10 Fascinating Facts About Babies

Mother holds her baby in the air
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I've always been fascinated by babies. 

Since I was a young girl and announced to my parents that I wanted to be a "baby doctor" (aka a pediatrician), I've loved babies. Aside from how just darn cute they are, there are a lot of things to admire about babies. And they are pretty fascinating creatures, too. Here are a few fun and fascinating facts about babies:

  1. One baby is born every 4 seconds in the United States.
  1. Weekly child care for a baby is $179 in the United States. (This actually seems like kind of bargain to me...)
  2. Babies can sense when you're faking happiness and are actually sad.
  3. Babies can find their way to their mother's breast after birth. It's kind of crazy, but they really can. If you put a baby on his mother's stomach after birth, a baby can actually "crawl" his way up to the breast.
  4. It can be normal for some babies to stop breathing. Periodic apnea (a pause in breathing) can actually be totally normal for newborns. If it looks like your infant has paused her breathing, that may be why. (Obviously, anything longer than a few seconds or with any other symptoms isn't normal, let's be clear on that.)
  5. Amniotic fluid has a smell from the food a mother eats. This could be why a baby can develop food and smell preferences while still in the womb.
  6. The old wives' tale about heartburn and hair is not true. A study of mothers who reported having heartburn found that their babies did not, in fact, have more hair.
  1. Babies have more taste buds than adults. Yup and no one really knows why.
  2. A baby has 300 bones. Those pliable bones, which are necessary to navigate out of the birth canal, eventually fuse into a mere 206 bones in our adult body.
  3. More babies are born naturally at night. If a mother is not induced or having a C-section, it's more likely that her baby will be born at night.


    U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed online September 3, 2015: http://www.census.gov/population/international/data/idb/worldvitalevents.php. 

    U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed online September 3, 2015: http://www.census.gov/library/infographics/child_care.html. 

    Chiarella, S. (2015). “Aren’t you supposed to be sad?” Infants do not treat a stoic person as an unreliable emoter. Infant Behavior and Development. Accessed online September 3, 2015: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0163638314001210. 

    Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy, and Sleep Medicine. New York Medical College: Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy, and Sleep Medicine. Accessed September 3, 2015: https://www.nymc.edu/depthome/peds/pedspulm/IACenter.asp. 

    Cuda-Kroen, Gretchen. Baby's Palate And Food Memories Shaped Before Birth. Accessed September 3, 2015: http://www.npr.org/2011/08/08/139033757/babys-palate-and-food-memories-shaped-before-birth. 

    Costigan, KA. Pregnancy folklore revisited: the case of heartburn and hair. Birth.

    (2006). Accessed September 3, 2015: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17150070. 

    Keiko Yamaguchi. Age-related Alteration of Taste Bud Distribution in the Common Marmoset. (June 15, 2000). Accessed September 3, 2015: http://chemse.oxfordjournals.org/content/26/1/1.full. 

    Your Bones. Accessed September 3, 2015: http://m.kidshealth.org/kid/htbw/bones.html. 

    T.J. Mathews, M.S.; and Sally C. Curtin, M.A.. When Are Babies Born: Morning, Noon, or Night? Birth Certificate Data for 2013. CDC. (May 2015). Accessed September 3, 2015: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db200.htm. 

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