn’t stop there. Want to know what the books won’t tell you about newborns? Forewarned is forearmed…

Attachment Issues Start Early (Literally)

Remember the 90s, when your home phone had a curly cord that prevented you from wandering further than a 5ft radius from its base? Well, that, only the base is the placenta (still firmly wedged inside you) and the cord is attached to the screaming new human you’ve just pushed out.
Sometimes, the cord is slightly too short, meaning when you try to pull the babe up to your chest, they spring back as if they’re attached to a bungee cord. So, you just have to… sit there. Legs akimbo, waiting for the cord to stop pulsing so your totally grossed out partner can cut it with a pair of children’s craft scissors (spoiler: it’s harder than he thinks).

They Come Out Covered in Crap (Again, Literally)

the kid emerges bone dry (and about 12 weeks old). The truth is, they’re covered in all kinds: blood, poo (theirs, not yours), and vernix; the white sticky substance that covers their skin while in the womb. Your first inclination (naturally) would be to give them a good scrub before dressing them in your White Company onesie of choice; but you’ll be told to wait a week first, giving the vernix time to soak in naturally.
It’s the equivalent of having a facial on an expensive spa day, then being told you have to wait for three hours before going in the sauna afterwards. You’ll want to do the right thing, but you’ll more than likely end up giving in after three days and whacking them in the bath.

The Umbilical Cord Looks Like a Witchetty Grub

The first time you change the kid’s nappy, it might surprise you to discover two inches of umbilical cord where a neat little belly button should be, clamped with what looks like a sandwich bag clip from Lakeland. Three days in, it’ll smell like… well, exactly what it is, which is dead flesh (TMI?). You’re still not allowed to wash the baby, and spend every nappy change terrified that you’ll knock it off and curse them with an outie for the rest of their life. It will fall off, eventually. Some people even keep them, but those people are weird and we’re not sure we want to be friends with them.

Their Head Has a Pulse

Ever wondered why people are obsessed with protecting the baby’s head? Well, it might be because there’s a large gaping hole there, where their skull hasn’t fused together yet (aka the fontanel) meaning that their brain is essentially exposed. Terrified yet? Yep, us too.

Baby Girls Have Periods

Around day three, you might notice drops of blood in your baby girl’s nappy. This will scare the shit out of you but try not to panic; a spike in maternal estrogen levels can simulate a female foetus’s uterus, producing a mini-period within the first week of their life. Not weird AT ALL.

The First Poo is Like Thick Black Tar

It’s a pretty well-known fact that babies poo a lot, but what you might not know is that the very first one comes out like treacle. And not in a good way. You could genuinely lay tarmac with this stuff; it’s dark, sticky and will take out an entire pack of Water Wipes in one go.

Acne Doesn’t Wait For Puberty

We’ve all woken up with a giant spot on our forehead and new-borns are no different: baby acne is a thing. Apparently, the magical properties of breastmilk clear it right up, so resist the urge to squeeze and slather on some of that liquid gold instead.

Sometimes They’re Hairy

If your kid decides to make an early appearance, don’t be surprised if they come out with more back hair than your dad. Officially known as lanugo, this is the first hair your baby’s body makes, and plays a vital role in protecting skin and regulating body temperature in the womb. Don’t crack out the Veet so soon (kidding), it will fall out naturally after a few weeks.
We know we shouldn’t have to say this, but don’t shave your baby (something our midwife once said to us, which made us think only one thing: someone once did).

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